Rory McIlroy vs. the Computer Golf Ball Hitting Machine

Okay, so the European Tour is pulling no punches with this challenge. Rory McIlroy is pitted against a computer controlled, golf laboratory hitting machine. As Rory makes his way to the course he notices the machine and the banter begins. The machine throws down the gauntlet by playing old talk show footage of Rory as a child, pitching golf balls into his mother’s washing machine. What happens next is just pure entertainment. Rory turns around and notices the driving range is full of many different types and sizes of washing machines, positioned at various distances on the field. The computer invites him to take up the challenge and Rory accepts. From that point on, the goal is for him to try and hit his golf ball into the washing machine, before the computer controlled laboratory machine can.

Now that would seem pretty daunting if the computer-controlled machine just shot golf balls out like a tennis ball pitching machine, however, that is not case. The machine has a club and actually hits the golf ball off the tee with each stroke. Yet, the only difference between the machine and Rory is that the machine has every location on the driving range entered into its system via GPS, so accuracy is not a question here. Rory doesn’t have that, he just has a great swing and a winning smile. Well that, and the four skills needed to make these under pressure shots. Those skills are dynamic balance, transition, two way muscle work, and control according to industry professionals

He also knows that the one advantage he has over the machine is this, the machine can not account for wind speed or other sudden minor wind disturbances that might happen as the ball is in flight. It simply has a location of each machine and a distance plugged into its computer. This lets it knows how hard to swing to achieve the desired loft, or appropriate bounce, that the golf ball needs to make it into the washing machine.

So with that, the contest gets underway. Surprisingly, the machine sinks one into one of the washing machines, beating Rory, and he responds by doing the same. They are tied 1 to 1. A little friendly banter goes back-and-forth between them, as they approach the final shot. The hitting machine says whoever makes the last shot wins since it will break the tie. (more…)

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Rory agrees and asks which machine they are going for. At that moment, a washing machine in the distance rises up to stand in midair on a massive lift that looks to be about 30 to