The Prazza golf ball locator could be the Hooked On Golf Blog golf gadget of the year for 2011.
About The Prazza Golf Ball Finder
The Prazza golf ball location system comes from some brainiacs in the Netherlands. The setup is comprised of two components, the ball and the ball tracker.
The locator device, or tracker, gives a visual direction to the ball in the form of arrows on the unit’s screen, and also vibrates in the searching golfer’s hand more and more as he gets closer to the soon to be formerly lost spheroid. The device uses RFID, or active radio frequency identification to find the ball. Balls within around 100 yards pop up on the tracker, and the unit can even find a ball submerged in water up to eight inches.
The tracker charges via a standard USB cable which can plug into the wall or a computer’s USB port.
The Prazza golf ball I tested would compare to a hard cover distance ball in feel and performance. The ball does not have a soft cover like a high performance ball (ProV1, Z-Star, Penta) would, and it shouldn’t. If it did, the cover would decrease the lifespan of the ball greatly. The ball is quite durable and would need to be, as the internal battery is said to last over 120 18-hole rounds of golf. Despite the durability, I was able to shave off some of the cover with some square grooved wedges.
Let’s do some math. It is estimated that the average golfer loses 3-4 balls per round. A sleeve a three Prazza golf balls retails for $40 ($13.33/ball), about the street value of a dozen of some of golf’s high performance balls. Assuming a player will really play each ball for 120 rounds, which I really doubt, the total cost would be $40 for 360 rounds of golf. Conversely, if a player did in fact lose 4 balls in every round of 360 priced at $40/dozen, that total cost would be $4,800 in golf balls.
When put into that perspective, the cost of a $299 system with balls costing $13.33 each doesn’t sound too bad.
On The Course
For my “on the course” portion of my review, I’m simply posting my YouTube video of the system in action. The video contains two segments of losing and finding the ball.
Very cool stuff.
Where To Buy
There is only one outlet in the USA right now which carries this unit, In The Hole Golf. Here’s the list of other outlets around the globe from the Prazza web site.
When showing the Prazza system to some guys in my local pro shop the question was asked, “who would buy this?” I can definitely see this thing selling. Think about those guys who bet on golf, and bet heavy. Finding one lost golf ball with a $100 press on the line could make the whole system worth it. Beginners who lose balls constantly could find them. Pace of play can be increased, as people aren’t wondering around the fescues ball searching.
That being said, I don’t typically play distance balls because they are too hard and don’t spin enough around the greens. So unless Prazza offered “tour” performance, I’d probably refrain from putting it in the bag.