When you bet on golf at a sportsbook, you put your money on human beings, but there might come a day when golf robots like LDRIC (Launch Directional Robot Intelligence Circuitry) will have taken over the world’s courses in lieu of your Tiger Woods and your Jason Days. Of course, by then Skynet will most likely be online and humanity will have been replaced by machines, so there will probably not be a lot of golf betting going on. So what or who is LDRIC? A seven-foot tall, 600-pound, moveable robot which top club speed is designed to max out at 130 mph – but could go as high as 152 mph.
CBS Sports Analyst and part owner of the thing Gary McCord said “it’s the only robot in the world that plays a sport,” which is true now that Tim Duncan is retired. And before you pull Deep Blue on us, a) that was a computer, not a robot, and 2) chess is not a real sport. LDRIC can chip, pitch, putt, and talk thrash. In other words, it’s like a cross between Johnny 5 and Happy Gilmore. The golfing robot made a hole-in-one earlier this year on the par-3, 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and recently participated in a Skills Challenge Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona with 80 of the top junior All-Star golfers from around the USA.
“We want LDRIC on our PGA Junior League Golf team,” said one of the junior golfers. “He’d be our long hitter, and first in our lineup to take the pressure off of us.” And then he would rename it A.W.E.S.O.M.-O and take it home so it could do chores, and on a trip to Los Angeles movie producers would hire it to create awful movie ideas mostly starring Adam Sandler. Unfortunately, the military would hear about AWESOM-O and decide to capture it and make it into a weapon. Or not.
The LDRIC acronym brings to mind associations with one Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, and as a matter of fact, Woods had a hole-in-one in 1997, on the exact same hole as LDRIC. So, does that make them Eskimo brothers? But the robot can still adapt to replicate any golf swing, from pros to beginners. “It has been very interesting to take something on the cutting edge—no actually this is the edge,” McCord said. “Artificial Intelligence as a way of life is around the corner for these kids.”
All that’s well and good, but what people who bet on golf want to know is when we will get to see the machine take on a Rory McIlroy or a Jordan Spieth. Would LDRIV make them their b**** like Deep Blue did with Garry Kasparov, or would they prove to have b**** of steel like Kevin Costner in Tin Cup? After all, this robot likes running its mouth around children, but people who bet on golf would like to see it pick on someone (approximately) its size.