Sheffield firm launches revolutionary ‘smart green’ which replicates any golf green in the world

Yorkshire Innovation Fund Case Study:'Nick Middleton and Andrew McCague fron Zen Oracle with their robotic golf green.
Yorkshire Innovation Fund Case Study:'Nick Middleton and Andrew McCague fron Zen Oracle with their robotic golf green.

A Sheffield company has launched a smart green that could revolutionise a golfer’s all-important short game - by replicating the last few yards of any hole in the world.

Zen Oracle, based at Jessops Riverside, has spent two years developing the ‘Green Stage’ which can recreate the lumps, bumps, dips and rises of any green which has been scanned from Muirfield to Augusta.

It also comes with changeable ‘grass’ to match different courses and conditions.

Boss Nick Middleton hopes it will be snapped up by clubs, pros and improvers across the world.

He said: “The green also has sensors which let golfers analyse their shots through a laptop, tablet or PC.

“It’s a cutting edge product. Golf is big business and Zen operates in a highly lucrative market.”

The concept was based on an idea by retired US Air Force Colonel Horace Templeton who created green-reading maps in the 1970s.

According to Colonel Templeton, an inability to ‘read the green’ was the biggest barrier to performance.

Nick and fellow director Andrew McCague received a grant from the Yorkshire Innovation Fund, which is backed with cash from 10 universities - including Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam - and Europe.

The pair worked with Sheffield Hallam University’s Dr Fabio Caparrelli, an expert in materials and engineering.

Director of the Yorkshire Innovation Fund, Suzanne Emmett, said: “Our region is a major economic powerhouse and The Yorkshire Innovation Fund helped our community of dynamic SMEs to innovate by tapping into the specialist expertise of Yorkshire’s universities.

“In a very short time the Yorkshire Innovation Fund demonstrated the significant results that can be achieved when universities and businesses work together.”

The Yorkshire Innovation Fund has awarded £3.1m to innovative businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Zen Oracle was set up by Middleton in the 1990s and also makes a range of hi-tech putters.