A Seattle drone race is chasing more than glory on the track.
He’s chasing rapid-fire golf shots.
Last week, Ross Beck launched his custom-made XHOVER racing drone to capture a tee shot from drive to landing on a par-3 green, flying at speeds up to 85 mph.
With production startup Motion State, Beck filmed several golfers at Avalon Links, piloting the FPV drone behind tee shots to create tracking footage that observers compare to a video game.
The experiment created such online excitement that Beck’s Instagram account ballooned to more than 8,000 followers as of Monday.
“Been dreaming of these shots ever since I started flying FPV,” Beck said in a post. “And we got ‘em!”
“I averaged about 60 [mph] on the approach for the shot and then right when he would hit it, throttled up to 85 so I could follow the ball. It’s really, really fun.”
With speeds between 60 and 85, Beck’s drone trades battery life for velocity with five-minute flights. He said he filmed about 10 takes to find the right shot.
Beck hopes to pique the interest of golf media outlets to enhance tournament coverage with the shots.
Drones are becoming a welcome addition to the game of golf.
In 2018, drone logistics and delivery company Flytrex tested aerial food delivery at Kings Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks, N.D.
After a golfer places an order using an app, the multi-rotor drone lowers the snack via rope at any hole after about 10 minutes.
“The young golfers think it’s great. We’ve had people already call and ask — when’s the drone flying?” Bill Palmiscno executive director of the Grand Forks Park District, said.
Drone company Multicopter Warehouse launched a DJI Matrice 600 Hexacopter to drop 150 golf balls at the start of the charity Rotary Golf Tournament in Littleton, Colo. The numbered balls were used in a drawing for prizes.