Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Gallery - Stu­art McLean

Anew in­no­va­tion caught my eye at a few cour­ses on a golf trip to KwaZulu-Natal. A cylin­dri­cal de­vice on the greens and fair­ways to mark the near­est the pin or long­est drive. It stood out prominently so that golfers could see it, and was a big im­prove­ment on some of the mark­ers we are used to see­ing at golf clubs around the coun­try. In most cases they are a ba­sic plate at­tached to a pin, with a sheet of pa­per stuck on for golfers to write down their names. They are not al­ways no­tice­able, and lack style.

Cotswold Downs as­sis­tant golf di­rec­tor Ross Dewes, a PGA Class A pro­fes­sional, thought there was a bet­ter way of mark­ing clos­est to the pins and long­est drives, and asked the in­ven­tive grand­fa­ther of his fi­anc€e to come up with some­thing dif­fer­ent. John Pier­rot, a for­mer pro jockey who com­peted in Eng­land and Ire­land, quickly put to­gether a cylin­dri­cal de­sign, and then built it. He has a busi­ness in Dur­ban called Plas­fab In­dus­tries where he fab­ri­cates fit­tings for plumb­ing in­stal­la­tions, and in­vented the Gutta-Buddy leaf catcher for rain wa­ter har­vest­ing sys­tems.

Dewes (above), who grew up playing golf at Vic­to­ria CC in Mar­itzburg, and first worked at Gowrie Farm, in­tro­duced the new de­vice at Cotswold Downs, and be­fore he knew it one of them had been “pinched” and copies were ap­pear­ing at other KZN cour­ses. “I did con­sider tak­ing a patent, but was told that it wouldn’t be easy, be­cause the de­vice is eas­ily copied,” said Dewes. “John has done a won­der­ful job, and we love them at Cotswold. The pa­per for the names is stuck safely in­side the cylin­der. They can be painted in a va­ri­ety of colours. We are pro­duc­ing them, so if any golf clubs are in­ter­ested in buy­ing a set they can con­tact me at my email, ross@cotswold­”

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