DIY: Greens Mapping

As an avid amateur golfer, I always look at the professionals for ideas, tips or tricks on what they are doing to improve their game, or gain a competitive advantage. One of the differentiators between amateurs and pros is their green reading books. It is essentially a layout and guide to each unique element of green helping them to decide where to hit their ball on approach shots, and what to expect on any given putt. While these are still simply a guide, and the golfer still needs to putt the ball along a planned path, they do provide valuable insight which is not always evident or visible when looking at the green.

Because of this I spent some time trying to understand if it was possible to map greens for this purpose and develop my own green reading technology as a startup or, simply improve my own golf game through this innovation. Here is what I have found on this journey:

Autodesk Recap – converts photos to point clouds (Photogrammey)
Agisoft Photo
Quanergy S3 – solid state lidar
Sweep looks cool – but only 2D right now?

  • Using GIS data seems like good idea but not great
  • QGis is Mac/windows GIS software you can use to import height maps
  • Photometry seems like a reasonable option to generate 3D maps of the terrain from photos then stitching it together.
  • Lidar and Scan Sweep project also seems interesting
    • Limited range? Speed?

Here is a video using on how to use lidar to create a point cloud and some screenshots and captures: