Thursday, July 19, 2018

News: Zen Golf stars at The Open

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An adjustable putting and full swing platform developed in the Sheffield city region is centre stage at The Open this week as a partnership between Zen Golf and Sky Sports continues.

With offices in Sheffield and a studio at Templeborough in Rotherham, Zen has developed the Zen Green Stage - a world-first, computer-controlled platform that enables golfers to practice an almost limitless number of breaking putts. It can also easily be converted to a full-swing platform for other types of practice and play and can be combined with golf simulators.

The British-made product made its TV debut on Sky Sports at The Open Championship in 2017, and interest has soared with subsequent high profile airings during Sky's ongoing golf coverage including the 2018 Masters, Players and US Open tournaments.

Nick Middleton and fellow inventor Andrew McCague based the concept on an original idea by the test pilot of the Mach 3 Lockheed Blackbird, US Air Force colonel Horace Templeton, who first created green-reading maps in the 1970s. In September 2014, Zen used similar techniques to help create greens maps at Gleneagles used by the victorious European Ryder Cup team.

Nick Middleton, managing director at Zen Golf, said: "The buzz about the Zen Green this season has been amazing, and is growing week by week. PGA professionals and other golf coaches can now engage with pupils who are fascinated by Sky Sports' innovative coverage, which now includes the Zen Green Stage. Everyone is talking about it – the top golf coaches, and the top golf TV presenters."

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Zen is now working with Harewood Asset Finance to offer golf academies, teaching professionals and other potential buyers the option to pay monthly, spreading the cost of purchase and improving cash flow for their business.

Tour putting coach Phil Kenyon, who teaches on a Zen Green Stage at his Harold Swash School of Putting studio at Formby Hall Golf Resort Hotel & Luxury Spa in Southport, said: "For many coaches the Zen Green Stage will be the final piece of the jigsaw at their golf academy: it opens up new creative possibilities for both putting and full swing coaching. It is a great product, but raising the capital to buy one can deter some people. I can see the new finance option being very popular."

Middleton added: "Adding the Zen Green Stage to your business connects you directly to modern audiences who love to watch Tour golf coverage on Sky Sports. Merely by being there it gets your golf club or academy into the headlines, it positions you as technically-advanced, and it creates a big additional fun-factor to every visit to your establishment."

The Open Zone created for Sky Sports has been used to enhance the broadcaster's coverage at Carnoustie. A number of the world's leading players have been taking part in a 99-yard challenge and it has also been used to recreate memorable putts from recent Open winners. The 1999 Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie, was invited to The Open Zone for a putting masterclass.

Zen Golf website

Images: Sky Sports

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