Current Blog Serial: Designing a Driving Range Club Carrier (Part Two)

June 12, 2009

Need to catch up on Part One?

Once you’ve defined your design problem, and listed the criteria for a successful solution, it’s on to the fun part. I like to do some initial brainstoming before following ‘official’ procedure by researching any currently available solutions. This fresh ideation is helpful because it allows the problem to be examined through its basic physical parameters without the interference of preconceptions. I believe this ‘blank canvas’ approach acts as a short-cut to new ideas and creates the best mental environment for originality and creativity. In this case, I wanted to get a feel for the weights and balance points of the ‘top weighted sticks’ in relation to my body before ever thinking of them as golf clubs.

How the 'top weighted sticks' behave when held at their balance point

How the 'top weighted sticks' behave when held at their balance point

Basic strap tied at balance (pivot) point for testing various orientations on the body.  Note: hair elastic (over grips) preventing pivoting

Basic strap tied at balance (pivot) point to enable testing of various body orientations. Note: Hair elastic (at grips) prevents pivoting

Comfortable and stable with stap over one shoulder and shafts behind, but dangerous for urban settings. Therefore, does not meet criteria.

Comfortable and stable with stap over one shoulder and shafts behind, but dangerous for urban settings. Therefore, does not meet criteria.

Equally comfortable and stable with shafts in front and club heads tucked behind arm (pulled forward for clarity in photo). Strap hooked into backpack to test ways to prevent any 'swinging' while walking. Note: yes, that is tape holding my glasses together (don't say it!).
Equally comfortable and stable with shafts in front and club heads tucked behind arm (pulled forward for clarity in photo). Strap hooked into backpack to test ways to prevent any ‘swinging’ while walking. Shafts in front create more manageable urban footprint. Note: Yes, that is tape holding my glasses together (don’t say it! don’t even think it!)

Stay tuned for part three for product research and to find out what happens when this designer gets a little too carried away with the project in Walmart!


TOP FIVE – What NOT to do when golfing with a woman!

May 21, 2009

She will lose her mind (and not in that good way) if you pull any of these shady/condescending moves on the course. How do I know? Find out what happened when this experienced golfer was hit with ALL FIVE (in chronological order) during last Saturday’s round!

1# Don't try to stop my ball with your foot!

1# Don't try to stop my ball with your foot!

Don’t… try and stop my ball with your foot. This is, without a doubt, the most humiliating cruelty one golfer can inflict on another. Never mind sexist, this is downright inhuman! Go ahead and help your two year old fit her straw in her juicebox, be my guest. But pleeeease give my hand/eye coordination a little more credit. After all, I did manage, miraculously, to tie these laces all by myself. Even if my ball is supersonically blasting its way across the green, straight for a bunker, DO NOT PUT YOUR TOE IN ITS WAY. I will bite it off (you think I’m kidding, don’t you).

AAAARGH!

2# Don't coach me (in any way shape or form)!

Don’t say… “Don’t forget your club,” as I’m walking towards the wedge I left on the green while putting out. Trust me, even your two year old would get pissed at you for that one. If you do happen to have some useful advice for me, even swing tips, just ask permission first. You know, like when you’re on that first…(oops I mean third) date~wink.

AAAAAARGH!

3# Don't ask me, "are you having fun yet?"

Don’t ask… “Are you having fun yet?” after I’ve just made a mess of a hole. You know what? Don’t even say it after I’ve had a magical, afterlife-illuminating, hole. Just keep your mouth shut. I’m golfing. What business is it of anyone’s whether I’m having any fun at it! I’m here, aren’t I? What more can the bloody game want from me!

AAAAAAAARGH!

4# Don't try to make the game easier for/on me!

Don’t say… “You can move it out of there…” when I have a challenging lie. If I wanted to be mini-putting on Astroturf, then (and this will blow your mind) I would be mini-putting on Astroturf. Last time I checked, golf wasn’t supposed to be a walk in the park (oh wait, technically…). But really, maybe this is my mistake? Maybe it’s supposed to be easy? Just like getting rich is such a cinch, and having great hair every day is…sigh…

5# Don't laugh (out loud) if I flub a shot! Seriously.

5# Don't laugh (out loud) if I flub a shot! Seriously.

Don’t… laugh (long and loud and luxuriously) when I flub my shot.

And there’s where it all went so wrong…
I played it cool all the way through till #5 (aside from a snarky “are you having fun yet” retort on hole 14), but I’m ashamed to say I lost my mind when he started laughing…and laughing…and kept on laughing at my blown bunker shot on hole 15. He went right on laughing even as I was charging at him up the lip of the trap!

I dropped my club and made straight for the brute. I didn’t care that he was a full ½ foot taller and about 100 pounds heavier; I had thousands of years of sexist injustices backing me up! Oh, and one rather shocked husband. Yes, the poor man who had gallantly kept me calm through all the condescension by explaining “he doesn’t know any better,” turned to find his tiny blond wife going all Hulk Hogan on his playing partner. I was up in the middle aged man’s “grill” shouting, “do you have some kind of problem,” when dear hubby dragged me away.

I’d like to say I’m exaggerating here (and so would dear hubby), but, and you girls can relate to me on this, it’s hard for any woman to be taken seriously on the course, no matter her skill level. We have so much more to prove, and so much less raw muscle to prove it with. It’s no wonder we can get a little sensitive when there’s blatant condescension in your voice. Just be warned, chivalry is a noble, but dangerous, game to play on a golf course.

~Visuals by brilliant illustrator Christina Nichols~


Current Blog Serial: Designing a Driving Range Club Carrier (Part One)

May 19, 2009
"Hmmm, wish I could use the range on my walk to work..."

"Hmmm, wish I could use the range on my walk to work..."

When faced with a problem, be it an inconvenience or a roadblock, we have two choices. We can either search available solutions and choose one to adopt, or we can move beyond the explored by designing a custom resolution in the form of a new system/device.

One of SavingCymbria’s main goals is to empower its readers by demystifying the design process. Let’s make creative problem solving accessible to everyone! Our economy has entered a state of flux, and it’s time to get creative about our futures. The days of going out to Walmart and buying cart-fulls of quick-fix gadgets are ending, and I couldn’t be happier! You are about to enter a whole new freedom – the freedom to design your own reality. Welcome home!

"If only there was an easy way to carry my clubs around the city...

"If only there was an easy/safe way to carry my clubs along the bike-path and into downtown..."

The first step in any design process is to clearly define the problem:

  • Lacking a convenient method for transporting 1-4 golf clubs (and minimal accessories) while walking long distances through both rural and urban environments.

Step two is to define the criteria of a successful solution:

  • A lightweight, hands-free, golf club carrier, of primarily waterproof fabric construction, that would hold 1-4 golf clubs, one glove, three balls, and keys/wallet/tokens/tees. The clubs would be suspended in an orientation that would maximize comfort and spacial control (for navigating bike-path/sidewalk crowds). The device would have attractive technical styling, and would be novel enough to attract the curiosity of interested buyers.
Note: Squatting mid-round for some ideation sketching is the quickest way to dull your tees, not to mention freak out the rest of your foursome!

Note: Squatting mid-round for some ideation sketching is the quickest way to dull your tees, not to mention freak out the rest of your foursome!

Stay tuned for Part Two to find out how my hair elastic gets involved…


Teetering on 100 – waiting for David Feherty to give me a nudge

July 24, 2008

David Feherty

I’m teetering on the precipice. Below me stretch miles of wide golden green fairways and shimmering funnel shaped greens. The water hazards are safely iced over, and off in the distance I can just barely make out David Feherty cheering me on from one of the bunker trampolines. Turns out he’s as subtley graceful in the air as he is on the mike lol.

Where is this gilded heaven, you ask? It’s that tantalizing promise of glory beyond 100. No, I’m not talking about blowing out candles and getting a letter from the Queen. I’m talking about shooting a golf score below that magic number. Only after breaking 100 can a golfer hold his/her head high. No more “but I really do enjoy it” or “I’m using my husbands clubs” excuses. Because let’s face it, sure you may enjoy moments when you’re shooting 100+, the birds, nice sunshine, a decent put here and there, but there’s no way you are enjoying golf – the full body/mind/spirit fight to the death against physics, grass, and (toughest of all) yourself!

Now with my own set of clubs, a stiff cotton skort in cream, and a pretty pink polo top, I’m all out of excuses. This is my summer to break 100. I absolutely have to shoot 99 or lower! I’ve been going for it, with every muscle keyed up and every gray cell focused. Last round I was sure I was gonna do it. So what does a warrior woman do on on the eighteenth green when her husband tells her she just holed out for and exact 1-0-0 score? She starts to quietly cry, of course. I blame the pink polo.

(photo source: golf.com)