Think of sports that are popular in Calgary, and activities like skiing, hockey or running likely come to mind. Despite its glut of courses, Calgary isn’t really known as a golf hub, which makes it an unlikely birthplace for new golf technologies.
But golf’s smallest, lightest and most affordable GPS yardage watch is a homegrown invention created by the Calgary start-up TLink. According to Derek Rucki, a student entrepreneur from Mount Royal University, a former junior amateur golfer and TLink’s CEO, GPS yardage watches have been popular with golfers since 2012. Last May, with the help of the company’s co-founder and CTO, Stefan Radeta, Rucki conceptualized a watch that fills a gap in this niche market.
Unlike other GPS golf watches, TLink specifically targets amateur golfers, which is why it was designed to be comfortable, stylish and reasonably priced. The watch weighs just 30 grams, is half the width of the leading competitor and costs just US$99. It’s also customizable; the band comes in more than 100 colours and it’s possible to get corporate logos printed onto it.
As well as telling golfers how far they are from the front, middle and back of the green using Bluetooth technology, the TLink watch also acts like a FitBit. “It’s able to track your steps taken, calories burned and the distance you walk throughout the day,” says Rucki.
The watch is currently on the market. While there are no sales numbers yet, Rucki says interest among amateur golfers and companies hosting golf tournaments has exploded. “There’s so much interest in wearable tech because of the convenience factor,” says Rucki. “And TLink makes this convenience more accessible.”
The TLink team isn’t slowing down – Rucki has plans to release information on more products this fall.
The TLink watch is available for purchase online at golftlink.com.