Eastern Washington University students, faculty and staff went head-to-head with machines in a 9-hole golf tournament on May 18 in support of EWU’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) club. The inaugural “Human vs. Machine Golf Challenge” was held at Fairways Golf Course and also consisted of a design challenge for engineering students.
“The students were to create machines that could launch a golf ball 60 yards,” said Thorin Brown, secretary and public relations coordinator of the ASME club. “With the help of several club members, we created a target and Fairway Golf Course allowed us to put the target on their driving range in concrete and steel so it will hopefully be there forever. We placed the target on the driving range and the machines were to throw the golf balls, try to hit the target and the golfers played nine holes of scramble 9-hole golf. Then they’d go up against the machines to try and hit the target as well. It went wonderfully -- other than the rain.”
Forty golfers were split into four-person teams, with seven machines competing.
“The ASME club was actually able to sponsor the designs,” said Brown. “We were able to give $50 to each design team and we ended up giving out pretty good prizes to the designers -- all engineering oriented prizes. We gave out a drone, an arduino kit and a raspberry pie, which are all programming things.”
The event also held a raffle, which included several prizes -- food vouchers, tattoo coupons and massages -- all from local businesses.
“Another big thing for us was that we were able to get sponsorships from engineering firms,” said Dallas Lent, fundraising coordinator of the ASME club. “Our big sponsors were Coffman Engineers and UTC Aerospace Systems.”
The ASME club plans to host the event annually every third weekend in May. The club has already made future arrangements with Fairways Golf Course.
“We’d love to see more teachers and students get involved and expand the event to have other schools come out and participate in the design challenge portion,” said Brown. “We accomplished all of our goals, but our future goal is more, more, more. We really want this out there for all of campus to hear about and get involved.”
For more information on the ASME club, visit their facebook page.