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Slightly Deranged Golf

The 2017 course

Aim of the Challenge

  • Navigate the course attempting to get a (real) golf ball into a hole.

Control Method

  • Remote-controlled

Time Limit

  • 7 minutes


  • Each robot will make three timed runs of the course.
  • Robots are permitted to push or hit the ball, but not to pick it up.
  • The ball should remain in contact with the ground at all times unless a ‘chip shot’ is being attempted.
  • The ball must be able to ‘roll’ – i.e. no tight capture mechanisms will be permitted.
  • There are several hazards on the course which must be avoided for a ‘clean’ round.
    • Robots may not enter hazards to recover the ball. However, if the ball is not in a hazard and the robot accidentally enters the hazard for positioning, this is permitted.
    • If the ball enters the hazard, it will be retrieved by the challenge judge, placed on a recovery spot and play will continue from that point.
  • “Out of Bounds” (i.e. outside of the course) will be treated as a hazard and the ball replaced to the nearest recovery spot.
  • The ball will be deemed to have entered the hole once the final hazard has been passed.

Ranking and Points

  • Rankings will be based on the total time taken to play three holes, with penalties taken into account.
  • Points will be awarded to the top finishers:
    • 1st: 40 points
    • 2nd: 32 points
    • 3rd : 25 points
    • 4th : 18 points
    • 5th : 15 points
    • 6th : 12 points
    • 7th : 10 points
    • 8th : 8 points
    • 9th : 6 points
    • 10th : 4 points
    • 11th : 2 points
    • 12th : 1 point

Additional Points

  • 20 points will be awarded for getting the ball into the ‘cup’.
  • 10 bonus points will be awarded for the avoidance of all hazards.
  • 10 bonus points will be awarded for any ’round of golf’ completed in under 30 seconds.


  • A 20-second penalty will be added to the run time for each hazard encountered by the ball.
  • The robot itself is allowed to (accidentally) enter hazard areas without penalty.
  • A penalty of 150 seconds will be used instead of the run time should the robot fail to get the ball into the hole or should time expire.


  • The course will be altered from the 2017 version so that the slope at the start is significantly less severe!
  • Successful robots last year ‘captured’ the ball with a loose pincer at the front. Remember: the ball must remain in contact with the ground and must be able to ‘roll’.

Ask Questions and Discuss

You can discuss this challenge and ask questions on this discussion forum.