In an era before the invention of personal computers, ipods, the internet, and video games, home entertainment could have been defined as gathering around the ol’ vacuum tube radio on Saturday nights, playing board games after family dinner, or a rousing game of charades by the elders after the youngsters were led off to sleep. Kindergarten games of “tag”, “hide ‘n’ seek”, or “red rover” required no additional equipment, and with their saved allowances, young elementary school kids may have purchased these uncomplicated toys as some of their original possessions: marbles, tiddlywinks, and a slingshot.
Dino Kapadia, a current resident of Frankfort, IL, is a man in his early 70’s who loves golf but can’t play it because of a bad back. Dino first played golf about 15 years ago and in his first round, made a par on the very first hole he ever played. But in addition to this initial scoring success, the beauty, scenery, and landscaping of the courses he played were the factors that kept Kapadia’s love of golf alive. Then came the day, or swing, that nearly ended this love affair completely. “I hit the earth with my club and was laid up for three days with my bad back” Dino has stated; that was two years ago and he has not played golf since.
Dino is a retired mechanical engineer and he is an engineer who must have remembered those earlier, less complicated times and less complex gadgets because he has invented a “simple” device that lets him “shoot” a golf ball without further damaging his back and can do so without pain. Frankfort’s Kapadia has invented the “drutter,” a combination driver and putter that uses a slingshot mechanism at the top to send the ball flying down the fairway. It is basically a big slingshot attached to a pole.
By using the ‘drutter’ Kapadia is able to walk a golf course and play a version of golf and even keep score! By pulling the slingshot portion down at different angles, a player can make the ball go various distances. “At approximately 45 degrees, that’s when you’ll drive it the farthest. A steeper angle will make the ball go higher, like a wedge used to approach a green. Less angle makes the ball stay lower, like a 3- or 4-iron. A strong, athletic man can drive a golf ball about 150 yards with the ‘drutter’ angle of 45 degrees” he said. While distance with the ‘drutter’ has its limitations, accuracy using the ‘drutter’ is greatly improved, so just keep ‘drutting’ with the top of the unit until you reach the green. A regular putter head is attached to the base of the unit, so ‘drutting’ switches to putting.
Kapadia has a patent pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for his ‘drutter’ invention. Also, Dino has developed a set of rules for a version of golf, which he calls ‘walkolf’. Kapadia can be seen giving an occasional demonstration of the ‘drutter’ at the Frankfort Square Links golf driving range. More information can be found on the drutter Kickstarter page.