Scots entrepreneur creates device to speed up on-course play

Tee Minus Derek Wright

A Scottish engineer has created a unique device that will help players get to grips with the new pace of play rules that came into force in 2019.

Those changes saw the allotted time to search for a missing ball drop from five minutes to just three.

Now, to allow players to get to grips with the new rules, Scots engineer, turned entrepreneur, Derek Wright has set out to ensure that his fellow players are equipped to take advantage of the change.

The 70-year-old from Troon has successfully designed, tested and produced the first three-minute lost ball timer – the Tee-Minus.

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“I set out to design and build a timer that was both reliable and easy to use,” explained Derek. “After a couple of false starts, I settled on a clockwork mechanism, removing the problem of costly electronics or batteries running out.”

By rotating a golf ball shaped dome 360 degrees, the timer is set at three minutes and alerts the golfer when their three minutes is up. A strap and carabiner make the product easy to attach the Tee-Minus timer to any golf bag.

“I've spent my life designing and building things in metal, and the difficult part was finding and trusting a manufacturer who could supply me with a high-quality product at a reasonable price,” added Derek.

“To add value to the product I decided to include a range of golfing accessories, including tees, pitch mark repairer, pencil, sharpener and two ball markers, which can be personalised with your club badge or company logo.

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“I contacted the R&A to ensure that the Tee-Minus would be fine to use on the course, and while they stopped short of recommending its use they indicated that it was perfectly legal!”

The Tee-Minus ball timer is available for purchase online for just £14.95 at

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