Tom Cannon has created an intriguing golf gadget, but if he wants to find a market for his product, the former NASA rocket scientist needs some hard data to prove BonusYards can help golfers add more distance to their drives, said experts.

The Maryland, Virginia entrepreneur hit on the idea after reading a story that detailed how a 45-degree angle – between the club and the ground – is the optimum angle for golfers to address the ball before teeing off (read original story here). The article suggested practicing in front of a square box, but Cannon thought there had to be a better solution. He went into his basement workshop and attached a carpenter’s level to a golf club that indicated when he was standing at the proper angle to the ball. The problem was the level was too big and heavy and it didn’t stay on the club.

Cannon eventually found a manufacturer in China and built a level that was small and light enough that he could fashion to a club, without it adversely affecting his swing. The plastic device resembles a child’s toy ring, with a flat coin-sized head that encases a bubble level that clips onto the top of the club, or grip, and includes markings to show when the club is properly aligned at a 45-degree angle.


Cannon said he is targeting the 15 million “hardcore” U.S. golfers, who play a minimum of eight competitive rounds each year. “I’ve put it in the hands of several golfers and gotten positive results from all of them. Everybody loves it,” he said.

Cannon admitted that after all the trial and error that went into building BonusYards, his toughest challenge is simply to convince people that it works and to try it out.