Graham Brewster knows that golf is like a love affair - if you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun, but if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.
The tradie from Alice Springs has played the world’s most frustrating game since he was a boy and has always wanted to make life easier on the putting green, that patch of turf where games and tempers are most often lost.
So he has come up with a simple but clever invention - PuttOvr, a 5c piece-sized anodised aluminium 'marker', which can be inserted into all putter grips and used to mark the position of a ball on the green.
It lies so flat that other golfers can putt over it without their ball deviating.
Graham, who has lived in Alice for 30 years, says PuttOvr lessens the chance of arguments - it speeds up play and allows golfers to know instantly who has won a nearest-the-pin challenge.
The potential market for the little invention is vast because there are tens of millions of golfers in the world.
Graham and his wife were awarded a $24,000 Business Innovation Grant under the Northern Territory Government’s Business Innovation Support Initiative (BISI).
“The grant gave us so much confidence in ourselves. It also gave us the ability to take the invention further.”
The BISI program, which is administered by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, help businesses undertake research and development that could lead to new products, processes or services.
It’s all part of the government’s Business Innovation Strategy, which aims to ignite, inspire and intensify the Territory’s innovation ecosystem.
Support can include conducting knowledge searches, scientific, technical, and intellectual property; developing experimental plans with researchers; research and development activities and trials; feasibility studies; building prototypes; obtaining patents; and accessing specialist research facilities.
Available all year round, an innovation voucher provides up to 60% support for eligible projects; each voucher is worth up to $25,000 exclusive of GST.
Under the BISI program, competitive Business Innovation Grants up to a maximum value of $60,000 are also available.
He encourages other would-be Territory inventors to use the popular program.
“Anybody can be an innovator, we’re all from different places, we’ve all done different things in our life. That may be the key to make you a good innovator.”