Now Belfry controls buggy you're driving!

New GPS system has you in its grip

Thu, 23 Jun 2011

Now Belfry controls buggy you're driving!

One of the UK’s busiest golf resorts, The Belfry, says it's using the latest GPS technology to remotely control its golf buggy fleet, optimise course maintenance, speed pace of play and drive additional revenue.
 
The former Ryder Cup venue, which charges £150 to play its Brabazon course, is also the home of the PGA in the UK. It has boosted its fleet with 80 of the latest electric Club Car Precedent i2 and i2L vehicles - all fitted with the groundbreaking Visage GPS mobile golf information system.
 
Gary Silcock, director of Golf at The Belfry - which also features the PGA National (£75 a round) and The Derby course (£40) reveals that one person can now remotely control where golf cars drive on the course with a simple map-based computer application.
 
“Visage is invaluable in allowing us to programme a golf car’s movement on the course,” he said.
 
“The system has enabled us to create virtual buggy paths. So, when it’s wet, we map out a buggy route on the computer along which the carts can travel but cannot deviate because of the automated GPS control.
 
“What’s important about this is that it will increase the number of days the golf cars are operating in the wet without adversely affecting course condition. In October 2010 alone, the buggies were off the course for 10 days because of bad weather, but with Visage we might only lose two or three days, increasing our revenues.”
 
Visage technology also enables The Belfry to send golfers messages about pace of play, control car speed, check the battery and disable the car when parked to prevent misuse.
 
Phil Lewin of GPSI, which makes the Visage system, said: “The purpose of Visage is to benefit both the player and the golf course operator. The course operator can control where the car goes, limiting it to designated areas and preventing the car from going into any hazards, water, car parks, or out of the course.
 
“Visage is the only system that can control the engine of the cart in this way. It can slow it right down, stop it altogether and send messages to the golfer explaining why this is being done. Visage protects the golf course and protects the venue’s assets being stolen or used inappropriately.”
 
The system the Belfry is using comes with a wealth of consumer benefits designed to enhance the customer experience and generate increased rental income, currently £35 a round.
 
A 10-inch touch-screen features precise shot and distance information, flyover video graphics of each hole, complete with audio tips from the Belfry’s PGA Professionals, a food and beverage ordering facility, plus a live scoreboard for society and corporate competitions.
 
“The ability to order food and drink, or monitor live scoring during corporate golf days, are great innovations,” added Silcock. “We are already seeing the results of being able to sell these benefits. it’s what customers want.”