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Cloud-Based Golf Car Technology: New Benefits for the Club and for Golfers

Imagine being able to spot bottlenecks on the course before they begin to affect pace of play, and immediately message the slow group to pick up the pace—all from the comfort of the pro shop. Today, golf cars can stream information about your fleet, such as the location and the condition of every car, giving club staff the ability to respond accordingly from any device: pro shop PC, smartphone or tablet.

New cloud-based technology allows staff to perform tasks such as car control, geo-fencing, action zones, messaging and much more.

Jeff Diehl, head golf professional at The Dye Club in North Myrtle Beach, uses car tracking as a way to monitor many different daily operations from pace of play to adherence to cart path rules and so on.

“Geo mapping allows us to keep people from some of the high mounding areas that Pete Dye has created, which has been invaluable in preventing injuries and damage,” Diehl continued. “When it’s wet, we block carts from entering waste areas. That keeps the cars clean and saves us a ton in cleanup at the end of the day.”

The technology can also record and store operational data and mechanical conditions of each car, so clubs can make informed business decisions to increase revenue, manage assets, reduce expenses and deliver a better experience. Diehl said he relies on cloud-based technology to monitor everything from rounds played to battery usage. “That information is vital to getting the proper rotation of the fleet so we don’t overuse some cars and underuse others.”

Clubs can also customize their fleets to enhance the golfer experience using cloud-based technology. Game enhancement features—distance to the pin, food and beverage ordering, and even full-motion 3D flyovers—are some of the options available to golfers.

Tournament scoring and live leader board features are also popular at The Dye Club. “We actually use them a number of different ways, like creating action zones with specific logos if it’s a corporate outing or live scoring for stroke play events,” says Diehl. “Many of our golfers have begun requesting the live leader board.”

Instead of waving goodbye on the first tee, clubs can maintain contact with golfers for the full four to five hours of their rounds by directly messaging a single car, a group or the entire fleet. Courses choosing to stay “in touch” with the golfers have seen increases in food and beverage, merchandise sales and repeat rounds. “We’ve found that by promoting specials to the golfer we can keep them on property after the round for drinks and meals,” Diehl said. “It’s wonderful.”

Courses that distinguish their product offering are finding they can thrive in today’s super-competitive business landscape. Cloud-based technology is proving to be just the right tool for the job. “It’s a must if you want to give your members and guests the best possible product,” Diehl said. “This technology allows me to operate in such a way that it enhances the players’ experience, and that’s what keeps them coming back.”

Randy Marquardt is vice president of vehicle connectivity. Prior to joining Club Car in 2011, Marquardt served as vice president and general manager for Ingersoll Rand’s Residential Solutions Sector for three years. He can be reached at [email protected]