The Golf Pilot screen. Photos supplied.
Millbrook Resort has become the first golf club in New
Zealand to install an interactive multilingual GPS system in
its golf carts.
The cloud-based Golf Pilot system, created by GPS Systems
International, uses Samsung tab devices and employs modern
technology to enhance players' golf games, while also
providing ''nifty'' safety features for management.
Millbrook Resort head of golf Brian Spicer said the system
was an ''exciting development'' that took Millbrook to
''another level technology-wise''.
Each of the carts was fitted with a unit, mounted to the
front windscreen, that linked to the main computer dashboard
in the resort's Pro Shop.
Once golfers set off for their round, the Golf Pilot system
kicked in and tracked the cart's location through the resort.
The interactive and real-time map showed management where
each of the carts was at any time, enabling them to ''move
slow players on'' and call players back if they were unlikely
to finish before dark.
Head golf professional Allan McKay said from a manager's
perspective, knowing the location of every cart in the fleet
was ''crucial and extremely important'' on a 202ha resort.
''We can clearly see how far the last player is from
finishing and if someone has taken a cart back to their room
and forgotten to return it.''
For the golfers, the system enabled the players to see where
they were on the course, highlighted ''no go'' areas and
provided pro tips on how best to play the hole.
The Golf Pilot GPS system installed on 50 new Yamaha golf
carts at Millbrook is interactive and multilingual, and
provides benefits for players and management alike.
They could also measure the distance to any point,
including bunkers and the pin on the green.
Mr McKay said his favourite feature of the system was the
interactive ''cross hair'' target.
''This is so accurate. It's interactive so you can drag it to
your golf ball and see what the lay-up distance is to any
target you choose and what the distance is from there to the
Golf Pilot could operate in up to 60 languages, including
Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Dutch, Spanish and
French, enabling players to get guidance in their own
Mr Spicer said other features included live local weather and
radar maps and two-way communication and messaging between
the cart and pro shop, which could be used to provide
information, assistance and severe-weather updates, answer
questions and respond to an on-course emergency.
He said staff were amazed with the scope of the system, which
would enhance the experience for golfers.
''There's been a significant increase in the availability of
GPS devices for golf courses over the past five years.
''We're always looking at creative ways of being innovative
and Golf Pilot is a great system ... It really adds another
unique element to your game.''
In time, players would be able to use the system to order
food and beverage on course, which could be delivered to the
cart or be ready for when they had finished the round, and to
upload pictures and score cards direct to social media.
Mr Spicer said the system's in-built scorecard would be
available for printing over WiFi, rather than ''old-fashioned
'pen and paper' cards''.