City Golf Course Wants To Add GPS Cart System

OCEAN CITY – In an effort to stay competitive with area golf
courses and add an extra amenity for golfers, Eagle’s Landing could be seeing
the addition of a GPS course management system.

Eagle’s Landing Golf Pro
Bob Croll presented the Recreation and Parks Committee with his recommendation
for the GPS system this week, highlighting the importance of adding the amenity
to the course and its golf carts.

Golf GPS systems are
rapidly becoming the norm at quality golf courses. For players, the system
provides information on distances and other features of the course, giving them
a better view of the course and individual holes. For course management, GPS
systems allow the clubhouse to be in contact with the players. It also provides
the clubhouse with knowledge of what is occurring on the course, i.e. number of
carts at a particular hole.

Croll presented two
versions of the ProStar GPS Course Management System, a new and refurbished

“A refurbished unit is
the same exact program,” said Croll, explaining that the pre-owned units would
be completely refurbished and updated to operate like new, but with a savings
of $1,000 per month.

The 72-month fixed lease
would include GPS units for 82 carts. Eagle’s Landing currently has 80 carts,
allowing for the two additional units to be installed in two beverage carts.
GPS in beverage carts would also increase efficiency on the course, allowing
beverage cart operators to see where golfers are.

In exchange for
advertising rights at 15 holes, ProLink will pay the Eagle’s Landing $12,000
per year, explained Croll. A small section of the GPS screen would be dedicated
to advertising, which would change at each hole. While ProLink Solutions would
negotiate with advertisers, Eagle’s Landing would maintain final say on
advertisements displayed.

“If there’s something on
there that we don’t want, we have the right to say no,” said Croll.

For example, as a
Pepsi-sponsored town, no Coca-Cola advertisements would be displayed, Croll
pointed out.

With the exchange
covering 15 holes, the remaining holes would be available for town-negotiated
advertisements, explained Croll, allowing the town the opportunity to make
additional money.

“People come to expect
it now in higher-end golf courses and I think we have a higher-end golf
course,” said Council President Joe Mitrecic.

According to Croll, most
of the area courses include GPS systems, and golfers have come to expect it.

“Everybody has ProLink
in this area,” he said. “Its an extra. One more value item that we’re giving
the customer.”

Croll explained golfers
would have a better knowledge of where they are on the course. The system could
also help alleviate back-ups at each hole. Currently, rangers survey the area
via cart, but with the GPS system controlled from the clubhouse, fewer rangers
will be needed.

“It helps us manage our
cart fleets,” said Croll.

Mitrecic supported
bringing in the new system.

“People who use the
system the right way can play faster,” said Mitrecic. “I think its worth the
money, its an added value to the golfer.”

“I think it becomes more
of the resort atmosphere,” said City Manager Dennis Dare.

The six-year lease will
cost the city roughly $26,000.

The Recreation and Parks
Committee voted unanimously to send a favorable recommendation of the system to
the Mayor and Council.