Golf's Pantactile Structure

A few years ago, I played a round of golf at The Ranch Golf Club in Edmonton. It was a pretty nice course, but what was unique for me was that it was the first time I had ever played a round using GPS-enabled golf carts.

These systems are pretty neat: they will give you an overview of the hole at the beginning; the distance to the pin when you drive up next to your ball; the ability to electronically keep your score; and the ability to receive weather warnings from the pro shop.

Courtesy of ParView

Of course, the system also keeps you informed as to how far ahead or behind a "normal" pace you are, and conveniently pops up a menu at the 8th tee so you can order food and have it waiting for you by the time you get to the clubhouse at the turn. As ParView, the makers of the GPS system that The Ranch uses, notes on their web site:

ProLink solutions empower you to dramatically increase your profitability. Reduce average round time by twenty minutes, for two additional tee-times daily. Grow Food and Beverage revenues by 30-40%. Enhance the perceived value of your facility while actually reducing the number of personnel required to operate it. With so many advantages built-in, it?s no wonder that our systems quickly become our customers? third largest revenue source after green fees and car rentals.

At the time, I never posted to sportsBabel about my experiences at The Ranch, but with my recent work on information technology and flow optimization in sport, it suddenly came back to me as if slapped by an invisible hand.

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