Two properties are claiming firsts in golf car technology this week. Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort in Angel Camp, Calif., is the first golf course in the U.S. to provide solar-powered phone charging by mounting ultra-slim solar panels on top of golf cars. On July 27, Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, Ohio will debut the first two models of Neoteric Golf’s Signature Series Hovercraft Golf Carts for use in special events.
Two club/resort properties are updating their golf cars with a shot of technology.
Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort in Angel Camp, Calif., is the first golf course in the United States to provide solar-powered phone charging on golf cars. With the installation of ultra-slim solar panels mounted on top of golf carts, any concern over an iPhone or Android losing power while playing golf is eliminated.
By taking advantage of this technological course amenity, golfers can now keep their phones powered via a USB hub located on the golf cart dashboard. In addition, the uploading of a free GPS App provides golfers with live course location, interactive scoring and leader boards for tournament scoring.
“Having a golf cart with the ability to charge a phone while playing brings a whole other dimension to the course,” said Allan Ramorini, PGA Head Professional. “With so many players relying on smartphones, we now have the ability to provide GPS and not kill your battery.”
This innovation has been developed by Cart Golf (www.cartgolfgps.net), based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and allows golfers to remain electronically connected during their entire round of golf while also benefitting from hole information and social media links to instantly report a hole-in-one.
The use of technology to enhance a golfer’s experience at Greenhorn Creek Resort is nothing new. Computerized monitoring of wind, temperature and solar radiation information measures evaporation to inform the superintendent on water needs to maintain the fairways and greens in top playing condition.
In addition, the three resident PGA instructors take advantage of high-speed cameras and digital playback equipment to teach golfers by visualizing their swing in stop action or slow motion.
In Springfield, Ohio, Windy Knoll Golf Club will feature two Neoteric Golf hovercrafts for use as golf carts, starting on Saturday, July 27.
World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez and LPGA player Paige Mackenzie will be on hand for the arrivals, along with Tim Rosaforte of NBC, Golf Channel and Golf Digest, who will serve as emcee for the news conference and dinner that follows the golf event that day.
Located 30 minutes from Dayton and 45 minutes from Columbus, Windy Knoll is a public-access, links-style course located on the site of a former horse farm.
Managing Director Pete Duffey’s revelation came after seeing the now-famous YouTube video of PGA Tour star Bubba Watson cruising the fairways in his “BW1” hovercraft. That video has received more than seven million hits.
“We wanted to be able to offer something no other course could,” Duffey said. “A way to further put Windy Knoll Golf Club on the map of public destination golf courses. It was an easy decision. When we saw them on YouTube, we said ‘We gotta have those!'”
The video brought an avalanche of publicity to Neoteric Golf Hovercraft, the Terre Haute, Ind.-based company that normally makes hovercraft for police, fire, the U.S. Air Force and Disney World, among other companies. Duffey said he and his cousin contacted the company immediately about obtaining two of the hovercrafts.
“We’re excited that Windy Knoll has earned the honor of owning the very first two models of Neoteric’s Signature Series Hovercraft Golf Carts,” said Chris Fitzgerald, Neoteric’s President. “As central Ohio’s premier links-style golf course, it’s only fitting that Windy Knoll is the leader among golf courses to join the family of air cushion vehicles – a prominent group that includes Disney World, the U.S. Air Force, and sheriff, police and fire departments worldwide.”
Each Windy Knoll hovercraft will feature a 65-horsepower engine capable of reaching speeds up to 50 mph, side-by-side seating for up to four passengers, a lift-up roof, room for two golf bags and sand bottles.
Filip Przybysz, Neoteric’s director of marketing and communications, said the hovercrafts are environmentally conscious vehicles, delivering a footprint pressure 33 times less than the human foot, or roughly the equivalent of a seagull standing on one leg. That makes them ideal for not only riding its cushion of air over sand traps and water hazards, but for parking players on the green.
“We rely on golf scramble events throughout the season and the hovers offer yet another incentive for the entities scheduling and organizing the events to have them at Windy Knoll,” Duffey said. “Our preliminary plans are to offer the hovers to the events for an additional fee. We also plan to come up with a VIP golf package for foursomes wishing to use them.
“They will definitely not be for the average everyday group of golfers.”
The July 27 event will feature a press conference, golf with the opportunity to ride in one of the hovercrafts, dinner, entertainment and fireworks.
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