Indian Trails Golf Course in Grand Rapids, Mich. is moving on from gas-powered carts and switching to Club Car’s Visage electric vehicles. The change will give workers a real-time map of where the carts are located, showing any slowdowns, and allow employees to directly message specific carts. Golfers will be able to order food from the clubhouse and communicate with the pro shop right from the cart.
City-owned Indian Trails Golf Course in Grand Rapids, Mich. is moving on from gas-powered carts and switching to electric, MLive.com reported. The switch will come with an increase to cart rental fees but also new, in-vehicle amenities.
Graham Rayburn, Clubhouse Manager at Indian Trails, said each new cart comes with a display unit providing GPS features and an ability to order food from the clubhouse and communicate with the pro shop right from the cart, MLive.com reported. The GPS functions show where the cart is on the course as well as how many yards the cart is from a selected position, such as a hole or bunker.
To offset the cost of the display unit software and the switch to electric, golf cart rental fees will likely be $3 more this season, Rayburn told MLive.com. Green fees on top of cart rental fees vary.
The new electric carts will be available when the golf course opens for the season this spring—usually around early-to-mid April, MLive.com reported.
David Marquardt, Director of the city’s parks department, told MLive.com the switch is part of finding greener solutions within the department to align with the city’s goals. Grand Rapids city leaders have set a goal of reaching 85% carbon reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040 for all municipal emissions.
“We do lease our carts, and so that is a part of what prompted this switch,” Marquardt said. “Our lease agreement with the gas carts was coming up and we were looking for ways in which we can meet some of the city’s sustainability goals here within the Parks and Recreation Department, and this is one way in which to do that.”
City commissioners signed off on the 60-month lease of 54 electric golf carts, as well as four gas-powered turf maintenance vehicles and one utility vehicle, on Jan. 10, MLive.com reported. The annual cost of the lease is $78,000.
Marquardt said the lease for the electric carts is slightly more expensive than it was for gas carts, MLive.com reported.
The software in the carts—Club Car’s Visage—will also be a benefit to workers, Rayburn told MLive.com.
It will give workers a real-time map of where the carts are at on the course, showing any slowdowns, and allow employees to directly message specific carts, MLive.com reported. Additionally, the software allows the carts to be geofenced, meaning course officials can mark places on the course out-of-bounds that will stop the carts automatically until the driver turns back.
Workers can turn off the geofencing on specific carts if someone has different needs and requires to be closer to certain areas than is otherwise allowed, MLive.com reported.
Club + Resort Business reported on Indian Trails’ $2.8 million renovation in 2017, which showcased seven redesigned holes, a modern practice and teaching facility, 25-acre driving range, and five practice greens. The renovation took 16 months to complete.
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