Most of us have walked off a green at some point and asked, “What crazy person put the pin there?” For the most part, golfers take for granted where the pins are placed on the greens, and only pay attention when the hole cutter obviously made a mistake and put it on a ridge. However, today’s golfer expects to have tournament like conditions everyday, and that includes the condition of the green and the pin locations. While most golf facilities struggle to economically provide this standard, ezLocator is a new product that is revolutionizing the way greens and pin placements are managed. Now all golfers can have the same experience the game’s best golfers enjoy.
Golf course superintendents now have the Internet technology-based program ezLocator available to them from a Texas-basedcompany. ezLocator eliminates the shortcomings of restrictive systems; such as, the quadrant or front, middle, back systems, while providing an infinite number of pin locations with a click of the mouse button. Dallas amateur Jon Schultz, a member at the Dallas Athletic Club (DAC), developed ezLocator after speaking with other members of his group in the 19th hole. This group of golfers played the same pin positions every weekend, but what they wanted was a “tournament like experience” every time they teed off. Schultz used his experience as a top amateur player, a caddy, and tournament chairman for top events, to develop a system that was easy to use by the greens staff and could enhance the players’ experience. A test of his program was conducted at DAC, and was so popular that ezLocator quickly evolved into a unique Internet software application that is on the market today. When a club decides to utilize ezLocator: A staff member from Playbooks for Golf visits the course and uses GPS technology to identify and map all the possible hole locations on every green, the data is then uploaded into the ezLocator website for easy Internet access, the green superintendent can now select and place the pin in a new area of the green every day and proactively manage the condition of the greens; as well as, provide a unique and enjoyable playing experience for the golfer!
Every club that uses the system is provided a custom-to- your-course ezLocator Playbook. This playbook guides the staff on exactly how to find the front of each green and how to properly pace off the location. The weather resistant playbook offers on-site instructional photos with green complex renderings that make the entire process streamlined and easy to use. Golfers, head professionals, and superintendents across the country are raving about ezLocator. Kevin Nettles, the superintendent of the Dallas Athletic Club, advocates the system and says, “There’s nothing like it on the market.” He continues with, “Players absolutely love the system and look forward to the variety of pin locations every time they play. Repeatedly, they tell me how much they enjoy the newly found locations on every green.” Fans of ezLocator are not limited to the United States. Members at the Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Canada are discovering new pin placements that they never played before. One of their members remarked that he had been playing for 25 years and knew all the breaks, but he had to re-learn them after the switch to ezLocator. In Dallas, Texas, the Preston Trail Golf Club members find ezLocator a literal game changer. Their head golf professional, Cameron Doan, says “Our members love to brag about our course and they consistently offer positive comments such as “I have never seen the pin in that location before!”’ Doan also notes that golfers might not see the same pin location for several months after ezLocator found an additional 60 pin locations on their smallest green.
Not only has ezLocator taken the enjoyment of the game to the next level with its variety of pin positions, but superintendents are finding the health of their greens improving too. James Beebe, the superintendent at the Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, discovered that by using ezLocator the quality of the putting surfaces improved due to reducing the wear and tear caused by repetition. He says, “When reviewing all the available pin placements on every green, we discovered that with their different shapes and sizes we might have fewer locations on the front and back and more locations in the middle. Under the old three day rotation system, that meant more wear and tear on the back and front as we would use that area every three days. Now our choice of holes is spread out more evenly.” ezLocator is also able to isolate and protect certain areas of the greens when necessary, and includes a feature to preserve certain locations for special events or tournaments.
All golf facilities can benefit from the communication and operational efficiencies that ezLocator provides. Its web interface allows the general manager, head professional, and green superintendent to be on the same page. Everyone can instantly access the ezlocator application to help them finely tune their operations. With ezLocator, superintendents will be able to spend less than one hour a week managing where the pin locations are going to be. Then, after a series of locations are chosen, a pin sheet is automatically generated for each day and a less experienced employee, supplied with specific information and instructions, can set each pin. As compared with other traditional methods, this system reduces time, labor costs, removes the possibility of errors in judgment, and speeds up the pin setting location process because on-the-course decisions are eliminated. Evidence of this is shown at at Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, before they implemented ezLocator, if the hole cutter happened to push the envelope and get too close to the edges the golf shop would hear about it from their golfers. Such poor decisions took away from the experience of playing the course.When the hole cutter was told about the complaints, he would then stick with safer routes and stay closer to old locations. ezLocator eliminated that risk and now James Beebe and his assistant no longer have to micro-manage the task. For the golf course wanting optimum green conditions, pin locations that are challenging to the golfer, and a professional pin sheet, ezLocator is a winning solution for the golf facility and its head pro. The golf shop will be able to choose from multiple pin sheet formats and effortlessly provide these sheets for either general or tournament play. “It streamlines communications with the golf shop,” says Bobby Stringer, superintendent at Austin (TX) Country Club. The program also allows Stringer to provide timely and professional looking pin sheets showing: the shape of a green, and the exact location of the pin with measurements from the center as well as the front and side. This information can be passed on to the players. The condition of the greens can make all the difference between an ordinary game and a memorable golf experience. With optimum green conditions, a variety of pin locations, and countless pin sheet combinations, now everyone can experience a more challenging game of golf. ezLocator makes everyone a winner of the game. DAC member Matt Housey sums it all up nicely, “It’s a new course every day.”
Some of the top clubs currently using the system include:
–Westchester Country Club, Rye, NY
–Willow Ridge Country Club, Harrison, NY
–Wade Hampton Golf Club, Cashiers, NC
–Lost Dunes Golf Club, Bridgman, MI
–Dallas National Golf Club
–Brook Hollow Golf Club, Dallas, TX
–St. George’s Golf and Country Club, Toronto, Canada.