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Case studies demonstrate return on GPS investment

Case studies demonstrate return on GPS investment

Rice, Derek

AUGUSTA, Ga. -According to case studies released by golf car manufacturer E-Z-GO Textron and global positioning system (GPS) provider ProLink, golf courses can see financial benefits from GPS. Courses in the case studies, conducted in summer 2001 by Fletcher Martin Ewing, showed a return on investment (ROI) of up to 240 percent and a reduction in the length of rounds by an average of 15 to 20 minutes.

The following are examples of the benefits courses across the country have seen since installing the ProLink system.

PAA-KO RIDGE

As a new course in a competitive market, Paa-ko Ridge Golf Club in Sandia Park, N.M., was concerned about slow play, so it needed a way to move golfers around the course faster, while sticking with its “cart path only” rule. Warren Lehr, Paa-ko’s director of golf, brought in the ProLink system.

As a result, the course was able to achieve its targeted pace of play of four hours, 35 minutes. Additionally, the club saw a 9.7 percent revenue increase from its ProLink fees, a 35 percent food and beverage sales increase and a 215 percent ROI.

ROCKY GAP LODGE

Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Cumberland, Md., has little competition, with the nearest courses up to two hours away. The club’s biggest challenge was slow play, driven by the fact that 40 percent of its rounds come via conferences or outings. Because more then 60 percent of the course is designated “cart path only,” the club installed the ProLink system.

According to Chuck Ingalsbee, Rocky Gap has maintained pace of play around four and a half hours, while seeing a 7.9 percent revenue increase and a 167 percent ROI.

TIFFANY GREENS

In the upscale resort/private golf sector of the Kansas City, Mo., market, Tiffany Greens faces stiff competition. As a result, the club needed a point of differentiation, according to Tom Aikmus, head golf pro. An additional hurdle is the club’s green fees, which are among the highest in the area.

Aikmus said the ProLink system has been a major benefit to Tiffany Greens. Not only has it helped speed play, but it has helped create a memorable experience, which he said has resulted in repeat business and a host of tournaments. The revenue increase Tiffany Greens saw was 6.3 percent, and its return on investment was 244 percent.

EMERALD DUNES

Because West Palm Beach, Fla., is one of the top golf destinations in the country, Emerald Dunes faces alot of competition. Because of its high-end green fees, the club needed to offer additional value to its customers. Pace of play has also been a deterrent.

Emerald Dunes was among the first of ProLink’s installations in 1995. Since installing the system, the club has been able to eliminate rangers.

In its first year using ProLink, Emerald Dunes experienced a 16 percent increase in revenue, its highest to date. The club also saw a 10.2 percent increase in rounds played that year.

Copyright United Publications, Inc. May 2002

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