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 made a mistake and put it on a ridge. Superintendents are being challenged to meet golfer’s expectations of tournament-like conditions everyday, and that includes the condition of the green and the pin locations.
In mid-2005, Dallas amateur Jon Schultz finished a round of golf at Dallas Athletic Club (DAC) and was settling wagers and swapping lies with his regular golfing group.
Who knew that a new idea for golf courses was moments away?
“Someone mentioned that the holes were in the same locations as the previous Saturday,” Schultz recalls. “The discussion became very heated and lively — everyone had an opinion about how holes were placed at the club.” At DAC a high percentage of golfers play only on weekends — Saturday’s hole locations would often be the same as the previous Sunday’s. More variety was needed and everyone wanted a “tournament-like experience” every time they teed off.
Schultz used his experience as a top amateur player, a caddie, 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. “I convinced a buddy of mine, a software programmer, that we could create a software program that would solve the problem once and for all,” Schultz said.
In a few months, a computerized hole-placement system was sketched out on paper and shared with Kevin Nettles, DAC’s superintendent. “It wasn’t long until our first working prototype was creating optimized pin locations for each hole at our club,” Schultz said.
Using DAC as a development and testing laboratory, the team at ezLocator began to develop a version that could be used by any club across the country. In 2009, the first version was released and sold. One of ezLocator’s first customers, Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Canada, saw immediate improvement in their pin location process. Not only has ezLocator taken the enjoyment of the game to the next level with its variety of pin postions, but James Beebe, the superintendent at the Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, discovered that by using ezLocator, the quality of the putting surfaces improved significantly and his chemical cost was reduced. He says, “Before installing ezLocator, we realized every green had a different shape, size and topography and 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.
The condition of the greens can make all the difference between an ordinary round of golf 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® helps golfers play a new course every day!
To learn more about ezlocator go to their website at www.goezlocator.com, or contact Jon Schultz by phone or email at (972)231-4040 email@example.com