Perry Park Country Club - ezLocator Case Study
If you're in the Golf Industry and follow trending tools and best practices you’ve most likely heard of ezLocator's hole location management system. Maybe you've caught some of their benefits on Social Media or experienced a free demo? In this case study I interview Justin Daigle, Golf Course Superintendent of Perry Park Country Club in Larkspur, Colorado and asked him to tell us his process for making the decision to bring ezLocator to his membership and operation.
Justin and the Perry Park team have always embraced technology from robotic greens mowing with the Cub Cadet RG3 to now managing their hole location selection, history, and traffic distribution with ezLocator's patented software. Daigle, a 20 year GCSAA Member, is always on the lookout for ways to allow technology to bring efficiency to his operation and enhance the experience for his membership. He embraces any tools that help him improve play-ability and the quality of the product he presents to his members and their guests each day. When he came across ezLocator and researched all of the options available to him, he made the decision that ezLocator was the right choice for his club. He found that ezLocator offers the most complete package and was the most user friendly when comparing against other companies providing similar solutions.
When it comes to the most common member feedback there are two play-ability elements that seem to stand out more than any of the rest at Perry Park.
Overall Moisture of the Golf Course
Daily pin locations (unfair or too tough)
In this study we decided to focus on member feedback point #2. Justin’s goal was to improve this issue. He found his solution in ezLocator. With his trust in the reliability of the system and his hands-on approach of fine tuning each pin location, he now has full confidence that every “tough” pin selected is in a fair and playable position.
Just as Justin took the ownership of managing his water distribution, ezLocator allows him to take full responsibility for the selection and placement of every pin, every day. What he likes best is it only takes him a few minutes a day to generate and manage daily pin locations. He has the ability to put the pin exactly where he wants it. Now when a member tells him how “tough or unfair” the pin on 14 was that day, he’s armed with knowledge and information of exactly where that pin was and why it was selected. He’s learned that it’s usually not the fact that it was tough, it's more that it was new and the member had never seen it there before. As the membership experiences more new pins, the more trust they have that Justin's team is only selecting pins with fairness and precision being of the utmost importance.
“During the on-boarding process we were able to apply our knowledge of each green with the new data from the 3D scans. We set up a system of rules, within the ezLocator program, to ensure every pin in the algorithm meets the requirements and play-ability I expect. The team continues to grow every time we use the software."
Post installation of ezLocator, Justin spent about 60 minutes with his team to train them on the process for finding the exact location the system was generating. To ensure the cups are matching the software exactly, Justin highly recommends making the use of a measuring wheel a mandatory part of the process.
Locating pin location step by step instruction.
Begin at the back of each green & locate a permanent dot used to indicate the intended line of play, (ILOP) Set water bottle or spray paint can on that dot.
Refer to ezLocator hole location sheet to determine depth for that cup from the front of green.
Walk to the front of the green locating the ILOP dot. Then using the measuring wheel, walk the predetermined depth towards the spray can or water bottle.
Once measured, set keys or golf ball on ground to indicate the exact depth along the ILOP.
Align the measuring wheel to create the perpendicular line (x axis). Walk down that line to edge of green. (use of a t-square is also commonly used at facilities)
From left or right edge measure off that distance referencing ezLocator pin sheet for exact distance from edge. Walking down the x-axis toward the keys or ball used to mark depth location.
Cup is cut.
Conduct final visual check using the pin sheet and the dot indicating placement location on pin sheet in relation to green contours and make sure they align.
Cross off each green upon completion to ensure accuracy.
How to pay for ezLocator.
Perry Park chose to finance the initial set up fee and to cover that expense they simply added $0.25 per round to the clubs non member fees (guest fees and outside events). This allowed them to cover the cost, providing the members with the service without it costing them a penny. It also lessened the financial burden on his budget while providing his team a tool to streamline operations also providing his membership with and upgraded experience on a course they've played for years.
How long will it take to pay off initial investment of ezLocator?
Justin determined that ezLocator saves his cup cutters on average 30 minutes a day. Most importantly the time saved personally by being able to verify, store and manage hole locations from wherever he is and whenever he wants. Justin stated that, "Being able to generate daily pins, that I know are fair and playable in 5 minutes or less is an incredible benefit to both my team and my members. That combined with time and labor saved made it easy for us to justify the expense of the software."
Our studies of multiple ezLocator accounts suggests an average of 30 min/day saved for the Superintendent and 20-30 minutes a day for the cup cutters. Making for a monthly savings of approximately $760 (wage dependent). For a facility operating year around in most cases the initial expense will be covered within the 13 months of using the software, with the annual expense easily covered by labor saving alone.
When asked for a follow up after using the system for several weeks Justin offered these
"We now have a system that we trust, that’s easy to use, easy to make changes and offers great control of how traffic and hole locations are managed."
"We've increased our cupping space by maximizing all usable green surface, allowing for more healing time and very healthy greens."
"My team is now more confident with where they are putting the cups & I’m confident that the location is fair and playable."
"Our membership is really enjoying the new areas of the green they hadn’t ever experienced."