GOLF CAR REPORT Club Car Introduces New GPS Technology
Club Car golf cars have been viewed as a leader in pioneering innovation and technical development for the past 40 years.
In August, the golf car manufacturer teamed up with Uplink to introduce its new Global Positioning System. It's a partnership Club Car hopes will change the golf car industry and separate its cars from those produced by the market's other two major manufacturers.
"We were hesitant to tie ourselves with one GPS firm because technology is always changing and we wanted to hook up with the right person," said Kurt Kraly, the Club Car territory sales manager for Southeast Michigan. "A major reason we partnered with them is because Uplink owns the proper technology that makes GPS work on the golf course and it fits right in with the leadership aspect that we were looking for.
"We're looking at them as an add-on product to make our cars as complete as they always have been," Kraly continued. "We have a sophisticated vision of how far we want to go with the GPS system and we're developing a system for fleet management to transmit a problem to us before it occurs."
Another new product in the makings is a beverage vehicle that will take credit card-type swipe cards instead of cash. "I believe you will see it very soon," Kraly said. "It will be an innovation that will change the way courses deal with beverage carts and it will be easier for the everyday golfer."
Club Car's next generation of electric cars is also in the works. On board will be an IQ System that will act as the intelligence of the golf car and will provide fleet managers the ability to customize the golf cars to their needs. It will also allow golf courses to program the carsā separate motor and braking functions to fit the terrain of the golf course. The settings involved in the utilization of this system include a standard setting, a mild setting or an aggressive setting based on the terrain of the golf course.
"It will allow the average golfer to be extremely efficient, nimble or quick and fast, to make it more of a pleasure to play golf on a golf car," Kraly said. "The uphill speed is better than the 48-volt car and it will be a noticeable difference. It will be a 100 percent Club Car exclusive that no one else offers."
Club Car also plans to introduce the new 1-pass vehicle for handicapped golfers. The manufacturer has teamed up with a company in Arizona, Solorider, which has manufactured adaptive golf cars for a number of years. "A lot of golf car manufacturers have come under scrutiny in terms of access under the Americans with Disabilities Act," Kraly said. "We wanted to be pro-active so we sought out a company manufactured vehicle that withstood the test of the Club Car name.
"It will allow handicapped golfers access to all parts of the golf course like tees, fairways and greens and it will be adaptive to people with any affliction so they can enjoy the game of golf."
Since opening its manufacturing plant in Newnan, Ga. in 1998, Yamaha has produced the industry's highest rated golf car, according to some industry analysts, and prides itself in proven engineering, power, reliability, comfort, durability and versatility.
Yamaha hasn't introduced any new golf cars in the past year, but it does have a new marketing slogan that it hopes will boost sales. "We haven't had any significant changes in our products this year, but we continue to build the best gas and electric powered carts on the market," said Pat Boylan, a Michigan sales representative for Yamaha. "Our new motto is: "We continue to build golf cars that are tougher than the sport of golf."
E-Z-GO Textron has also been at the forefront of golf car innovation and continually changes the way the world experiences golf. E-Z-GO introduced its Precision Drive System two years ago and this year introduced the new Freedom TXT Series.
E-Z-GO has proven it can provide a practical and sensible way to get around the golf course and its line features two- or four-passenger vehicles that can accommodate the needs of any golf course.
For those who prefer walking rather than riding, but have grown weary of carrying heavy clubs in hot conditions, a new product is now available. The Hillbilly Powered Golf Trolley is the perfect solution for the typical walking golfer. The British-made product unfolds neatly in seconds and is powerful enough to take clubs on the most grueling of golf courses.
In addition to the original model, Hillbilly now presents a new compact model that is sturdy, lightweight and is equipped with components and a battery. It's affordable ($415-459), maintenance-free and simple to use.
For more information, visit www.hillbilly.com.
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