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|Frenchman's Creek overview (Courtesy Frenchman's Creek)|
Frenchman's Creek, a golf community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has taken course security to the next level with a new customized golf cart fitted with infra-red thermal imaging and GPS tracking systems for nightly grounds patrols.
The cart's Thermal-Eye 4000M infrared camera - a model used by the U.S. military - can pick up activity in the dark at a distance of 1,500 feet, and its GPS system is programmed with directions to all 600 homes in the community.
The cart is the first in what Frenchman's Creek plans as a fleet of three. Manufactured by electric-car producer G.E.M., the carts cost about $16,000 each.
"We've always been known for our state-of-the-art security at Frenchman's Creek, and we believe this is the first time that a country club has ever integrated mobile 'night vision' technology into tactical operations and perimeter security," Frenchman's Creek Executive Director Achal Goswami said in a statement.
Security at Frenchman's Creek, which has two 18-hole golf courses, brings to mind the United Nations or Fort Knox. Visitors to the community are greeted by armed guards, and security patrols that include a medical team circulate through the grounds all day. A special marine patrol monitors the section of the Intracoastal Waterway that flows through the community.
Though Palm Beach Gardens is in an affluent part of Florida with a low crime rate, there is reason for this level of security at Frenchman's Creek, which takes its name from a novel by Daphne du Maurier. Home prices in the community run in the millions - and not the single-digit millions, either.
In a written response to questions, Goswami said security is a priority for Frenchman's Creek residents and that the community has gotten positive feedback about the cart.
"Our members are extremely satisfied with the addition to the enhanced, high-tech security features," he said.
In addition to its two golf courses, Frenchman's Creek has a tennis club, fitness center and spa. The community is minutes away from a private beach club with a seafood restaurant.
March 8, 2007
It might be a great time to be a golfer, but few would claim it is the best time to own a golf course. Competition is stiff, and the time, cost and difficulty of the sport make it a tough sell in today's fast-paced world. Therefore, course operators are being challenged to think "outside the cup." Here's case study on one course that's doing it right.
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