ACME, Mich. -- The 1985 opening of The Bear golf course at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa underscored Northern Michigan's position on America's golf destination map. Grand Traverse continues to be a trend-setter with the recent addition of the Foresight GC2 Smart Camera System and Performance Simulator to its golf instruction and entertainment portfolios.
Scott Hebert, the resort's Head Golf Professional and Director of Instruction, said the addition of the GC2 technology reinforces Grand Traverse's commitment to being not just a place to play, but a full service golf facility that offers year-round instruction, club fitting, equipment and apparel sales, as well as amenities unique to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. "We're trying to build on our reputation that if you want something in golf, this should be the place you think of first," said Hebert.
The 900-acre property near Traverse City is one of the Midwest's finest full-service, year-round resorts and conference destinations. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa offers nearly 600 rooms, suites, and condominiums, 86,500 square feet of versatile function space, and 54 holes of championship golf, including The Bear, designed by Jack Nicklaus, and The Wolverine, a Gary Player signature course.
The GC2 Smart Camera System is made by Foresight Sports of San Diego, a leader in the design and manufacture of golf ball and club head measurement, analysis and simulation tools. The GC2 uses a stereoscopic camera system that precisely captures and analyzes ball characteristics at the most critical point of measurement - club impact. The portable GC2 system weighs only 4 pounds and has indoor/outdoor flexibility, meaning it can be used on the practice range, at the resort's 2,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor Golf Academy, and on Grand Traverse's golf courses. The GC2 can be connected to a computer running Foresight Sports' Performance Simulation software, enabling the staff at Grand Traverse to convert virtually any space into a performance-driven golf simulator.
"This is an amenity no one else in Northern Michigan has," said Hebert. "We are the only ones in the north with this type of technology."
The GC2 provides a comprehensive virtual depiction of a golfer's launch conditions, shot shape and down range values - all in real time. It can be used to review shot dispersion and gap analysis of yardage from club to club.
"Ball flight characteristics tell you everything that's going on with your swing," said Hebert, a five-time Michigan PGA champion, a six-time Michigan Open champion and winner of the 2008 national PGA Club Professional Championship. "I often tell my students that I can't feel what you're feeling, but if I can capture the data on ball flight characteristics, I can pretty much pinpoint why the ball is behaving the way it does."
Hebert said he chose the Foresight GC2 system after extensively testing a variety of launch monitors and simulators. Hebert and his teaching staff have all received club fitting certification from Titleist, meaning they're experts at interpreting data collected by devices such as the GC2. Studies have shown that 90 percent of golfers who have been fitted using a launch monitor have gained demonstrably improved performance with their new clubs.
In order to get a jump on the golf season in Northern Michigan, Grand Traverse recently launched an indoor league featuring competition on the Foresight GC2 Performance Simulator. Sponsored by Heineken, the indoor league accommodates two-person teams competing in nine-hole rounds during eight hours of simulated golf over an eight-week period.
Analysis on the Foresight GC2 will be included with Grand Traverse's instruction and club fitting packages. Hebert said he expects the GC2 to be a hit with corporate clients, not only as a teaching tool but also to conduct fun events on the Performance Simulator such as long drive and closest to the hole contests. Hebert plans to augment the resort's junior programs by offering use of the Performance Simulator at birthday parties.
"It's not just a tool for teaching and club fitting, but it's a great tool for the whole operation," said Hebert.
The year-round Golf Academy, offers individual lessons, group clinics, one-, two- and three-day schools, plus specialty instruction for ladies and juniors.
For more information, call Grand Traverse Resort and Spa's Golf Academy at 800-236-1577, ext. 6550 or visit www.grandtraverseresort.com .
Resort & Golf Marketing
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
J. Michael DeAgostino