RICHARDSON, Texas -- Merion Golf Club, site of the 2013 U.S. Open, is a bastion of tradition with the club and its members committed to preserving golf as it was meant to be played. That's why it was surprising that Merion's director of grounds, Matt Shaffer, decided to adopt ezLocator, an innovative hole location software program that assists in managing pin locations.
"Merion's a difficult golf course to take care of," says Shaffer . "With ezLocator it makes it easier. By looking at our pin sheets and seeing what kind of play we're getting, we can set things up accordingly and avoid making certain mistakes. And it allows us to water better. I think it's definitely going to give Merion an opportunity to put itself in the best possible position, and the technology will give the USGA a lot more flexibility. I think the players may actually see the difference."
"What I've learned is that Merion really is very progressive," said Jon Schultz, president/CEO of ezLocator who developed the unique system. "They're trying to use everything they can to enhance their golf experience. With ezLocator, Merion has the ability to set its pins in places that will make better use of the greens, and ease the wear and tear in certain sensitive areas. When you're starting out with a business, you want to be identified with the best of the best. It works at Merion, I can't imagine a better endorsement."
Schultz's ezLocator has revolutionized how pin placements are managed, eliminating the shortcomings of restrictive systems such as dividing the green into zones or front, middle and back. After a 3D mapping system locates all the possible placements on each green, the information is entered in a program and with a click of a button the superintendent can get the job done, allowing the members of the club to enjoy tournament quality pin sheets each time they play.
Schultz, a member at the Dallas Athletic Club, developed the system after chats with other members of his weekend golf group in the 19th hole. "It seemed they always played the same pin positions and that all the golfers wanted a tournament like experience every time they teed off," said Schultz. From his experience as a top amateur player, a caddie, a tournament chairman, he began developing a system that was easy to use by the superintendent and would enhance the member's experience. A test program was conducted at the Dallas Athletic Club that evolved into the only software application that is on the market today.
Kevin Nettles, superintendent at the Dallas Athletic Club is definitely an advocate of the system. "There's nothing like it on the market," Nettles said. "Players absolutely love the system and it has allowed me to manage the greens from a stress point. I can isolate certain areas of the greens when necessary and save certain locations for special events."
In addition to Merion, ezLocator is now being used by many of the top clubs and courses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information on ezLocator, please visit the company's website www.goezlocator.com or call Jon Schultz at (972) 231-4040.
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