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ON THE COURSE: GOLF NEWS AND NOTES
Published May 24, 1995
The latest National Golf Foundation figures show continued strength in the construction of golf courses in the U.S. In '94, golf course development projects showed 381 new courses open -- 283 daily fee courses -- with another 769 under construction and 541 in planning stages. MI led the country in new courses opened during '94 with 27, followed by FL with 21. MI also leads with 66 courses under construction, followed by CA with 44 and IL with 42. FL still has the most courses in the country with 1,098 (George Sweda, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/23). More and more women are playing golf, according to the National Golf Foundation. Women account for "just 21% of golfers, but they make up 37% of newcomers to the game." The Executive Women's Golf League in West Palm Beach, FL was started in '91 and has nearly 10,000 members in 81 chapters, including "one of its fastest growing in Atlanta." The Atlanta chapter has gained "a big boost from AT&T, where VP Larry Bell has encouraged saleswomen and other employees to learn golf as a way to enhance business." Bell is so impressed with the league, he is going to write AT&T's 10 largest customers in Atlanta -- including Delta Air, Coca-Cola and Home Depot and "urge them to join" (Chris Burkitt, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/24) BRING IN THE SKY CAM: MA-based Player Systems Corp. has developed SkyCaddie, a golf cart program that provides small electronic screens. The screens "provide players with detailed information, such as yards to the front of the green, yards to the pin, yards to certain hazards and obstacles, and suggestions for playing the hole." The system can also track play, and messages can be sent to ask slow players to speed up. Players Systems Dir of Marketing Richard Beckmann has installation of the system pending at courses in Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas, while it has already been installed at Sailfish Point Golf Club in Stuart, FL. The "optimum market is probably resort courses, where management considers tee times to be like inventory. Any method of better flow and speedier play is a profit maker for the course" (Joe Gordon, BOSTON HERALD, 5/24).