High-Tech Golf Carts at Cape Fear National Change Everything

High-tech golf carts at Cape Fear National change everything

by Jenna Curry

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Joy Cash (left) and Jenna Curry (that’s me!)

As an avid golfer since the age of 10, I’ve been fortunate to play hundreds of rounds of golf, mostly in North Carolina. And I can say with enthusiasm that my round of golf last week at Cape Fear National is one I will never forget. Why? First, because our team scored a Double Eagle on hole #2 which I’ve never seen and secondly, because these GPS enabled golf carts completely changed the golf experience for me. And it was awesome.

I first learned about the new GPS Equipped Golf Carts at Cape Fear National in an article shared on the Wilmington Today Facebook page just two days before a friend had invited me to play on a Captain’s Choice team for the Cape Fear Home Builders Association Golf Tournament on September 15, 2016. Needless to say, I was eager to try out this new “game changing” technology.

A function of the new technology called Precedent i3, is a flatscreen/touchscreen (about the size of an iPad) installed inside the front of the cart so that the rider and passenger can see the screen while sitting in the cart. While the technology’s capacity extends beyond the screen, for the golfer, everything is communicated here:

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Tournament details for the Home Builders Association Captain’s Choice Tournament displayed on the Precedent i3 screen.

Here’s why this screen changes everything:

We could keep up with the score in real time of every other team in the tournament.

If you play in a lot of tournaments or league play, this is a sure fire way to ramp up the competition on every single hole. We could assess how we were doing in relation to the other teams on the course.

Helps speed up play.

Generally, it will take a Ranger or over-eager team behind you to remind you to speed up your play. The screen keeps up with the time you teed off, how long you should take on each hole, and displays a number on the screen to let you know how many minutes you are behind.

A range finder within the cart – with even more capability and precision.

Range finders (the devices that show you how far your target is from your location) could become obsolete over time as this new technology penetrates the market. Not only will the screen display the distance to your target, you can also touch different points on the screen to learn the distance from your second shot to the target. If you’re playing captain’s choice like we were, you could touch different spots on the screen to determine when to lay up and when to “go for it!”

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Visualize the hole – and the hazards.

The screen shows an aerial representation of every hole, including hazards. This can eliminate a lot of strokes for someone who is playing the course for the first time. Personally, I forget a hole as soon as I leave it, so this was especially helpful to me even though I’ve played the course at least six times before. If only seeing the sand trap and water before could actually keep me from hitting it there!

The cart knows when you go where you shouldn’t (whoops).

There was a lot of rain before the tournament began so we were advised that it was “cart path only” for play. In one instance, I forgot this, and proceeded a couple yards into the fairway when I was alerted by the screen to take the cart back to the cart path. The cart also slowed to a crawling speed making it impossible to forget again. Sorry, Cape Fear National, I did drive on the fairway but I’m so glad your new cart technology could remind me!

Other perks of the technology we didn’t take advantage of (yet).

  • You can order food and beverages right from the touch screen. 
  • Have a question for the course staff? You can message the staff right from the screen. 
  • Emailing the scorecard to yourself after play makes it easy to keep up with your handicap.

We finished the round -13 and came in fifth place in the first flight of 24 teams. While we didn’t take home any prizes, I was truly delighted by how this new technology enhanced the entire golf experience.
I can’t wait to get out there again soon!

Jenna Curry

About the Author

Jenna is a Partner at Little Wing Marketing, a former golfer on the UNCW golf team, founder of Port City Young Professionals, and frequent contributor to Wilmington Today writing about all things Wilmington, NC.