Cementing its position as New Zealand's best hotel and the leading golf resort in Australasia, the significant venture makes the resort the first club in the country to use such technology.
The cloud-based Golf Pilot system, created by GPS Systems International, uses Samsung TAB devices and employs cutting-edge technology to enhance players' golf game while also providing some nifty safety features for management.
Each of the resort's 50 Yamaha carts is now fitted with a slick white Samsung Golf Pilot unit which is mounted to the front windscreen and links to the main computer dashboard in the resort's Pro Shop.
Once players set-off for their round the visually striking and interactive Golf Pilot system kicks into action and starts tracking the cart's location through the resort. It enables players to see where they are on the course, highlights course no-go areas, shows pro-tips on how best to play the hole and players can measure the distance to any point of interest including bunkers and the pin on the green.
Back at the pro shop, the interactive and real-time map shows management where each of the carts are at any given time, meaning they can move slow players on and even call players back if they're unlikely to finish before dark.
To ensure players stay on track while on course an audible warning sounds whenever a cart approaches an area where it's not allowed to go such as greens or a nature area. Course overview maps highlight course play areas to prevent players inadvertently losing their way.
The innovative service makes a game of golf at the resort even more interactive and engaging. Other unique features include live local weather and radar maps, two-way communication and messaging between the cart and pro shop -- ideal for providing information and assistance, severe weather updates and answering player's questions or responding to an on-course emergency.
The system offers additional services for guests such as video or static adverts shown during play which highlight the resort's additional activities like restaurants, the spa and accommodation, and can even show special offers that players can take advantage of.
Millbrook Resort head of golf Brian Spicer said the system was an “exciting development” for the resort.
“There's been a significant increase in the availability of GPS devices for golf courses over the past five years. We're always looking at creative ways of being innovative and Golf Pilot is a great system that takes Millbrook to another level technology wise,” said Mr Spicer.
“Our members and guests expect the best when they visit and play at Millbrook so it's imperative we deliver and maintain our reputation as one of the world's best golf courses.”
“We're amazed with its scope and it's so simple to use. Guests and members who've experienced it so far love it. It really adds another unique element to your game.”
At a later stage players at Millbrook Resort will be able to use the system to order food and beverage on course which can be delivered direct to the golf cart, be ready for when players come off the course or a quick half-way refreshment when they cross over between nine holes.
Future enhancements will allow players to upload pictures and score cards direct to social media and the system's built-in scorecard will be available to print over wireless WiFi rather than using old-fashioned ‘pen and paper' cards.
In its continued investment in its business, Millbrook Resort recently upgraded its internet system to ensure faster access and now provides free WiFi across the resort for guests.
Millbrook Resort head golf professional Allan McKay said his favourite Golf Pilot feature as a player was the interactive “cross hair” target.
“This is so accurate. It's interactive so you can drag it to your golf ball and see what the layup distance is to any target you choose and what the distance is from there to the green. It's gold.”
“From a manager's point of view, the ability to know the location of every cart in the fleet is crucial and extremely important on a 500 acre resort. We can clearly see how far the last player is from finishing and if someone has taken a cart back to their room and forgotten to return it.”
Golf Pilot can operate in up to sixty different languages including Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Dutch, Spanish and French -- perfect for Millbrook Resort which hosts guests and players from around the globe.
“The multi-lingual facility is a huge benefit for us. We've already had great feedback from international players who love the fact they can play a round and have guidance in their own language.
“Golf Pilot is a priceless asset and yet another unique feature of playing at Millbrook,” said Mr McKay.