A closer look at the E-Z-GO TFM System, and why GPS is the future of golf cars
E-Z-GO was one of the first manufacturers to launch GPS golf cars and it’s one of the best systems on the market today. GPS in a golf context is often associated with, or refers to, golfers’ personal yardage and game applications. GPS typically offers basic yardage to the front, middle and back of greens via text or basic graphics. Sometimes it comes with a digital scorecard and has social applications such as two-way messaging and placing food and beverage orders.
However, the GPS systems with screen mounted displays that the golfer sees in their buggy, belies the sophisticated operational and fleet management software hidden from the golfer’s view.
E-Z-GO has introduced TFM GPS which offers one of the best systems on the market today. It is permanently mounted in the car and offers different levels of amenities for golfers, and helps to tackle some key issues that face golf clubs today.
A common operational concern for courses is slow play. The TFM GPS technology features real-time pace monitoring and alerting that gives hole-by-hole pace averages in real-time allowing the immediate identification of problem spots and despatch of marshals to where they’re most needed. The system generates automatic ‘slow play’ alerts to golfers, making it easier to manage and enforce rules without having to confront golfers.
One of the biggest challenges for course operators is knowing where your cars and golfers are. Limited visibility on where they are or have been, whether or not they are respecting cart path rules or driving into restricted areas. It is often difficult to locate or communicate with members and guests on the course.
The TFM GPS solution is real-time vehicle tracking throughout the course. This provides the exact location of all cars at all times; the ability to see where cars have driven, using their trail history and to receive real-time alerts when cars drive into restricted areas.
Deliberate or accidental damage to the course or the golf cars can be a challenge. Some golfers may feel entitled to do whatever they like on the course, driving carelessly or destructively. This is difficult to monitor and manage remotely and it can be a challenge to confront members and guests.
The TFM GPS solution is digital geofencing and car shutdown. Geofences automatically warn golfers when they violate cart path rules negating the need for stakes and ropes. The system will automatically shut down the car if it drives into a restricted area and there’s a permanent record of all geofence violations. To counteract the possibility of theft, the entire fleet can be immobilised, after hours.
Another challenge is communicating with the golfers and keeping them engaged on and off the course. In an emergency, it can be difficult getting all golfers and cars off the course back to the clubhouse. If golfers need assistance, it can be challenging to locate a marshal or get someone from the clubhouse to help. Another aspect is that golfers spend around 4 hours on the course; you have a captive audience, so it’s the ideal opportunity to inform them about events or news at the course.
With TFM GPS you have real-time, two-way messaging with all the cars on the course. There’s the ability to issue location based messaging; for instance, as the golfers approach the 8th tee, they can be prompted to place food and beverage orders at the half-way house. And, there’s the opportunity to sell third-party advertising on the screen or display special event announcements. The golfer can select from a range of options for digital yardage or enhanced graphics, communicate with the ProShop, send beverage car requests and order food and drinks from the clubhouse prior to completion of the round.
For the course operator, the additional benefits of TFM GPS is being able to access and monitor all information from any computer, tablet or smart phone. You are able to review car usage patterns and generate reports to optimise fleet rotation, ensuring that all cars are evenly used to ensure optimum use. By monitoring the health of the golf car, it is possible to foresee problems before they occur reducing downtime.
A selection of GPS management systems for E-Z-GO fleet golf cars are available, including TFM Shield Screenless Fleet Management system which provides a cost-effective method of optimising a fleet investment. The TFM Shield offers proactive vehicle servicing solutions and fleet management and geofencing options.
The entry level TFM 7 has a 7-inch high-resolution, weather-proof touchscreen display. It offers features such as simple text-only yardage for the golfer and two-way messaging and automatic pace and geofence warnings. The TFM 10EX with 10-inch full colour, high-definition screen and graphical interface of the course with added golfer features such as pro-tips, distance to pin and hazard tools plus three-dimensional hole-flyovers.
In between these two options is the TFM 7EX, a mid-level 7-inch model which encompasses all the benefits of the TFM 7 with the addition of a custom full colour, high-definition graphical interface of the course with added golfer features such as pro-tips, distance to pin and hazard tools plus three-dimensional hole-flyovers.
All TFM models are installed on the golf car canopy close to the front screen and feature the brightest screens on the market. They can be seen clearly even when wearing polarised sunglasses and use simple high-resolution, touch screen displays. Power is supplied via a built-in, high capacity internal battery, taking minimal load from the golf car’s on-board battery. The systems receive automatic software updates, and TFM provides the golf facility with a standard extended care service that includes technical assistance and unlimited customer support.
TFM provides fleet customers with a diverse line-up of cost effective, GPS systems to help them manage their fleet and enhance the golfer experience. It is very simple to upgrade between the four options using the ‘open platform’ technology, allowing golf club operators to enhance their customer offering as they grow their business operations.