Author: Alan Stevens

Maleny develops innovative course safety device

Maleny Golf Club in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland has developed and installed a state-of-the art, high-tech warning system to enhance player safety on one of its holes featuring a blind tee shot.

Players on the Tee of the Par 4 dog-legged Fourth of the new 18-hole layout are now warned not to hit off while a red traffic light is shining on the fairway to signal that golfers in the group ahead have not yet cleared their landing zone.

President Dr Max Whitten said the warning system was further evidence of the club’s innovative style, following the successful trial and installation of revetted bunkering using artificial turf matting to cut course maintenance costs.

“This clever system uses the combination of a motion-sensing camera, solar power and a bright red light to solve a player safety issue and we now plan to extend it to similarly warn players about to tee off on the adjacent fairway,” he said.

Member and inventor Mike Hallam, who has a background in information technology and security, said he had come up with the idea by combining different technologies to solve the problem.

“We needed something more or less bullet proof and not reliant on user intervention like other things being considered such as ringing bells or pushing buzzer buttons,” Mike explained.

The prototype cost about $4,000 to develop – the main expense being the use of a sophisticated programmable Mobotix camera from Germany. However, the cost is more than competitive compared to erecting unsightly observation towers.

Members now refer to this area of the course as the “red light district”.

Thanks to financial support from the Sunshine Coast Council and the Federal Government, the final six holes of the 18-hole course should be in play early next year.

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