Smile! You're on Alcanada Camera
Club de Golf Alcanada, in the north of the sunshine island of Mallorca, has been chosen as the flagship venue for the launch of a new video technology which records players’ swings during a round.
When golfers tee off on the picturesque seventh hole at the multi-award-winning course, they can have their swing recorded for posterity by the unique me@golf technology, the brainchild of a team of enthusiastic, golfing, Czech software engineers.
A video camera is in place to monitor the tee constantly and golfers walk on to the teeing area and play their shot as normal. Then, within 60 seconds, they scan their ID ticket – presented to them in the pro shop on arrival – on the bar-code reader, which is located directly below the camera. The recording of the shot is then automatically sent to a terminal in the clubhouse – with the additional option of having it sent direct to the golfer’s email account. The video can then be scrutinised at home or by a club professional, or just viewed for fun.
Alcanada was chosen as the first venue for the new me@golf technology after the founder of the company, Martin Ráliš, was impressed with club officials after a first meeting.
He explained: “Alcanada is a perfect example of a course where me@golf technology can bring the most benefits: plenty of visitors, well respected, and also panoramic. We also found the club’s golf management team understood the concept completely from the outset – I’m very happy to say Kristoff Both, the director of golf, said our technology was ‘awesome’. We felt a huge amount of support from everybody at Alcanada from the first moment.
“From the beginning, we were keen to design the video recording system so it would be a simple and easy-to-use system that would not affect the flow of the game or stand in anyone’s way. Similarly, from our first meeting with the golf club management, the requirement was clear: develop a system that will not require any alterations of, or in any way affect, the operations of the golf course.
“Last, but not least, we had to consider the financial impact for the operation of the system. A majority of golfers are keen to improve their game and are constantly monitoring their swing. And most golf clubs are eager to invest in new technologies that give them a competitive edge and attract more members.
“It wasn’t our goal to develop a technology for an elite group of professional golfers. We wanted to create a system accessible to all players, regardless of their handicap, and for different types of golf courses and golf-club budgets. And me@golf is the result: it is simple, intuitive, and can be used by every golfer regardless of their handicap throughout the entire golf season.”
Alcanada’s director of golf, Kristoff Both, has been impressed with the system – and the enthusiasm of golfers in using it.
He said: “We were delighted to be the first course to have me@golf installed. Visitors and members alike have embraced the technology with gusto. Some, who are very serious about improving their technique, say they will use the video to assess their swing, while others have been seen sitting on our terrace laughing at each other’s swings on their smartphones while eating tapas.
“The great thing about the me@golf technology is that it is there for everybody, whether they want to use the knowledge it gives them to improve or if they just want to point out flaws to each other over a beer. It’s a fabulous little tool to have on the golf course.”
Alcanada’s 7,108-yard, Trent Jones Jr-designed course has won a steady stream of awards since opening 12 years ago. It was recently voted runner-up in the ‘favourite course in Europe’ category of leading German magazine Golf Journal’s annual Golf Travel Awards, for the second successive year, having previously attained the number-one spot for an unprecedented five years in a row.
It was also awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by Leadingcourses.com – the highest level awarded by the website – making it one of just 12 clubs in Spain to attain the level. And, last year, it was ranked the highest-rated course in the Balearics by Golfboo, the world’s first golf travel search engine, and shortlisted for the title of Spain’s Best Golf Course 2014, in the inaugural World Golf Awards. What’s more, it was also voted ‘favourite course’ in Europe for a fourth year in a row by visitors to www.1golf.eu.
Alcanada sits in a breathtaking location overlooking the Bay of Alcudia. Adjacent to the Mediterranean – the only course next the sea on the island – Alcanada, which opened in October 2003, blends naturally into the typical Mallorcan terrain and takes its name from an island with a lighthouse, situated just offshore, which can be seen from most of the holes.
Magnificent mountain and sea views and a mixture of pine and olive groves – ideal for the myriad bird species recorded in a recent ornithological survey – provide the splendid setting for a round at Alcanada and the course is recognised by the golf industry as one of the finest venues in Spain and Europe and is a member of the prestigious World of Leading Golf collection.
In addition, the club boasts a centuries-old Mallorca clubhouse which offers guests the opportunity to sample regional specialties in its first-class dining facilities on a sun-baked terrace. A comprehensive golf academy, including a spacious short-game area and covered driving range, is also available.