The city of Lexington is launching a program intended to increase the use of public golf courses and reward the players. As a result, golfers are likely to see video cameras at some holes beginning this spring.
The Lexington courses will be the first in the bluegrass state to participate in a golf prize program with the private firm, Eagle Watch Golf. Eagle Watch was officially formed in August.
President Clint McKinley says the idea was developed last year by a group of golfers and one patented it. The plan for the Lexington public courses includes placing motion sensitive cameras behind par three holes at Kearny Hill Links, Tates Creek, Lakeside, and Gay Brewer Picadome golf courses.
McKinley says videos of golfers will be shot every day, every round. “When the golfer comes up to the tee and hits their shot, their shot is recorded and if they hit a hole in one or hit it within a certain proximity of the hole, either one foot or two foot, they win a prize. The prize is tied to advertisers that advertise on that hole,” said McKinley.
City council gave initial approval to the golf prize plan Tuesday. Lexington Parks Deputy Director Bryan Rogers says it's expected to increase play at the courses. “We feel like it might drive our rounds at each particular course, maybe five to ten percent. Now, that would be a conservative estimate. I’m sure the Eagle Watch guys would tell you hopefully ten to 20 percent. But if we can get a five to ten percent uptick in the number of rounds played, it will be well worth it to us,” said Rogers.
There’s no extra cost to golfers and Rogers says the program is not costing the city any money this year. “It’s only a one year contract right now and so, when we go to renew next year, we will have to sit down with them and work out a mutually beneficial fee that the city would pay, if any, for the second year,” added Rogers.
Eagle Watch President Clint McKinley says the company is launching the video prize program in five other states. The company is planning to add other Kentucky communities next year.