Carlos Santos became increasingly excited when talking about the Jones Creek Teaching Center.
The 2,700-square-foot facility, located at Jones Creek Golf Club, features state-of-the-art video equipment and a driving range accessible at both ends.
Golf manufacturer Taylor Made has one of its six club-fitting systems at the facility.
The system features black suits equipped with sensors that track the golf swing and create a three-dimensional image on the computer screen. The images can be used to fit customers with clubs and can be burned to a DVD so that golfers can review their swing later.
There is also a standard video analysis room, which opens up to the driving range like a giant garage. Santos, a teaching pro and the club's general manager, is hoping the facility can be part of a push to change Jones Creek's image.
He said the club has a reputation of being exclusive, but he wants to reach out to the public.
A membership push is expected to get underway soon, after its purchase by Jones Creek Investors LLC earlier this month. The club took a hit when brothers Danny and Casey Cope attempted to buy the course last year.
After the purchase failed, the Jones Creek investors, which include businessman Ray Mundy and golf director Gregg Hemann, took over management operations in March.
The club was in rough shape. Its members were unhappy. And now Hemann and Mundy are among those charged with turning it around.
"We want to do everything we can to add value to being a member here," Hemann said, "with the primary focus being growing membership."
Hemann has been with the club off and on since 1991. He was at Belle Meade for more than two years, and returned to Jones Creek after the Copes' attempted purchase fell apart.
Mundy was with the club before that. After Windows 95 was released, Mundy realized the DOS-based systems that clubs were using could be kicked to the curb.
He partnered with a computer programmer and, working primarily from the top floor of the Jones Creek clubhouse, developed a Windows-based software that runs the club's operations. He then took it to the market as Crescent Systems and sold the technology to other clubs.
When the tech bubble burst in 2001, Crescent Systems took a hit. Mundy sold his shares in 2004, but he's remained in the golf business as a consultant and launched myclubsolutions.com last year.
The Jones Creek purchase gives him a chance to stay involved.
"We really see this as an opportunity to reposition Jones Creek as a premier golf course in the area," Mundy said. "We want to have the complete golf experience."
Tee it up for children's health
The Junior League of Augusta is holding its fourth-annual golf tournament Monday at West Lake Country Club.
Lunch will be served at 11 a.m., and the tournament will kick off with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
The League held a pre-party Thursday that featured music, food and a silent auction.
"The golfers and sponsors have such a great time," tournament co-chair Elizabeth Jackson said in a release. "It's a fun way to help support the Junior League of Augusta's Healthy Child Initiatives."
The League has dedicated 2005-2010 to its Healthy Child Initiative, during which all of the group's efforts will focus on children's health.
For tournament details, call (706) 736-0033.
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