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July 7, 2008

Golf for Techies;
NICOR Global;


We couldn't see Tiger, so we ran out to Dulles to check out The Presidential, a month-old corporate membership-only course off Route 28, aimed directly at business people. The site features a boatload of technology, both in the clubhouse and on the course, so we got VP Scott Stephens to take us on an exclusive tour (perk disclosure: Kobe beef chili dogs for lunch).


Course Prez Eric Wells led a group of 14 investors (mainly techy and real estate types though also Redskin great Darrell Green) in the three-year-old project that is just the second strictly corporate course in the country. Here's the amazing thing: "Unlike most courses, we want players using their PDAs, cell phones, and laptops on the course," Eric says. In fact, the entire course is wireless, not just the clubhouse.


But the clubhouse is pretty cool anyway: Scott shows off a rendering of a 60,000 SF addition, set to open in 2010, expanding the existing 17,000 SF. Of course it has HD flat screens and video conferencing. Even edgier: Starting next year, carts will have removable GPS technology, allowing players to get exact yardages for each shot, as well as instant messaging.


Lead instructor Fernando Martinez shows off the swing recording system at the course's Jack Nicklaus Teaching Academy. The system captures 220 images per second, so golfers can see how to fix their swing. "You tell someone their hands are too far forward and maybe it registers, but if they see it on a screen it makes a difference," he said. Golfers can also compare their swings to a database of professionals, including you know who.


That nifty device is part of the TOMI putting system that digitally records a player's putting stroke and shows the stroke plane on a computer screen. (Fernando—whose feet you see here—made us promise to say he made the putt, even though he seems to be facing the wrong way.) There is technology in the pro shop, including a computerized system to fit players with clubs.



NICOR Global founder Charles Dodd and CEO Rick Yost (20 years in cavalry and information systems in the Army) like to think they are hated worldwide by cyber terrorists, but loved here at home. The duo briefs Congress and federal agencies on emerging cyber threats thanks to an intricate network of contacts. "Most people know cyber terrorism needs to be stopped, but hardly know who these people are," Charles told us at the Steam Caf? in Northwest D.C., near their office. "They might as well be the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man." These guys are taking their cyber know-how and making it a business, offering defense firms consulting, products and training to keep data safe.


FedResults CEO Jim Beaupre was just elected to the executive board of the IAC (the Industry Advisory Council, we're sure we don't have to tell you), along with Topside Consulting's John Okay. The IAC is part of the American Council for Technology and helps its member companies connect with government agencies through programs and networking events. The picture was just an excuse to hear about Jim's car. He has a 2002 Corvette that he races up to 140 mph. Only where legal, of course.

David Stegon's editor wants more stories and more pictures and excuses to get outdoors, so send suggestions: David@Bisnow.com or 703-674-7718.

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