Fellow alumni remember Garrett Bernichon as a member of East Islip High School’s Class of 2011, but golfers may now recognize him as the co-inventor of the recently introduced Course Counsel
iPhone app, which helps players improve their game and advises them on which club to use.
“Course Counsel was my good friend John Skubic's idea,” Bernichon explained. “It is an iPhone app that is designed to aid golfers on the golf course. Using the GPS in the iPhone, we were able to calculate the distance of each shot of the golfer. By doing this, the app can then keep a ‘live’ average distance for each club the golfer uses. In addition to this, the golfer can set his own clubs and also use a built-in map feature to calculate how far they are from the hole. The app can even recommend the proper club to use, based on the averages. Course Counsel also has a scorecard, keeps track of over/under par, and now provides an option to tweet your score with Twitter.”
Bernichon and Skubic spent approximately three months developing the app, which took over 5,000 lines of code. “We split the app into smaller, more manageable projects that each of us would work on,” recalled Bernichon. “We pieced together our work and eventually were able to produce a polished app ready for Apple’s App Store.” The finished app retails for 99 cents and has received very positive reviews.
Bernichon is currently studying computer engineering at Purdue
University in West Lafayette, Ind. Founded in 1869, Purdue is famous for
its competitive engineering programs and curricula. “I love it at
Purdue, and there is definitely a lot of opportunity here,” he said.
The college sophomore’s experience in computer programming, both at home and in East Islip’s schools, came in handy. “I had some programming background coming into this project,” Bernichon said. “I was a student in Raymond Willie's AP computer science class. I really learned a lot from him and he's a great teacher. I know that Mr. Willie’s projects pushed me to learn more about programming and certainly gave me a head start compared to other students. I’ve also had a lot of inspiration from my father, a software engineer, and have also received ideas and feedback from both my family and John's family. John and I both bought an iOS development book and taught ourselves from it. Course Counsel is written in the Objective-C programming language, and in the same semester that we developed the app, we were enrolled in a class called C Programming for Engineers.”
He already has a fan in his former EI teacher, Raymond Willie. “I purchased Course Counsel and it is a great app,” said Willie. “I am pleased to recognize Garrett’s success.”