Using Drones for Golf Course Management
For a long time, golf course management has been tedious and labor-intensive. Even with technological advancements, managing all the demands of a complex golf course is challenging. That’s why many golf clubs turn to drones to help them get more done in less time.
The use of drones for golf course management has snowballed in the last few years. Aerial imagery provided by UAVs is an expected tool in golf course management. They can provide valuable information about the health and growth of the turfgrass and vegetation, monitor irrigation systems, identify exact areas that need attention and provide players with the ultimate experience.
Turfgrass, sandtraps and environmental monitoring
Using a drone to monitor turfgrass health is a great way to save time and money by reducing the time spent walking around the course for manual inspection. Greenskeepers can use drone imagery to identify areas that need additional watering or fertilizer applications.
Sand traps sometimes need to be addressed because they’re hard to access and inspect on foot. Drones allow greenskeepers to quickly survey the sand traps from above to see if they need more sand or maintenance.
Drones are excellent tools for wildlife monitoring because they allow you to see what animals are living on your property without disturbing them. In addition, drones enable you to keep track of birds nesting in trees or bushes within the golf course’s boundaries before gardeners trim branches back. The health of plants and greenery contributes to the beautification of golf courses. Drones help greenskeepers monitor vegetation growth, identify plant diseases and prevent pest infestations.
After a heavy storm, greenskeepers must check for any damage or obstacles that may make the course unplayable. Drones can survey the entire area to identify places that need immediate attention.
Irrigation system monitoring
A common problem on golf courses is leaks in the irrigation system, which can lead to wasted water, damage to turfgrass and increased maintenance costs. In addition, water leaks could lead to golf course closures, resulting in lost revenue, wages, and unhappy players.
Drones allow you to monitor the irrigation system remotely without having someone physically walk the entire course looking for leaks or other problems. Drone services also allow golf course managers to identify areas where modifications can be made to enhance playability or meet accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Drone services can create maps of the golf course, which is helpful for planning and identifying terrain changes. Suppose there is a problem with areas of flooding that could cause erosion or sinking. In that case, drone imagery can capture images of the golf course that is then stitched together, called photogrammetry, to create a 3D model. Managers can use this visual to detect erosion or sinking that could alter the state of the course and affect players’ games. 3D mapping can help to catch these issues before a major problem occurs.
Photogrammetry can also be used when constructing a new golf course or expanding an existing one. 3D mapping provides measurements and contour lines to help determine the ideal locations to design the fairways, sandtraps and holes.
Golf course drone photography is essential to showcase the beauty and complexity of a golf course. Aerial photography captures magnificent high-resolution images that golf clubs can use to build a comprehensive marketing kit. Compile a gallery of photos and videos to promote your golf course on your website, social media, brochures and more. The bird’s eye view shows players the course’s layout, the club’s amenities, and other appealing surrounding features that could help increase membership.
Promote your golf course with a hole-by-hole interactive virtual tour. Illuminate the quality of the course to entice new members and offer players a way to strategize and improve their game. Provide caddy tips and hole descriptions to help players choose the most efficient golf club and improve their game, thus reducing their handicap.
An interesting use for drone footage is to create aerial pathways which show golfers videos and models of the hole from the ball’s perspective. You can create a digital yardage book for a smartphone that allows players to book a tee time or see the yards from where they are to the center of the green. This technology will speed up the game by preplanning and eliminating blind spots. Course owners can place messages and advertisements within the app, allowing cross-selling and upselling to patrons while providing a modern amenity.
Drones are affordable and easily accessible and can fly multiple times to capture the evolution of the golf course as its beauty changes with the seasons. The drone camera produces high-quality stills and videos that any marketing team would be confident to use.
Are you using a drone to manage your golf course?
It’s not hard to see how a drone can make the day-to-day management of a golf course run smoother. A quick fly over the greens will alert to areas that need immediate attention, track potential problems and prevent massive, costly repairs.
The simple incorporation of a drone service can increase membership and revenue while reducing costs spent on ground inspections and repairs that could close down the course. Make that ACE shot with drone services.