5 ways to use a drone on your course

Commentary by Caleb Amundson

Golf has always sustained a connection with nature in the midst of a technology driven world. And now, there is a means to bring nature and technology together through drones.

With the immersion of drones, golf courses can utilize drones to enhance a multitude of factors. By using a drone to take a stunning video of your golf course, it becomes a marketing asset in your tool chest to create an immersive feeling for those deciding whether or not to book a tee time. In addition, a drone can be used for aerial mapping to create an interactive experience for golfers. Advances in drone technology also allow us to harness their capabilities to help maintain many facets of the golf course. Lastly, recurring drone films allow for a golf course to show off their maturation process over time.

Increase membershipsAt its core, a golf course is a business and is only as successful as how many golfers use their facilities. Golf courses that utilize a drone for filming their course will ultimately see an uptick in members due to their many benefits. More memberships and booked tee times for a course will lend to a healthier business over the long term.

Marketing your beautyIt can be difficult to stand out as a pristine golf course. In today’s society, people will most likely go to your website before making any decisions on whether to play or join a particular course. By utilizing a drone video, a golf course can really separate themselves from the competition by showcasing their individuality and beauty. The video can be displayed on a golf course's website to create an immersive experience that can be emotionally felt by the potential customer. As humans, our decisions are driven by emotional connection and a connection to the beautiful landscape of a golf course can be palpable. In addition, the video’s can be displayed in advertisements as well as in your club house to add another layer of class. Showing of the beauty of a golf course is a never-ending benefit.

Interactive experienceGolfers are always looking for that extra edge in determining the best club to use for a particular shot. Drone’s can be used to get aerial mapping of a course which can be turned into an interactive experience for a golfer to use. To a golfer that is looking to shave off an extra stroke or two, having such an advanced tool to use is awesome and incredibly alluring. Having an interactive experience could be the difference maker for a potentials members decision to join or not.

Study and Maintenance of the CourseGolf Courses are beautiful and that comes at the price of insuring proper maintenance. Drone’s are so advanced these days that they can be used to study a course. First, a drone can be used to study the health of a course from a different perspective since we can only see so much from the ground. In addition, a drone can be used to analyze the irrigation and general health of the course that is unseen to the naked eye. Being able to know which areas require more maintenance than others allows the golf course to deploy resources appropriately rather than at random.

Documented Maturation of the CourseA detailed historical representation of how a golf course matures over time is also helpful. Imagine being able to go back five years from now and watch an aerial video of your golf course to see what has been going well and what has not. Instilling this type of feedback loop will be valuable in the decision making process for new initiatives for a golf course.

These are the few areas with which the utilization of a drone for golf course marketing and maintenance will be beneficial. This can be done inhouse or a golf course can hire it out. There are a number of companies that specialize in drone use for golf courses.


Caleb Amundson is Vice President of CartPros.com, an online golf cart parts store designed for fleet managers and consumers alike. He is a golfer has been involved with the golf industry for over six years now working with golf cart fleet managers from a dealer level and also worked as a manufacturer rep for a major Golf Cart OEM. Reach him at camundson@cartpros.com


It is true, drones can be very useful, for a variety of projects. That said, I've seen more money wasted on drones, in the last five years. Golf course photography, used to do everything pointed out in the story, is harder from a drone, than the ground. The higher you go, the more you see. That includes cart paths, dead grass, infrastructure, like pump stations, etc. Photo light is still the first hour and last hour after sunrise and before sunset, with some extras time needed in wooded courses. Drones flying at noon, take bad photos, just like they do from the ground:)! You still need a golf course photographer, to accomplish the goals in the article. Quality of equipment. Most drones can't hold high end caneras still. Most drones I've seen, don't use propose equipment anyway. Check with your graphics person or agency to verify the photos or video opperaters are shooting is high enough quality for your use. @@ Always co-ordinate photo shoots with the golf course superintendent!!!! The marketing department/person may not know about course projects going on. Photos or video, shot to promote your course, should make the. Ourselves look better than it is! That's the photographer's goals. That only happens in perfect light. Grey skies and cloudy days are for playing golf:)! Drones are cool and useful, but take even more planning that ground photography. Just a few tips. Check out Swedish photographer, Jacob Sjoman for great examples of using his drone to supplement ground photography. His latest work in Australia has sone classic examples. Especially his drone shots of Tom Doak's architectural work at Tara Iti! Good luck:)!

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