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Idea Fair

Automated Ball Picking

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

We renovated our driving range which included synthetic turf target greens, as well as grass fairways. Using a traditional, large picker would only be possible on the grass, and the synthetic greens would have to be picked by hand to avoid damage. With more than 80,000 golf balls hit on our range each day, we decided to add four robotic ball pickers to our range facility.

The automated pickers allow golf staff to spend more time with Members on the range and reduce the overall man-hours needed to maintain the facility reducing labor costs. They operate at under 58 decibels, just under the noise generated by an average conversation, allowing for a more serene range experience.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

Our robotic range pickers by Automated Outdoor Solutions (AOS) actively pick balls more than 18 hours each day with minimal charging time. The robotic pickers are monitored and controlled using a mobile app by our golf team as well as the AOS team.

Each robotic unit weighs less than 200 lbs, causing much less damage to the grass fairways than the large traditional picker. Robotic pickers also utilize a linear actuator that lifts the picker head at each turn, allowing it to pick on artificial turf without damaging it.

AOS maintains the units and wire grids, and monitors and insures the pickers.

Members enjoy seeing the ball picker robots at work and can often be caught showing them off to their guests. Members have also responded well to increased staff interaction and assistance on the range and around the practice facilities.

About the author

Stephen LoGiudice

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