Unlocking a Sustainable Future for Golf Courses

Singapore: The Covid-19 pandemic is shining new light on advanced technology and sustainability that can provide significant long-term benefit to the golf industry.

That’s the view of Bobby Carrington, a Tech Portfolio Advisor for a private equity company in New York City and Head of Customer Success at Brain Pool Tech, a company that is pioneering drone technology and an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).

Speaking during a webinar addressing Why New Technology is Now Essential in Golf Course Management, Carrington said: “Looking at what is studied about innovation in the time of crisis – this could be war or pandemics – I see there’s been key shifts in thinking and doing that expedites innovation.

“One shift is that an industry starts uniting around a purpose. Maybe for golf courses that would be how to unlock their most sustainable future.

“That involves using drone technology for on-going measurements of all parts of maintenance, or using drones to realise that with current remote management situations, golf courses can do so much more or be so much more equipped to handle it.

“Another shift we see is that when organisations grow, they harden their structures to create things like predictability, efficiency and stability. A crisis changes all of that and really enables innovation. Lastly, during a crisis, businesses see the systems that run their organisations differently, which puts a spotlight on vulnerabilities that they’ve ignored or are just plain unaware of.”

Hosted by Brain Pool Tech and presented by the AGIF, the webinar participants also included Chris Gray, Head of Sustainability and Agronomy for Asia at The R&A, Owen Hester, Founder and President at Green Dynasty, and Kai Voges, Co-Founder and CEO of Brain Pool Tech.

Brain Pool Tech was founded in 2018 by Voges and Cullen Owens. Carrington said: “They saw drone technology had unbelievable potential for reaching industry sustainability goals and developing best practices for operational teams, because what gets measured gets managed. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

“You can fly a drone for an hour on a golf course and you can have millions of centimetres of precision data points analysed. But there are huge mathematical and engineering challenges to understand. What can you do with all this data to actually enable measurable best practices?

“Right now in golf we see substantial value in construction, refurbishment and also in innovative mitigation strategies. At Brain Pool, we also have an initiative to work with the United Nations and governments to help them optimise data to tackle natural disaster management.”

In golf, drone technology can be a valuable tool for tournament sponsors.

“We have a mobile app for golf tournaments and golf clubs. At January’s SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa, we tracked data showing all the people who were using our mobile app. You could see the aggregated app use. This is extremely valuable for sponsors as they can see exactly where to position themselves best to optimise their daily operations,” said Carrington, adding that Brain Pool has set up a programme which offers 100% legal framework for drone flying in your country.

“This can sound very intimidating for a club. But this programme is set up from a subscription service where you don’t own the drone and you don’t process the data. We provide the procedures to set up your own mitigation strategy that optimises your resources option.

“When everything opens up next month the plan is to work with three golf courses. We’ve put together an easy structure to produce an eight-month efficiency and sustainability report. We analyse player movement, water usage, pesticide, fertiliser and labour optimisation,” he said.

*To view this webinar on You Tube, please click the link: https://youtu.be/JkXiAj7R9_s

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