The topic of drones is becoming more and more interesting around golf courses. A major reason for this is the constant drop in price. The use of drones in golf has many advantages, such as maintenance of the terrain, inspection, food delivery, and video recording. Drones were originally large and expensive – and you usually had to buy a camera that was mounted on the drone. Today we can get a very good drone for less than $1,000 with high quality camera. Whether these drones are already suitable for use on a golf course depends on the intended use. In this article, we will describe all the ways, advantages, disadvantages and roles of drones on golf courses. We can see drones are playing an important role in this sport, therefore, we will explain everything related to golf and drones in this article.
Drones in Everyday Golf Club Life
The dream of flying is as old as mankind. This is mainly due to the fact that flying opens up a completely new dimension of viewing in the truest sense – because while rail, road and shipping traffic move largely two-dimensionally, flying is pure three-dimensionality. Flying over the golf course and recording it all through the camera is one special experience. Drones are used on the golf course today, and there are more and more of them. Every professional golf club today has a couple of drones available, whether to record a tournament, maintain a field or monitor it.
Using a Drone to Deliver Food on Golf Course
Since the beginning of September 2018, golfers have been able to have food and drinks delivered to the golf course. And not by employees in a golf cart, but by air using a drone. For a fee of $3, players can order refreshments from the clubhouse using the smartphone app and have them fly to a selected landing site nearby.
Yariv Bash, CEO of Flytrex, explains the idea: “When it comes to the possibilities of drones, it literally means “sky is the limit”. From food deliveries for golfers to search and rescue missions or maintenance tasks : drones can be used in many areas of life.”
The Israeli start-up Flytrex, specializing in drone logistics , has teamed up with the American drone service EASE to test the flying delivery service in North Dakota. One of the biggest problems in the United States is meeting the stringent requirements and getting a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license to fly – that’s the United States Air Traffic Control Service. As an American company, EASE already has corresponding licenses.
How To Use Drones To Promote Gofl
Golf is a wonderful outdoor sport that has a lot to show. However, when viewed only from the bottom perspective, not all the beauty of the sport can be shown. Therefore, to see all the beauty that golf courses radiate, drones are used that have the ability to capture beautiful images and videos of these terrains. This promotes the sport and increases membership.
High Quality Footage Using Drones: The drones are equipped with HD cameras that deliver high-quality videos. They also feature a variety of obstacle avoidance sensors and stabilization technology that allows clean aerial images. Some drones also have the ability to mount their own cameras, so you can choose which camera to choose.
Drones Are Cheap: The price of drones is very affordable thesedays and different models can be found at different price ranges. Previously, helicopters knew how to shoot some aerial scenes over golf courses, but nowadays drones do it, which is much cheaper and more effectively. Good drones can be found for under $1,000. No prior knowledge is required to master drone management, but little training is required.
Creating a Virtual Maps Using Drones: Drones have the ability to record and make virtual video maps of golf courses. These maps are suitable for new and existing members. These sports facilities can be promoted with the help of these maps in order to get new members and keep existing ones. This allows every golf player to know and understand the golf course accurately to help them master and improve their game and know exactly where is which whole. This is just one example of the capabilities drones can provide.
If you are interested, you can check out my article about Multispectral Remote Sensing Drones For Golf Course
Drones That Track Golf Balls in Flight
As you probably know, playing with drones is a lot of fun. It is the clearly improved version of the remote control racing cars of our childhood. But little flying robots have several uses other than playing. Ross Beck, a drone enthusiast from the Seattle area, has designed after many tests a drone capable of tracking objects in flight at a speed of more than 135 km/h. With the speed of his device and the precision of his piloting, he is able to follow the ball before the shot and even on the green near the hole. It is frankly impressive. Everything is in the technique and the concentration during the piloting. He can even get ahead of the ball and take a point of view in front of it in mid-flight.
Rules For Use of Drones on the Golf Courses
Drones are ideal for documenting the golf course. However, you should note a few important rules: First of all, the right to yourself and your image still applies when using drones. Which means: Before photos and videos, including people, are published, you need the (best written) consent of the people depicted on them. If people cannot be identified, it is not required. Another aspect: You should avoid using drones when golfers are on the same fairway – even if you can hardly see or hear modern drones above a certain altitude. But if the drone is discovered, golfers could react irritated. If you take pictures during the game (with the consent of the golfers), a minimum flight height of 45-50 meters is recommended – otherwise there is a risk that the drone will be hit by a ball.
Problems That Drones Can Create on Golf Course
When professional golf tournaments are held, players need a lot of silence and concentration so they don’t make mistakes. Drones are not quiet, they make buzzing noise, which can interfere with players concetration during a tournament or training session. Also another danger is that drones can fall from the sky, which can be quite dangerous, especially in a place where there is a lot of people. Therefore, the use of drones on golf courses should only be when golf courses are empty and for the purpose of maintaining the terrain. The use of a drone should be avoided while a lot of people are on the field.
Drones Can Help For Golf Course Maintenance
One of the largest and most beautiful golf courses in the world has many flowers, shrubs and trees. All this gives a special beauty to golf courses, and it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain it. Pest infestation are also a problem and it is needed to keep all those trees and flowers healthy. Therefore, the use of drones for the purpose of monitoring and maintaining these golf courses can be extremely important. Drones have the ability to inspect the entire terrain within ten minutes (depending on how large the course is). After the inspection, people who maintain the golf course can go out into the field and make the necessary changes related to maintenance. There are also drones that have the ability to spray and maintain these plants and flowers. These are just some of the benefits drones bring to Golf Courses:
- Quality and fast golf course inspection
- Review possible damage that needs to be repaired
- Supervision and control of the golf course to see if there are any unusual activities
Use Of Drones To Create Photogrammetry Maps
With the help of drones, besides aerial photos and videos, you can take photogrammetric pictures of golf courses, allowing you to digitally map those same terrains and creating 3D maps. Drones such as DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, and DJI Inspire 2 that use high quality cameras can shoot top 4k movies. To capture photogrammetry, drones fly above the terrain and take photos at very short intervals of 0.5 or 1 seconds. With this, hundreds of golf course photos are generated. Subsequently, specialized software is used that brings together thousands of these photographs and creates a 3D terrain map. Some of the golf courses have problems with flooding in some areas and this can greatly help.
Designing and Construciton Golf Course Usign Drones
When designing and constructing a golf course, a detailed analysis of the area is required. It all depends on the topology of the land area, and after that the design is done which is the most complex and expensive part of this whole project. To greatly facilitate this work, drones are used in surveying to assist in the production of 3D photogrammetric images and map production. During construction, drones also monitor the flow of the project from the air and can use these photographs to make some adjustments if needed. The day-to-day construction process also shows the progress that has been made. This technology greatly reduces the cost of constructing and designing a golf course unlike before when drones were not available for commercial use.
Best 5 Drones For Golf Courses
1. DJI Mavic Pro
- Folded dimensions: 83 x 83 x 198 mm
- Weight: 734 g
- Video resolution: UHD 4k
- Sensor: Cmos 1 / 2.3 ”12.3 Mpx
- Lens: 35mm f / 2.2
- Battery life: 27 minutes
- Maximum range: 6 km
Although released in late 2016, the DJI Mavic Pro has features that are still very impressive to this day. Its camera has stabilization on 3 axes and can record videos in 4k at 30 fps or in Full HD at 96 fps. On the photo side, the DJI Mavic Pro captures 12 MP images from the 1 / 2.3 ″ CMOS sensor and supports the RAW format. It also has a long exposure mode. The flight performance is also impressive with a top speed of 64.8 km / h, perfect stability against winds up to 38.5 km / h and a range of 27 minutes. The DJI Mavic Pro can be controlled with a smartphone over short distances or with a remote control delivered with the drone, allowing control and video feedback up to 6 km away.
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
- Weight:1368 g
- Video resolution:UHD 4k
- Sensor:Cmos 1 ″ 20 Mpx
- Lens:24mm f / 2.8 – f / 11
- Battery life:About 30 minutes
- Maximum range:7 km
The DJI Phantom series has always been the most popular among general public photographers looking for the best possible image quality. The Phantom 4 pro has a large 1 ″ and 20 MP CMOS sensor. In addition to this large sensor, its main advantage is that it has a 24mm lens with a variable aperture ranging from f / 2.8 to f / 11. This variable aperture will allow you to control the amount of light captured other than with ISO sensitivity, thus avoidi ng overexposed scenes. On video, the DJI Phantom 4 pro provides 4k recording with excellent fluidity, even when the drone is moving quickly, changes direction or experiences light bursts. The Phantom 4 pro’s remote control has a large 5.5 ″ LCD screen providing 1080p video feedback. The brightness of this screen is about twice that of a smartphone, which allows you to maintain good visibility, even in direct sunlight. To sum up, the DJI Phantom 4 pro is the drone offering the best photo and video performance which will be ideal for shooting a golf courses.
3. DJI Inspire 2
- Weight: 3440 g
- Video resolution: 6K (6016 x 3200, 16: 9)
- Sensor: 24 Mpx or Micro 4/3 20.8 Mpx
- Objective: Interchangeable
- Battery life: 23 minutes
- Maximum range: 7 km
DJI Inspire 2 is designed for the most demanding photographers and filmmakers. This new model can work with the DJI X5S or DJI X7 camera. The DJI X5S has a micro 4/3 sensor and can capture 5.2K video at 30 fps or 4K at 60 fps, using H.265 compression at 100 Mbps. In photos, the X5S captures 20 MP images and has the RAW format. 8 lenses from 9 mm to 45 mm are available for the mount of the X5S . The DJI X7 has a 24 MP full-frame sensor that can record Apple ProRes RAW videos in 6K 14-bit at 23.976 fps. Despite weighing more than 3 kg, the Inspire 2 has impressive flight capabilities. It can indeed go from 0 to 80 km/h in just 5 seconds and reach a maximum of 94 km/h thanks to its 4 rotors each offering a thrust of 2 kg. It has a dual battery system allowing a flight time of up to 27 minutes.
4. DJI Mavic Air
- Folded dimensions:168 × 83 × 49mm
- Video resolution:4K 60fps
- Sensor:CMOS 1 / 2.3 ″ 12 Mpx
- Lens:24mm f / 2.8
- Battery life:21 minutes
- Maximum range:10 km
The DJI Mavic Air is the second smallest drone of the brand after the DJI Spark, but unlike the latter, its wings are foldable, which limits the risk of breakage during transport and even allows it to be carried in a pocket. Do not be influenced by the size of the Mavic Air , this small machine has performance worthy of a much larger drone. It is even the first foldable drone capable of capturing 4k videos at 60 frames per second. The DJI Mavic Air is equipped with many intelligent functions. It can follow moving subjects, turn around them on a pre-coordinated path, detect obstacles in 3 directions (front, bottom, rear) and create 32 MP sphere panoramas. Compared to the brand’s other models, the Mavic Air is positioned between the DJI Spark and the Mavic Pro. It will be perfect for any photographer or videographer looking for an excellent drone without looking for the best in terms of autonomy and flight range.
5. DJI Spark
- Unfolded dimensions: 143 × 143 × 55 mm
- Weight: 300g
- Video resolution:Full HD 1920 × 1080 30p
- Sensor: Cmos 1 / 2.3 ″ 12 Mpx
- Lens: 25mm f / 2.6
- Battery life: 16 minutes
- Maximum range: 2 km
The DJI Spark is the smallest and cheapest drone from DJI. With a weight of only 300 g for dimensions of 143 × 143 × 55 mm, it is ideal for traveling. However, its low weight offers less resistance to winds, which can degrade the fluidity of the video. The DJI Spark is simple to control and can even be controlled by gesture when it’s close to you. However, the remote control to control the drone is up to 2 km away is sold separately. Without it, the drone can be controlled from a smartphone, but it will be impossible to fly it more than 100 meters away and 50 meters high. Despite these few drawbacks, the DJI Spark will still be sufficient for beginners who do not need 4k video. This is your cheapest drone from a list that could be used for golf.
Famous Drone Golf Course Videos by Drone
As we have gone through and discussed in this article all the possibilities of how drones can help out to build and maintain a golf courses, we will now see how it looks on the video materials we have put here. We’ll take a look at some of the most beautiful terrain and see what it looks like from the air.