Current Issue

  • Virtual Technology Changes Golf Course Design

    Whether it’s ChatGPT writing college term papers or movie buffs debating the plot of the latest “Mission Impossible” film, the subject of artificial intelligence, or AI, has hit a fever pitch. Some of that is attributable to the world’s richest man. Elon Musk has made some apocalyptic predictions concerning AI, the kind of machines-taking-over-the-world stuff that has been fodder for Sci-Fi novels since the 1800s.Read More

  • New Tech Opens Doors At Orange Lake Resort

    Rarely can anything be called a universal hit. That is especially true of something in golf with a six-figure price tag and the potential to close down a revenue source for weeks or months during construction. As dry-mouth moments go, nothing causes more sleepless nights than betting the business on a capital improvement project.    Read More

  • Residential Golf Revival

    In the boom times for golf that were kindled by the Tiger Woods phenomenon, it seemed that everyone wanted to play the game. The demand for golf dovetailed with the housing boom, leading to an explosion of upscale daily fee courses that were the centerpiece for residential communities. Seemingly overnight, residential construction became the driving force in the golf industry.Read More


Online Exclusives

  • Golf Business LIVE - Tech Talks
  • Golf Business LIVE - Tech Talks

    It’s the first edition of the NEWEST member to the Golf Business LIVE family: Golf Business LIVE - Tech Talks, hosted by Golf Business columnist and longtime NGCOA contributor Harvey Silverman. The emergence of technology across all corners of the golf industry is unmistakable. Each episode, Harvey Silverman will welcome experts and leaders to explore how this tech is advancing, streamlining, and propelling golf businesses from coast to coast.Read More

September 2023

AI Can Be A-OK for Course Management

By Doug McPherson

Two letters are changing the way the world works: AI – artificial intelligence. You can think of it as the simulation of human intelligence by machines or software. And AI isn’t just for big business or the ivory towers of academia. Today, AI is making its way into golf course management –– saving lots of time and money by improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experiences and optimizing maintenance and resource allocation.

In essence, AI is making it easier to manage golf courses. Sure, you’ve already started seeing – and possibly using – robotic mowers and range ball collectors to reduce labor costs and add efficiencies. Plus, AI has already made deep inroads into analyzing player performance data, such as swing metrics, shot accuracy and putting stats that help golfers better understand their strengths and weaknesses.

But that’s just the start of AI’s impact on golf. Now, smart irrigation systems are analyzing weather data, nutrient levels, temperature, moisture levels and other factors that are improving irrigation, saving water, reducing chemical usage – all while improving turf health. What’s more, drones armed with cameras and sensors are surveying courses for better course design, maintenance and planning.

Here are a few more ways AI stands to benefit golf course management:

Data Analysis and Insights: AI can process vast amounts of data collected from many sources, such as customer behavior, weather conditions and equipment performance. And analyzing that data gives you insights into player preferences, peak hours and popular amenities, which can help your decisions on pricing, promotions and facility improvements.

Demand Prediction and Pricing: AI algorithms can predict future demand for tee times based on historical data, holidays and weather forecasts. This lets you optimize pricing strategies, ensuring that tee times are appropriately priced to maximize revenue during peak hours and minimize waste during off-peak times.

Personalized Customer Experiences: AI can analyze player preferences, playing habits and previous interactions to provide personalized recommendations for services, events and golf-related products. This can boost customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Resource Management: AI can help allocate resources efficiently by analyzing maintenance schedules, equipment usage and labor requirements. This ensures that tasks like course maintenance, staff assignments and equipment upkeep are optimized for cost-effectiveness and player enjoyment.

Weather Impact Mitigation: AI can analyze weather forecasts and historical data to predict how weather conditions might affect the golf course. This information can help you make informed decisions about scheduling, such as delaying or rescheduling tee times to minimize the impact of adverse weather.

Inventory Management: AI can assist in managing inventory by analyzing historical data and current trends in merchandise sales. This ensures that your pro shop has the right stock levels and offers products that resonate with players.

Automated Customer Interaction: AI-powered chatbots can handle routine customer inquiries, such as tee time reservations, course information, and event details. This frees up staff to focus on more complex tasks and provides instant responses to customer queries.

Security and Surveillance: AI-enabled security systems can monitor your premises using video analytics. The systems also can detect unusual activities and notify security personnel in real time.

So how do you get started with AI? Experts say the first step is to educate yourself. Begin by gaining a basic understanding of what AI is, its applications and its potential benefits for your course. There are many online resources, courses and tutorials that can help you learn about AI at your own pace.

Depending on your technical expertise and resources, you can choose from several AI tools and platforms, such as user-friendly platforms like Google Cloud AI, Amazon Web Services AI or Microsoft Azure AI, which all offer interfaces for implementing AI solutions.

Golf Insights by AI, an organization in Greenwood Village, Colorado, recommends starting by examining business objectives or areas where AI can provide the most immediate benefit. This could be improving customer service, automating routine tasks like scheduling, personalizing marketing campaigns or using AI for predictive maintenance to prevent equipment breakdowns.

It's also a good idea to start with user-friendly AI solutions with good customer support, and be sure to offer adequate staff training.


Leave a Comment



Featured Resource

Owner's Manual

Owners Manual IconBrought to you by Yamaha
Visit the Owner’s Manual library within the GB Archive for practical, small business insights and know-how for your golf operation.Read More



Connect With Us

facebooktwitterNGCOABuyers GuideYouTube