Technologies on Par for Golf Course Management
Golf courses are always looking to
cut a few strokes off the cost of daily and long term maintenance
projects. The goal is to reduce the amounts of applied chemicals,
water, and time necessary for maintenance without compromising the
quality of the turf and course features. In an innovative approach
to improving maintenance operations, several golf courses in
Monterey, California, turned to geospatial technologies.
Click to enlarge
In 2002, the courses hired a
consulting firm to conduct a pilot project demonstrating how
remotely sensed imagery and geospatial analysis provide visual aides
to help turf management staff improve water efficiency and properly
plan for chemical mixing and applications.
Using proprietary equations, the
consultant created satellite-imagery-derived products that
illustrate the turfgrass physical condition across whole golf
courses. The consultant used 1:400-scale, 70-centimeter resolution,
11-bit, 4-band, pan-sharpened imagery, orthorectified using a
10-meter digital elevation model. Healthy turf appears green, mildly
stressed turf appears yellow, and stressed turf appears red. The
consultant also contoured the turf conditions in the imagery
products to calculate the area of stressed sites. Knowing the size
and severity of a turf's site assists maintenance staff in the
adequate mixing and application of chemicals.
Another component of the pilot
project involved documenting the temporal change of course
conditions. For this process, the consultant created and overlaid
satellite-imagery-derived products from March 2002 and March 2003.
The results of this process showed the efficiency of past chemical
applications and offered course maintenance crews the opportunity to
cost-effectively plan future water and chemical application.
The pilot project has been a
great success, and Monterey golf courses are now expanding their use
of geospatial technologies. The courses, often criticized for
adversely affecting the environment, are seeking to use geospatial
and imagery products to contribute to the management, monitoring,
and conservation of local habitat. This gives the courses the chance
to be involved in major environmental monitoring projects that will
protect a wide range of animal and plant species that inhabit golf
courses while also enriching the game.
John J. Schweisinger, Turf
The Monterey, California, golf
courses hired Turf Image (http://www.turfimage.net/) to provide its Best
Management Practice turfgrass consulting and
satellite-imagery-derived products. Turf Image used imagery from
DigitalGlobe's (http://www.digitalglobe.com/) QuickBird satellite
and processed the data using TNTmips from Microimages, Inc. (http://www.microimages.com/).