The rise of robotics


At WINSTONgolf, Germany, Robotics & Technology Specialist Erwan Le Cocq often has 37 robotic automowers running across 200 hectares of putting greens at the 45-hole club.

They are controlled using an app and monitored with a cloud-based heat mapping system. Soil scout sensors are installed in four greens on each course, acting as an early warning system for heat stress and drought.

A Greensight drone flies three times a week capturing high resolution thermal images, which are overlain with the soil sensor reports to evaluate the turf health of greens.

Frenchman Le Cocq is in charge of robotics and technologies at WINSTONgolf, located in a remote region of north-eastern Germany, among forest, rivers and lakes.

He talks to Syngenta Golf about the rise of robotics in golf course maintenance and how driverless machinery is helping overcome systemic challenges to the turf industry, including labor shortages, recruitment scarcity and dependence on seasonal workers.

Le Cocq says investment in robotics has helped WINSTONgolf provide a safer working environment and freed up time and money for even greater focus on agronomy and turf management.