Last year, Greensight – a well known company for using drones in golf courses as well as for their interactive job board (Turfcloud) – offered me the opportunity to work with them to create the ultimate job board for golf courses! A unique platform with all your employees daily task; your robots; your soil sensors and all your drone images resulted from it.
As a golf course that already used interactive job boards, robots, sensors and drones as their everyday practices, I could not skip that opportunity, but after a year of extensive testing and improvement, I am so proud and excited by this new portal that I wanted personally to share that with you!
• What is Turfcloud?
Turfcloud 2.0 is a refreshed and improved version of the original Turfcloud, and more than a – well needed – design improvement, the new Turfcloud is adding new functionalities:
- Live job board:
- TV display for your team
- Smart schedule for you and your assistants
- Automatic report on hours and budget
- Map view including:
- Soil sensors
- Drone live and past images
What is the job board?
The job board is the core of the Turfcloud. It’s cloud based and live for everyone. I can add or change a task for one of the staff and without the need to refresh, all users will see the change in a matter of seconds.
“But what makes this job board better than the other competitor I tried?“
My previous experience with other job boards was always ending in the same way, with +/- 20 staff, it gets clutery really fast, and confusing for our guys. What’s my first or second job? Who’s working with me? Etc.
Turfcloud has this amazing design where each user will have a tile with their job 1, 2 and 3 in order, and with an optional note for each if needed.
In the background, each task will record the number of hours it took to complete. Hours that you can access in the “report” pages and get the most updated data you need to write your report or budget plan.
I have participated a lot on the scheduling page development and a feature I pushed a lot for was to have the choice to plan either by task, or by staff members.
We use the “by task” feature when we need to schedule multiple staff for the same task at once on the fly (i.e hand mowing or hand watering..) but the “by staff” option for more in-depth planning and to make sure everyone has something to do.
The job board also use an AI that learn every day from your operation and will recommend you daily the tasks you are more likely to schedule. I personally find it very useful and it save great time on a daily basis.
Once you get the plan done, it is instantly displayed on the “job board” menu, which is what you would display in your staff room or in the shop.
A particularly interesting option for us (big crew) is the ability to give different rights to each person. Some (like our team coach) can add or update jobs for the day or the next, where our regular greenkeeper can only view their day-to -day schedule.
This avoids a lot of confusion where our guys would look at the schedule for tomorrow and do the wrong task when we update it again.
For me, the job board is simple, quick, always live, and in a modern design.
What is the map?
The map is THE feature that makes the Turfcloud stand out from the others. As a highly digitized golf course, we use a plethora of websites and apps to access our technology:
- Husqvarna autoconnect to control our mower.
- Husqvarna FleetService to control the fleet at once.
- Soil Scouts to check our sensors connectivity, moisture level and temps.
- Turfcloud Dashboard for our drone images.
With the new Turfcloud, I got all of that in one place, for all of us! No more account or password sharing.
Not only does it make it easier and quicker for not going back and forth, but it even pushes the boundaries of each technology a step further!
Imagine, you can now overlay your sensors and drone images. Allowing you to cross compare each info to have a deeper understanding of what’s going on out there!
But let’s break it down to each feature:
Here at Winston, we have around 37 automower mowing on all of our 3 golf courses at all times. Spread over 200ha. It is very hard for me to keep track of all of them. With the Map & Robot menu, I and everyone on my staff can track each and every mower connected to my AutoConnect app. We can see their position on the map, if they are on alarm, working or charging. But better, we can control them all, independently or at once. I love this feature more than anything, heavy rain? Park them all. Tournament in half an hour? Park them all. A staff member needs to fix an irrigation head on the fairway? Park just that one mower, all from your office.
Turfcloud also developed its own heat map tool by recording all positions of the mower in the last 24 hours. Those maps already helped us a lot to improve our installation by prioritizing other areas and getting more from our mower.
• Soil scouts sensors:
About two years ago, we installed 27 sensors in our greens. 3 sensors, on 4 greens, on each course. We use them as early warning to detect dry spots, over watering and to get our greens as consistent as possible.
It’s been one of the best tech we ever bought and uses that feature multiple times every day. First things in the morning? Check which course needs more attention. Spare time in the afternoon? Check which green can do with a bit of hand watering. Setting the irrigation program in the evening? Check how much running time each course needs. With fresh info every 20 minutes, Soil Scouts is an option you want to always have an eye on.
The map / soil scouts dashboard is super practical. You can either display the sensor’s level directly on the map, or can look at the entire list in a pop-up window. Even better, you can click on one and look at the history curve, to see degradation or improvement.
We run (or should I say, fly) our Greensight drone 3 times a week. Each flight gives us a high resolution, an NDVI and a thermal map. With 45 holes, we hardly can look over the entire course on a daily basis. With the drone we can now fly it, wait a couple of hours and get the map processed directly into our portal, accessible to all of us.
There is also the option to see the drone flying live directly on the map. Very useful for the pilot, or even the super in his office to know when the flight will be completed.
But again, having all these tools in one place can help you to have a deeper understanding of your golf course. By simply overlaying the soil scouts sensors with the drone images, it will make your analysis of the situation a lot easier and more precise.
Here are some examples of overlaying capability.
So… Technology is great but:
“I don’t have automower or drone, why would I need one?“
You don’t need to have all the techs to use the Turfcloud. Each feature can be used independently, like the job board.
“I am already paying big $ for all my techs, I don’t want to spend more for using it!”
Here is your luck! Greensight is making the job board free to access for everyone! Simply click on the link below to register and start playing with your next generation job board.
“So… It’s the best platform and everything is perfect, right?”
Well… not exactly. Even if we spent a lot of time developing it, there is always room for change and improvement. For me, there is few point that I would like to see improvement:
- Personal access and info: I would like to see a way for each of our guys to have a private block note, with personalized access, so maybe only our spray techs can see that note. Or maybe the guys want to track their own projects…
- Based on that single access, I would like to see the ability for each of our staff to change their hours, and only their. So they can better refine how long each task took.
- Improved alignment of the drone map. As some may notice, our Soil Scouts location has been made in google maps, but sometimes our drone doesn’t perfectly overlay. Nothing too important when you know it, but I would prefer it if I didn’t had to think!
These are just ideas I wish to see, but try it, make your own view and let’s build a community together!
Again, this post is not sponsorised by Greensight, but as an hardcore user of this new platform for over a year now, I am sincerely believing that every golf course out there can benefit from it.
• Usefull links:
Greensight official website: https://www.greensightag.com/golf
Greensight press relese: https://www.greensightag.com/logbook/husqvarna-and-greensight-partner-to-launch-first-major-golf-and-sports-turf-management-software-to-incorporate-autonomous-mowing-systems
Turfcloud direct access: https://greensight.turfcloud.com/signup