Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Dallas-Based Graze Launches Robot Golf Ball Pickup Solution for Golf Courses, Driving Ranges

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Pity the poor golf ball picker. They spend their days driving a cart-like tractor all over a giant range, scooping up thousands of balls—and the whole time, long rows of golfers indulge their second-favorite sport: launching golf balls at the ball picker driver.

Ball picker drivers survive thanks to a metal cage that protects them from 100-MPH Titleists, Srixons, Callaways, and Wilsons. Still, the indignity of it all!  How would you like your job to BANG BANG BANG with nonstop percussion as balls (often intentionally, sometimes inadvertently) ricochet off your workspace?

Thankfully, a solution is at hand. Dallas-based Graze—which launched its commercial-grade autonomous robot lawn mower just last month—has unveiled an attachment it says will “revolutionize” the way golf courses and driving ranges manage ball collection.

The 5-foot wide Single Section Golf Ball Picker “ensures optimal maneuverability and precision in diverse golf course landscapes,” the company says. Equipped with a split drum design, the attachment enhances the robot mower’s agility, “enabling it to navigate through various terrains and tight spaces with ease.”

‘A more intelligent and efficient approach’

“This attachment isn’t just a tool; it’s a step towards a more intelligent and efficient approach to maintaining golf courses,” Graze CEO Logan Fahey said in a statement. “With the ability to autonomously collect golf balls both day and night, our ball picker attachment is an essential addition to any modern golf course looking to enhance its maintenance operations.”

By converting the company’s electric robot mowers into “autonomous ball collection units,” Graze doesn’t mean to put the poor golf ball retriever people out of work. Instead, it says the solution will “enable maintenance staff to focus on other crucial tasks.”

“This efficiency not only extends operational hours but also minimizes ball loss, significantly boosting productivity on the golf course,” Graze said.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • After testing the commercial robotic mower at DFW Airport last summer, Dallas-based Graze is now putting its G3 model on the market for pre-order. It can mow 1.6 acres an hour with 8 hours of runtime for airports, golf courses, and more, the company says.

  • Frisco Station is getting its first-ever entertainment venues in a one-two zeitgeist punch. Pickle and Social, a pickleball destination with “world-class” indoor and outdoor courts, will be paired with Fairway Social, a “one-of-a-kind experience” with simulators that feature 130 golf courses and 10 other sports for guests of all ages.

  • The clubs in Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Rancho Santa Margarita, California, all feature stunning views and vistas, adding to what Arcis Founder and CEO Blake Walker calls his “irreplaceable portfolio” of almost 70 golf clubs—the second-most in the U.S. after only fellow Dallas company Invited.

  • NBA legend Michael Jordan turned 60 on February 17. To mark the occasion, Jordan and Jordan Brand awarded Beyond the Ball and 47 other U.S. nonprofits a total of $2.3 million in grants. Beyond the Ball aims to prepare Gen Z youth of color to “innovate, lead, and change the world” through STEM, career exploration, and sports intelligence. Its founder and CEO, Erica Molett, says the grant “will enable us to take our youth programming to the next level.”

  • Aiming to offer “the crown jewel of Texas golf,” Fort Worth-based Escalante Golf is planning a $100 million golf club amid “rugged rolling hills” southwest of Fort Worth, in the heart of the 2,400-acre Kelly Ranch community currently being developed. Its big promise for golf purists: Unlike many country clubs, you’ll never hear “pickleball noise” when you’re teeing off.

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