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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Autonomous technology moves off the turf and into the bunker

010623 rake.jpg

Ask around for the biggest challenges facing the business and just about every superintendent in all corners will mention labor eventually.

Once a pipe dream, technology designed to automate many tasks on the golf course and make life easier for superintendents is getting closer than ever to reality.

For the past several years, the Dutch company TurfTroniq has been providing after-market robotic-mowing technology to turf managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

Now, the company based in Renkum, Netherlands, has added a robotic bunker rake to its lineup of automated equipment.

The TurfTroniq Smart Rake can be programmed to rake bunkers of any size freeing up team members to complete other tasks.

TurfTroniq claims to be the inventor of autonomous-mowing technology for the green industry. 

Founded in 2016, TurfTroniq’s autonomous-mowing technology is retrofitted onto existing mowers for precise patterns and straight lines. The company says autonomous mowing can result in labor savings of up to 90 percent.

The SmartRake is a self-contained machine that can be programmed to groom mostly flat bunkers of any size anywhere on the golf course.

While the automated bunker rake might still require a live person for transport, oversight and even clean-up around edges, the machine can handle the lion’s share of raking bunkers, allowing a smaller number of team members to take on other duties while helping superintendents overcome labor shortages.

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