Jason VanBuskirk started his career as a teenager at Stow Acres Country Club in Massachusetts, left for a while, got a turf degree, and then came back. When his boss and mentor told Jason he was leaving, Jason applied for the job and at the age of 24 became the superintendent. After several years as a superintendent, he asked his owner for an electronic “Jobs Board” and was turned down, so he built his own that he called TurfCloud.
Years later he started partnering with GreenSight, a company specializing in drone technology, who believed there was a place in the golf course industry for the kind of information that drones could provide the superintendent. A few years later he sold his company to GreenSight and started integrating the data collection platform that he built with the drone technology and today they provide a complete platform of drones, soil sensors and autonomous mowers.
Jason spoke with Joel Simmons about robotic mowers and how they are taking off in the industry. Jason shared data that they gathered showing that the return on investment for robotic mowers is less than two years. They are being used very effectively in mowing rough, fairways, and around club houses and other hard to maintain areas. The future looks bright for these robots and Jason thinks that in a few years, mostly because of labor savings, they will be mainstream in the industry.