How does John Deere help optimize golf course operations expenditures?

By: March 25, 2022

Do you remember when John Deere acquired OnLink, an industry-leading golf course performance optimization software platform in 2019?

At the time, John Deere explained the acquisition by saying they would like to address the golf industry’s ongoing labor issues. Its capability – of collecting data and managing equipment, chemicals, nutrients, water, playing conditions, and of course labor, – really impressed me already in those days.

John Deere now is trying to combine the capabilities of JDLink with cloud-based management software and electrified machines to empower greenkeepers and golf clubs to be more sustainable and efficient.

It allows users to automatically synchronize selected machines working anywhere on the course, managing activity remotely.

John Deere OnLink greenkeeper

John Deere – Technology

The technology delivers integrated labor and fleet management tools. OnEquip provides information on fleet activity such as engine hour tracking and servicing intervals.

OnLabor provides labor tools such as electronic job boards to improve overall management and to track assignments.

OnLink connects to machines using John Deere’s long-established JDLink and the John Deere Operations Center which have been used on the company’s farm machinery for more than 15 years.

For greenkeepers, this means connected machines will also provide their real-time location on the course through the OnLink mapping feature.

This service will soon be launched across Europe, starting in the UK.

John Deere OnLink-tablet Carnoustie Links
Areas of use of the data collected

Data gathered can be used to plan and improve operation efficiency, as each machine’s working hours can be balanced across its life cycle to reduce the cost of ownership.

Mowing patterns, reducing the time required to complete work, can also be managed.

The technology provides owners settings for geofences and curfews to send alerts if the machine is working outside of set locations or hours, increasing its security profile.

OnLink offers customers the ability to plan for weather conditions, track the speed of greens, and monitor soil moisture while also creating accurate budget forecasts and using the workboard updates to plan tasks.

OnLink will be available on any internet-connected device; desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Artificial Intelligence – machine learning – automation

One of the key data analytics trends in 2022 is artificial intelligence. While I am very impressed by John Deere’s golf course management solutions, I missed the utilization of AI. AI is gaining momentum in the field of data analytics.

The pandemic increased the demand for track and measure data establishing the foundation of a new data-driven culture in golf clubs too. I am expecting more investments in AI-based analytics.