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Is golf course business lucrative?

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I was wondering about creating a website (web development comprises 80% of my income) targeted solely at aerial photos/video for golf courses but I don't want to spend the time and energy if it doesn't look like it will pay off.

It seems like having flyovers of each hole would be a great marketing tool for them, but I'm wondering if any of you have had any success with this type of client. Where I live there are quite a few courses nearby, so I could pocket a nice little bonus if it works out.
 

TreeLineView

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I always thought it would be but have not tried yet. Actually, I though it would be a great idea to get a group of Golf Courses to participate in an online website for golfers to visit, view hole layout and and offer discounted rounds of golf by participating courses??? There you go. Feel free to use my idea free of charge. No royalties necessary :).

PS try to offer a free hole or two to a local club and see if you get an traction....
 

Advexure

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Great thread. Our team did a project for the 2017 US Open held at Erin Hills in Erin, WI.

Such a beautiful course. Lots of study hours went into this project for the ultimate lighting/shadows as this course has stunning color in its green fairways and golden fescue.

Here is the first hole at Erin Hills. Be sure to watch until the end and spot Mama Deer and her fawn :)


You can read a bit more about the project here: Erin Hills 2017 US Open Drone Flyovers

I've included a few additional shots from Erin Hills that were used in US Open marketing by Erin Hills, FOX Sports, the USGA, Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and a few others. Mainly shot with the Inspire, some shot with the M600 – all images are from an X5. (Edit: There are a few from an X3 when we did some original testing at EH in 2015)

Unfortunately the beauty of this course wasn't necessarily seen the week of the tournament and weeks leading up and following as it was covered by grandstands and tents, and the fescue was so trampled by spectators, but if you're a golf fan or you golf destination courses, you've gotta see/play Erin Hills.

Hope you enjoy the below shots and course flyovers! :cool: There's also some more discussion over on this original thread from a few months ago: US Open (Golf) this week at Erin Hills! - Drone flyovers

–The Advexure Team

Erin-Hills-Hole-7-Lightning.jpg


Erin-Hills-Hole-15-Aerial-1.jpg


Erin-Hills-Aerial-Drone-Shot.jpg


Erin-Hills-Hole-8-Aerial.jpg


Erin-Hills-Full-Course-Aerial.jpg
 

Jack Matthias

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I would love do some golf course fly over work. I gotta contact my local course for this summer. How much would you charge for a video of each hole (18) and photos around the course? Thanks Jack
 

AerialZ

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Great thread. Our team did a project for the 2017 US Open held at Erin Hills in Erin, WI.
Beautiful work (from a great company I must add - I have experience with Advexure's excellent customer service!)
I'm not trying to discourage anyone from pursuing this market, but trust me, it's more work that you think. I've done two courses so far. Flying virtual ball flights on many holes is no easy task. As Advexure stated, an absolute ton of pre-planning goes into these jobs. Make sure you are properly planning your time and what a production is going to cost you. The bar has been set much higher, especially with course owners wanting polished deliverables. I would highly recommend that you are experienced in post-production (or have a source to complete it.) You will be surprised how quickly your time adds-up if you do not quote jobs like this properly.
 
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I would love do some golf course fly over work. I gotta contact my local course for this summer. How much would you charge for a video of each hole (18) and photos around the course? Thanks Jack
I would think that pricing is tough to determine on a forum like this since different markets require different pricing. I'm fairly certain that it costs more to play a round of golf in LA than it does here in Upstate NY. ;)

There are also different business models. Some people won't leave the shop for less than a certain amount of money, taking their equipment, training, etc. into account. Others will take less, saying that something is better than the nothing received if you price yourself out of reach of the potential client.

I guess you'll have to decide for yourself which works best for you.
 
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BigAl07

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While I think this type of work can be profitable keep in mind that there are companies out there focusing strictly on the Golf Course community at large. I've actually been hired by a company to do work for them a year ago and they completely tied up the local market of Golf courses.

I only say the above so you don't spend too much time/$$ on a project that others are already exploiting.
 
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...there are companies out there focusing strictly on the Golf Course community at large.
Do you mean that there are national companies contacting golf courses all over the US to provide aerial photos/video? I've seen craigslist ads looking for aerial videographers and when you do some digging, they're looking to hire local people for national work.
 

BigAl07

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Do you mean that there are national companies contacting golf courses all over the US to provide aerial photos/video?

Yes that's exactly what I'm saying. I was hired to shoot 3 here locally and it was a SWEET deal because I just followed their script, gathered the data, and uploaded all of the data to their cloud server. No processing/editing what so ever. I was not hire through Craigslist (nothing wrong with that either) but hired as an employee and required to sign a NDA about the process and final product. It was a sweet deal.
 

R.Perry

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Great thread. Our team did a project for the 2017 US Open held at Erin Hills in Erin, WI.

Such a beautiful course. Lots of study hours went into this project for the ultimate lighting/shadows as this course has stunning color in its green fairways and golden fescue.

Beautiful work, love your lighting. Did you have a lot of post processing?
 

Advexure

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Beautiful work, love your lighting. Did you have a lot of post processing?

Definitely some but not too heavy at all. Most importantly we studied sun angles on each hole and over a three month period had plenty of options to choose from. Some holes had better shadows in the AM, some in the PM, others looked better in June, a few better in August. We also worked with the maintenance team to coordinate with upkeep to hit things in their prime

As noted in our write-up on this project, for our 20-30 minutes of prime lighting each day we had a tight schedule of 3-4 holes that had the best lightning in 5-10 minute increments. Each day that passed, that schedule changed. Sometimes we had a small cloud or haze right are golden hour that made that day unproductive for final takes and therefore we would flight plan, fine tune, and study.

To do things best you've got to study, observe, plan, and coordinate. There are a lot of average and simply course flyovers out there but for a course of Erin Hills' beauty, features, difficulty, and length you have to highlight what makes the course challenging or a specific hole unique, or what can you focus on that's going to mentally challenge and captivate a golf enthusiast or professional that has never stepped foot on the course.
 
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Thanks for the insight into your preproduction process. I certainly helps to explain why your work looks as amazing as it does!

Unfortunately, most (if not all) of the courses in my area are small, family-owned places with a tiny fraction of the budget of Erin Hills, so I have to price accordingly.
 

R.Perry

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Definitely some but not too heavy at all. Most importantly we studied sun angles on each hole and over a three month period had plenty of options to choose from. Some holes had better shadows in the AM, some in the PM, others looked better in June, a few better in August. We also worked with the maintenance team to coordinate with upkeep to hit things in their prime

As noted in our write-up on this project, for our 20-30 minutes of prime lighting each day we had a tight schedule of 3-4 holes that had the best lightning in 5-10 minute increments. Each day that passed, that schedule changed. Sometimes we had a small cloud or haze right are golden hour that made that day unproductive for final takes and therefore we would flight plan, fine tune, and study.

To do things best you've got to study, observe, plan, and coordinate. There are a lot of average and simply course flyovers out there but for a course of Erin Hills' beauty, features, difficulty, and length you have to highlight what makes the course challenging or a specific hole unique, or what can you focus on that's going to mentally challenge and captivate a golf enthusiast or professional that has never stepped foot on the course.

One of the Photography courses I took was from a National Geo photographer and he insisted that he only shot during the golden hour, I learned a tremendous amount from him. I have always wanted to shoot Pebble Beach from the air. I love that course so much I would do it for free unless they wanted to buy the photos, problem is Monterey seems very anti drone.
 
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Nik

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I've did a little test work with the local golf course here. They added it to their webpage (I didn't do pick the soundtrack), and want me to do more work this spring/ summer. It is a lot of fun, and pretty simple, they tell you what they want shots of, very little editing. I have been looking at flying with one of the 360fly cameras so the viewer could pan and zoom during the fly through.

I just went and talked with the manager and let him know I wanted to fly some test greens. He agreed, and ended up hiring me to do a couple of the holes. He eventually wants all of them done.

Good luck, its fun,

Nik
 
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Aerial Data

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I've done a few got course videos when they were staged for events. As people have started already, you can only shoot a few holes a day, and post production is a bear. Make sure to price accordingly.
 

WMBGVA

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I was wondering about creating a website (web development comprises 80% of my income) targeted solely at aerial photos/video for golf courses but I don't want to spend the time and energy if it doesn't look like it will pay off.

It seems like having flyovers of each hole would be a great marketing tool for them, but I'm wondering if any of you have had any success with this type of client. Where I live there are quite a few courses nearby, so I could pocket a nice little bonus if it works out.
I always thought it would be but have not tried yet. Actually, I though it would be a great idea to get a group of Golf Courses to participate in an online website for golfers to visit, view hole layout and and offer discounted rounds of golf by participating courses??? There you go. Feel free to use my idea free of charge. No royalties necessary :).

PS try to offer a free hole or two to a local club and see if you get an traction....
 

WMBGVA

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I have done it as a courtesy. I'm a low voltage contractor (video surveillance, access control, structured cabling, audio, etc) and have done golf club courses and provided course videos (actually fly the 18 holes) at their request for customers I've provided the above services at pools and clubhouses. What I might suggest is to offer to give them free shots (or videos) of all the holes in exchange for a contract for monthly course maintenance surveys. This might seem odd but what seemed to appeal to them the most was that from the air they can best see needs for better fertilizer and watering which is less apparent just driving a cart around. So maybe you should get the grounds guy/girl excited first. Besides, you have better luck getting in the grounds maintenance budget than in the marketing budget. From your own experience, which is an easier expenditure decision - drone maintenance and repair or drone services marketing? Most of us have spent almost $0 on our own drone marketing so that's the last angle I'd take. The exception might be real estate when marketing IS their product.

The nice thing also about your product (low cost aerial video) is it is an easy way for grounds management to validate what the grounds people are telling them.

Good luck.
 
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Rodger

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I was wondering about creating a website (web development comprises 80% of my income) targeted solely at aerial photos/video for golf courses but I don't want to spend the time and energy if it doesn't look like it will pay off.

It seems like having flyovers of each hole would be a great marketing tool for them, but I'm wondering if any of you have had any success with this type of client. Where I live there are quite a few courses nearby, so I could pocket a nice little bonus if it works out.


I have given that project some thought as well. There are plenty of examples on Youtube that may inspire your thoughts.
 

Newton Ware

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20A27566-F153-41B6-884A-87FCA6A4F039.jpeg 20A27566-F153-41B6-884A-87FCA6A4F039.jpeg I’ve been in the agronomist side of Golf for 15 years. They are some tight dollar folks out there. Many superintendents have drones now. So it is tough to get into. And I did some flyover work for a course in Evans, Ga and put together a short 2-3 minute movie of each hole. My God, the post production time.

I am looking for opportunities in addition to the beauty shots. I want to tie my Drone services to plant health. That’s where I want to go.
 

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