In golf course construction, technology and innovation are shaping the future. CVW hears from Unicontrol user Patrick Quinn, operations director and lead shaper for P Quinn Construction.
His recent endeavours on the Island of Guernsey highlight how the company’s machine control system is revolutionizing golf course creation.
An Island, with its inherent logistical challenges, may seem an unlikely place to revolutionize golf course construction. But in Guernsey, this is precisely what’s happening. The task? Reconstructing an 18-hole golf course, a project that began this year and is set to finish in April 2025. From transporting materials to intricately following architectural landscaping plans, Quinn’s 7-man-team faced many challenges from the outset.
But these obstacles only paved the way for embracing innovative solutions. Last year, P Quinn Construction incorporated the Unicontrol system into its workflow, a decision driven by the system’s user-friendliness, efficiency and affordability.
By his own admission, the impact of Unicontrol on operations has been profound. By integrating this technology, the company’s work pace skyrocketed by 50%. Traditional methods relying heavily on onsite engineers and manual marking became antiquated almost overnight and tasks like topsoiling or shaping bunkers in his Hitachi became far less time consuming.
Quinn vividly paints the transformation: “Once, we’d have engineers everywhere, marking out pegs, resulting in escalated labour costs. But with Unicontrol, we’ve sidestepped this completely.” Instead of painstakingly transcribing architect’s drawings, the team uploads them directly to Unicontrol, cutting down project durations significantly.
Moreover, the reduced need for manual labour is saving the company money. “There’s a stark reduction in the number of people on the ground,” Patrick elaborates. This isn’t just about cutting costs, it’s about working smarter.”
Unicontrol isn’t just a system for Quinn and his team; it represents a paradigm shift. They view the system almost like a team member. The cost benefits are evident: “Instead of hiring someone at double the wage of what the Unicontrol system costs, we’ve essentially replaced that role,” Quinn points out.
But what made Unicontrol stand out for P Quinn Construction? “In one word, simplicity. It’s one of the most user-friendly systems on the market,” asserts Quinn. This simplicity translates to expedited training periods, empowering team members to become proficient in hours, not days.
Another is cost-effectiveness. Price matters, especially to an owner-operator like Quinn. Unicontrol struck the perfect balance between affordability and performance when presented with top- tier products.
Finally, precision. Accuracy is paramount in golf course construction. With Unicontrol, P Quinn Construction is achieving a precision within 15 to 20mm over vast expanses of golf course, digging and shaping bunkers 10 times faster.
Quinn recalls an episode from the previous year that underscores Unicontrol’s precision. While working on a tee for another golf course using machine control, an engineer contested the accuracy of his measurements, alleging a 25mm discrepancy. Upon re-evaluation, Quinn was nearly spot-on, off by just 4mm. It wasn’t just a personal win for him but a testament to the system’s accuracy.
In an industry where every millimeter counts, it seems innovations like Unicontrol’s are setting new standards. Patrick Quinn’s experience on the island of Guernsey is a testament to how technology, when implemented smartly, can usher in a new era of efficiency, cost-saving, and precision. In embracing these advancements, P Quinn Construction is shaping not only the golf courses of the future but also the methods by which they are created.