Sorry range pickers, the robots have come for your job

The RP-1200 scoops up to 300 golf balls during a session.


The revolution of the range is coming, folks. For everyone who grew up logging hours behind the wheel of a range picker — like proud PGA Tour pro Daniel Berger — now is the time to lament. Robots will soon make that job obsolete!

Enter the BallPicker from Belrobotics, or the RP-1200 from Echo, or Herr Robot from Golf Robotics. All of them look basically the same and do one thing well: they pick the range. 

They pick the range well enough that one club in Mississippi — The Club at Ole Brook — just made the humans-to-robots transition, and it made the local news. Ole Brook chose the Echo Robotics version of automated picker, which goes for about $19,000, and bought two of them. 

Could it be a fad? It’d be a pretty expensive fad to get involved with, if that’s the case. The pickers run on a rechargeable battery and scoot around your range at just more than 2 mph. They can scoop up about 300 balls and return them to a washing station before heading back out again. Wires laid in the ground at range’s edge work like an electric dog fence, telling them when to turn back to the grassy area. And the controls for all of it sits in a pretty dashboard on the general manager’s cell phone. 

Okay, maybe robot range pickers are better, after all. 

“They took some tweaking at first, but we’ve had fun with them,” GM Jeff Henning told the Daily Leader.

As far as he knows, these are the only robotic range pickers in the state. For now, at least. 


Sean Zak Editor

Zak is a writer at GOLF Magazine, currently working on a book about the summer he spent in St. Andrews. You can read about those travels here and catch his latest thoughts on the Drop Zone Podcast:

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