A variety of vehicle innovation was on display at the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, all designed to help provide course and club operations with new versatility and efficiencies.
The show floor at the 2018 Golf Industry Show (GIS), held February 7-8 in San Antonio, featured “rollouts” of all shapes, sizes and speeds, as the industry’s leading equipment and vehicle manufacturers took the wraps off a variety of new rides designed to either enhance customer comforts on the course, or maintenance efficiencies behind the scenes.
Here are highlights of some of the more eye-catching vehicle introductions, and other new products and services, that drew the attention of GIS attendees:
The booth for companies under the Textron Specialized Vehicles umbrella, including E-Z-GO®, Jacobsen and Cushman®, offered attendees the chance to get a barbershop-style shave, to highlight the Jacobsen mower slogan that “every blade counts.”
E-Z-GO featured its RXV® ELiTE Series lithium-powered golf car, which it debuted last year. Testimonials from Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club outside of Orlando, Fla., and Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., attested to how the ELiTE Series cars are delivering on their promise of consistent, reliable and low-maintenance performance. “From day one, the ELiTE Series Vehicles have been going around our golf course anywhere from 36 to 54 holes a day, and during that time frame, we aren’t having to recharge them,” said Rob Heslar, Tijeras Creek’s Director of Golf.
In addition to its GA Aerator Series, Jacobsen featured its HF600 mower, a versatile machine that gives operators the choice to mow with three, four or five reels, and its new AR Series of contour rotary mowers. Jacobsen also launched its new Parts 365 Program at GIS, which provides customers with a Greenlee® parts cabinet they can keep in their maintenance facility that will be stocked with commonly used parts and replenished by Jacobsen’s TechForce™ Service Technicians as needed.
Cushman featured expansions of its Refresher® line of hospitality vehicles, with the introduction of its new Refresher Oasis and Refresher Drop-In models.
Cushman also displayed the latest additions to its utility vehicle line, the Hauler® 800 and Hauler 800X. The new models offer a durable, sound-dampening, 8.4-cu. ft. cargo bed that incorporates integrated divider slots to allow for increased organization and customizable storage. Newly available options include:
• A floor-mount attachment that allows users to transport and secure small equipment, such as a spreader, in the passenger area of the vehicle;
• Interior tool hooks to securely carry moisture meters and other valuable tools;
• An independent radio clip that has been ergonomically designed for easy reach within the vehicle.
Both the Hauler 800 and Hauler 800X are available in electric- or -gas-powered models.
The Textron booth also featured a new Textron Fleet Management solution for tracking pace of play, enforcing geofencing and monitoring the performance of vehicle fleets, through Shield™ screenless technology that does not require an in-vehicle monitor.
The Toro booth at GIS was dominated, literally, by the all-new Outcross™ 9060, the revolutionary, turf-friendly machine that delivers on the benefits of both a tractor and super-duty utility vehicle. Given its name by a golf course superintendent through a contest that was announced at last year’s GIS, the Outcross will now be available this summer.
Toro also introduced the Groundsmaster® 1337 Pull-Behind Rotary Mower, which includes three contour-following cutting decks, each equipped with dual full rollers to optimize after-cut appearance.
The new Groundsmaster mower provides a 12-foot (3.66 meter) width of cut, paired with simple height-of-cut adjustment from 0.5” to 4” (1.3 to 10.1 cm). To ensure durability, the cutting decks feature the same trusted Groundsmaster spindles with heavy-duty shafts and dual-tapered roller bearings.
Like the Groundsmaster 5900 Series, the Groundsmaster 1337 features bidirectional impact absorption technology, which cushions and protects the individual cutting decks against damage from inadvertent contact with obstacles while mowing. The decks also fold up for simple and safe transport. In addition, the unit features transport axles that have an integrated torsion spring, effectively serving as a suspension system to eliminate bumps and jarring for a better operator experience.
Toro Irrigation launched Lynx® 6.0, the latest version of the Toro Lynx Central Control System. The new version features a new hardware platform, GAC-R, that allows Toro’s SitePro® CDS customers to readily upgrade to the latest technology. Lynx 6.0 also offers comprehensive e-mail and text (SMS) alarm notifications.
Toro Irrigation also introduced new Sensor Input Kits for Network VP®/Vpe® and Lynx Smart Satellites, along with compatible pressure sensor and temperature sensor kits, and the new Lynx Smart Module, the latest two-wire control system technology designed for INFINITY® and FLEX800™ sprinkler systems. The new module makes it possible to control sprinkler run times down to about one second.
Club Car® launched Tempo Connect™, a stylish new version of its Tempo golf car with enhanced technology including Visage Fleet Management, at its GIS exhibit. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Club Car also announced that it was auctioning off a one-of-a-kind, Special Edition Carryall 500 Woody Wagon, to benefit the Environmental Institute for Golf.
“This is a milestone year for Club Car as we celebrate 60 years in the industry,” said Club Car President Mark Wagner. “We are pushing the limits of our offerings beyond the car by integrating new technology, content connectivity, and customization to help course operators improve their operations, add value and manage their business.
“Tempo Connect and the Carryall 500 represent our team’s ability to design vehicles that increase productivity and reduce carbon footprint, all with a lower cost of operation than traditional work vehicles,” Wagner added.
John Deere previewed its GPS Precision Sprayer, designed to increase application accuracy and consistency, decrease input costs, reduce operator fatigue while increasing ease of use, and enhance documentation.
Specific benefits of the GPS Precision Sprayer, which will be available for order in the fall of 2018, for delivery in 2019, include:
• Spraying a predetermined area in less time, with pass-topass accuracy using AutoTrac™.
• Multiple GPS Precision Sprayers can share coverage maps to eliminate overlap and increase productivity.
• Individual nozzle control to minimize application errors, decrease spraying costs and increase operator ease of use.
• Advanced satellite technology to ensure reliability of boundary maps with Real Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation.
• All spray data is captured and analyzed to streamline documentation and provide robust analytics.
• Simplified operator inputs, to quickly begin spraying and reduce operator fatigue.
John Deere also announced the expansion of its PrecisionCut™ Fairway Mowers, with the new 6080A, 6500A and 6700A Models. The new A Models were created out of a customer need for improved budget control while still delivering a fairway mower truly designed for the rigors of fairway applications.
Yamaha not only went to great lengths, but also great heights, to give its fully revamped UMAX™ utility vehicle special prominence in its GIS display. UMAX incorporates the best attributes of many other Yamaha products, including the speed of the company’s motorcycles, the power of its WaveRunners®, the durability of its outboard motors, the grit of its Side-by-Side off-road vehicles, and the engineered quietness of its golf cars.
Greenworks Commercial displayed its full line of battery-powered outdoor equipment for landscaping and turf-management professionals. The latest addition to the company’s 82-volt line that was featured at GIS was the Brushless Pole Saw, designed to operate with 50% less noise than a gas equivalent, protecting workers’ hearing. The saw also produces five times less vibration than gas-powered competitors, reducing fatigue.