The City of Austin, TX, known as ‘the City within a Park,’ is renowned as a national leader in ‘green’ initiatives and this now applies to their public golf courses as the Parks and Recreation department has recently taken delivery of six Jacobsen Eclipse 322 riding greens mowers from local dealer C&M Golf & Grounds Equipment of Waco, TX. Jacobsen is a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
Austin is a very environmentally conscious city, and enacted a plan to be carbon free by 2020. Demonstrating its role as environmental innovators, the city purchased 200 Smart cars to replace less efficient city vehicles, while Austin Energy has expanded their solar energy programs.
Now the Golf division, which includes five pubic courses, has demonstrated their commitment with head golf course superintendent Nick Smitham spearheading the decision to purchase the more environmentally friendly, and more fuel efficient Jacobsen Eclipse 322 hybrid greens mowers.
Unlike traditional greens mowers, the Eclipse 322 is totally free of hydraulic oil, so there is no chance of an accidental spill and subsequent pollution issues. They also use a smaller engine to generate the electrical power required to run the reels, lift arms and steering, so they are more fuel efficient.
“These mowers exceeded our expectations,” Smitham says. “Our operators are very excited about them, and golfers rave about the quality of our greens. We really put them through their paces and with only five-person crews at each course, we run hard, even when it’s wet. The Eclipse 322 does everything we ask of it; we’re no longer at the mercy of hoses and there are other environmental cost savings such as fuel, fluids and reduced maintenance.”
In fact, it is estimated that the Golf division will achieve annual saving of over $23,000 in fuel, labor and oil costs a year. This equates to a fuel reduction of 4,356 gallons and waste oil reduced by 186 gallons. In total, operating costs for the new Eclipse 322s will be 54% lower than the mowers they replaced.
Additional benefits of the Eclipse 322 include enhanced operator comfort, increased efficiency and proprietary functionality features such as programmable speeds for transport and mowing, machine malfunction diagnostics, the ability to lift individual reels, a swing-out centre unit for easy maintenance and frequency of clip (foc) settings.
This latest feature allows the machine to be set to a specific foc value and every green will be cut to that specification, irrespective of operator or changes in speed.
“With a small staff at each course, this is a tremendous advantage for us,” Smitham adds. “For some tournaments we double cut, but with the Eclipse 322’s ability to adjust clip frequency we can accomplish the results we want in a single pass. Plus, we can mow at a slightly higher height of cut, which is healthier for the turf. With our former triplexes, we usually mowed at .150 inch. We can set the Eclipse 322s at .180 inch and get a faster green speed and a more consistent ball roll.
“Our operators take their jobs very seriously and were involved with the demos every step of the way. They have a great deal of pride in these mowers and all agree that the Eclipse 322 is the easiest and most comfortable mower they’ve ever operated.”
The Eclipse 322 hybrids were part of a large package delivered by C&M Golf and Grounds Equipment, Jacobsen’s 2009 Dealer of the Year. Commenting on the Eclipse greens mower dealer principal Jeff Mathis said,
“The innovation inherent in the Jacobsen Eclipse is one of the driving forces that has enabled C&M to increase revenues by 49% in 2010. We launched a very aggressive demonstration campaign earlier this year with a goal to demonstrate the capabilities and efficiencies of the Eclipse 322 to over 200 golf courses.”
With nearly 90 years of experience in the turf maintenance industry, Jacobsen has built a legacy of precision craftsmanship, legendary quality of cut and unmatched expertise. Dedicated solely to delivering perfectly groomed turf, Jacobsen equipment is used on some of the finest golf courses, sports fields and other formal turf areas across the United States and the world, through an extensive distribution network and the international Ransomes brand. Additional information about the company can be found at www.jacobsen.com.