Industry News

Industry News – July/August 2011

CURTIS INTRODUCES THE StreetPro SE CAB FOR E-Z-GO RXVCold or wet? Just shut the doors and go.
Curtis Industries, LLC has expanded its StreetPro SE system, a unique door system that increases the comfort and utility of golf cars, for EZ-GO’s RXV model. The StreetPro SE is ideal for community, private, sport and fleet use.

The StreetPro SE system is a compact panel system with parallel opening doors that glide open close to the cab for easy operation and convenience. The auto close feature keeps the interior weather tight and comfortable. Doors can also be locked in the open position while the car is in motion for fair weather operation and greater ventilation.

The smart design approach uses a rugged tubular supporting structure with custom thermoformed panels attached to the OEM roof and windshield. Large custom molded windows provide excellent visibility. The vinyl rear window opens for ventilation. The design, fit and finish provide superior styling with doors closed or open. The StreetPro SE comes in a Champagne color to match the factory roof and seat. Air conditioners, heaters and ventilators are also available.

Curtis Industries, LLC is the leading manufacturer of cabs, enclosures and accessories for compact tractors, golf cars, and utility vehicles. The company, which started in 1968, also manufactures truck plows and snow and ice control equipment for tractors and utility vehicles. Curtis Industries, LLC markets its products exclusively through a large network of dealers in the United States and Canada as well as Japan, Korea and Western Europe. The company operates from a modern 150,000 sq. ft. facility in Worcester, MA. For more information on Curtis products please visit www.curtisindustries.net

REVENUE CONSTRICTION AND DECLINING CONDITIONING – IS THE SPRIRAL INEVITABLE?
In a recent NGF study, The Future of Public Golf in America, we found that 37% of public courses have had to lower their course maintenance standards, and 71% have had to defer capital improvements in recent years due to financial considerations. For courses in more serious financial straits, of course these percentages were even higher.

And, in last year’s study, Operating & Financial Performance Profiles of Golf Facilities, we found a not-surprising correlation between a drop in revenues and the need to lower maintenance expenditures, regardless of type, region or price point. For example, low-end public courses in the Frost belt saw their average total revenues drop 1.8% and accordingly lowered maintenance expenses by an average of 2.9%. Similarly, high-end private clubs had a 2.9% decline in revenues vs. a 3.5% drop in maintenance costs.

We wondered to what extent golfers have noticed the lowering of maintenance standards. So, in December 2010, we surveyed 510 Core golfers online and asked:

What is your opinion regarding course conditions in 2010 at the golf course you play most often?

Conditions deteriorated in 2010

Conditions improved in 2010

Conditions remained about the same in 2010

The results: only one in four golfers noticed conditions had deteriorated. However, given that only 21% thought conditions improved, there’s a slight net negative opinion (see accompanying chart).

Core golfer opinion of course conditions in 2010

“We believe that golfers are somewhat accepting of lowered maintenance standards given the severity of the recession,” noted Greg Nathan, NGF senior vice president, membership. “They themselves have admitted to cutting back on spending per round, including playing at less expensive times, while curtailing spending on food, beverage and merchandise – so they probably feel they can’t complain about the occasional bare patch of fairway or unmaintained bunker. However, as the economic picture improves, operators will gradually have to restore conditions to pre-recession levels. By then, hopefully, golfers will be in more of a mood to spend.”

Final thoughts:

The USGA should be applauded for its efforts to educate golfers that conditioning is about the playing conditions…not about the color green.

Now, more than ever, an exceptional golf course superintendent, with the skills to do more with less, could be a facility’s most important asset.

FIGHTING MOSQUITOS AND RISING GAS PRICES AT THE SAME TIME
The City of Grayson, Georgia has found a way to fight a potential mosquito scourge at the same time battling the rising cost of fuel.

“Mr. (Jim) Moff has been riding around on the city’s only official vehicle – the golf cart – putting out mosquito repellent,” Mayor Jim Hinkle said. “It works out well too – doesn’t use much gas.”

Moff, who has been the city’s code enforcement officer for the past six years, said this is the first year they had thought about using the golf cart to disperse the mosquito repellent, but it was proving to be a good way to handle the task.

“Not just the gas saving, it’s also more convenient,” Moff said. “I don’t have to keep getting in and out of the truck. I just pull up to where there’s a catch basin, low lying area or retention pond and throw the pellets in. We do it every year, starting in about April or May.”

Moff said the pellets are Altosid briquets, which are a larvicide repellent, and last for about 150 plus days.

“That should last through the summer,” Moff said. “We’ve been doing this for a few years now, especially since the West Nile Virus scare – we really got into it then.”

So this year when Moff is not out enforcing the city’s code ordinance, he can be seen riding the golf cart around the city dispensing mosquito repellent.

“The city is not really very big,” Moff said, adding that people who have a concern can call in and ask for the service if they feel they have been missed. “Or they can come by the city and pick up the pellets – we keep some here for that.”

According to the Center for Disease Control statistics, however, Georgia is considered a low risk for the disease. There were only 13 cases of WNV in the state last year, none of them fatal. But two of the 12 cases in Florida resulted in deaths. There were a total of 981 cases of WNV in humans reported in the United States in 2010 with 45 resulting in death.

HUNTER’S SPECIALTIES® SWITCHES TO TOMBERLIN® AS THE OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF THEIR PRO STAFF
Hunter’s Specialties, one of the world’s largest suppliers of hunting supplies, has chosen the Tomberlin Vanish Electric 4X4 utility vehicle as their official hunting vehicle for the 2011 season. The deal aligns two of the industry’s premier brands and positions both companies atop a mountain of tough competitors, and in front of an even savvier group of consumers.

Manufacturing over 900 products specifically for the hunting community, Hunter’s Specialties has risen through the ranks to become the world’s largest supplier of hunting supplies. Formed in 1977 by current owners Carman and Dave Forbes, Hunter’s Specialties has forged their business with one motto in mind, “For Sportsmen, By Sportsmen.” According to Carman Forbes, “We have collected the very best the industry has had to offer over the past 34 years from icons like Johnny Stewart® and Wayne Carlton® Calls, to patenting revolutionary products like Scent-A-Way™ Tek 4″ clothing, Scent Wafers® and the Vita-Rack® line of wildlife management products.

Products such as the Camo-Compac®, created by Carman in 1984, quickly became one of the hottest items ever offered to the hunting and military industry, including a version supplied to the troops in Operation Desert Storm.

When asked why Hunter’s Specialties chose The Tomberlin Vanish to carry them into the future, Dave Forbes answered with immediate enthusiasm, “ Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to try everything the industry has had to offer. Until the Vanish, there has never been an electric utility vehicle that has the unsurpassed combination of safety, range, power and control. Based on the last two days of extreme field testing with our entire Pro Staff team, the Vanish simply is the best electric utility vehicle on the market.”

The street-legal, electric 4×4 Vanish has many industry firsts, and continues a lineage of innovative new products launched by The Tomberlin Group over the last several years. Described by Forbes as “feature-rich,” the Vanish comes standard with push button, shift on the fly four-wheel drive, a high and low two-speed transmission, and a 3-position power mode switch which allows the operator to optimize range, top speed and aggressive performance based on the conditions. From the true independent double a-arm suspension, aggressive stance and multi-position dump bed, you quickly realize there is much more to the Vanish than meets the eye.

Tomberlin also equipped the Vanish with a proprietary and exclusive “Scout Mode” switch which serves as a “cruise control” for the Vanish. With the accelerator fully engaged, the Scout mode limits the top speed in high gear to a constant 6 mph and in low gear to a constant 3 mph. With these top speed controls the Vanish will walk you over almost any obstacle in your path safely and smoothly. It’s a great feature for pulling spreaders or for quietly scouting wildlife.

“When we started the Vanish project 18 months ago, we knew what was available to the consumer and we thought it fell short of customer needs and wants”, says David Turner, Tomberlin’s Project Director on the Vanish. “We could have easily modified our E-Merge LSV and followed the industry standard at the time, a jacked up golf car with knobby tires, but to design a vehicle to do what we wanted it would take a purpose-built design effort. From numerous consumer focus groups, safety and range were the key components to a successful electric hunting vehicle.” And according to Forbes, “When Tomberlin first introduced the Vanish to the Hunter Specialties team, we all just looked at each other and smiled. We knew the Vanish just changed the industry forever.”

After taking the Vanish on a 17 mile, off-road torture test over hills and through dense woods and low-lying creeks, Steve Criner, a Hunter’s Specialties Pro Staff team member said, “It went where I told Nat it wouldn’t go,period! We got wet, we got wild, we got muddy, and nothing stopped it… That’s why we switched to the Tomberlin Vanish!! It ain’t no buggy!!!!”

“On behalf of Tomberlin, we could not be more excited to partner with Hunter’s Specialties, one of the most respected names in the industry. We feel honored they would lend us their reputation in good faith”, said Mike Tomberlin, CEO of The Tomberlin Group.

To see the full line of Tomberlin® ATV’s, Schwinn™ Scooters and America’s leading electric platforms, please visit www.tomberlin.net or a local Tomberlin® dealer.

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