Industry News

Industry News – November/December 2009

In the face of mounting energy costs, some courses are not standing idly by while their meters churn. The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Course in Hong Kong recently became the world’s first golf facility and the Sebonack Golf Club in Southhampton, N.Y., the first U.S. golf club to power their entire golf car fleets with solar energy. Both courses retrofitted their existing Club Car fleets using the SolarDrive system, which is part of the Club Car Solutions Network.

A study of energy used by the Golf Resource Group recently concluded that most golf courses use between 250,000 and 5 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity in their annual operations. At the high end, that’s equivalent to the amount of electricity used in 278 2,500-square-foot houses, according to the report from the Phoenix-based research firm.

“Power costs are very expensive here on Long Island and are getting more expensive around the world,” said Michael Pascucci, owner of the Sebonack GC, which is ranked No. 7 in  Golfweek’s 100 Best Modern Courses and No. 39 in Golf Digest’s American’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. “Why not take advantage of the free solar power we have on earth?”

But reducing the charging requirements for the club’s 40 golf cars and lower it’s electric bill isn’t the only reason Pascucci retrofitted his fleet with solar canopies.

“We penciled it our and concluded we were going to get our money back pretty easily,” said Pascucci, who first saw the solar canopy system while playing golf with Ernie Els in Jupiter Florida, last winter. “But even if the numbers weren’t as strong as they are, I still would have done it.” The price of SolarDrive panels (normally $2,700) often can be defrayed by approximately 30 percent with tax incentives.  For information about tax credits and incentives when purchasing products that promote energy efficiency through solar technologies, go to

Pascucci thinks Sebonack members will be impressed that their club is going green. “I think it’s really a positive thing for our members and their guests to see that they’re not using any energy while they’re riding around on the sun’s power. It makes a statement, “ Pascucci said. The SolarDrive–equipped golf cars capture and convert daylight into energy that can be used to power the vehicle (on sunny or cloudy days) and to supplement energy created by the car’s electric batteries. Pascucci calls the system “a major industry innovation.”

The solar –cell roof panels installed on 40 cars at Sebonack and on 205 cars at The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course were designed and engineered by SolarDrive, a Denmark-based firm specializing in off-grid, solar technology for mobile use. SolarDrive and Club Car entered a marketing alliance earlier this year to promote the use of solar energy.

The high-profile nature of Sebonack and Jockey Club, and their decisions to go all solar, are expected to lead other courses to evaluate the technology, according to Mike Read, marketing director for Club Car’s golf car category. “The need to conserve energy as a means of lowering costs combined with more widespread environmental awareness makes solar energy an attractive strategy for many courses,” he said. “We think we’ll see more courses here and in other parts of the world take a serious look at solar.”

For more information on Club Car visit:, or to learn more about SolarDrive visit:

JH Global Services, Inc. DBA Star Electric Vehicles, a Greenville South Carolina based company, just received Certification from the IRS which offers consumers a $5,335 tax credit for purchasing one of ten qualifying Star Electric Vehicle models. This tax credit is part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA).

Star-BN48-2-NEV/LSV: $4234.72
Star-B48-6-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-6SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-B48-2-NEV/LSV: $4234.72
Star-48-2-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-6-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-B48-4-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-4SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48L-4SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-BN48-4-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-4-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48L-6SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60

For Perspective, these vehicles generally retail for less than $8,000. This means that consumers can buy a new Star Electric Vehicle for less than $8,000 and get a direct tax savings of $5,335! While this credit will likely be extended beyond 2009, the bill currently requires the purchase to take place prior to December 31, 2009. Equally great news is that businesses can purchase Star Vehicles and take advantage of the same tax credit.

All the Star LSVs are manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways, with 4 wheels, less than 3000lbs, and draw power from re-chargeable batteries with a capacity of at least 4 kilowatt hours. Each of the model has an-board or off-board charger for re-charging the batteries by plug-in to an electric outlet, and all the Star LSVs can maintain a speed of 20MPH minimum and no more than 25MPH in one mile on a paved level surface. For more details go to:

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has awarded scholarships to 12 college students as part of the GCSAA Scholars Program administered by GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, The Environmental Institute for Golf.

Sean Elverd is the first place winner in the competition. He receives a $6,000 scholarship and is honored as the Mendenhall Award Winner. Elverd, a senior from Chattanooga, Tenn., is a turfgrass science and management major at the University of Tennessee.

The second place winner, Thomas Ham, receives a $5,000 award and is designated as the recipient of the Allan MacCurrach Award. The MacCurrah Award is funded by the PGA Tour. Ham is from Jenison, Mich., and is in his final year of a golf course turfgrass management certificate at Michigan State University.

Both Elverd and Ham also will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2010 GCSAA Education Conference (Feb. 8-12) and Golf Industry Show (Feb. 10-11) in San Diego.

Niels Dokkuma, an international student at Penn State University, was awarded a $2,500 Ambassador Award. The following students were awarded stipends ranging from $2,500 to $500:

Joshua Lewis, Oregon State University, $2,500
Steven Hutzell, University of Maryland, $2,500
Scott Wasser, University of Arkansas, $2,000
Glen Obear, University of Wisconsin, $2,000
Diego Penapareja, Michigan State University, $1,500
Brian Ervin, Colorado State University, $1,500
Roberty Pray, Michigan State University, $1,500
Manuel Gonzalez, Michigan State University, $500
Matt Cartsens, Washington State University, $500

The GCSAA Scholars Program, funded by the Robert Trent Jones Endowment, was developed to recognize outstanding students planning careers in golf course management. Winners were selected to receive scholarship awards based on the final ranking in a competition judged by GCSAA’s Scholarship Committee. Factors considered were academic achievement, potential to become a leading professional, employment history, extracurricular activities, and recommendations form a superintendent with whom the student has worked and a current academic advisor.

Applicants must be enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program in a major field related to golf/turf management and be a GCSAA member. Undergraduate applicants must have successfully completed at least 24 credit hours or the equivalent of one-year of full-time study in an appropriate major. For more information, visit

Columbia ParCar Corp. Announced it has Landed an order for (799) vehicles from the General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Service. “This is the single largest order ever for electric-powered, Low Speed Vehicles,” Todd Sauey, Columbia’s President, acknowledged. “We are especially proud to win contract considering the lengthy and stiff competition we faced against several other manufacturers in our industry.”

Some of the vehicles that the U.S. Army will receive are similar to the one used by the Police department in Reedsburg, Wisconsin where Columbia is headquartered.

The all-electric vehicles are destined for (47) separate U.S. Army installations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Low Speed Vehicles, sometimes referred to as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles are a part of the Army’s far-reaching energy security strategy. It’s designed to save energy and money, to wean the Army from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the U.S. Army, the (799) vehicles are part of a three-year plan to replace 4,000 non-tactical gasoline-powered vehicles used for passenger transport, security patrol, maintenance, and delivery services.

The company is pleased to win this bid and is gearing up to fill the contract. “Securing such a significant order for our company helps the local economy and has a positive impact on job growth here in Wisconsin and throughout our supplier base, as well, “Sauey said.  “We have hit the ground running and are working to meet the aggressive delivery schedule the government established to meet the Army’s objectives.

“Columbia officials shared information from a January news release in which the U.S. Army reported estimated annual energy savings of $740 for each electric vehicle used in place of a gasoline-powered car.  “Savings more than $500,000 each year by deploying only 799 vehicles in a fleet of more than 70,000 is a strong driver for any organization. It also is a great example of how these vehicles are not only good for the environment and our nation’s energy policy, but good for the economy as well,” Breckley added. For more information on Columbia Par Car Corp. please visit

New Polaris™ Set to Roll into Dealerships this Fall

Polaris Industries Inc. recently announced the release of its new low-emission, electric-powered neighborhood vehicle, The Polaris Breeze™. With more standard features than any other vehicle in its class, this unique, all-electric vehicle combines practicality with the fun and freedom that consumers have come to expect from Polaris. Starting at $7,499, the Breeze offers versatility and value unmatched by other vehicles. The Breeze will be available for test rides and purchase beginning in September 2009, at select Polaris Neighborhood Vehicle dealerships. The vehicles will appear throughout an expanded network of dealerships in spring 2010.

“The Breeze offers an easy, economical and fun way to get around,” said Marc Tullemans, Director of Polaris’ Neighborhood Vehicle business. “Polaris has always looked for new opportunities to reach consumers with innovative and exciting vehicles. With the Breeze, we’ve provided all of this packaged in a low-emission, all-electric vehicle with unmatched styling and versatility.”

Polaris products have earned the reputation of being innovative and well-built over the past 55 years, and the Breeze is no exception. With its entirely electric operating system, the Breeze is a fun and fuel-saving alternative to cars for drivers making numerous short trips around their master planned community. The exclusive MyChoice™ rear-seat-conversion system allows the Breeze to adapt to any situation. Providing up to 50-mile range of use between charges, the Breeze is always ready for the next adventure.

“Whether hitting the links, making a grocery run, heading to the pool or just cruising around the community, the Breeze provides a versatile solution for the whole family,” said Greg Thompson, Marketing Manager, “Environmentally and economically friendly, the Breeze delivers value unrivaled in the market today.”

Attractive features and multipurpose functionality makes the Breeze a class-leading vehicle. Its industry-first MyChoice rear-seat-conversion, which can be performed in just 60 seconds, allows consumers to use the vehicle as a golf cart, passenger vehicle for up to four, or cargo carrier. These conversions can be performed by anyone at anytime, making the Breeze as spontaneous as its owner. Designed for great riding comfort, the Breeze features an adjustable driver’s side backrest, contoured seating for all passengers and advanced suspension for the smoothest possible ride. The Breeze delivers on a variety of practical features as well, with retractable seat belts, plenty of on-board storage, adjustable hi-/lo-beam headlights and a spacious cab, allowing riders to easily get in and out with enough vertical space to provide ample head room for all passengers.

Built by a company with a name synonymous with redefining recreational vehicles, the Polaris Breeze promises to stand our from other neighborhood vehicles, packaging the hallmarks of Polaris innovation and style into an electric vehicle that’s smart, safe, and fun for the  whole family.

Information is available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime from the Polaris homepage at

Two hundred attendees of the 2010 Golf Industry Show in San Diego will partner with the San Diego Food Bank Feb. 8 to help fight hunger, feed those in need and give back to the community.

The Golf Industry Show will send two shifts of 100 volunteers, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, from the San Diego Convention Center to the work site. In addition, during the entire week of the Golf Industry Show and accompanying education conferences, Feb. 8-13, attendees will have the opportunity to donate food and money a the convention center.

Registration for the Golf Industry Show service project opens Oct. 1 at with a 200-volunteer limit closing no later than Dec. 31. For more information contact Kyla Dotson, GCSAA marketing specialist, at 1-800-472-7878.

The Tomberlin Group has entered into an agreement with Sheffield Financial to offer consumer financing for its line of Low Speed Vehicles’ to its nationwide dealer network. Tomberlin™ manufactures electric vehicles ranging from the E-Merge Series; America’s best selling low speed vehicle model to the recently introduced Anvil which was featured on CBS, Fox Business News and the Bloomberg Financial Network. Tomberlin is also launching a powerful AC drive electric four by four utility vehicle under the model name “Vanish” that will ship to dealers during December and features a Hybrid Camo package, gearbox with six speed settings and a range exceeding fifty miles.

“Our recent agreement with Sheffield Financial to extend installment consumer financing for Tomberlin products is another example of our commitment to our dealers to give them as many tools as possible to close sales, grow their business and move inventory,” stated Ed Buckle.

“We feel that our cutting edge products are what consumers are demanding as they become increasingly more aware of the product advantages our brand offers.” said Chris Plummer,  “Combining these products with sensible retail oriented programs reflects our spirit of partnering with our dealers to assist in driving retail. We believe we have the finest dealer network in the industry and we are increasingly seeking only the best of the best.” stated Chris Plummer.   Plummer went on to say that “product innovation is part of our teams DNA, and as long as the only barriers are our imagination we will do well”

For more information on Tomberlin products, visit More information about Sheffield Financial is available at and

Kitchener based Navitas Technologies Ltd; a division of Tersus Energy Plc announced that Accelerated Systems Inc. of Waterloo has acquired the assets of Navitas effective August, 31, 2009.

In a statement issued by Steve Amis Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Navitas, “We are all excited about the technologies and resources that Accelerated Systems brings to our Navitas customers. Our customer’s will initially experience no more than an address change. Email addresses, fax and telephone numbers will remain the same, but ASI’s knowledge and experience will certainly translate quickly into improved products and services. Our senior management and staff have all made the transition”.

In a discussion with Rob Larking and Gang Pan, Co-CEO’s of Accelerated Systems Inc. “The acquisition of Navitas fits clearly into the overall business plan at ASI and we feel that we can help the company grow effectively. ASI and Navitas have common founders and ASi’s staff brings over a decade of experience in the motor and controls market”.

Like all companies under the ASI umbrella Navitas will operate as a separate division drawing on the technical expertise within ASI in order to serve its present customer base. For more information, please contact, Steve Amis, Vice President Sales at