Industry News - March/April 2008

By Editor,


Once upon a time, a local auto parts dealer offered up a handful of used golf carts for sale outside his store in Waynesboro. Two decades later, his family’s company is the largest used golf cart dealer in the world.


They’re known globally for their business, but they’re valued even more in Burke County for their contributions on the local level.


Their commitment to community, along with the company’s impact on the county’s economy, earned Mr. Golf Carts the Small Business of the Year Award at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner meeting last week.


Since it opened in 1987, Mr. Golf Carts has grown into one of Waynesboro’s most successful businesses and certainly a giant in golf cart trade. Owned by James Eastmead and his wife, Judy, and his son, Jay, and his wife, Amy, the company employs more than 75 people.


James Eastmead passes on the credit for their accomplishments. “It’s really about the employees and our customers,” he said. “They’re why we’re here.” But aside from their obvious success in the marketplace, their generosity makes them even more of an asset to the county.


They’ve been hauling folks in Burke County around for years at community events, whether at annual field trial events or shuttling shoppers up and down Liberty Street for a downtown open house.


Behind the scenes, they lend support to local sports teams, the schools and charitable organizations. And more often than not, they do it quietly and without recognition. “I don’t care about all that publicity,” James Eastmead said. “We just try to help when we can.”



Tampa, FL – Thanks to a Harbour Island man downtown visitors can catch trolleys, cabs and streetcars, but soon they’ll have an alternative: golf carts.


In Tampa, the NEVs will start rolling sometime this month and operate on Friday and Saturday nights. Unlike regular taxis, customers will not call to arrange a pick up. Instead, the carts will troll busy tourist spots where pedestrians can flag them down. Patrons will not be charged for rides - they’ll be encouraged to tip drivers - and revenue will come from ads on the vehicles.


“My whole goal is get people around a small area a lot more efficiently. Plus they’re fun to ride in,” said Todd Persico, who’s starting the business, called Hop Tampa. “I think that this area needs a new concept in downtown transportation and needs something to help people get around and discover what’s happening in downtown Tampa,” he said.


The NEVs, which cost about $17,000 each, look like stretched golf carts. They’re legal by state law on roads with speed limits that don’t exceed 35 mph. Unlike regular golf carts, they come with bucket seats, seat belts, brake lights, headlights and windshield wipers. They can reach speeds of 25 mph and run for 30 miles between charges. Initially, the vehicles will operate only on weekend nights and in the arts district, Channel District and Harbour Island, where Persico lives. If the business takes off over the next year or so, it could be expanded to weekdays and to SoHo and Hyde Park. Persico is starting with two carts - for now housed in the garage at his condominium - but he’s hoping eventually to expand to five vehicles.



David S. Downing II, CGCS, vice president of operations and construction for Signature Golf Group in Myrtle Beach, S.C., was elected president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association’s annual meeting.


The annual meeting was held in conjunction with the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show in Orlando. Downing will serve until the 2009 annual meeting, Feb. 6 in New Orleans.


Elected as vice president was Mark D. Kuhns, CGCS, director of grounds at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, director/superintendent at Wollaston Recreational Facility/Presidents Golf Club in North Quincy, Mass., was elected secretary/treasurer.


Sanford G. Queen, CGCS, manager of golf operations for the city of Overland Park, Kan., and Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance operations at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, were re-elected to the board.


Robert M. Randquist, CGCS, director of golf course and grounds at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and Keith A. Ihms, CGCS at Country Club of Little Rock in Little Rock, Ark., both enter the second year of their terms as directors. Ricky D. Heine, CGCS, general manager and director of grounds at The Golf Club Star Ranch in Austin, Texas, will serve on the board for one year as immediate past president.


John J. O’Keefe, CGCS, director of golf course management at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, N.J., was appointed to the board of directors, filling the remaining year of Fitzroy’s term, created by his election to secretary/treasurer.


GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 21,000 members in more than 72 countries.  Visit GCSAA at



Patented Climate Control System Cools Golfers with Air Nearly 50 Degrees Cooler than Ambient Temperature

Augusta, GA – Club Car and Coolwell, which manufactures a patented climate control system, are teaming up to “take temperature out of play” and keep more players on the course even on the hottest and coldest days.


Club Car and Tempe, Ariz.-based Coolwell, which is joining the Club Car Solutions Network, will offer the golf car-mounted cooling and heating unit as an aftermarket accessory on Precedent and DS model cars. The unit, which mounts beside the car’s sweater basket, directs cool or warm air onto the necks and faces of golfers while they are seated. The Club Car Solutions Network is made up of a group of companies, including parent company Ingersoll Rand, whose products and services complement Club Car’s support of golf course owners and operators.


The 10-pound Coolwell unit is capable of delivering air that is nearly 50 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature for an entire round. In the heat mode, with the help of a flexible mounting arm, the system produces bursts of warm air that can be directed onto golfers’ hands and faces. “The Coolwell system helps golfers play comfortably all day in most any weather conditions. That means more rounds, more revenues and a competitive advantage for our customers,” said Mike Packer, Club Car’s vice president of Worldwide Sales. In addition, the unit functions as a sanitary beverage cooler and can be equipped with specially designed aroma cartridges to reduce stress and make the round more enjoyable. Whether in the heating or cooling mode, the system uses less than one amp of electrical current and will not affect the car’s overall performance, according to Packer.


“While our competitors suffered through one of the hottest summers on record (in 2007), our properties saw a significant increase in market share and guest satisfaction,” said Kenny Huff, director of golf at The Cascades of Texas in Tyler. “It’s definitely a point of distinction.”



Strong leadership bench strength results in internal promotions
Providence, MA – Textron Inc. has announced that John L. Garrison, Jr. has been promoted to president of its Industrial Segment, effective immediately.
In this critical role, Garrison will lead the Textron businesses that manufacture and market branded industrial products worldwide, including E-Z-GO, Jacobsen, Greenlee, Kautex and Textron’s Fluid & Power Group. He previously served as president of E-Z-GO, the world’s leading manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles. In turn, E-Z-GO Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kevin Holleran has been promoted to president of the business unit.


“These promotions underscore the depth of our management bench strength and will ensure continuity of leadership during a very important time in E-Z-GO’s history,” said Textron Chairman, President and CEO Lewis B. Campbell. “Having just introduced its newest, revolutionary golf car, the RXV, E-Z-GO is poised for accelerated growth and these two leaders will remain at the helm,” Campbell continued.

Garrison succeeds Barclay Olson, who is retiring from the company at the end of 2008 after 30 years of service. “Over a career spanning three decades in various capacities at Greenlee and Textron, Barclay has contributed mightily to the success of our company. He has approached his commitment with outstanding aptitude, enthusiasm and integrity. On behalf of Textron and our stakeholders, I thank him for his contributions to our company and wish him the very best in his retirement,” Campbell said.

Since joining the company in 2002, Garrison has been president of E-Z-GO. Prior to joining Textron, Garrison held senior management roles with Azurix Corporation and Case Corporation. He earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s of science degree in engineering from the United State Military Academy.

Holleran joined Textron in 2003 as vice president sales and marketing. Previously, he served in senior sales and product management roles with Ingersoll Rand and Terex Corporation. He earned his master’s in business administration from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s of science degree from Cornell University.



The unveiling of the 2009 Legacy model by Fairplay drew large groups of tradeshow attendees.  The golf course managers from across North America and the world were anxious to see latest offering from Fairplay.  The overall response was extremely positive. 


“Fairplay continues to lead the way in style and function,” was one comment by a very happy Fairplay dealer in Tennessee in the USA. “I became a dealer when Fairplay launched the first car nearly 4 years ago, and the Fairplay brand continues to become better and better every year.”


The latest addition to the Fairplay line boasts a 10% reduction in turning radius, 20% improvement to ride comfort with softer front and rear suspension components, an ergonomically designed dash board with generous beverage holder compartments, a full wrap around trim and molded seat cushions with contoured support, redesigned armrest for added comfort.  The bag well and sweater basket are bigger and the intensity of the headlights improved.


The 2009 Legacy on display was the high end DELUX model which includes an analog electric clock that illuminates when the lighting package is turned on.  The turn lights located on each side of the front body are a styling cue picked up from the automotive industry and the carbon fiber accent detail on the steering wheel and cup holder raises the DELUX model to the highest level of distinction.


One of things buyers like the most about Fairplay is the extras that are standard features with Fairplay, the attention to detail and the immediate eye appeal.  Based on the overwhelming response at this years Golf Industry Show, it appears Fairplay has another winner with the new 2009 Legacy model. 



Orlando, FL – Tomberlin Automotive Group surprised the PGA Show by unveiling the first production Hybrid LSV/Golf Car.  Not only did Tomberlin unveil this new technology but they also operated a fleet of hybrid electric cars shuttling PGA Show attendees from local hotels to the Orange County Convention Center. 

The Tomberlin E-Merge has a unique on-board charger allowing it to be plugged into almost any electrical outlet without having to carry a heavy, bulky, separate charger.  The Hybrid E-Merge carries a small gasoline generator which simply plugs into the on-board charger.  The Hybrid E-Merge runs on electricity for the first part of a journey and when additional range is needed the generator is started and simply charges the car’s batteries while it is driven.


“It is like a spare tire for the batteries” said Dewey Holland, President of Tomberlin Automotive Group.   We intend to drive our electric E-Merge shuttle fleet hundreds of miles during the PGA and Golf Industry Shows without ever plugging them into a wall to charge. 


What is most amazing is that any 2008-model Tomberlin E-Merge can be converted into a Hybrid model in less than an hour and for less than $1,000. 


The Tomberlin E-Merge E-2 and E-4 models were chosen for the conventions since they are street legal and meet Federal Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Standards.


For more information visit or call 706-860-8880.



Designed for hilly courses with hungry, thirsty golfers.

AUGUSTA, GA - Club Car’s new Cafe Express SE was designed for hilly courses with lots of hungry and thirsty golfers. The latest member of Club Car’s Cafe Express line of mobile merchandising vehicles comes with a more powerful engine and industrial-grade tires to make it easier to transport food, beverages and merchandise on the most challenging of terrains.


The Cafe Express SE is built on a modified Club Car Carryall 295 SE aluminum I-beam frame and chassis and is equipped with a 23-horsepower, 400cc Kawasaki 4-cycle engine. The SE model complements the Cafe Express and Cafe Express Deluxe, which are manufactured in colloboration with Carts of Colorado, a member of the Club Car Solutions Network. The beefiest member of the Cafe Express family also comes with 23-inch, 6-ply industrial multi-surface tires.


“If you can’t get your mobile merchandising vehicles to your golfers, you’re losing revenue,” said Mike Packer, Club Car’s vice president of Worldwide Sales. “This vehicle is designed to be able to go wherever your golfers are.”


Visit for more information.


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