Industry News - January/February 2012

By Editor,

YAMAHA GOLF-CAR COMPANY ANNOUNCES AN INDUSTRY FIRST FOR GOLF CARS
Yamaha Golf-Car Company is pleased to announce the introduction of Electronic Fuel Injection as a standard feature for all Yamaha golf car based Personal Transportation Vehicles. As an industry first, the Yamaha Electronic Fuel Injection system offers many benefits over traditional carbureted fuel delivery systems. Those benefits include:
• No choke required.
• Cleaner burning with less exhaust emissions.
• Smoother, more responsive acceleration.
• No need to re-jet to compensate for less dense air in higher altitudes.
• The smallest carbon footprint of any gasoline powered golf car.
• Provides as much as 38% better gas mileage than the competition.*

*According to independent verification conducted by Applied Technical Services testing The DRIVE® by Yamaha to Club Car Precedent and E-Z-GO RXV.

“We’re excited to be the first golf car manufacturer to offer Electronic Fuel Injection to our customers” says Tom McDonald, president of Yamaha Golf-Car Company. McDonald adds, “We were able to draw from the knowledge gained in manufacturing other reliable Yamaha products such as WaveRunners, outboard motors, motorcycles and ATV’s that also have Fuel Injection. I think the benefits of Fuel Injection will refine our car to an unprecedented level, not to mention the benefit of potentially saving thousands of dollars in fuel costs.”

For more information on Yamaha Golf Cars, visit us on the web at www.yamahagolfcar.com.

BACKSPIN SEATING LAUNCHES STYLISH LINE OF CUSTOM GOLF CART SEATS

In the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania, deep inside the Corporate Headquarters of Custom Seats, Inc., one of the East Coast’s premier contract seat manufacturers, the management team in the Backspin Seating division is ecstatic about the upcoming launch of their new custom golf cart seats. “Seat Styles to Match Your Lifestyle” will be officially unveiled at January 2012’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. The customizable line of seats features durable, all-weather construction, easy installation and minimal maintenance.

Backspin Seating CEO Thomas Dellamalva is looking forward to the Show, “As a golfer myself, I’ve always had my eye on the industry. As an entrepreneur, this feels like a very natural expansion of our business. At Custom Seats, Inc., we are 100% focused on making quality seats. You’ll find our seats in casinos, lecture halls, wheelchairs and other environments where long-term comfort really matters. We’ve poured over a decade of knowledge and experience into creating Backspin Seating. People ask me why Backspin seats feel so great. While we’re using molded-form construction to deliver terrific support, the secret is really in the styling and craftsmanship, in the way the seat fits your body.”

Tom’s son, John Dellamalva, a Certified Public Accountant, serves as the company’s Vice President of Finance. “Because we are first and foremost a seat manufacturer, there are certain economies of scale that benefit the Backspin customer. Compared to other seats on the market today, Backspin products are an incredible value for the dollar.”

As Backspin’s Director of Product Development, Jamie Durkin is the artistic mind behind the design of each of the company’s three seats: the Turbo-Charge (bucket), The Crossover (bench) and The Streamline (bench). “I admit, in addition to comfort and value, we went for drama. Each of the three seats is available in three very unique styles, sewn and upholstered by experienced craftsmen. Each style can be completely customized and personalized. There’s contrast piping, diamond-tufting, racing stripes…customers can mix and match colors, textures, top-stitching details, embroidery and more. The Inspiration Gallery on our website shows just some of the creative possibilities.”

“We’ve assembled a team of smart, talented, forward-thinking people to bring these custom golf cart seats to market…product design, manufacturing, marketing, finance, sales,” says Vice President of Operations Dana Trotta- Jayne. “Backspin Seating is truly a collaborative effort. With so much manufacturing being done overseas these days, we’re proud that we’re making our products right here at home.”

Backspin Seating is currently accepting Dealer Inquiries within the continental United States. A limited number of International Dealership Opportunities are available. Dealer benefits include pricing incentives, business development assistance, a downloadable resource library and aggressive showroom/retail support. Dealer Applications are available at www.backspinseating.com. Inquiries can be directed to info@backspinseating.com.

SLOW RIDERS. SOUPED UP GOLF CARS HIT THE STREETS
Central Park in South Manhattan is everything that is awful about driving in New York City. Tour buses, horse-drawn carriages, trucks, cyclists, taxis and passenger cars converge from Fifth Avenue in a tortured tango of man and metal trying, without apparent success, to get somewhere in a New York minute. And now I am adding another machine to the transportation mix: a battery-powered Garia LSV, which is short for low-speed vehicle.

Garia is the latest entry in the market for LSVs, which are essentially street-legal golf carts. They used to be confined to retirement villages and gated communities, where no one is in particular hurry and traffic is a sign of vitality. But changes in state laws have made these souped-up golf cars increasingly popular on regular roads, and some towns have been accommodating the surge by doing things like converting parking spaces for these itty-bitty buggies and designating which major intersections they can cross.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most states now allow LSVs on any road where the speed limit is 35 m.p.h or less. This makes LSVs legal in New York City, where the crush turning onto Central Park South reveals some advantages the Garia has over a typical sedan. The Garia is made by a Danish company of the same name that has positioned itself as the Porsche of the LSV market. (Its vehicles are made in Finland at the same factory that assembles the Porsche Boxster.) The tricked-out $21,000 model I am testing has a dashboard refrigerator and chrome wheels. But by federal decree, it can’t go any faster than a very un-Porsche-like 25 m.p.h. Its squat front end means I can weave through the swarms of pedestrians more easily, and the turning ratio is such that cutting into traffic is a snap.

But then comes the reality of what this maneuverability means: Do we really want LSVs, which have little in the way of passenger protection, out there with the heavy metal? When the IIHS crash-tested one popular LSV model, the GEM e2, the results weren’t pretty. In one test the institute took the smallest car on the market, the Smart, and rammed it into a GEM at 31 m.p.h. Sensors showed that the crash-test dummy in the Smart was protected from serious harm by the car’s air bags and roll cage. The GEM dummy was toast. David Zuby, chief research officer of IIHS, called LSVs the undoing of 40 years of auto-safety improvements. To be street legal, LSVs need headlights and taillights, rear and side mirrors and seat belts, but they don’t have to pass the crash tests required of all passenger cars and trucks, nor do they have side-door air bags. Heck, they don’t even have side doors. The relatively low price of LSVs make them affordable to more people. But when a colleague took a look at the Garia, she said there’s no way she’d drive it in Manhattan. This did not prevent her from assigning me to drive it. Having done so, I’d have to agree with her assessment. These are still golf cars, and they have their place. But not in the big city. Time August 22, 2011.

J.R.’S LAWNMOWER SHOP CUSTOMER APPRECIATION
J.R.’S Lawnmower Shop held its annual Customer Appreciation Day along with being in business for 25 years Friday, October 21, 2011. J.R.’S had 634 to register for great door prizes and grand prizes, with upwards attendance of over 700; this includes children and adults which did not register.

One of the Grand Prizes was a 2008 Yamaha recondition electric Golf Cart. The winning ticket belonged to none other than Opp Firefighter Jason Whitehead who suffered a stroke earlier this year. Whitehead is pictured with owner, Joe Richburg, who said on realizing Whitehead was the winner that God is always working in the world.

Other winners were; John Harrison who won a Caliber Utility Trailer, Jerry Mulling won Snapper Push Mower, Neil Mckinnon & Sara Cullman each won Husqvarna Chain Saw, Al Kirk won Poulan Chain Saw, Janice Moody won Stihl Blower.

During the day names were drawn from the crowd for door prizes, while they enjoyed a free meal of BBQ from Pick & Save, Kelley’s hamburgers & hot dogs as well as sausage dogs, chips, David’s Catfish, Mrs. Stratton Slaw & Potato Salad, Subway sandwiches, Little Caesars Pizzas, Cake from individuals of Carol Polk & Lucile Foley and don’t forget drinks from Pepsi. And of course, JR, the Mechanikin dog visited the crowed throughout the day.

YKK SNAP FASTENERS AMERICA’S SNAD SNAP COMPONENTS ARE IDEAL FOR GOLF CARS
When you have your next golf outing, you will be glad to know that YKK Snap Fasteners America (YSU) offers a product that is designed to keep all of your golf accessories securely attached to your cart.  YSU’s SNAD (snap adhesively attached) snap components product line works great for mounting radios, windshields, cup holders, seat covers, carpeting, canopies, and an infinite number of other accessories to your golf cart.

Originally created for the marine industry, these fasteners have a unique dome shape, and they come in either an automotive grade of plastic or a flexible base silicone.  They also contain a pad of 3M™, VHB™ acrylic conformable foam adhesive on their underside which enables them to stick to most any surface including those where it is impossible to drill a hole.  Installation is a snap!  All one must do is simply clean the surface to which the snap is to be applied, peel off the protective paper backing, position and firmly hold the snap in place and release.

The plastic snap fasteners and the flexible base silicone adhesive snap fasteners can be used together.  The plastic snap fasteners are designed to stick to flat surfaces, while the flexible base silicone adhesive snaps work best on convex and concave surfaces such as the inside and outside of a metal tube.  The flexible base silicone snaps also attach to layered surfaces where different levels of framing come together.  The SNAD sockets and studs work perfect for securing items which conventional screw studs may not hold securely including golf cart frames, bodies, and covers.

The plastic snap fasteners are incorporated into a 40 mm diameter low profile, plastic dome, while the flexible base silicone adhesive snaps are incorporated into a 25 mm diameter low profile, silicone dome.  Both the plastic snap fasteners and the flexible base silicone adhesive snap fasteners can also be used in many other applications including materials handling, RVs, ATVs, signage, awnings, promotional displays, and trade show exhibits.

The plastic and flexible base silicone snaps’ snap on/off lifecycle exceeds that of hook and loop closures.  And since there are no moving parts, the snap action is more consistent over thousands of connections than conventional metal snaps.  SNAD fasteners are also available as either a stud or socket, and they come in black, white, gray or custom colors.

For more information on the plastic adhesive snap components or the flexible base silicone adhesive snap components and other YKK Snap Fasteners America Products, contact Rod Helwig at rodh@ykksnap-america.com.

CURTIS INDUSTRIES INTRODUCES NO-WELD DESIGN OF SNO-PRO™ LOADER BLADES
Capable of moving a host of materials: snow, aggregate materials, livestock feed and silage

Curtis Industries, LLC has introduced a new and improved line of Sno-Pro tractor blades that feature a no-weld design to simplify the process of attachment to the bucket loader arm.  No more welding or painting necessary.  Just attach and go!

These new Sno-Pro tractor blades range from 5’ to 8’ and offer a full moldboard design that protects both operator and equipment.  The operator can choose between three mounting options: Skid Steer, John Deere Quick Attach or the new Bolt-On Pin Mount Bracket.

All blades feature center-punched cutting edges with high-carbon steel for maximum utility and extended usage.  The durable charcoal powder coat finish provides a superior non-stick surface so no material remains on the blade and requires less passes. Hydraulic cylinders provide over 30 degrees of left and right adjustment with mechanical stops.  Each blade includes high visibility plow markers and adjustable cast-iron skid shoes. For more information on Curtis products please visit www.curtisindustries.net.

CLUB CAR’S ELECTRIC PRECEDENT STRETCH KIT ADDS TWO FORWARD-FACING SEATS
Owners of Club Car’s electric Precedent golf cars include families who live in gated communities, automotive dealers, apartment complexes and other individuals and business owners. These consumers want to interact with passengers and often want a four-passenger vehicle. Until recently, the only way to transform Club Car’s electric Precedent golf car into a four-passenger vehicle was by adding an optional rear-facing seat.

Club Car now offers these owners another choice. Known as the Precedent Stretch Conversion Kit, this dealer-installed option transforms the electric Precedent from a two-passenger vehicle into one with four forward-facing seats. The no-weld kit can be installed in about four hours, increases leg room by 35 inches, and includes an integrated grab bar for rear passengers.

“Unlike the optional rear-facing seat, the Precedent Stretch Conversion Kit allows all four passengers to face forward. This more familiar automotive configuration fosters conversation and increases passenger comfort,” says David Selby, Club Car’s director of consumer and commercial category.

The frame and other key components are made from rustproof aluminum, and te kit includes all the components needed to convert the vehicle into a four-passenger model, except the actual seats. “Seats are sold separately to allow owners to personalize their vehicles by selecting from our assortment of styles and colors,” Selby says.

The kit accommodates an optional 103-inch canopy to protect the car and its occupants from rain and snow. It also accommodates an optional track for users who want to install vinyl enclosures. The Precedent Stretch Conversion Kit is available at Club Car dealers and distributors. To find a dealer near you, visit www.clubcar.com and click “Dealer Locator.”

EVERGREEN ELECTRIC VEHICLES UNVEILS THE 2012 GOAT

Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC begins production of the NEW 2012 GOAT vehicle in November of 2011.  The GOAT is 100% electric powered by a 48 Volt - 12 Peak HP AC motor system.  The Ameri-Torque brake system is now used exclusively in all Evergreen 2012 vehicles and is known for ease of maintenance and reliable braking

The GOAT comes in a multitude of passenger configurations; 2 facing forward, the 2+2 with a rear facing seat kit, the 4 facing forward with 4+2 option utilizing the same rear facing seat kit.  Base models come with a rear cargo box, front utility basket and brush guard.  Customers can choose from 5 color options or upgrade to 5 premium colors or a CAMO wrap. Other standard features include AC motor, head and taillights, horn, on-board high frequency battery chargers, single point battery watering system, 6×8volt wet batteries and state of charge meter, just to name a few. Most orders for single car orders ship in is less than 14 days.  GOAT vehicles can be shipped one at a time by common carrier to expedite delivery.

Like the other quality vehicles offered by Evergreen Electric Vehicles, they are fully assembled here in the United States.  The parent company, Fairplay Electric Cars, LLC is a Colorado company headquartered in Grand Junction, Colorado and has offered a wide range of all electric vehicles since 2004.  Their production facility is conveniently located near the port of Long Beach in Southern California,   a perfect location for receiving a variety of assembly parts and loading containers for export.  To find out more about the new HOSS Extra Duty Utility Vehicles, visit the HOSS web site at www.goatutv.com

GOLF INDUSTRY ECONOMY – A 10-YEAR SNAPSHOT

You certainly cannot put the last decade in the golf business in perspective without looking at the changes in the supply and demand balance… or imbalance.

Let’s begin by re-visiting the golf development boom of the mid to late 1990’s…  The industry was riding the real-estate boom and the opening of new courses was disproportionately driven by developers building and maintaining high-end courses as an amenity to sell homes and lots.  While not a universal truth, most of the entrepreneurs funding this course construction were not concerned as to whether the course could survive on its own as a business.  Thousands of golf courses were added to the supply in the seven years from 1994 to 2000.
At the same time, the golf participation rate was holding steady (around 10.5% of the U.S. population, age 6+) and we saw an increase of nearly five million golfers primarily due to population growth and increases in some key demographic groups.

What happened to the golf landscape over the past decade is a not-so-simple lesson in economics.  Golf course over-supply has diluted the stagnant demand and created a highly competitive environment for course owners and operators.  Add two recessions during this period and what you have is an extremely challenging marketplace.

The accompanying chart offers an illustrative overlay of trends in several core metrics in our industry.  You will note that rounds played have seen a cumulative drop of 12% since 2001.  This drop in rounds (equivalent to approx. 60 million rounds) has been driven, in large part, by the two periods of recession mentioned earlier (2002-2003 and 2008-2010).

From 2001 to 2005, the industry was still adding to golf course supply at a rate of over 100 net courses per year.  Although we have seen a net reduction in course supply since 2006, we remain in an oversupply situation (despite the six years of net reduction in supply, we stand today at 300 facilities higher than 2001 levels).

GOLF CAR HAS SUNNY OUTLOOK
The Bonita Springs developers of the Sunmobile solar-powered electric utility vehicle promise a smooth ride from its four-wheel, independent suspension – and speed unheard of in most golf carts. And, for a golf course superintendent or a resort manager in a hurry, one push of a switch ramps up the maximum running speed from 15 mph to 25 mph. “It’s like going into overdrive,” said Hans Holzmann. He and William Heckenstaller are the principals in Solar Cart Solutions. It’s a spinoff of Gulf City Solar, a developer of solar power kits for installation on existing golf carts.

The original company recently installed its thin-film solar panels and power management systems on 125 carts at Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club north of Tampa. That made it the first golf fleet in the country to run on solar energy, according to Holzmann.

Now, in addition to the kits, the entrepreneurial duo are starting to market complete carts, which they think will have a bright future in the work fleets at golf courses and resorts and at mega retirement communities where electric carts are the preferred means of travel. The Sunmobile boasts 80 percent U.S-made parts. Final assembly occurs at the companies’ facility in Bonita Springs, where Holzmann and Heckenstaller are joined by three to four part-time workers. Unlike solar power kits that use heavy glass panels that can weigh up to 60 pounds, the local companies use a thin-film panel, weighing about nine pounds. Extra performance is provided by the proprietary power-management system Heckensteller developed. It costs about $2 per day to charge a conventionally powered electric golf cart.

EXTREME CUSTOM CARTS RAFFLE WINNER
With Breast cancer awareness month behind us, so is the Extreme Custom Cart Breast Cancer Awareness Raffle. This one of a kind beauty made appearances at Viera East Country Club;  Indian River Colony Club, BayTree Country Club, Patrick Air Force base for the Chamber of Commence tournament, Turtle Creek in Viera, Tuscany Customer appreciation day and Bar Bells for Boobs at 26.2 Crossfit in Rockledge where gym owner Allie Newell proudly sported this pink wonder.

With the help of our many vendors who donated various items and services to this cause. The cart raised $2500 to be donated to Breast Friends of Florida, right here in Brevard County. This Raffle was the first for Extreme Custom Carts, but certainly not the last. Our efforts started off a little late, but ended nicely. Our goal for next year is $5000.

We couldn’t be more pleased to draw winner Mitzi Hansrote, of Tuscany Villa’s, a breast cancer survivor herself. What a heart warming end to a beautiful cause. A hug thank you to all vendors and persons involved!! We will see you next year!

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