Golf Course Management

JUL 2017

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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46 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.17 Can you hear me now? While the economic and environmental advantages of electric maintenance equipment are particularly appealing, plugging in also fosters safer working conditions, more serene surroundings, and additional benefits. A Tennessee superintendent offers an in-depth look at electrifying one's fleet. Many of you may remember the phrase "Can you hear me now?" from ads for a wireless car- rier that ran a few years back. The slogan signaled that customers could be heard from almost anywhere, and while that's a great attribute for cell phone coverage, for golf course maintenance personnel, it's not a favorable trait. Perhaps you or your agronomy staff have gotten the "death stare" from golfers or had complaints voiced against you when noise from gasoline- or diesel- powered equipment disrupted a golfer's round? Maybe you've had a hydraulic leak from a mower kill a strip of grass on your 18th green just before a tournament? Been instructed by your green committee or course owner to find a way to reduce expenses without reducing the quality con - ditioning of the golf course? Well, I have a suggestion that can remedy any one or several of those issues. In March 2013, here at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course located just outside of Chattanooga, Tenn., and known for its award-winning environmental programs, we began swapping much of our gasoline-powered maintenance equipment for 100 percent electric- powered models. This project, which we named the Electric Equipment Initiative, was funded through the Tennessee Clean Energy Grant (TCEG) in collaboration with the Tennessee De - partment of Environment and Conservation, through its Office of Sustainable Practices. The objective was to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to using fossil fuels to power golf course maintenance equipment — one that would save money, reduce noise pollution on Paul L. Carter, CGCS AT THE TURN Examining electric: The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay in Harrison, Tenn., transitioned to electric maintenance equipment in 2013, and superintendent Paul L. Carter, CGCS, has closely monitored the move's various effects on the facility. Shown above, the 48-volt lead-acid battery system located beneath the seat of one of the course's Tru-Turf green rollers. Photos courtesy of Paul L. Carter (equipment)

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