Golf Course Management

FEB 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 119

68 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.18 Ultimately, electrical system components and software advancements made it possible to clear the final hurdle between prototype and production. The introduction of a controller (which underwent extensive testing, including being submerged in salt water) that was fast enough to handle all drive train requirements was a crucial piece of the puzzle. "Mechanically, it's a very simple machine. There's nothing remotely cutting-edge me - chanically. It's all in the software that is driv- ing everything. It helps the operator and helps the superintendent stay very consistent with what they want to have done," says Bergsten, noting that the Outcross has a pre-set attach - ment function (for up to 16 attachments) that can eliminate decision-making by the operator and place it in the hands of the superintendent. "Features making it smarter and easy for any operator to run speaks volumes to the industry." In 2015, after all those years of percolating in the system, the development team received the blessings of the CATT group and Toro management to proceed. Toro senior prod - uct marketing manager Greg Lawrence shep- herded the project from CATT to its final de- velopmental phase. "Greg's focus was to pull all the critical pieces together, define the project parameters and lead the development team," Ferguson says. "In order to be competitive and provide customers with enhanced value, the Outcross had to be smarter, friendlier on turf, and more versatile than tractors or utility vehicles. Over time, technological advancements with hard - ware, software and other components made these customer-desired capabilities practical, and made the Outcross a reality." Still, the time element for it to come to fruition was extraordinary. "It's unique in that it's been incubating for that amount of time," Ferguson says. "Typi - cally, a product that we work on, from start to finish, is two, maybe three years, depending on the complexity and newness. For a prod - uct that has been conceived, germinated and evolved over that span of time is not usual. We're cutting a new path, essentially. We're creating a new product that hasn't been done before." Seeing is believing Tyler Truman got his first look at what would eventually become the Toro Outcross five years ago. Initially, he wasn't sure what to make of it. "It had four wheels welded onto it, no engine, a steering wheel and tires that didn't turn. At first I was like, 'OK.' But all the things they wanted to do with it made sense," says Truman, the GCSAA Class A superin - tendent at Mountain Vista Golf Course in Palm Desert, Calif., and a 13-year member of the association. In 2016, Truman was among the superintendents provided with a chance to test the Outcross 9060 and its aeration capa - bility on their courses. "I think we (superin- tendents) were all hoping something like this would come along a little quicker." Bergsten is comfortable that the time is now for the Outcross. "Something like this probably wouldn't have been feasible five or The input of superintendents has been crucial to the making of Outcross. Toro says that as many as 1,000 potential customers worldwide have submitted their thoughts on what would make for a good machine, and some of them have even tested it at their courses. "We're cutting a new path, essentially. We're creating a new product that hasn't been done before." — Tony Ferguson

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Golf Course Management - FEB 2018