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AGZA's President Dan Mabe and Marketing Director Luke Massman-Johnson pitch the vision of the nation's first zero-emission golf course.

GOLF COURSES ARE THE HOLY GRAIL OF SUSTAINABLE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

Golf courses are very special environments with even more special needs. The game demands that greenskeepers pristinely groom dozens of acres of lush clean grass and landscaping features. Different cut heights must be maintained for greens, collars, fairways, and roughs, and of course greens must be as smooth as carpets. In fact as evidence of the exacting standards, the blade tolerances for the Jacobsen real mowers that shave the greens are measured in hundredths of an inch!

Furthermore, unlike almost all other sports fields, golf requires a zen-like serenity and quiet concentration. Distracting noises and deviations in terrain can seriously upset a player's performance. 

So it is a massive irony that for the last hundred years golf courses have always been maintained by some of the noisiest, dirtiest, smelliest, least efficient and most polluting machines around — gas mowers, hedgers, edgers, and trimmers.

But at AGZA we have seen the future because we work with it every day! Extraordinary advances in commercial-grade Lithium-ion equipment have compelling answers for the long list of compromises inherent in gas lawn machinery. 

  • Noise pollution — 40% - 70% quieter
  • Gas, oil, gas + oil mixing + refueling — nope
  • Rising cost of fuel and oil — nada
  • Carcinogenic VOCs + evaporative emissions — naught
  • Carbon Monoxide — nil
  • Carbon Dioxide contributing to global warming — niet
  • Nitrogen Oxides — none
  • Particulate Matter (PM10 + PM 2.5) — zip
  • Smog — zero
  • Toxic cleaning chemicals — zilch
  • Maintenance and replacement parts — radically reduced
  • Solid waste (plugs, filters, hoses, belts, bottles) — uh uh
  • Cumulative health hazards for workers — bupkis

SO WHAT'S THE HOLD UP?

The price and performance of the latest electric tools are pushing greenskeeping — and the entire lawn care industry — to a tipping point. Clearly we are within close reach of an inevitable electric revolution, and that's exciting and hopeful. However, a couple important challenges remain before course owners, grounds supervisors, and greenskeeping crews can reap the many benefits of a completely zero-emission course.

AGZA's President Dan Mabe and Marketing Director Luke Massman-Johnson were excited to initiate that essential and strategic conversation, and were honored to have the time and attention of a couple important people in the industry to help figure it out:

  • Michael Donovan, Owner / Manager of eleven courses in the region, including Arroyo Seco.
  • John, Arroyo Seco Greenskeeping Supervisor
  • Len Ochs, Territory Sales Manager for the industry-leading Jacobsen reel mowers.
  • And Matt Tarnate, Service Rep for Transpower, a cutting-edge engineering team that custom builds battery-electric power systems.

The conversation was very insightful and strategic, and began to define a pathway to viable and complete solutions. But since the exploration is open, ongoing, and proprietary, we'll have to leave you, dear reader, with a question seeking an answer:

Zero-emission electrification is the very near future of golf course maintenance. It's not a matter of IF but WHEN ... and with WHOM?


Here's the equipment we shared at Arroyo Seco:

GREENWORKS PRO

  • 80v commercial backpack blower
  • 80v fast charger

MEAN GREEN MACHINES

  • 60-inch ride-on commercial mower
  • 40v backpack Blast commercial blower
  • 40v backpack battery system with interchangeable commercial blower, trimmer, edgers and hedgers


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