Editor’s note: The June issue of Superintendent magazine features a special supplement on golf and sustainability. We were fortunate to have several advertisers/sponsors involved in the supplement to make it possible and to help educate superintendents about sustainability. We asked the sponsors to share their philosophies about sustainability as it pertains to their products. It’s clear these companies take sustainability very seriously and are committed to its economic, environmental and social components. While their stories appeared in the June issue, we’re also sharing them in this newsletter. Today, a look at Jacobsen.

Chris Fox, a product manager for Charlotte-based Jacobsen, shares a perfect example of golf and sustainability related to the company’s ECLIPSE 322 riding electric greens mowers. A superintendent whose budget was trimmed (sound familiar?) had to find an alternative to walk-mowing greens to save on labor. The superintendent, however, was accustomed to his crew mowing greens with walk-behind mowers. He was concerned about the potential of a hydraulic leak, not to mention the quality of cut, that came with using a riding greens mower.

The superintendent tried the ECLIPSE 322. It not only eliminated his concerns about possible hydraulic leaks (the machine has zero hydraulics), the superintendent also discovered that the machine’s quality of cut was just as good as his walking greens mowers, Fox says. Fuel savings and the mower’s quiet performance were added benefits. It was a smart move for the superintendent, and all in the name of sustainability.

Jacobsen has been marketing the ECLIPSE line of walking and riding greens mowers for their sustainable attributes. While it may cost more because of the technology, more superintendents are seeing the return on investment that the line offers.

“The interest continues to grow in the ECLIPSE line of mowers,” Fox notes. “It has become a proven and widely used technology.”

To such an extent that superintendents are asking Fox when Jacobsen will take the technology to fairways.

“The fact that superintendents are already thinking ahead to fairway mowers tell us that the technology is trusted and validated,” Fox says.

In regard to sustainability, superintendents are telling Jacobsen personnel that they want three things from mowing technology: one, eliminate the risk of leaks on the turf; two, reduced fuel consumption; and three, reduce or eliminate air and/or noise pollution.

Jacobsen President David Withers is always “talking about how to make equipment smaller and lighter” to be more sustainable, Fox says.

“The lighter the mower, the smaller engine you need to power it, thus requiring less energy and fuel,” he adds.

The improvements in technology are moving fast, says Adam Slick, Jacobsen’s communications and public relation’s manager. When Jacobsen debuted its electric E-Walk walking greens mower in the early 2000s, nobody expected the technology would one day extend to a riding greens mower. Jacobsen will soon offer the ECLIPSE 322 with a lithium battery, increasing its range to 18 greens plus practice greens on one charge.

Jacobsen also broke new ground on the environmental front by hosting an Earth Day event on April 22 at The Bear Trace Golf Club near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The event showcased Bear Trace’s environmental achievements and commitment to golf and sustainability, including the use of seven ECLIPSE 322 riding greens mowers.