Legacy building is a daily task at Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge, and the Jacobsen Eclipse 360 ELiTE is the latest part of that journey.
Every day for the last six months, the lithium-ion powered greens mower has been in use at the home of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has impressed every operator that’s cut with it for different reasons.
For some, it’s the silent operation, and for others, it’s the timing of the reels. The swing-out center reel put a smile on mechanics’ faces in the workshop, and the battery life and quality of cut have been universally praised.
The club, through Mr. Palmer, has a long and established relationship with Jacobsen, and this latest advancement with battery technology is likely to shape the greenkeeping legacy for years to come, as Director of Grounds, Chris Flynn, explains.
“Arnold Palmer bought this property in the late 60s, and now we’re building his legacy. Jacobsen and Bay Hill have had a relationship literally for decades, and Mr. Palmer was a spokesperson for Jacobsen and had very close relationships, and that relationship is just as strong as ever today.
“The bottom line, and what matters most is performance. For us, this mower could not have performed any better; and I look forward to getting a few of them here on property full-time. I think any Superintendent would be more than pleased if they could get their hands on one.
“We’ve had it on the property for six months now, and we have used it every day since it’s been here. What’s been fantastic for us with all our practice greens being so close to the lodge is being able to go up there with the electric mower without making a lot of noise. That has been huge.
“Another thing is the operators love it. The ease of operation and the timing of how the reels go up and down is great. The cut quality is certainly what Jacobsen has been known for a long, long time.
“In terms of its footprint on the green, we haven’t seen any issues at all. It’s been a win-win all around. The mechanics have been very pleased with it. The way that back reel swings out was one of the first things our mechanics certainly noticed and put big smiles on their faces. It definitely makes their life’s a lot easier.
“When we wrap up with the mower and charge it up when we’re done, it’s ready to go for the next morning at full capacity. We’ve yet to run into a situation where we ran out of power and couldn’t finish mowing. We’ve mowed all 18 greens, we’ve mowed more than that, double-cutting, and we have yet to have an issue with the mower running out of power before us finishing the job.”
The new Eclipse 360 ELiTE from Jacobsen has been designed to combine the next generation of ELiTE lithium-ion batteries with a signature cut that has been trusted for a century.
ELiTE batteries have powered E-Z-GO vehicles for over 15 million hours, and the Eclipse 360 ELiTE has adopted that technology to make a mower that can cut 50+ large greens on a single charge.