Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.


Viva Las Vegas: What we saw at our own imaginary GIS

By , and |  February 9, 2021 1 Comments

Topgolf Las Vegas with Smithco

Left to right, Luke Maddox, Adrianne and Seth Jones, and Andrea and Tim Cloninger, Eugene (Ore.) CC, at Smithco’s Topgolf Las Vegas event. (Photo courtesy of Smithco)

Left to right, Luke Maddox, Adrianne and Seth Jones, and Andrea and Tim Cloninger, Eugene (Ore.) CC, at Smithco’s Topgolf Las Vegas event. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

There is no Topgolf like the Las Vegas Topgolf. A short bus ride from the MGM Grand, and you’re smacking golf balls toward movie screens displaying live sports. Was that an Elvis impersonator hitting next to us, or the real Elvis?

“You can’t put a price on people watching,” laughed Steven Johnson, regional sales manager, Smithco. “And, there are always some crazy antics going on in Las Vegas.”

Smithco hosted a reception for GIS attendees at Topgolf Las Vegas. As groups waited for their bay to open, they were invited to take a look at Smithco’s Star Command 3.0 and the Sand Star E.

“We’ve done a number of things for 2021, one of which is the Star Command 3.0, in conjunction with TeeJet Technologies,” Johnson said. “There are a lot of unique features that have been upgraded. We’ve been doing GPS sprayers now for 10 years, and TeeJet has really stepped up to the plate with turn compensation, the individual nozzle control and now we have 10-inch spacing that’s available on all of our GPS models.”

Johnson said the company has redesigned all its sprayer platforms and it’ll be introducing the new 1200 series this year, a single-seat 200-gallon self-contained spray rig with an open format.

“We have another product that’s not exactly new, the Sand Star E — it’s very exciting to bring that back to the marketplace,” he said. “We took it out three years ago because we were having issues with vendor parts. We’ve partnered with a couple companies that have some unbelievable technology.

Smithco’s Sand Star E is powered by lithium battery packs, ensuring a quiet ride. (Photo: Smithco)

Smithco’s Sand Star E is powered by lithium battery packs, ensuring a quiet ride. (Photo: Smithco)

“New for 2021, all our electric bunker rakes will be going out with lithium battery packs. We’re making that next step, that next investment that gives the machine the longevity that’s expected out of all Smithco products,” Johnson said. “When you take a piece of equipment like this, where the guys are on it for three, four hours, and you have it sitting next to the exact same model of product except with an engine in it? They all fight over the electric because it’s so nice not hearing it. It’s zero (decibels)! Not only is it eco-friendly, but you’re part of Mother Nature; everything is going on around you and you can lose yourself when you’re operating something that doesn’t make any noise.”

Porous Pave pours it on

On the final morning of the show, after shaking off the cobwebs from our Topgolf outing, we caught up with Matt Lamb, vice president of sales and marketing for Porous Pave.

Lamb and his team brought plenty of water to the desert to show off the Porous Pave product. The first thing that we noticed was the company’s demo, where hundreds of gallons of water were pumped through a panel of Porous Pave XL. As water flowed through the product, Lamb gave us the rundown: It’s a pour-in-place product for cart paths and drains away 5,800 gallons of water per square foot per hour.

Porous Pave XL permeable paving material gets doused to show the product’s drainage capabilities. (Photo: Porous Pave)

Porous Pave XL permeable paving material gets doused to show the product’s drainage capabilities. (Photo: Porous Pave)

The product is much lighter than concrete or asphalt because it’s 50 percent crumb rubber and 50 percent stone aggregate by weight. It comes in eight colors, works well for new applications or can be installed over existing cart paths and is very easy to install and repair.

“You can literally cut out a section of Porous Pave, mix up a batch right on-site and repair it with your maintenance crew,” he explained.

Sand Guard, Porous Pave’s bunker liner product, can also be mixed on-site and installed with a golf course’s maintenance crew with training from the Porous Pave team.

Both products stand up to freeze/thaw cycles, since the rubber and stone blend “work like one big expansion joint,” according to Lamb.

A highlight of this year’s GIS for Lamb was attending the “Bunkers: Everything You Wanted to Know and More” session. He said it was good exposure for the company.

“I’m excited that Sand Guard was referenced in this presentation,” he said. “We are relatively new to this space, and many superintendents and other decision-makers aren’t yet familiar with our solution.”

Nothing runs like Deere’s Bert Schmidt

Possibly no one had a better Golf Industry Show than Bert Schmidt, global manager, Market Development and Strategy (Golf) for John Deere. Fresh off winning the 5K — and an untold amount of cash on the tables at the Bellagio — Schmidt held a press conference in the John Deere booth to announce that John Deere is now the official equipment sponsor of the LPGA and will be sponsoring the 2021 Solheim Cup. From an equipment standpoint, Deere also had some updates.

Deere believes its autonomous fairway mower will gain some ground in 2021, after 2020 got off to a slow start due to the pandemic. (Photo: John Deere)

Deere believes its autonomous fairway mower will gain some ground in 2021, after 2020 got off to a slow start due to the pandemic. (Photo: John Deere)

“We’re building on our technology platform that we showed GIS attendees last year,” Schmidt said. “Look at what John Deere is doing in GPS technology across the entire John Deere enterprise. We continue to leverage what we’ve done as a company and bring it to the golf space.”

The company is also building on the autonomous mower technology that the company unveiled at the 2019 John Deere Classic. Schmidt said progress has been slowed because of the pandemic and the company’s inability to get face to face with customers last year. Despite the challenges of 2020, Schmidt said 2021 is looking to be a great year for John Deere Golf.

“Golf is booming in terms of participation and rounds played,” he said. “There’s a lot of positivity because of the game’s popularity, and it’s a safe game to play. You’re seeing tee sheets full. Superintendents have to continue to maintain the golf course with all that play they’re getting. And, a lot of them who delayed purchases due to the unknown early on in 2020? (Now), we’re getting contacted for opportunities to sell some equipment.”

This article is tagged with , , , , and posted in Featured, From the Magazine, Maintenance

About the Author:



1 Comment on "Viva Las Vegas: What we saw at our own imaginary GIS"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. babar cheema says:

    Thanks for your information . i am read your article i am very impressive.

Post a Comment