NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Gunnar Kleveland – President and CEO, Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.
Michael Parkhurst – Vice President, Golf
Bill Rhinesmith – Senior VP, Engineering
Tony Balestracci – Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain
Rocco Sica – General Counsel
Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. manufactures and sells equipment and services for the golf industry under several of its most well-known brands, including E-Z-GO golf cars, Cushman utility and hospitality vehicles, and Jacobsen turf equipment, as well as TFM technologies and solutions.
Based in Augusta, Georgia, it is a division of Textron Inc.
Textron is a multi-industry Fortune 500 company – having businesses in aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies – with more than $13 billion in revenue and over 32,000 employees worldwide. In addition to E-Z-GO, Jacobsen, and Cushman, Textron’s brands and product lines include Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft, Bell helicopters and Arctic Cat snowmobiles, side-by-sides, and ATVs, among many others.
Together, Textron’s three major golf and turf equipment brands (E-Z-GO, Jacobsen, and Cushman) boast more than 250 years of serving golf courses and resorts – with products ranging from golf cars, refreshment vehicles, and utility vehicles, to turf-care equipment.
E-Z-GO, founded in Augusta in 1954, became part of Textron in 1960 and has long been one of the most recognizable names in golf. The brand is renowned worldwide for its golf cars and personal transportation vehicles.
Meanwhile, Cushman, a brand which traces its heritage to 1901, is responsible for many of the food and beverage vehicles that golfers find out on the course – not to mention the ubiquitous utility vehicles and multi-passenger shuttles often found ferrying players or clubs to driving ranges and practice facilities.
And, for more than 80 years, Jacobsen has been a leading supplier of precision turf care equipment and services for golf, with a range of mowers, aerators, sprayers, bunker rakes, and other machines. Its products extend to serve professional lawn care, sports fields, and industrial applications. Textron purchased Jacobsen in 1978, and it became part of Textron Specialized Vehicles in 2016.
One year later, Textron also acquired TKVGPS, a provider of fleet management solutions and GPS technologies that help golf-course operators enhance the on-course experience for golfers. This purchase has since resulted in a new brand – TFM – with fleet management solutions that provide golf course owners and operators with extensive, real-time information to help monitor, maintain, and protect their fleets of golf cars and utility vehicles.
Having three of the most respected and trusted brands in the game, under the umbrella of a Fortune 500 company like Textron, has been a positive for the golf industry.
Across its wide range of businesses, Textron demonstrates a dedication for innovation, as well as bringing best-in-class products to the markets it serves. That’s certainly been the case in the golf course supply and turf care categories in recent years, as Cushman, E-Z-GO, and Jacobsen continue to deliver vehicles that help ensure golf courses’ success.