To complement the theme celebrating 175 years of Ransomes mower production at Ipswich, the party visiting this year's Golf Industry Show, held in Anaheim, California was limited to 175 people, but somehow it just grew and grew! When everybody was finally assembled at the Doubletree Hotel on City Drive, the Ransomes Jacobsen party of specially invited guests and staff totalled 207 people. Ransomes Jacobsen is a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.
The visit was a five-day round trip with the group made up predominantly of greenkeepers, but with a small contingent of contractors, municipal clients and journalists. After a long flight and a good night's sleep they were welcomed at breakfast the following morning by Dan Wilkinson, the President of Jacobsen.
The hectic itinerary was supported by superb hospitality. Guests had the opportunity to spend one and a half days at the GIS Show, held at the Anaheim Convention Center and were able to visit the huge Jacobsen booth, which featured a range of new products.
The Jacobsen Eclipse 122 F is new walk-behind greens mower with an independently mounted floating head cutting unit providing an optimum cut in any condition. A new Turf Groomer® was also unveiled, available for all Jacobsen fairway mowers with 7-inch diameter reels and completing the new product offering were two new deep aerators, the PerformAire™ 60 and the PerformAire™ 80.
The Saturday of the visit was devoted to a session of Product Focus Groups, held at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, where all guests were able to provide input and see, first hand, some of the new product developments by Jacobsen. The renowned Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen at Disney World was the venue for the evening dinner, which featured an impromptu, but highly professional, singing performance by one of Swedish dealers.
Sunday morning was free time with many of the party taking the opportunity to visit local theme parks, shopping malls and other attractions in and around Anaheim, before the lunchtime departure to Los Angeles airport for the flight home.
John Littlejohn, head greenkeeper at Fraserburgh Golf Club commented, "This was a fantastic trip from start to finish. The hospitality, the visit to the Show and the focus groups at Newport Dunes were absolutely brilliant. The opportunity to be with a peer group of greenkeepers from clubs around the world and to be able to discuss different issues in a relaxed environment was invaluable. The attention to detail and the organisation of the whole trip was a logistical triumph. On behalf of every one of the guests I would like to thank Ransomes Jacobsen and their dealer network for this wonderful opportunity."
"John's comment is indicative of the feedback I've received from everyone I've spoken to", said David Withers, Ransomes Jacobsen's Managing Director who hosted the visit. "This is our sixth visit and it involved the largest number of people to date, representing some 19 countries from within our territory. It's a hectic and packed schedule, but it really does cement relationships between our customers, prospective customers and our organisation. Hopefully, it was a fun experience for everyone and we're already looking forward to Orlando next year!"