What are the best golf buggies?

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick July 20, 2023 11:20

From the ninth largest golf resort in the world, which offers golf cars that are used on its 25 miles of buggy paths in Devon, to a golf club near London that now allows golfers to listen to music via speakers connected to their phones in the vehicles, we look at some major developments in the UK market.

The Ashbury Golf Resort is situated in over 500 acres of beautiful rolling countryside with stunning views over Dartmoor, seven miles north-east of Okehampton in Devon. It offers an unrivalled 103 holes of golf, all on one site, resulting in it being the ninth largest golf resort in the world. An impressive accolade for a British golfing destination.

With four 18-hole courses, an 18-hole par three course and a nine-hole academy course all on one site, the resort features 25 miles of buggy paths to facilitate the largest golf car fleet in Europe.

Ashbury Golf Resort

The resort has a long relationship with Yamaha, its preferred supplier of over 450 premium golf cars, which can be used all year round on all of the courses. There is also a selection of ‘all-season’ cars, which are fully cabbed, providing complete protection from the weather.

Chris Back is the workshop manager and is responsible for a team of five full-time mechanics; two who work on the golf car fleet and the smaller course maintenance equipment and the other three on the larger equipment and heavy plant equipment owned by the company.

Ashbury Golf Resort

“We are exclusively Yamaha and have in excess of 450 of their golf cars here, which makes us the biggest commercial operator in Europe. About 60 percent are electric with the remaining 40 percent petrol driven, with 100 cars having all-weather cabs for winter use. Everything is maintained in-house and each car has its own comprehensive service record,” he said.

“We are completely self-sufficient and use an online computer system, which links directly to Yamaha’s UK headquarters in Woking for ordering genuine parts and accessories. We have an excellent working relationship with them, which is important as the owners have a policy of purchasing only good quality second-hand cars and Yamaha will always notify us when the right type of vehicles are coming off lease from another customer. Sometimes, for example, there’ll be 10 in good condition and maybe a couple damaged, but that’s not an issue to us as they can be used as donor vehicles.

Ashbury Golf Resort

“You would think that managing a fleet this size would be problematic, but we have two golf car marshals (three in high season) who look after them on a day-to-day basis for maintenance. They are responsible for checking them over when they return and making sure they are clean and fully charged or topped up with fuel when they go out.”

Yamaha golf cars have a reputation for reliability and, although these at the Ashbury Resort are in regular use, they require very minimal additional maintenance.

Ashbury Golf Resort

“We have two large undercover garage facilities, close to the golf shop where the golfers collect their keys,” Chris added. “The garages operate on a one-way system so that when one buggy leaves it is replaced by the next in line. At the start of each day you will find 60 cars ready for use in the all-day golf car area in the main pick-up park.

“We have a mix of electric and petrol for a very good reason: our longest course is the Kigbeare at 6,528 yards and the furthest from the clubhouse, so it’s sensible to use the petrol cars here. For safety reasons, we have dedicated buggy lanes on the shared vehicle areas around the clubhouse, car parks and accommodation facilities.

Ashbury Golf Resort

“The golf cars are on the paths all-year round, which obviously helps protect the playing surfaces, the only exception is for golfers with disabilities. Ninety-nine percent of golfers use the buggy paths, which are a mixture of tarmac, concrete or hardcore, depending on the different phases as the site developed.

“Winter is obviously the quiet period when we do a lot of maintenance and repair work. If batteries, a new motor or the controller needs replacing we’ll pull the vehicle off the fleet and do it, and they won’t go out again until the new season in April or May.”

Ashbury Golf Resort

Earlier this year The Grove, the luxury hotel, golf course and spa just outside London, became the first venue in the UK to install a fleet of Club Car golf vehicles with built-in speakers.

The 40 state-of-the-art Tempos allow users to connect their phones and play music during their rounds, in addition to having USB ports, premium comfort seats, lithium batteries and GPS technology.

“The speakers have been very well received,” said Brad Gould, director of golf at The Grove, which has chosen Club Car as its golf car supplier since it opened in 2003.

“The Grove is always trying to push the boundaries and find ways to maximise the guest experience. We were the first in the UK to add Visage GPS screens, now we’re letting our clientele have some fun with the speakers.

“Unusually for the UK, the majority of our golfers take a cart. We have a lot of corporate events and society days and we want to ensure that experience is enhanced to the maximum.”

Gould added: “The speakers allow guests to enjoy music while they’re inside the car. If you’re a few feet away you can’t hear it, so there’s no impact on other golfers.”

Brad Gould, director of golf at The Grove

Club Car’s highly-acclaimed Tempo model comes with a 3.3hp motor and 375 Amp controller as standard to deliver outstanding hill-climbing power and acceleration. It also has many customisable options including colour, seats, storage, wheels and three programmable drive modes to maximise performance.

STAR golf buggies are equipped to get players around the course with power and precision. And when it comes to doing that, there are two stand out stars: the Capella and Sirius.

Most utility vehicles and golf buggies in the UK’s golf clubs are powered by lead acid batteries. Now with lithium-ion on offer from brands like STAR EV making the switch to this latest technology offering is the logical next step.

The Capella 2 Pro and Sirius 2 Pro are powered by a sustainable 80Ah lithium-ion battery which is incredibly productive delivering 20-30 miles or 36 holes and beyond on a single charge. Recharge is efficient, taking just three to four hours, which can be done overnight removing the need to take them out of circulation during the day between rounds.

STAR EV (Capella)

What’s more, these buggies perform at a constant 100 percent regardless of charge, delivering maximum productivity up until the last second, so members will never be caught short around the course. And there’s no need for expensive infrastructure outlay either, both vehicles can be topped up using the on-board Lester charging system via any available 13A or 16A socket.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

The Capella 2 Pro has excellent hill-climbing and parking abilities with durable and long-lasting components and a long list of available upgrades. Royal Dornoch Golf Club has recently invested in a fleet, with general manager, Neil Hampton, saying: “The Capella Pro 2 buggies are light on their feet, which was a top consideration in the purchasing decision” with Neil also confirming STAR EV “came top for price and value in our research.”

STAR EV (Sirius)

Meanwhile the Sirius 2 Pro provides a stylish ride for all guests. All the things expected in a golf buggy but with a storage bonnet, console with cupholders, adjustable backrests, two speed settings and an extensive list of optional extras such as premium seats and alloy wheels.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick July 20, 2023 11:20
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1 Comment

  1. Edward Richardson July 27, 08:16

    I have (had) an agreement with Yamaha that covered about 120 carts, but the level of service has become so poor that we acquired 70 from another supplier at the beginning of the year.

    I wouldn’t normally speak out about a supplier dispute, but their attitude toward service has been the worst experience I have ever seen. One example, we have seats on carts across several sites that have split, these carts are only three years old, so we raised the issue with Yamaha as a warranty issue. Four months later nothing has happened and they said this week that while it wasn’t ideal, at least the carts work. We have to constantly apologise to our customers. There are plenty of good cart providers, but at this time, I would avoid Yamaha.

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