Bigbury Golf Club, situated on the cliff tops near Kingsbridge on the south Devon coast, is one of the first clubs in the UK to purchase the new E-Z-GO RXV golf car, launched earlier this year at BTME in Harrogate. They were purchased from local dealer, PJ Flegg of Ottery St Mary, near Exeter.
The cliff top location of the 18-hole, 6,100 yard course has been providing a challenge for golfers for the past 85 years. Wide fairways and fast greens are a feature of the course, as is the steep terrain in certain areas.
Nigel Blenkarne is the Director of Golf at Bigbury, a role combining that of Golf Club Manager and Head Professional. His experience of golf cars was gained at Bowood Golf & Country Club in Wiltshire, where he spent nine years a Head Professional. He has recently appointed Tracy Loveys as the Club's Professional and she is responsible for managing the fleet. Rather than numbering the golf cars, they are named after local villages with dedicated nameplates on their parking and charging bays.
Commenting on the new RXVs Nigel said, "This is a very good golf car and makes real economic sense to the course operator. It's more efficient due to its AC motor; more comfortable because it has automotive-type suspension; easier to maintain and gives the club a greater return on their investment. The regenerative braking puts charge back into the battery, but the most impressive aspect is the automatic braking system. It's an excellent safety feature: when the car stops on a steep hill there's no need to apply the brake, it applies automatically, there's absolutely no possibility of it rolling away. Then when you get back in the buggy and pull away, it's a smooth acceleration with no roll back."
After leaving Bowood, Nigel spent six years developing the Young Masters Golf programme encouraging youngsters, with ages ranging from 4 to 16, to take up the sport or improve their playing ability. He travelled extensively across the UK and Ireland recruiting like-minded PGA Professionals to join the scheme.