Since joining Gleneagles in March 2015, director of golf, Gary Silcock, has been on a four-year journey to provide a premium experience for golfers of all abilities from hotel guests to Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup competitors.
Left toright: Andre Andrade - TSV Director of Sales, Gary Silcock - Gleneagles Director of Golf, Wilson Morrison - Fairways Sales Manager, Morgan O'Sullivan - E-Z-GO Regional Sales Manager
Keeping the 'Gleneagles experience' at the cutting edge requires extensive research and investment. It's as much about listening to what golfers at a premium course want as it is supplying them with technology they haven't experienced.
Fulfilling a set of practical and impressive criteria was top of the agenda when replacing Gleneagles' previous fleet of buggies. Lithium batteries and an accurate GPS system were the stand out functional features while the customer journey had to be considered at every stage.
This meant close attention to detail on the visual aspects of the new fleet. Any option under consideration needed to be customised with logos and branding to keep them in fitting with the rest of the equipment, but Gary's first action was to pick a model and brand from a range of dealers.
For Gleneagles, lithium batteries are the forefront of golf car technology, with multiple environmental and practical benefits making them the key factor. Lighter buggies allow guests to go on the fairways more often, increasing both revenue and the golfers' experience, while reducing stress on the turf and preventing wear and tear on the course. Gary assessed a number of lithium options, but it was the combination of features on the RXV ELiTE range that stood out.
The TFM GPS, combined with the Intellibrake system, provided everything required in terms of usability and accuracy but the combination of the two also increased the safety of those using the buggies.
Gary explained: "We looked at the TFM system E-Z-GO offers, and it did everything we wanted it to, and we've been very surprised at the ease and usability.
"The topography of the land at Gleneagles has a lot of interesting slopes, and the IntelliBrake system on the RXV EliTE prevents any skidding. We were focused on health and safety when making our decision, and the braking system was an interesting piece that was unique to E-Z-GO."
With a selection of features in place, the aesthetics were next on the list. Any new fleet of buggies would be located on the driveway and provide guests with a valuable first impression, so it was vital for them to have a head-turning look.
To show how that could be achieved, director of sales, Andre Andrade, produced a sample buggy with Gleneagles branding to show precisely how a high-specification RXV ELiTE would look and perform. For Gary, this was a crucial stage in the decision-making process because he wanted to work with - and continue working with - a company that provided the best customer journey for himself and the guests of Gleneagles.
The high level of engagement from E-Z-GO and Scottish dealer, Fairways, throughout the design and demo process impressed Gary and led to him confidently choosing a fleet of 45 bespoke RVX's to enhance the 'Gleneagles experience'.