Despite other claims to the contrary, Jonathan Shelbourne, Chairman and Managing Director of the Inchmarlo Resort & Golf Club, is convinced that he took delivery of the first UK fleet of the new E-Z-GO golf car back in early April. They were supplied by his local dealer, Fairways GM of Kinross.
"We were nearing the end of a contract on our previous golf cars and obviously needed to replace the fleet. Wilson Morison of Fairways had told me about the electric RXV and the various innovative features built into the new car. It was a huge leap of faith, but we ordered a fleet of 8 on his word alone and we have not been disappointed.
"We considered petrol and LPG, but storage and the rising cost of fuel were significant factors. Also with electric vehicles, the maintenance costs are seriously reduced and the increased number of rounds per charge makes the figures very attractive. We could have taken them on contract hire, but we decided on an outright purchase as they come with a four year warranty and we should have good residuals, when we come to change again.
"The automatic braking system is an excellent feature and the ease of maintenance with the automated battery fill system enables us to maintain the batteries in tip-top condition and the onboard charger makes it quick and easy for overnight charging. I'm certain we had the first fleet in the UK, if not Europe."
The Inchmarlo Resort is situated 20 miles west of Aberdeen in the small town of Banchory in Royal Deeside. From small beginnings in 1994, when it opened as a driving range it has grown with the addition of the nine-hole Queen's course in 1999, quickly followed by the Laird's 18-hole championship course, both designed by renowned course architect, Graeme Webster. A spacious clubhouse is the location for the Gillies restaurant, which specialises in locally farmed produce, Scottish salmon and Aberdeen Angus beef.
In 2007 the first phase of 30 two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom villas were constructed followed by a further 10 in May this year. There are plans in hand for a further 32 lodges, set in 20 acres of woodland surrounding the course.
"Our aim is to become the destination resort of choice in Royal Deeside," Jonathan Shelbourne added. "We have the location, infrastructure and access to additional land that will see us grow in the next five years offering a diverse range of quality leisure activities.