Longhirst Hall Golf Club near Morpeth in Northumberland, has taken delivery of 11 new E-Z-GO RXV golf cars, which the members have christened 'Ladybirds' due to their bright red exteriors. Delivered by local dealer Rickerby Ltd of Hexham, the new fleet has performed above expectations in their first season.
Graham Chambers is the golf manager at the club and is responsible for the management of the fleet and, in his own words, "everything else on or around the golf course."
"The buggies have proved very popular with our members, who quickly nicknamed them the ladybirds," he said. "They look great and provide a real contrast when they're out on the course.
"Aesthetics aside, they are a really good golf car. We get more rounds per charge than our previous buggies and in the peak of the summer, some were going out three times a day. We belong to the Golf Breaks marketing scheme and this has also driven demand from visitors and as a result both turnover and our profit levels are up on last year."
Longhirst Hall Golf Course is owned by Tom Dawson, the founder and chairman of Dawson and Sanderson travel agency. From the opening of the course in June 1997 he has provided facilities for local people to play golf at an affordable price and without the 'stuffiness' of the more traditional golf clubs in the area.
"Right from the outset, Tom was adamant that he would encourage the pay and play format and provide affordable golf," Chambers added. "When you look at the breakdown of the two million golfers in the UK, only around 750,000 are members of clubs. That means around 1.3 million want to play at different venues and that's our target audience.
"Once we get them to Longhirst we have to provide the best value for money available and that's why keeping the course in excellent condition and providing affordable added value such as these golf cars, is paramount to our business."
The complex at Longhirst Hall also includes a 75-bedroom hotel complete with conference facilities, gym and sauna, a tennis club, a cricket club and a synthetic all-weather sports pitch.
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