Golf Car UK Ltd Andover

Into the 2023 Season

Customer-driven evolution powers Golf Car UK expansion.

When Chris Ivess-Mash and Mathew Patton identified a gap in the UK golf buggy market over a decade ago, expansion and growth wedream–likeam–like all business entrepreneurs. Heading into 2023 that dream is alive and well, and the Golf Car UK business is about to celebrate another huge step in its evolution. Golf Car UK has moved into the new purpose-built GCUK Headquarters, nestled in the heart of Andover in southern England. 

Managing Director Chris Ivess-Mash explains: “An ever-increasing and loyal customer base necessitated a rethink of our operating conditions. It’s a good problem to have. Our current crop of talented and highly dedicated staff held our extremely modest offices in Amesbury in high affection, but the reality was that we had outgrown them.”  Workshops, logistics, storage space and communication were all tested to the breaking point and the multi-site operation which GCUK had employed. Something had to give.”

Sales Director Matt Patton describes the previous conditions: “The need to centralise our daily operations was becoming glaringly apparent. We were renting several large buildings across Wiltshire to house the buggy fleets, but this was proving to be costly and unwieldy as the demand for our products continued to grow. Chris and I were also becoming sensitive as regards our carbon footprint, and we became determined to find ways to streamline our day-to-day activities.”

With greener, more efficient practices in mind, the new GCUK Headquarters were commissioned in Q4 of 2021 with a completion date of Q4 2022. 

“Among many operational improvements we will now have a water recycling plant to wash our vehicles, and numerous electric charge points will encourage our staff to adopt electric transportation,” says Ivess-Mash. “We also have a new in-house graphics and marketing department along with a vehicle photo booth, but most importantly our new bespoke workshop facility has streamlined our vehicle output whilst at the same time reducing our power consumption.”

He continues, “Centralising everything under one roof, including the creation of highly efficient office spaces, has many benefits for the business, and we will be passing these benefits onto our customers.”

With the efficiency bit firmly between their teeth, Ivess-Mash and Patton also took a look at the company’s all-important after-sales service department. GCUK employs an in-house team of mobile engineers to service customer breakdowns and repairs. All vehicle warranty and spare claims are handled by a highly skilled team of staff which aims to satisfy customer queries and issues within a single site visit.

GCUK Service Manager Karen Braund explains: “We have a dedicated parts and service department within the new building, and we will continue to invest in bespoke computer systems and a blend of the latest technologies. Our upgraded IT system has improved planning for our mobile engineer site visits using the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly routes throughout the UK.” With the company’s arrival in a new community 13 miles away from its old headquarters, Golf Car UK has made attracting people in the Andover area who would like to work in the golf and leisure industry one of its major priorities.

“People from the surrounding towns and villages will find the new GCUK building to be a terrific environment in which to work,” said Ivess-Mash. “We plan to offer a highly attractive employment option for residents who want to learn new skills and develop long-term careers.”

 The power of personality.

Every business needs inspiring personalities in its management team, and new arrivals at GCUK will find that the company’s two talented Regional Sales Managers, Rob Purvey and Marc McCracken, both fit the bill. Purvey, a former PGA Professional who has been involved in golf since he was a teenager, and McCracken, a former Director of Golf and PGA Professional, have established themselves as formidable promoters of all that is good about the game. McCracken explains: “When I first joined GCUK my key skill set was in playing the game, but I also brought with me a wide knowledge of how the industry operates. This has helped me develop skills to coach golf club operators to get the most from their buggy and utility vehicle fleets and to improve their profit levels. “Rob and I are in daily contact to ensure that we get the best deals for Managers and Clubs alike in all scenarios.”

Purvey, with over a decade of account management experience, has a passionate desire to see golf clubs thrive. “I have seen first-hand what it takes to run a successful golf club,” he says. “As well as helping to create the optimum fleet of buggies and other vehicles at any given venue, Marc and I are all about sharing ideas and passing industry knowledge and advice on to our colleagues at golf clubs across the UK.” Under Patton’s direction, Purvey and McCracken help huge numbers of UK golf clubs generate more revenue from their buggy rentals daily. GCUK has built its enviable reputation on the back of becoming the biggest importer of E-Z-GO golf buggies into the UK and more recently, in Europe whilst enjoying the benefits that an Authorised UK Dealership brings. Rob Purvey says: “E-Z-GO golf buggies are a class above anything else. They are safe to drive, have a high-quality finish and are easy to maintain whilst being cheaper to operate. Fewer headaches for General Managers!“The game-changer was the E-Z-GO Elite RXV, which incorporates the Samsung Lithium battery. It has a proven track record in the region of over 50 million rounds worldwide, but most importantly golfers love to drive them!”

Golf Car UK supplies vehicles to many of the premier golf clubs throughout the UK and is working closely with more and more local municipal golf courses to see the benefit of fleet buggy rentals, club growth, and golfer retention. The company is also now deepening its portfolio and expanding its sales team to better promote and sell its range of Cushman Utility Vehicles throughout the UK. Patton explains: “Rob and Marc have helped to establish our market share in the utility vehicle market, but ultimately we want the Cushman brand to stand on its own and we aim to appoint a dedicated team of Utility Vehicle Regional Sales Managers soon.

“We will also launching the new Cushman Utility Vehicle brand online shortly. It will operate with the same model which has driven golf buggy sales so successfully. “Having the new building enables us to focus on expanding our utility vehicle business while we also strengthen our share in the golf buggy purchase and rental market.” Despite the recent challenges that all businesses have faced, optimism is high at the new GCUK Headquarters. Patton says: “We have all seen the extraordinary recent growth in UK golfer numbers. It is more important than ever that clubs offer golfers the best-possible experience right now, to retain the newcomers, anchor future memberships, and take advantage of the heightened interest in the game. “Golf buggies greatly enhance the golf experience, and we see strong growth ahead in the market because of the higher numbers now playing.”

 Ivess-Mash summarises: “Getting our infrastructure right is vital for us to best serve existing and new customers and it is something we are committed to. Our business needs to be agile enough to react to the many different market and global forces that all businesses face, coupled with the ever-shifting challenges of the economic situation within the UK and Europe. “With Golf Car UK firmly established in the golf and leisure industries, our new premises will galvanise our team and enable us to offer a more relaxed, more efficient service to our important customers in a modern and forward-thinking environment.”