The Castle Course is the newest of the seven public courses that make up the St Andrews Links Trust. Kevin Mackay, operations manager for the Castle Course, tells Glyn Pritchard why it was decided to deploy a PowaKaddy rental trolley fleet soon after opening.
Opened in 2008, The Castle Course is a cliff top links with commanding views over the sea and the ‘Auld Grey Toon’. The course closes through the winter months from November to March, as Kevin Mackay confirms. “It’s more exposed here on the cliffs and subject to frost, unlike the lower lying links courses near the town. So it makes more sense to close for four months, but you’d be surprised how fast they pass!”
The decision to offer electric trolley hire was made to give players more choice. “We only have three golf carts for hire here and because it’s quite a hilly course we wanted to give players the choice of electric trolley hire as well as pull-trolleys. We have 23 PowaKaddys at The Castle Course and a total fleet of 45 across The St Andrews Links courses.” Asked why they selected PowaKaddy, Mackay says, “Familiarity played a large part. We had used PowaKaddys before so it was trusted brand known for its high standards.”
As well as providing players with a choice, the PowaKaddy fleet has proved to be very profitable. “We’ve had about 750 hire rounds this year and at £18 a round it’s very useful additional revenue. That’s not the driving force for us, but it means it is cost effective and helps with our ultimate aim, which is to provide more options for our golfers.”
The PowaKaddy rental fleet has proved to be popular with the many golf tourists that visit The Castle Course. “They complement the total service we aim to offer visitors. I would estimate that about 80 percent of our visitors are from abroad, with the majority of overseas visitors coming from the States or far-east. They are used to high standards and will often be playing every day of their trip, so the PowaKaddys ensure they don’t get too fatigued.”
Regarding reliability, Mackay says that the PowaKaddy fleet has proved to be robust. “Our PowaKaddys get worked much harder than those used by the average club golfer who may use theirs once or twice a week. On the odd occasion when we have any issues, PowaKaddy quickly sorts them out, but it’s not an inconvenience because it’s so rare.”
Visitors can also hire clubs and shoes at The Castle Course. “We have a partner agreement with Callaway for club and shoe hire, so we can provide everything our guests require for a game.”
Every spring the PowaKaddy fleet is renewed in time for the reopening of the course. “It’s a brand new fleet delivered ahead of the new season so we’re looking our best for our guests. It’s all part of The Castle Course service”, Mackay concludes.