Peterborough, 1st April, 2015 Marmalade, a leading provider of cars and insurance for young drivers, is set to save golf clubs in the UK more than £60 million every year, thanks to a new product specifically developed to protect golf buggies.
Nearly all 3,000+ golf clubs in the UK today provide buggies, but the cost of repair and maintenance is now far outstripping the fees generated by hiring these vehicles. In addition to maintaining and replacing, there is the cost of repairing damage they cause to the golf courses including broken trees and flagpoles, torn up greens and extracting vehicles from lakes, bunkers, ditches and even trees!
Many of the problems reported by clubs are incidents of ‘golf rage’. This is when players are so fired up by their poor playing ability that they whack the buggies with their golf clubs or ram into other groups perceived to be taking too long. Other incidents of poor control, often owing to the driver being under the influence of alcohol, include golf buggies seen performing doughnuts, driving over greens, overcrowding and attempting to take off over hills.
Green Keeper at a Cambridgeshire golf course, Ben Lyon, alleges that incidents of ‘golf rage’ and dangerous manoeuvres are becoming all too common on golf courses. He said: “It’s very intimidating when groups of golfers line up their carts and race between the holes. They drag race up and down fairways, perform doughnuts on the greens and off road through the woodlands with no regards to other golfers or wildlife. I once witnessed a man trying to pull a wheelie out of a bunker. It’s crazy, like something from the Fast and Furious movies. We invest huge amounts of time and money in to making our golf courses look as good as possible and it’s a disgrace that these maniacs are destroying it for everyone.”
Marmalade has been working with some of the leading golf courses in the country to develop Drive & Go. Using its advanced telematics system, the new product will monitor the driving performance of each buggy based on the ABCS of driving; accelerating, braking, cornering and speeding. It will feature an on-board camera to provide evidence in case of any incidents of golf rage and be able to spot when the driver is approaching a green. It also means that, in the case of theft, the golf club can find out exactly where the golf buggy is at the touch of a button.
Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade, said: “Traditionally we have focused on providing young drivers with a safe and affordable means of getting on the road so this is a new and very exciting venture for us. Telematics is the next big thing, its benefits are now becoming widely realised in the car industry but the opportunities in other sectors are endless. By monitoring the driving performance of golfers we are not just helping to protect the golf club’s investment but also the health and safety of golfers. We’re hoping that success of Drive & Go in the UK will lead to recognition and further sales across the world.”