Finding new ways to add more comfort and pleasure to the golfing experiences at The Club at PGA WEST™ and its sister property, La Quinta Resort & Club®, is not an easy task. La Quinta’s rich history dates back to 1926, and PGA WEST, with its six courses, has provided a perfect complement after coming onto the scene starting in 1985. Together, these Southern California properties have long been established among golf’s sure-thing destinations for anyone, from beginner to pro, seeking exciting and memorable places to play.
Recently, though, staff members at PGA WEST and La Quinta have been hearing enthusiastic comments of a new sort, after golfers heading off any of the properties’ combined nine courses do their usual gushing about the scenery, weather, superb conditions and other standard items on the list of typical reactions.
A switchout of 550 electric golf cars is currently in progress at the properties, and when it’s done, all courses at PGA WEST and La Quinta will be providing Yamaha Golf-Car Company’s newest model, The Drive™, to members and guests. Dean Miller, PGA West’s Director of Agronomy, says golfers who have already taken one of the new cars out on a course are going out of their way, after they return, to include unsolicited praise for its features as part of their praise for the overall golfing experience.
“They’re saying they like how it handles, the quiet and smooth ride, the comfortable seats, and especially the way the steering wheel sets up at a different angle, so it gives them a lot more leg room both when driving and when getting in and out of the car,” Miller reports. “They also like some of the add-on features we’re including on all of the cars, such as water jugs, shoe cleaners, divot bottles, and beverage coolers. Overall, it’s clear everyone loves the upgrade.
“Yamaha golf cars have been used at PGA WEST and La Quinta properties for over 10 years,” Miller adds. “They provide comfort and amenities for our golfers, who now play a total of 315,000 annual rounds on our nine courses.”
Color coding is used to distinguish the cars designated for use on the properties’ private courses (currently, sandstone) from those used on its resort layouts (currently, glacier white). Over the course of three-year leases for the fleet, Miller says, the color assignments will be “flipped back and forth” to help balance out use.
Even with many cars routinely going out for 36 holes a day, they unfailingly make it back to one of the properties’ five storage facilities on a single charge, Miller adds. And thanks to the responsive onsite service support provided by the local Yamaha dealer network, all cars are still in impressive condition when their three years are up.
Golfing activity at the PGA WEST and La Quinta properties is further supported by seven Yamaha beverage carts, six people movers, and a fleet of 27 light-duty and 18 medium-duty utility vehicles that are utilized by Miller’s course maintenance operations.
Miller has been particularly pleased with the higher ground clearance provided by the lifted suspension of the U-MAX Light-Duty utility vehicles that were introduced in 2005. “That [extra clearance] really adds to the functionality you want to get [from a light-duty vehicle],” he notes.