Hopkins Machinerys Buggy Hire UK division has been supplying golf buggies and utility vehicles to clubs and tournaments for over 10 years. From Ted Hopkins Ltd starting out as an agricultural and groundcare machinery dealership for major manufacturers of golf course maintenance equipment such as Toro and Iseki in 1987 the opportunity to take on the Club Car franchise enabled us to offer more products to our existing customers and as well as this brought wider opportunity with new business.
Tractor Hire Ltd was started shortly after Ted Hopkins Ltd and was an already establish hire company; hiring out various groundcare equipment such as tractors, vertidrains and other machines. With increased opportunities that the Club Car agency brought we were able to grow our hire division. Following on from the growth and success of the hire we were able to gain a good relationship with the European Tour and European Tour Productions and to be a preffered supplier to their events for all golf buggy and utility vehicle requirements as well as telehandlers.
Once the Celtic Manor Resort won the bid to host the 2010 Ryder Cup we were ideally placed to supply this event with the support it needed. The Celtic Manor already being a major customer of ours through the Toro business and Club Car business we were able to supply quick support to the European Tour and European Tour Productions from the initial set up of the event right through to the take down and derig. Our team assembled over 250 buggies and were responsible for over 350 buggies on site during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor; from allocation to maintenace right through to the Ryder Cup Teams buggies. We learnt a lot from this Ryder cup and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
In 2013 we had been supplying; support to the European Tour and European Tour Productions with their buggy fleets, supplied from Club Car, and supplying extra buggies for their increased number of events and larger events all around Europe. Due to this and the growth of the events industry our staff numbers had grown and our transport fleet of trailers and lorries had increase too. This enabled us to be the first choice for the European Tour and European Tour productions to be the contractor that supported the 2014 Gleneagles Ryder Cup. We were eager to do another Ryder Cup and this time it was a bigger challenge with it being in Scotland and the number of buggies required had increased with the size of the event. We supplied over 200 extras from our own hire fleet which we mainly used for the TV crews such as NBC the Golf Channel and SKY which we managed and maintained form the TV compound and another fleet of over 300 for the operations side of the event from the main buggy compound. Our team was onsite up in Scotland for 5 weeks in total and at the same time we were supplying and support other events around the UK.
The 2014 Ryder cup was a even bigger learning curve than the 2010; this was due to all the logistics involved to getting the buggies built and onsite on time and getting buggies from our depot in South Wales to Scotland. We were fortunate to have had experience doing that a few times in the previous years from supplying other events in Scotland such as the Scottish Open, The Open Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The second success on the 2014 Ryder Cup gained us a good reputation with contractors and other companies in the event industry and gained us more work. We were able to gain more work with other golf event companies such as the R&A with The Open Championship and supplying the television side of the event.
With our now extensive experience over the last 10 years the European Tour and Club Car approached us on the France 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. We had gained a lot of experience in logistics and on site support from all the events we have supplied over the years; from Moroco, Italy and France for various golf tournaments even the French Opens. Due to this and our well established reputation and having two Ryder Cups under our belts, we were asked to consult on the buggy supply to the Ryder Cup operations and to supply, manage and maintain 200 buggies to television we were responsible for the management and allocation of over 500 buggies on the site; 250 of these buggies were from our own fleet and the other 300 were supplied by Club Car on the sponsorship agreement with the Ryder Cup. Due to there being few buggy suppliers in France at the time and the Ryder Cup needing to have buggies on site earlier to start the build of the event a facility was needed where the new sponsorship buggies supplied by Club Car could be delivered, assembled and maintained; we were able to come up with a plan to gain a facility on site to do this throughout 2018. This was a great set up as everything was in one place and it reduced the logistics. We had seven staff on the 2018 Ryder cup and it was again a great success.
We thoroughly enjoy working with the European Tour, European Tour Productions and Club Car as our supplier. The cohesion between all companies and individuals involved is a great environment to work in and each Ryder Cup has been a huge experience for all that are involved. We hope we can build on our relationships and hopely do more in the years to come.