Club Car of Hilton Head: Taking Care of Business
Author: Lynnie Leavenworth | Photographer: M.Kat Photography
Santa’s Sleigh is a 2017 Club Car Precedent Villager 4 in Metallic Candy Apple Red with 10” custom rims, rear flip seat and rear arm rests with cupholders.
Club Car of Hilton Head is a family business through and through. Owned by her father-in-law and managed by Annie Andrews and her husband Ben Andrews, she said, “We’ll do everything we can to ensure an easy and enjoyable buying experience and service the vehicle after the sale. We pretty much eat, sleep, and breathe golf cars.”
A factory-owned Club Car facility for many years, the dealership started selling low-speed vehicles in 2010. The law does not allow automobile manufacturers to sell their own products, so the business had to be sold to remain in operation. Ben’s uncle owned a successful Club Car dealership at The Villages in Florida and partnered with Ben’s father in purchasing the Lowcountry operation in January 2010. Married in September of the same year, Ben and Annie moved to Bluffton to manage the South Carolina division of the family business, which has grown to include six service technicians, a detailer, a parts and service manager, a receptionist, a sales team of three (including Ben and Annie) and Barry, their driver, who delivers the cars and has been with them from the beginning. A bit of a beloved, local legend, “He has fans on the roads everywhere,” Andrews said.
Selling new, pre-owned, and factory remanufactured cars, along with servicing vehicles, Club Car of Hilton Head has golf cars starting at about $1,400. “Yes, they can go up to $14,000, but there’s really something for everyone and every budget,” Annie Andrews said. Their remanufactured cars go back down the Club Car assembly line, come with a factory warranty, and look like new. All pre-owned vehicles get a full-service tune-up, and come with new batteries, a three-month Club Car of Hilton Head warranty on the whole car, and a one-year warranty on the batteries.
Local knowledge is one of the many reasons to visit Club Car of Hilton Head. “We communicate with the [club] pros, homeowner’s associations, and membership directors at each of the plantations,” Andrews said, which can save their customers time and potential additional expense of going back and forth with community or club officials when designing and decking-out their Club Car. “If there’s something that someone wants and have their heart set on that we’ve never sent in before, then I’ll send them a picture to makes sure it will work. We sell so many cars in each neighborhood, we kind of know what they will allow or not allow.”
The Club Car Team:Jamie Swafford, Kenneth Long, Clif Rogers, David Nettles and Ronald Price
Keeping the buying process as simple and enjoyable as possible, the Club Car of Hilton Head team encourages shopping around and understanding exactly what is included before making a purchase. “If you go to different car dealers, there are differences in how people sell and how they package cars or present their inventory. What we try to do is package out a car, so when you come in and we tell you the price, it’s everything you need for your neighborhood,” Andrews said.
Customization of a Club Car is limited only by the client’s imagination—from color and paint, to LED accent lighting, custom seats, tires, and lift kits ranging from one to six inches. Accessories like coolers, sports gear, storage accessories, mats, climate control features, mirrors, and Sunbrella® enclosures give each Club Car its own distinct personality.
Steve Carter, a member of the Men’s Golf Association of Sun City board of directors, met Ben and Annie when he stopped by seeking a sponsorship for one of the group’s tournaments and ended up buying a new car for himself and his wife Brenda. “While I was there talking about our event, I was looking around and said, I sure would like to get one of these. They came out and looked at my old cart and gave me a very decent trade-in—gave me a very good deal; ever since then, we’ve been using them,” Carter said. “Every time we get a new member, or someone moves in and wants to know where to buy a car, we recommend them. One of the things that everybody says is that there’s absolutely no sales pressure at their facility. You can go in, have a cup of coffee, eat some M&Ms, walk around and sit down, read magazines, look at things and just ask questions, and they just answer the questions and don’t try to sell anything to you. People absolutely love that.”
Annual sponsors for one of their events, Carter sees the club’s relationship with Club Car of Hilton Head as much more than just business. “Every year, we have an annual banquet for the Men’s Golf Association with about two or three hundred people, and every year Ben is invited as a sponsor. He sits at a guest table, enjoys the prime rib, and we all thank him for what he’s done throughout the year.”
Owners Ben and Annie Andrews
A true family affair, Club Car of Hilton Head is a business where the Andrews’ 17-month-old daughter Cooper may be found playing in her very own playroom just off the showroom, has been known to go along on service calls in her pajamas, and has provided inspiration for a special way the business benefits the local community. “I was a Young Life leader in college,” Annie said. “Young Life has a division called Young Lives that ministers to teen moms and their babies. Not many businesses have a room set up with changing tables and pack-and-plays.”
Club Car of Hilton Head hosts the group’s Sunday dinner and meeting once a month. “Young Lives coordinates the dinners and the child care, and we provide the space and the things they need for the children.” The business also supports Operation Christmas Child, gathering supplies and filled boxes for distribution during the holidays.
Eating, sleeping, and breathing the business, Ben and Annie Andrews know that no one is better at taking care of their customers’ needs, whether purchasing a pre-owned car or decked-out new vehicle, or coming in for service. “It’s literally what we talk about at dinner and what keeps Ben up at night, making sure he took care of all the things he needed to take care of,” Andrews said. “We truly care about our customers.”
Club Car of Hilton Head is located at 1484 Fording Island Road, Bluffton. For more information, please call (843)837-2066 or visit clubcarhhi.com.