Golf Carts – An Overview

By Ivan A Cuxeva

Electric golf carts arrived at the first courses to use them in 1951. Merle Williams from Reading, California produced the first electric golf carts using knowledge he attained from electric cars produced during the World War Two gasoline rationing period. In 1954 E-Z-GO and LEKTRO began production and in 1955 Cushman began production. Harley Davidson even started making golf carts in 1963. Gas golf carts came upon the scene in 1971 and immediately became a huge hit. Currently you will see both gas and electric carts at most golf courses.

A standard golf cart is set up to carry two golfers and two golf bags on a platform at the rear of the cart. Most carts have a roof and front windshield. If you are into cold weather golf you can find carts with enclosures. The enclosures are usually made of flexible heavy duty plastic and have a door with a window on each side that closes snugly with velcro. The last few years propane gas “cart heaters” have also been available. I can tell you from experience that they produce a lot of heat. You can ride down the cart path when it’s freezing outside and inside the cart it will be toasty warm. They come with a small propane tank attached that fits in the cup holder in the golf cart. Another nice add-on is a convertible bag cover attached to the rear of the golf cart’s roof. It is easy to quickly put it up or down, and will keep the rain off the clubs and features a clear vinyl window. Another nice feature available at some golf courses is the GPS system, which will tell you how far it is in yards to the pin.

There are also options available like the cargo box which is mounted to the cart in the rear, turning the cart into a utility vehicle. The cargo boxes are usually about 2 1/2 feet wide and from three to four feet long. They are great for golf course maintenance, or around the homestead. Another option is a rear facing seat which then turns the golf cart into a small vehicle which seats three passengers and the driver. These are usually utilized for hotel or large motel guest transportation. Who can forget the pink golf cart used in the television series “Fantasy Island”?

The last subject I want to touch on is the monster cart. Usually monster carts are brightly and decoratively painted, and have any number of option add-ons like raiser kits, which bring the height of the cart up, race wheel kits and large tires, lights front and rear, horns, a number of front and/or rear bumper configurations, and custom bodies and interiors are readily available.

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