When players are out on the golf course, they prefer to use golf carts as it becomes a lot easier to focus on the game. After all, playing with an aching back isn’t the best feeling especially if you are the only person who has to carry the heavy bags around. Investing in a golf cart is one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Not only these attractive vehicles carry your heavy equipment around, but you can also give your legs some rest on the golf course.
The Little Known History Of Golf Carts
You would be aware that most golfers do not hit the ball in the straight line. In fact, you have to travel all around the course and this can get painful especially if you’re carrying your own bag. Walking on foot and pulling your bag for 4 to 5 miles without a doubt is a tough job.
Until the 1960s, golfers used to carry their equipment and walk exclusively on foot. A few (fortunate) players played at clubs where caddies were provided to carry the equipment, but majority of players were still looking at the 5 mile walk.
Things began to change in 1962 when Merlin Halvorson first invented the self propelled golf car. As the name suggests, this car could travel around the course. Over the period of years, golf cart have evolved tremendously and have become quite popular off the course. Today you can find golf carts being used at schools, gated communities and even on city streets.
The Modern Golf Cart
The body frame and suspensions of the modern golf carts resemble those of modern automobiles. Even the rubber tires are quite similar, but there’s a small difference. The tires you find on golf carts are designed in a way that even if the cart is driving on grass, the turf is not damaged.
You can find a number of controls in modern golf carts including a steering wheel, a brake, a lock and an accelerator. The lock ensures that your cart doesn’t roll around freely on inclined areas. Other accessories you can find in golf carts include straps to secure your golf bag, drink holder, ball compartments and even a small basket to hold extra golf towels, balls, coolers and tees etc.
What Are The Different Types Of Golf Carts
There are two main types of golf carts in the market – gasoline and electric.
Gas Or Gasoline Golf Carts
Gasoline carts interestingly work just like cars. You will find a gasoline powered engine that powers the cart’s wheels. Perhaps the biggest difference between a modern car and gasoline powered golf cart is the way engine runs.
If you talk about cars, the engine turns on when you turn the key and keeps running until you switch off the ignition manually. On the other hand, the engine in gasoline powered cars stops working the moment you take your foot off the gas pedal. This might sound annoying but it is a blessing in disguise. Because the engine in gasoline powered carts switches off automatically, you can cut down on emission and keep the golf course quiet too.
Gas-powered golf carts as stated earlier use an engine that’s quite similar to what you find in your car, but on a small scale. Most models average a horsepower of 11 and max out at about 15 miles per hour.
An interesting thing to note here is that some gasoline golf carts make it to 25 miles per hour if they're used outside the golf course. The engine is usually low emission and comes with a single cylinder. Gasoline golf carts also have a 1-quart oil capacity with splash lubrication.
Pros And Cons of Gasoline Golf Carts
- Gas carts are reliable and you don’t need to worry about running out of power in the middle of the golf course. For added convenience, feel free to pack in an extra tank so that you don’t run low on fuel.
- Adding fans, stereo sound system, lighting and other accessories becomes really easy if you have a gas powered golf cart. Interestingly, most gas powered models come with a generator that charges the battery whenever the gas pedal is depressed. Simply put, you don’t have to worry about the car battery if you are using the accessories while driving because your cart battery is also being charged.
- Unlike electric carts, gasoline powered golf carts can be driven around for a long time. Since the models are quite sturdy as well, they are particularly suitable for people with large families as well as those who want to carry heavy loads.
- Thanks to their extra horsepower, gasoline powered golf carts can through steep terrains as well as rocky surfaces.
- You shouldn’t be surprised if you cannot focus on your shot with the loud engine in the background.
- Gasoline produces a distinct odor upon combustion which can be a huge turn off for people.
- Gas powered carts require more maintenance thanks to regular oil changes.
- Maintaining a gasoline powered car can be expensive however, with the right maintenance this cart is guaranteed to last for a life time.
Electric Golf Carts
Electric golf carts use lead acid batteries to run an electric motor. These batteries are designed for all day use and can be recharged at night. High quality electric carts can be plugged into any standard power outlet and you can plug in the cart to charge the batteries whenever you’re not using it.
If you talk about power choices, the electric golf carts are available in two models – 36 volts or 48 volts. The 48 volt model as you can guess offers superior performance. There are two other models as well – 24 volts and 72 volts but they are less common.
The good news is that the 48 volt electric golf cart has improved considerably over the years. The newer models have additional features like regenerative braking and the option to recharge the batteries as the car slows down or goes downhill. Remember that if you choose to own an electric golf cart, you should go for a model that allows for easy change of golf cart batteries.
Pros And Cons Of Electric Golf Carts
- Electric carts are less noisy than gasoline powered ones and there’s no better feeling in the world than not to worry about noise pollution.
- Because electric carts produce less fumes and emissions, they are practically odorless. More importantly, you can be proud of the fact that you are helping the environment.
- Unlike gas powered golf carts, electric models do not require frequent maintenance or oil changes. You only need to check the battery water level once a month and your car batteries will last for about 5 to 6 years.
- If you want to own a golf cart without breaking the bank, electric models are the ones you should go for. However you need to remember that if something goes wrong in the cart battery; you will end up spending much more money on your purchase when compared to a gas powered model.
- Electric golf carts are only good for golfers who need to travel less than 15 miles in between charges. If you want your cart to run about 200 miles, it’s better to invest in a gasoline powered golf cart.
- Because electric models have limited battery power, you cannot afford to drain your batteries faster by trying to plug in lots of accessories such as fans and lighting.
- Sadly you won’t be able to drive electric golf carts on rocky surfaces or areas with steep inclines. If this is the case, you’ve got to use gasoline powered cars.
- If you cannot plug your golf cart batteries into a charger every night, you should prepare yourself for trouble.
Gas Or Electric Golf Carts: Which Is Better
Deciding between a gas and electric golf cart possible is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Of course both type of cars have their own advantages and disadvantages, but you should make your decision based on how much you will use your cart and how much money you are willing to spend on the purchase.
The following are some of the most important factors that you need to keep in mind before making your final decision.
- Runtime - It’s not surprising that gasoline carts are a better choice if you want to drive your cart around for a long time since electrical golf carts run on ‘Fixed’ battery power. That’s right. If you plan to use your cart for getting around the town as well as the golf course and you have to travel more than 15 miles, between miles, gas carts are a better choice. In addition to runtime, you also need to consider the accessories you plan to use with your golf cart. For example if you want to add an some exciting lighting, fan, stereo or other features to your golf cart to make camping, hunting and golfing trips more fun, a gasoline powered car might be the better choice.
- Hauling - Both types of golf carts are great for carrying around people and golf equipment on even surface. If you intend to carry around a light load, electric golf carts are an excellent choice and perform well. If you are regularly carrying around heavier loads and want to drive the cart in areas with rocky surfaces and steep inclines, it’s smarter to invest in gasoline powered carts as they are more powerful.
- Maintenance Costs - Needless to say, gasoline powered gold carts will require more work in terms of frequent oil and oil filter changes. Additionally you will have to spend more money on fuel and this cost will only add up with increasing usage. While gasoline carts need more maintenance, they can last a lifetime if you get the maintenance done on a regular schedule.
Electric golf carts are loved by those who don’t want to face the hassle of regular maintenance. That’s right. You only need to check the battery water level once a month. And if kept properly, electric golf cart batteries can last up to 5 to 6 years before you need to replace them.
Golf Cart Accessories You Must Have
More and more golfers these days want to own golf cars. So investing in golf cart accessories is a good idea.
- Golf cart weather enclosures - The sport, i.e. golf is primarily intended for outdoors so a weather enclosure is what you need to enjoy several rounds of your favorite game despite the unbearable heat or chilly winds.
- Golf cart seat kits -Basically there are two kinds of seat kinds – flip and stationary. Stationary kits are a good choice if you want to use the cart to transport players. However, if you wish to carry equipment in the cart, you can go for a flip seat that switches between the two functions simultaneously.
- Golf cart seat covers - Seat covers are available in a variety of different colors so you can choose one that best fits your style. These covers will keep your seat clean and free from scuffs.
- Golf cart bag rack - Having a back rack in your golf cart is an excellent way to keep your vehicle tidy and organized. The good thing about bag racks is that they don’t take up lots of space and you no longer have to worry about losing your golf accessories.
- Radio - Playing your favorite game with your favorite tracks echoing in the background is an awesome way to supercharge your emotions. Turning on the radio or stereo system is also an excellent way to end the awkward deadly silence on the golf course.
The bottom line is that golf carts are versatile and now is the best time to invest in these multi-functional products.