The Evolution Of Golf Cart Design

2048 words - 9 pages

Did you know that the fastest golf cart ever recorded went almost one hundred miles per hour? It is extremely hard to believe that a golf cart, which is a small, compact motorized means of transportation, could even reach ninety eight miles per hour; however, it did! With that in mind, it is incredible how the design of the golf cart has evolved over the years. In order to fully understand the concept of golf carts, one must develop a background in the overall development of golf carts throughout the years, the importance of Harley-Davidson’s impact on the evolution of golf carts, and have a basic apprehension of the simpler engine components involved.
“Golf carts, which were originally created for golfers with disabilities, were introduced to the country in the 1940’s” (The History of the Golf Cart). During World War II, Merle Williams decided to experiment with electric carts, due to the rationing of gasoline at this time. His company, called Marketeer Company, had originally built “buggies” that were used by women when they went grocery shopping in order to aid them in carrying all of their groceries. “After the development of the “buggies” and some fine tuning, Marketeer created the first electric golf cart at its headquarters in Redlands, California. These first golf carts were powered by electrically charged batteries” (The History of Golf Carts). By the 1950’s, golf carts had caught onto the entire golfing community and some of the retirement communities. The first early electric golf cars were the first electric vehicles that people could buy allowing whole communities to embrace this.
Although they were first created for the golf course, “over the years, these same golf cars have moved from the golf course to mainstream and can be found on city streets, college campuses, and inside shopping centers” (Stasch). There are “some small-town communities that really embrace the golf cart” (The History of the Golf Cart). One of the first towns that used golf carts in their community was called The Villages in Florida, which was a large community made up of those whom were retired, and it had a very extensive golf cart trail system. “The golf cart was especially useful in retirement communities because it was a safe and effective way for the elderly to gain independence and mobility” (The History of the Golf Cart). Along with being very popular among retirement communities, golf carts are becoming more and more popular on the everyday streets. In 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety administration has allowed for low speed vehicles to travel up to twenty-five miles per hour on streets with speed limits up to thirty-five miles per hour. “Golf cars have been slowly moving from the golf course and into people’s garages, with sales to individuals growing each year” (Stasch). With the individual sales increasing each year, the cost of golf carts has also been on the rise. In 1951, a brand new golf cart cost $1,200. “Today’s golf carts can...

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