The Humble Golf Cart


Golf carts by definition are a small self-propelled vehicle designed to carry two people around a golf course with less effort than walking.

The idea, and first use of a golf cart is credited to J.K. Wadley, a resident of Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas, who in 1932 after witnessing a senior citizen using a three-wheel vehicle to get to the grocery store, decided it would be perfect on his local links, it wasn't.

For the next twenty years the cart continued to be used mainly for people with disabilities. It wasn't until the 1950's that golfers figured out that they could carry an extra cooler of adult beverages, and have a safe place to put their cigars while they hit the next shot, golf carts time had finally come.

The Marketeer Company started producing the vehicles in 1951, EZGO in 1954, and other notable companies like Victor Adding Machines, and Sears and Roebuck produced carts, mainly electric. In 1957 Max Walker invented the first gasoline powered golf cart called the "Walker Executive" It was a trike with a Vespa style front end and carried two passengers and bags.

Golf carts have become popular and are used for much more than chasing the little white ball. Peachtree City, Georgia has miles of cart paths that link the city together. McIntosh High School has a student golf cart parking lot on campus.

On Belize, golf carts are a major mode of transportation, and are a popular tourist rental. They've also become favorites at hunting camps, factory's, and yuppie neighborhood's where residents drive carts tagged NEV's, or neighborhood electric vehicles.

Not surprisingly age limits do apply when it comes to taking the wheel. In Alabama, Georgia, California, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Vermont minimum age is 13. Florida is 14, and the rest of the country is 15.

Most golf carts are powered by gas or electric, but now even solar is available. The strangest new design is linked to our own Master's champion Bubba Watson. For a mere $58,000 you can purchase an Oakley BW1 Golf Cart Hovercraft. You can glide across the golf course without a mark, and even hover over the lake to look for a lost ball. It comes with a 65-hp Hirth engine that can push two golfers, and a caddie up to 45 mph in quiet comfort.