Your Guide to Golf Cart Ownership

Golf Cart ownership can be a lot of fun. Of course it can also be quite expensive, so depending on your needs, we will review some options for purchasing, upgrading and maintaining a powered golf carts.

While we certainly understand that no one will be loading their personal golf cart onto a trailer and hauling it down to the local municipal golf course, many of us do find that golf carts can be a convenient way to get around neighborhoods, large properties, parks, communities and even some small towns.

First Option: Gas or Electric?

The first decision that needs to be made is “Should I buy gas or electric?” and I will tell you right away that my personal preference is gas. As we progress with the article I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages to both power options, but the decision may come down to personal choice or community restrictions. I have seen some parks and communities that do not allow gas powered golf carts, typically because of noise.

Environmental conditions might be another factor that you use to make this decision, primarily what surfaces will you be using your golf cart on? Do you plan to modify the caert with big 4×4 style tires and a lift kit?  Anything requiring power would benefit from a gas engine and asphalt covered road or parking lots are ideal for electric motors, so keep all of the environmental consideration in mind when selecting a cart.

Advantages to Gas Golf Carts

  • Made from heavier, sturdier materials
  • More power and quicker re-fueling
  • Much longer/further distance on one tank of gas (fueling)
  • More power and more consistent power

Disadvantages to Gas Golf Carts

  • Noise, plain and simple gas golf carts are louder
  • Emissions, electric carts have little to no emissions
  • Transporting and storage of the fuel

Electric carts are becoming a popular option, as the technology gets better, so does the perforamnce of the carts and with envirnmental concerns the low emissions often a concideration for buyers. With electric caarts here are typically two power choices; 36 volt or 48 volt. As expected the 48 volt model usually provides better performance.  There are also 24 volt and 72 volt models available, but those options are generally less common.

This type (48 volt golf cart) of golf cart has greatly increased power and range over models available five or ten years ago. Attributes like regenerative braking, helps recharge the batteries as the car slows or goes downhill, will help increase battery life. This increases their strength in non-golf situations, however for two- or three-shift operations, you ll need a model that allows for easy change of batteries when one set runs low.

Advantages to Electric Golf Cars

  • Super quiet, great for residential neighborhoods
  • Generally made of lighter weight materials
  • When well maintained, will hold charge all day
  • Can be charged anywhere there is power

Disadvantages to Electric Golf Carts

  • Less power than their gas counterparts
  • Batteries are expensive to replace

This type (48 volt golf cart) of golf cart has greatly increased power and range over models available five or ten years ago. Attributes like regenerative braking, helps recharge the batteries as the car slows or goes downhill, will help increase battery life. This increases their strength in non-golf situations, however for two- or three-shift operations, you ll need a model that allows for easy change of batteries when one set runs low.

Is one Brand Better than Another?

Honestly you should stick to one of the Big 3 when it comes to brand, Yamaha, Club Car and EZ Go.  Honestly the only other brand that I commonly run across is Harley and most of their models are three wheeled, and I am not a fan of three wheeled carts. So let’s take a look at the three major makers of carts and discuss some the the advantages and disadvantages:

Yamaha Golf Carts

All three of the golf carts, I have owned were Yamaha.  I have no real reason for choosing Yamaha, except that I am familir with the cart.  I can tell you that I always modifiy my carts and the steel frame of the Yamaha is easy to work with in my opinion.  Yamaha carts have a terrific parts aftermarket, but so do the others, there are a dozen or more reputable parts companies that can outfit your cart any way you like.

Yamaha started producing golf carts in 1979 when they manufactured the gas powered G1, and later in 1980 they produced their first electric model.  According to Wikipedia, Yamaha went on to produce 22 G-Series Golf Carts

 

 

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