Walking with a caddie is surely the most enjoyable way to play golf but golf carts have their place in this great game of ours. They enable us circumnavigate the group in front and squeeze in 54 holes instead of 36. They allow us to start easily at distant points of the course and play 18 far quicker than we otherwise would starting from the first or tenth. In an emergency, such as a heart attack or snake bite, they can be a lifesaver. Most importantly, they allow the old and infirm to continue enjoying the game.
In a golf community, carts provide an amazing convenience as you zap around the village and on and off the course without creating much in the way of noise or pollution. While care should always be taken with golf carts, who among us has not had just a little fun squealing a cart around a corner, taking a little air from a bump or going flat out down the middle of the fairway that drops away in front?
JK Wadley of Texarkana (Texas/Arkansas) was the first to see the possibility of using motorized vehicles on a golf course. Apparently, his inspiration came after observing a three-wheeled electric cart being used in Los Angeles to transport senior citizens to the grocery store. He subsequently purchased a cart but discovered it worked poorly on a golf course. The first electric golf cart was custom made in 1932, but did not gain widespread acceptance until the 1950s. By the mid-‘50s, the golf cart had gained widespread acceptance and several manufacturers including Victor Adding Machines and Sears and Roebuck entered the market. Most were electric and E-Z Go began producing golf carts in 1954, Cushamn in 1955, Club Car in 1958, Taylor-Dunn in 1961, Harley-Davidson in 1963 and Yamaha in 1979. A stylish recent arrival is the Garia (pictured above), which is manufactured by Porsche.
Today, golf carts come in every shape and size imaginable to suit the taste (or lack thereof) of their owners.
Apart from carts, there are also many other ways, besides humping them over your shoulder, of transporting clubs and enhancing your enjoyment of the game. The avid golfer/cyclist can combine the two passions and pedal around the course. Such activity can speed up play whilst providing energetic exercise.
For the surfer, skate border or more adventurous types there are various options including this popular GolfBoard. To quote from their website.
“This extraordinary new way to traverse the golf course is sure to excite your membership, while at the same time generating new interest in golf to the next generation of golfers. The GolfBoard will provide players the feeling of golfing freedom that walking gives, while at the same time speeding up pace of play – a big problem at many courses today.”
While the Segway never really changed the world the way many expected, I actually think they may be onto something with the X2 Golf model. It has a range of 12.5 miles, carries your bag, has a handle bar mounted scorecard holder and beefy all-terrain tires to tackle any surface.
Whatever I ride, I always take a light carry bag, that way if it runs out of juice or gets a flat, I can always hoof it!