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A Guide to the Brief History of the Golf Cart

The Golf Cart has had a wild and amazing history from revolutionizing the way Golf is played to how many families are now using these amazing vehicles to go to work, school, out for the night and to run errands.

Golf Carts have played a pivotal role in the development of the game of Golf of course, but in recent years the Golf Cart has evolved to become much more popular among households looking for a fun, safe and economical way to get around town, go to work, shopping and more!

In this latest Golf Cart Blog article, ‘A Guide to the Brief History of the Golf Cart’, we’ll explore where the Golf Cart began, how it evolved and what could be next for these amazing vehicles.

Let’s get started on, “A Guide to the History of the Golf Cart!”

The Golf Cart, an indispensable part of the modern Golfing experience, has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. This guide will explore the milestones and development of golf carts and their journey from the Golf course to street-legal transportation.

Timeline of the Golf Cart.

1932 – First Golf Cart Prototype:
The first Golf Cart, known as the “electric walking cart,” was invented by Lyman Beecher in 1932. The Golf Cart was essentially a three-wheeled, battery-powered, and manually steered device to aid golfers in transporting their clubs and equipment.
A Vintage Golf Cart from the early days of development.

A Beautiful example of the early designs of the Golf Cart – ‘Oh how far we’ve come.’

1951 – Introduction of the Marketeer Golf Cart:
Arising from a collaboration between Merle Williams and his company Marketeer, the first commercial electric Golf Cart was introduced in 1951. This cart featured 4 wheels and was designed to be more comfortable and easy to maneuver than its predecessors.
1954 – The First Gas-Powered Golf Cart:
E-Z-GO, founded by two brothers, Bev and Bill Dolan, produced the first gas-powered Golf Cart in 1954. Gas-powered carts offered more power and range, which increased their popularity among golfers.
1958 – Club Car Golf Carts:
Club Car, founded by Bill Stevens, began manufacturing Golf Carts in 1958. The company quickly established itself as a leader in the industry, with a reputation for innovative design and reliable products.
1970s – Golf Cart Customization:
During the 1970s, Golf Carts began to be customized to suit individual tastes and preferences. This customization included upgraded seats, wheels, and paint jobs, as well as various accessories.

The Golf Cart Evolves with Technology.

1980s – Golf Cart Advancements:
The 1980s saw significant advancements in golf cart technology, including improvements in battery life, power, and overall performance. This period also witnessed the introduction of more sophisticated and user-friendly controls.
1990s – Environmentally Friendly Golf Carts:
In the 1990s, the Golf Cart industry began to focus on producing more environmentally friendly carts. This shift led to the development of Golf Carts powered by alternative fuels, such as propane and natural gas, as well as solar-powered options.

The Beginning of the EV Cart!

2000s – Street-Legal Golf Carts:
The 2000s marked the beginning of Golf Carts being used as street-legal transportation. With the increasing popularity of planned communities and the need for more sustainable transportation options, Golf Carts emerged as a viable alternative for short-distance travel. In response, manufacturers began producing street-legal carts equipped with safety features like seat belts, headlights, and turn signals.
2010s – Golf Cart Technology and Safety Features:
The 2010s saw further advancements in Golf Cart technology, such as GPS systems and electric power steering. Additionally, safety features like rollover protection and improved braking systems were introduced to meet the demands of street-legal usage.
2020s – Autonomous Golf Carts:
The most recent development in the Golf Cart industry is the emergence of autonomous Golf Carts. These self-driving carts use advanced sensors, cameras, and AI technology to navigate the Golf course and, in some cases, even public roads. Although Electric Golf Carts began their entry into the marketplace around 1951 due to gasoline shortages, the popularity of the Electronic Golf Cart became more and and more popular and now in the 2020’s, EV Carts are at the height of their popularity and it does not appear they will slow down any time soon!
In summary:
From their humble beginnings as manually-steered Electric Carts, or ‘EV Carts’ to the advanced autonomous models of today, Golf Carts have come a long way.
As they continue to evolve, these versatile vehicles will likely play an increasingly important role in both the Golfing world and sustainable urban transportation.

We hope you find value in our latest Golf Cart Blog article, ‘A Brief Guide to the History of the Golf Cart.’  We invite you to visit our Bright Electric Vehicle Golf Cart Blog for more tips & recommendations for all there is to experience when owning a Golf Cart.

You may be interested in our Golf Cart Blog article; ‘8 Best Golf Cart Accessories for Summer 2023.’

For more information on purchasing a new or used Golf Cart, or to learn about favorable financing options, feel free to call us at: 888.260.0707 or Email us.

About Bright Electric Vehicles:

Bright Electric Vehicles (‘BEV’) is a multi-brand, multi-state Golf Cart Dealership representing top Golf Cart Brands including, ICON Golf Carts and Evolution Golf Carts, with other brands being added along with and our own branded Bright Electric Vehicles are coming soon.

Our commitment to providing each Customer with the very best prices and outstanding personalized service has earned Bright EV a Top 5-Star Rating from our loyal Customers.

With our strategic locations situated throughout the Southwest, Hawaii and new locations coming soon, Bright EV has the buying power and locations to serve our Customers and to ship Golf Carts throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and beyond, at the most competitive pricing possible.

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LSV Requirements

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) issued a mandate that requires hybrids and electric vehicles travelling at less than 18.6 mph (30 km/h) to emit warning sounds that pedestrians must be able to hear over background noises- The regulation requires full compliance in all electric vehicles, including LSVs. Because of the quietness of electric vehicles and the possibility of collision with visually or audibly impaired pedestrians, the overall objective is to facilitate proximity awareness and minimize the chance of personal injury. In summary, an LSV (legally licensed to drive on streets up to 25 mph> must emit a sound when the forward or reverse switch is in the:

Forward position:

  • From 0 MPH to 18.6 mph.The sound is allowed to stop once the vehicle exceeds 18.6 mph.

Reverse position:
In order to comply with NHTSA rules, all LSV vehicles have a Pedestrian Alert sound generator installed.

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