Motorized golf carts have come a long way from their humble beginnings as nondescript battery-powered vehicles designed to transport golfers around a golf course as an option to walking. Rising gas prices, a focus on the environment and the lure of fun, open-air cruising at comfortable speeds all have made golf carts (also referred to as golf cars) soar in popularity over the past decade, with no signs of a slowdown.
With the increase in golf cart popularity and demand--and the growing trend toward private consumer use--golf cart dealers and repair businesses are popping up all over the country. If you're considering joining the crowd, some golf carts education and training is in order. To get started, you need to know the following:
1. Golf carts can be either battery or gas powered and are manufactured by a number of different companies. Some companies specialize in building custom golf carts.
2. Golf cart repair and part replacement is relatively easy, so no certification or formal training is required.
3. Customizing, lifting and adding options to personalize golf carts can be a big--and profitable--part of your business.
Learn who the golf cart manufacturers are and the type of carts they specialize in
A golf cart novice might tend to think that a golf cart is simply a golf cart. Much like automobiles, golf carts today vary greatly in size, shape, style, color, power, function, features and price.
Know how to do golf cart maintenance, repair and parts replacement
Like cars, golf carts experience their share of repair and service issues. Although no formal training is required to offer golf cart repair service, experience and practice are key to diagnosing and fixing both gas golf carts and electric golf carts.
Explore the numerous options for creating customized golf carts
Some golf carts are customized based on their function, others for the sheer fun of it. Golf carts used for hauling or towing can have utility beds and hitches installed; golf carts that will be driven at night can get headlight kits. For appearance, customization options include myriad body styles--from a '56 pickup truck to an '09 SUV--lift kits, tires and rims, decals and paint jobs, sound systems, roll bars and much more.
- Preowned golf carts are relatively easy to come by and are often the first choice for most consumers. Many golf cart dealers simply purchase lots of used golf carts from golf courses and pretty them up for sale on the showroom floor.
- Golf carts generally aren't street legal and, because there's little federal legislation governing their use, laws from state to state and town to town are murky at best. Golf carts outfitted with "street legal" kits that include turn signals, headlights, brake lights, a windshield and seatbelts meet the requirements of some--but not all--localities.