Golf carts as we know them have been around for several generations, but they weren’t always what we are familiar with today. Where did the origins of the golf car begin? Well the history of the golf car may surprise you.
The origin of the golf car began in 1932. A man named Lyman Beecher invented what is now called the Beecher Rickshaw. This cart was designed to be pulled by two men, many times being the caddies. It sat one person only and held one golf bag. Although he did attempt to create a gas powered cart, it was incredibly noisy and rather dangerous. By the end of the 1930’s, the Custer Park Car was patented by Levitt Luzern Custer. This became one of the first gas and battery powered cars. They were very popular in parks because of the balloon tires (a tire with an inner tube and tread) which allowed the car to traverse easily over rocks and twigs. Later on, other companies came about, like Autoette Electric Car Company and Taylor Dunn. At this point, the idea of selling these personal transport vehicle was becoming increasingly popular with entrepreneurs, but the golf clubs were having a very difficult time accepting these machines on there courses. The electric cars were very difficult to upkeep, as there were no automatic charges that cut off when they were finished charging, which resulted in many ruined batteries. The gas powered cars also were extremely noisy and smelly and had many mechanical issues resulting in frequent breakdowns. After World War II, technology had seemingly caught up with the golf car and the major mechanical issues were resolved. During the 1960’s, many companies such as Club Car, EZ-GO and Harley Davidson began producing their own version of the golf car. The advancement in battery life technology and the creation of small gas engines made the cars much easier to use with fewer issues during the car’s life, which increased popularity on golf courses and in golf clubs. In 1978, Yamaha joined the growing business and released its first golf car, the G1. This car was a 2 cycle gas engine and within few years they also added an electric model. Many modern golf cars today have powerful rechargeable batteries that can last 18 holes and then some, super quite gasoline engines, independent suspension, USB ports and the list goes on and on.
Today, companies are continuing to add more customization to allow for the consumer to create their perfect cart, from the addition of a Bluetooth speaker to raising a cart with a lift kit. The golf car has come a long way from its origin in 1932, and caddies around the world are very thankful for it.