The astonishing rise of golf cars that has been witnessed over the past several years can partly be contributed to the 15,372 golf courses located in the United States; however, there is far more to the story. The growing acceptance of golf cars as a primary form of transportation within communities, especially those catering to the 55 and up population, is responsible for the steady demand for everything golf car related.
In 1962, the young, eager owner of Club Car, William Stevens, Jr., embarked upon a 450 mile golf car journey from Georgia to a merchandise show in Florida. Aiming to prove to the world how reliable his small electric vehicle could be, his trip was around the same time as the creation of Sun City, Arizona. The golf car soon became a symbol of freedom, as it liberated the retired masses all around the country.
Today there are thousands of golf car communities throughout the United States and driving down the tree lined, relaxed streets are hundreds of thousands of golf cars. Sporting golf cars of every color, body style, and price tag, some of the most prominent golf car communities have attracted the adoring attention of hopeful retirees across the country.
1. Peachtree City, Georgia
Named one of the best places to retire by US News & World Report, Peachtree City is located 35 miles south of Atlanta and boasts more than 90 miles of golf car paths. The community’s 36,000 residents reside throughout five villages, all of which allow the daily use of golf cars as a primary form of transportation. And because Peachtree City includes family neighborhoods and even its own schools, tricked out golf cars have become a status symbol for teens, who are permitted to drive a golf car beginning at 16 years old.
2. Sun City, Arizona
Golf cars reign the supreme form of transportation in Sun City, where more than 15,000 households cruise the age-restricted community in their personal electric vehicles. Most households downsize to one vehicle upon moving into the community. In 2014, a new law was passed allowing golf cars to be driven beside auto traffic without the risk of receiving a ticket. Sun City residents were relieved, as zipping seven miles from one side of the community to the other in a custom golf car is a luxury enjoyed by residents year round. Don’t believe us? Check out the reality TV show, Sunset Daze, located in Sun City, and see for yourself.
3. The Villages, Florida
It is impossible to talk about golf car communities without mentioning The Villages. CBS Evening News covered the popularity of golf cars within The Villages and the community has become the model for retirement communities around the country. Designed with 90 miles of golf cart paths, the Manhattan sized community has attracted over 50,000 golf cars and they are not the average golf car. At first glance, you will see ’57 Chevy golf cars, extended golf cars with makeshift tiki bars, golf cars with complete entertainment systems and many more over the top customizations.
4. Timber Pines, Florida
An age restricted community, residents prefer golf cars to get from one activity to another. Upon moving in, it is suggested that a golf car become the household second vehicle. Pedestrians and golf cars co-exist while vehicles are rarely seen on the streets. Timber Pines held the Guinness Book of World Records at one point for organizing the longest golf car parade in history with 1,138 golf cars. Not only are the Timber Pines residents strong in numbers, but their cars have tremendous personality. Golf cars transformed into “Woody” cars, decorated for various holidays, and adorned with flags from Germany and Ireland can be seen on any average day.
5. Laguna Woods Village, California
A community that has continuously experienced golf car path expansion to accommodate extended golf car travel, Laguna Woods Village embraces the golf car lifestyle. Unlike many communities, where golf cars and vehicles must coexist on the street, Laguna Woods Village has provided 11 foot wide paths and wider crosswalks. Drivers of the 1600+ golf cars located within the community are now safer and feel more welcome.
We do not know of any studies that can provide statistics to support that golf car drivers are more relaxed, healthier, and happier, but we would place a wager that it’s true. And at the rate that golf car communities continue to pop up all over the United States, golf cars seem to be a major draw for residents looking for a laid back type of lifestyle. All supporting evidence points to the fact that golf cars are good for the body and soul. After all, nearly every modern president has been photographed smiling from a golf car.
Julie Wilson, Owner of WHEELZ Custom Carts & Accessories, was one of the industry’s first online retailers of golf cart parts, when she founded her business in 2008. Julie’s eCommerce store, www.WHEELZLLC.com remains a popular online shopping experience for innovative golf car parts and accessories.