As 2017 comes to a close and introduces us to 2018, there were some fun happenings this past year in golf car news. The industry continues to quickly grow and change and we are pleased to share the most relevant and exciting golf car related stories from the past twelve months.
1. Golf Car Theft Rings
From California to Florida and everywhere in between law enforcement investigated record high reports of golf car theft in 2017. Stolen golf cars are not just at the hands of misbehaved children anymore. Organized golf car rings were responsible for tens of thousands of stolen golf cars in 2017. Golf cars are being stolen from dealerships, golf courses, and private homes. We predict that anti-theft devices and recovery technology will become more popular in 2018, as businesses and golf car owners protect their investments. Watch for the iTrax theft recovery device, which officially releases to the golf car community in January, 2018.
2. Celebrities and Their Golf Cars
Tricked out golf cars are growing in popularity with celebrities. NBA stars, like Kyle Lowry, use their personal golf cars to promote their brand sponsors. Kyle’s golf car is adorned with the Under Armour logo. NASCAR driver, Bobby Labonte continues to add to his blacked out Club Car Precedent and cruises around his property every chance he gets. Guy Fieri continues to impress us with his flair for food and golf cars. His famous yellow golf car is always an attraction on the golf course.
3. And the Industry Reports Are In
Market insights predict that the global increase in resort and airport construction, large sporting events, and complexes will result in a continued upward trend in golf car sales. North America will continue to account for the highest sales throughout 2018. E-Z-GO reports that there are more than 30 E-Z-GO dealers in the state of Florida alone. Club Car dealers in Florida number at least thirty as well. Those numbers are expected to grow in 2018 across the country.
4. Safety First
It seems that no matter how many warnings are issued or products are offered, golf car accidents occur every year. And 2017 was no exception. It is estimated that 20,000 trips to the emergency room in 2017 were the result of a golf car accident. Several deaths occurred in 2017 as the result of golf car accidents. Unfortunately, the number of golf car related injuries and deaths is expected to climb, resulting in tighter regulations. It is wise to remember, as you enter 2018, that golf cars are only partly enclosed and leave passengers as vulnerable as bicyclists and pedestrians.
5. Golf Car Communities
The number of golf car communities is expected to increase in 2018. City leaders across the country are submitting resolutions that will allow low speed vehicles, including golf cars to become a primary form of transportation. Golf course owners caution residents, however, that many golf course communities and resorts allow golf cars on the grounds, but they are still illegal to operate on public roadways in many cases.
Golf cars will remain a hot topic for 2018 and we look forward to digging into exciting topics within the golf car culture. Thanks for a great year!
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.