I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Your Standard Golf Cart
Our Snowbird tour of Florida has brought us to “The
Villages” a community north of Orlando. The Villages occupies an area of close
to 32 square miles and has a population on 80,000, and is always growing. The
concept is a series of small “villages” offering a Florida lifestyle all in one
location. There are golf courses all through the communities, and although all
the houses are modern the Villages each have a central area with services,
stores and restaurants that has almost aa historical feel.
Everyone in the Villages has a golf cart. These carts
however are not just for getting around the many golf courses, they have become
one of the primary means of transportation within the community. People may
bring their cars down from the cold snowy north, but they get stored in the garage
waiting to be packed back up for the return trip once the snow is gone. Some
people don’t even have cars, they fly down and use their golf carts when they
are here. This phenomena is not unique to the Villages, it is common in many
retirement/lifestyle communities all over the south.
In the Villages it has been taken to the next level however.
I noted that the shops selling and servicing the golf “carts” no longer call
them “carts”, they now refer to them as “Golf Cars”, and they have become
serious business. There are of course hundreds of your standard beige golf
carts around, but slowly many are morphing into Golf Cars. You can purchase
deluxe models in many colors with all the options; turn signals, custom
upholstery, stereos, side curtains, mag wheels and even completely enclosed
bodies. The prices raise from the standard few thousand, to well over
Got some Freight you need moved?
Then there is the customizing of the carts, into not just
“cars”, but luxury cars, hot rods, 18 wheelers, or pick-up trucks. You can buy
custom bodies to turn your golf car into your dream machine of choice. I saw Cadillac,
57 Chevy, Rolls Royce, or Freightliner bodies. You can also add more powerful
batteries or speedier electric motors, if you want, but many people use them so
much that they have had to go to the gas powered option because the charges do
not last as long as the owners trips do. I spoke to one fellow who said that he
often put 200 miles on some days, and noted almost 8,000 miles in the first
There is even some movement from the Golf “Cars” towards
actual “City Cars”, the tiny two passengers vehicles seen in the orient and
Europe, smaller that the “Smarts”, but with all the Automobile amenities. The
golf “carts” do not need any licensing and are limited to special lanes on the
roads and to limited speeds, but the Cars must be licensed for road use and
carry much more insurance.
I’m thinking a pale blue 1960’s Cadillac with those huge
rear fins would be pretty cool conversion . . . . .