History of the Golf Cart in America

Author: Auger Law | September 9th, 2015

Golf cart accident on the greenAnyone over the age of 50 has been alive as long as golf carts have been around. Seeing a golf cart on the green or even motoring on the boardwalk is nothing new. But where did these motorized vehicles come from? The golf cart has a rich history that few know.

The first motorized cart was available for public use in the 1950’s, but was invented in 1935. The man credited with putting the first cart together is Lyman Beecher of Clearwater, Florida. Beecher, an electrical engineer, put together a non-motorized cart that required two men to pull it. People say that it looked like a sort of rickshaw with a seat and two wheels.

Beecher is said to have used his golf cart while at his North Carolina summer home. The inventor played golf on hilly terrain and was afraid that he would not be able to walk the course on his own. Hence his need for a pulled cart.

Five short years after its conception, the golf cart was modified. Beecher invented a golf cart run with car batteries. The only problem? It took the juice of six batteries to give the cart enough life to last 18 holes. Beecher’s invention was the cart of choice until after World War II.

R.J. Jackson, a Texas oilman, received the first patent in the United States for a gas-powered cart. The cart, dubbed the “Arthritis Special,” was created and built so older golfers or those who were seriously ill could enjoy the game. Interestingly, the cart was banned from many courses because of its habit of belching black smoke.

Banned or not, these carts were not immediately available to the public. Anyone wishing to rent a cart needed a note from their doctor. Once course owners realized that motorized golf carts could be money makers, they opened rentals to the public.

In 1955, only 40 percent of courses in the country had carts available to their players. Just 12 years later in 1967, 92 percent of courses made carts available for rent. Today, there are more than 2 million carts in the country. They can be found on golf courses, resort towns, and even on the streets of major cities. Quite impressive for a machine that started with three wheels and manpower.

If you have been injured in a golf cart accident, our lawyers are here to help you. We have experienced lawyers that can help you get the compensation you may be entitled to by law. Call today for your free initial consultation.

Posted In: Golf Carts