Golf Carting Magazine Issue 31 December 2022

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A LEGACY OF LEADERSHIP IN THE GOLF CART INDUSTRY GOLFCARTING.COM GOLF CARTING MAGAZINE 1121 PARK WEST BLVD B214 MOUNT PLEASANT, SC 29466 December 2022 Issue 31 COVER STORY GOLF CART ENCLOSURES DO YOU NEED ONE? A SWEET EV KANDI VEHICLES COME TO AMERICA rock while you roll Orange Crush ECOXGEAR'S
www.GolfCarting.com 12 CONTENTS ISSUE 31 DECEMBER 2022 PAGE 20 20 COVER STORY: ECOXGEAR'S ORANGE CRUSH 36 A SWEET EV 40 GOLF CART NATION 42 GOLF CART ENCLOSURES 34 LET'S GET SOCIAL 14 EDITORS NOTE 50 READER'S RIDES 48 ASK THE MECHANIC FEATURES DEPARTMENTS PERSONALIZED POWER 30

As I write this, it is exactly one week since Hurricane Ian made landfall in SW Florida. I know it is now December, but I thought it important to address it.

My family lives in Estero, FL, a community sandwiched between Fort Myers to the north and Naples to the south. Hurricane Ian hit the barrier island of Cayo Costa, an almost uninhabited island north of Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico. For all practical purposes however, Fort Myers, which is a few miles to the south, took a direct hit.

Having lived in SW Florida for almost 10 years and Charleston, SC for 7 years, hurricanes have become a part of my life. I’ve been through enough hurricanes to have developed an underlining complacency towards them. It’s a feeling of “much ado about nothing” when they come and go, and all the preparations and anxiety were seemingly wasted on a storm that just never quite lived up to the hype. I think many Floridians and Georgians and Carolinians have grown a little cynical towards hurricanes.

Hurricane Ian was different. Hurricane Ian devastated the place I call home. It completely changed this part of Florida forever.

The weekend before Ian, I did what I always do a few days before a hurricane. I bought gas, groceries, water, wine and clam chowder. An abundance of canned chowder. I bought extra batteries and dusted off my camp stove and mini propane tanks. As of Monday, September 26, Ian was projected to make landfall near Tampa Bay on Wednesday evening, approximately 140 miles north of Fort Myers. Concerning for sure, but far enough away that there was no real panic in this area.

On Tuesday, things started to change. Overnight, Ian started to shift south. The new projection had it hitting Venice, FL, 60 miles north of us. More concerning. By midnight, the storm had shifted even further south, and experts predicted a direct hit on the Cape Coral, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers area at around 1pm on Wednesday. And worse, they were predicting a Category 4 or even Category 5 hurricane. At 1:00 a.m. the day of the hurricane, my wife and I caved and decided to leave. We packed the car, woke up our toddler and drove three hours through 30 mile-an-hour winds and rain to the east coast of Florida and checked into a hotel at four in the morning.

For the next two days the images we saw on the news were stunning. Fort Myers Beach was virtually erased. All the places I’ve frequented for years were simply gone. Sanibel Island, where my wife and I got engaged, and eventually married, was completely devasted. The causeway was destroyed and there is no access to the island of Sanibel and Captiva. I went to my country club in Fort Myers to discover it was severely impacted. My old neighborhood and house flooded. Thankfully, my current house was virtually damage free. Our power was restored five days after the storm. We feel very fortunate, but Hurricane Ian has been a lot to digest. The profound loss of property and possessions for so many people is staggering. People who choose to live coastal do so with their eyes wide open. But I am left with a sense of humility at just how fragile our world is and how quickly things can change. Florida will rebuild. It always does. Life goes on. But my heart and prayers go out to the legions of people who have lost everything. I’m humbled that somehow, I am not one of them.

We hope you enjoy this December issue of Golf Carting Magazine. Merry Christmas!

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Hurricane Ian

GOLF CARTING // Issue 31 // December 2022

Publisher: GC Media Group, LLC

Senior Editor: Trevor Rose - trevor@golfcarting.com

Creative Director: Troy Merrifield - troy@golfcarting.com

Graphic Designer: Tanner Merrifield

Production Director: Christian Amico - chris@golfcarting.com

Staff Writer: Kelly Madden

Staff Writer: Josh Delsota

Staff Writer / Social Media: Tony Benjamin

Golf Carting® is published monthly by GC Media Group, LLC. Reprinting in whole or by any means- electronic, graphic or mechanical, including photocopying or information storage and retrieval systems is forbidden without written permission from the publisher.

Advertising opportunities and inquiries

to: chris@golfcarting.com

Editorial contributions are welcomed, but editors recommend that contributors contact us first. Contribution must be accompanied by return postage, and we assume no responsibility for damage or loss of material. Manuscripts must be typewritten, and all photos have to have captions. Photo model releases of all people in photos must accompany manuscript. GOLF CARTING reserves the right to use material, and we reserve the right to edit material to meet publication requirements. E-mail contributions or inquiries to: trevor@golfcarting.com

WARNING: Certain action photographs depicted in this magazine are potentially dangerous. The drivers and vehicle occupants seen in our photos are experienced professionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts. Wear a helmet and safety restraints while operating a Golf Cart, and never drive beyond your capabilities. Do not drink and drive while operating a Golf Cart. We also encourage you to “Tread Lightly” while respecting the outdoors and other outdoor enthusiasts. Use your head and enjoy the ride!

©2022 GC Media Group, LLC

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MAGAZINE
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COVER STORY www.GolfCarting.com 20

ECOXGEAR'S

Orange Crush

rock while you roll

Technology has come a long way since we installed a set of 6” x 9” speakers in some hand-cut holes in our boats, golf carts, ATVs and other outdoor toys. Thanks to the innovative, premium quality products developed and manufactured by ECOXGEAR, (pronounced ECO-X-GEAR), you can outfit your outdoor vehicle or boat with unbelievable audio to add the perfect sound to your experience.

ECOXGEAR is a subsidiary of the Grace Digital brand, well known for their history of providing premium audio components for the home out of their headquarters in Poway, California, with satellite offices in Colorado, New Jersey, Florida and a brand-new fulfillment center in Houston, Texas. The company was founded in 2006 by partners Jim Palmer and Greg Fadul, who both have

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Weatherproof Audio Components from EcoXgear Power Your Outdoor Experience

Orange Crush

a long history in the electronic communication and audio industries. Jim worked on the first digital cellphone while at Motorola, as well as launching Bearcat police scanners, GRMS/FRS 2-way radios and marine radio product lines while at Uniden and Vtech communications. While working at Motorola, Greg oversaw the worldwide deployments of twoway paging networks, managed the design and construction of national VoIP telecommunications networks, and developed Wi-Fi modems and routers for Uniden and other numerous startups.

The partners saw a real need for a superior line of completely weatherproof soundbars, speakers, batteries, power supplies and accessories, wiring harnesses, mounting brackets and other gear designed for durability and peak performance in the outdoor world, and ECOXGEAR was born. The company was granted their first utility patent for their 100% waterproof, rugged, portable outdoor wireless speakers in 2016 for their novel approach of integrating air pressure valves in submersible, acoustically sealed audio chambers. This process provides optimal sound characteristics in speakers that are as comfortable on the water as they are in direct sunlight, day in and day out.

Fast forward to 2022 and numerous utility and design patents later, and ECOXGEAR has emerged as the #1 outdoor audio company in North America. They have 800 dealers across the country, and their powersports products made specifically for outdoor vehicles and marine applications are the fastest growing segment of their business.

The company has attained success by manufacturing a wide array of hi-performance portable speakers for large outdoor events and parties as well as small models for enjoying a day by the pool with your family. Other products include a solar speaker, and campsite speaker that doubles as a lantern.

TAKING OUTDOOR AUDIO TO THE EXTREME

ECOXGEAR’S line of SoundExtreme® products has been the company’s most popular product, seeing incredible growth over the past few years. Martin Balgach, National Sales Director for EcoXgear, explains the motivation behind the amazing SoundExtreme custom cart build featured in this story.

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“We wanted to create a truly custom cart designed and built to showcase our new SoundExtreme line of exceptional audio components, and along with our partners and friends we think this cart showcases our company in a way that will get the attention of those looking for the ultimate sound for their outdoor vehicle.”

The radical SoundExtreme cart features two soundbars, a 26” and 32”, dual 8” subwoofers, and four 6.5” coaxials in the custom dash. The clarity and tonal reproduction of sound is impeccable, and if volume is your thing, SoundExtreme products will not disappoint. The company’s 500-watt amplified soundbars feature a completely waterproof design and can be mounted in a variety of applications to fit any cart, ATV or UTV, side-by-side or boat. Accessories include 4-foot waterproof USB cables, a power cord with fuse adapter and more.

The custom cart also highlights the company’s new RGB

lighting kits that add the ultimate eye-popping visuals to your audio. To support ECOXGEAR’S rollout of the SoundExtreme line of products, the custom cart will be at the PGA Show in Orlando starting January 24th through the 27th, 2023, and it will also be used in several additional marketing and promotional efforts.

Heading up the design and build tasks for the new ECOXGEAR SoundExtreme custom cart were veteran cart guys Barry Hall of Kart King in Augusta, GA., and Aaron Gouldie of MODZ, a custom cart accessories company out of Liberty Hill, near Austin, TX. Balgach points out that once armed with ECOXGEAR’S vision of what they wanted, Hall was instrumental in bringing the concept to life and delivering a cart that far exceeded their expectations. “Barry was able to work with many great partners, including Aaron Gouldie at MODZ, who supported the build from concept, as well as Todd at Navitas and Noah at EcoBattery, to showcase innovative

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Orange Crush

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products and tie them all together with his custom flare that echoes our brand’s rugged reputation.”

Hall said it was a great collaborative effort involving a lot of design and fabrication details and coordination. “Aaron at MODZ fabricated the custom components we needed and shipped them to our shop in Augusta, and we spent a lot of time going over each step of the build process to make sure we ended up with a cart ECOXGEAR would be proud of.”

“I’ve had a great relationship with Martin at ECOXGEAR since we began as a distributor,” Gouldie says. “He asked me to build their cart, but since that’s not the business we’re in, I introduced him to Barry at Kart King who I knew would knock it out of the park.” MODZ donated the stunning, one-off custom seating, the custom tower tops fabricated to fit the 6-passenger cart and their new set of custom Carnage 14” x 10” wide custom wheels – a first for the golf cart industry - which will debut for the first time on the SoundExtreme cart. Other items like the custom steering wheel from Sycotic Fabrication, the custom mats from Mark at VHLC, a set of custom battery cables from Golf Carts Modified and the unreal paint work by Ron Newman in Augusta all came together to make one outstanding showcase electric vehicle.

This beautiful build is powered by a 5Kw AC motor and 600 Amp controller from Navitas and a 70-volt lithium battery pack from EcoBattery. The cart rides on a Jake’s long-travel suspension system and 30” x 12” x 14” OTR Tomahawk tires.

This one-of-a-kind custom cart is not only a showstopper to see, but the ECOXGEAR sound system is sure to let them know you’re coming.

PROGRESS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND

For ECOXGEAR, the future is based on the company’s devotion to innovative, waterproof outdoor audio design and providing the buyer with products designed to deliver the finest sound experience.

“We know the new SoundExtreme cart will be a major component in letting people know about our products, and we hope to see everyone at the PGA Show in Orlando,” says sales executive Balgach. “Our experience working with Barry, Aaron and so many other acclaimed cart designers and builders was extremely rewarding, and we’re hyper-focused on the launching of new products for 2023 and beyond, so doing another cart in the future is certainly a possibility.”

If there ever was a golf or multi-passenger cart intended for the true audiophile, it is sure to be equipped with components from ECOXGEAR.

You can see the SoundExtreme cart in person at Orlando’s PGA Show, other national golf cart industry shows and expos around the country, or you may be fortunate enough to see it – and hear it – when one of the ECOXGEAR team uses it to take their kids to school. - GCMAG

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PERSONALIZED POWER

SINGLE-RIDER GOLF CARTS ARE FUN, EASIER ON THE COURSE

Whether you’ve noticed the emergence of single-rider golf carts at your club yet or not, there’s a good chance you will soon.

Boosted by the restrictions on social distancing brought about by the COVID19 pandemic, carts designed to transport 1 person are seeing incremental growth and becoming much more widely accepted. Owners like the new, fun aspect they add to the game, and course superintendents see that they cause less damage to the course and allow for faster play than do traditional, 4-wheel carts.

Many in the industry feel that even when COVID19

restrictions are lessened or reduced altogether – something the entire world is ready for – single-rider golf cart transportation will continue to be a growing option at golf courses around the world and an alternative choice for individual buyers.

There are several manufacturers who make single-rider carts in a variety of configurations. Segway, a pioneer in the personal transportation industry, makes a golf cart model like their “street” models with the rider balancing on 2 wheels on either side of the machine. Others come in more of a hoverboard or surfboard style, while still others look similar to

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a handicap scooter with 3 or 4 wheels. Here is a look at some of the more popular single-rider golf transportation vehicles.

FAT TIRE - www.fattiregolfscooter.com

As the name implies, the main design feature of this individual passenger golf buggy is the ultra-wide tires which cause very little turf depression and offer a safe, comfortable ride. Established in 2017, Fat Tire models come in 2 and 3-wheel versions, complete with built-in coolers and drink holders, and are powered by electric batteries. Top speed can be governed to about 15 miles per hour, but that can be turned off, allowing a top speed of nearly 25 mile per hour. Riders get 2, 18-hole rounds out of a single charge, and it takes about 8 hours or less to fully charge the batteries. Fat Tire golf scooters start at around $3,500 for the base model. The more stable, 3-wheel trike called the Rebel Trike XR3 is a bit more and a little heavier, but these types of carts eliminate the need to balance on 2 wheels as if you were riding a bicycle.

ELLWEE

- www.ellwee.com

Picture a small, 4-wheeled motorcycle and you’ll picture the Ellwee electric golf cart transporter. Founded in Sweden in 2017, the Ellwee is a nimble machine with several add-on options like coolers and storage compartments, along with the golf bag holder. The efficient, 1500w electric motor can be charged easily and run for around 60 miles on 1 charge. Top speed is about 20 miles per hour, although that can be altered by golf course personnel.

Golfboard company was co-founded by world-renowned surfing legend Laird Hamilton, which explains why the vehicle resembles a surfboard mounted on 4 wheels. Speed is controlled by a simple thumb throttle and a computer regulates acceleration and braking. All 4 wheels provide power to the ground, and the rider stands atop a deck featuring flexible springs to provide a soft, smooth ride. A single charge provides enough power for an 18-hole round. Although some may find handling this surfboard-like experience on the golf course a bit of a challenge, there are hundreds of courses that now offer them for rent. Golfboard models begin at about $7,000.

FINN SCOOTERS -

www.finnscooters.com

This vehicle resembles a custom, “chopper”-style motorcycle with 2 wheels and kickstand. The golf bag is positioned in the center between the rider’s legs, creating a very balanced feel. Finn Scooters have patented an internal gear system that creates impressive torque when encountering steep inclines on the course. These unique carts have batteries rated for up to 1,000 charging cycles, and the motorcycle-styled suspension offers a smooth, comfortable ride. Finn Scooters begin at just under $4,000 and add a fun, enjoyable experience to your round of golf.

GOLFBOARD - www.golfboard.com

The

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younger, more adventurous golf enthusiast is realizing the Golfboard vehicle can add a lot of fun to the game. The ELLWEE X GOLF FINN SCOOTERS GOLFBOARD

KOPPLA SWIFT GOLF MOTORCYCLE

www.kopplamoto.com

Another motorcycle-styled, single-rider golf vehicle is the Koppla Swift Golf Motorcycle, where the golf bag is also mounted on the center support between the rider’s legs. These creative carts are available with an optional cooler holder, disc brakes, rearview mirrors and even an LED headlight if you get done with your round after dark. The front tire is taller and narrower than the rear tire, creating a ride just like on a motorcycle. Koppla Golf Cycles easily go for 18-holes on a single charge and are nimble enough to allow you to play a round in about 2 hours. Prices start at a little over $4,000.

pace of play. If you have 4 players all riding single-player carts, the time spent on each hole is greatly reduced because carts are not constantly going back and forth across fairways to accommodate 2 players.

The lighter weight of single-rider carts means less damage to the course turf, especially in wet or damp conditions. Another benefit is less storage space, which appeals to facility management and cart barn superintendents.

All of these benefits are adding up to impressive growth, with the founder of Golfboards stating there are about 3,000 of their products being used by 300 golf clubs around the country, and he predicts exponential growth for the future. Finn Cycles are the creation of Sun Mountain Motor Sports, and that company’s president has said their sales doubled during the peak of the COVID19 social distancing restrictions, and he sees the prospect for phenomenal growth going forward.

Just like buying a traditional golf cart, there are several things you should consider if you’re thinking about getting a single-rider golf transportation vehicle.

Some manufacturers offer a dual-battery configuration, allowing you to switch to a fully-charged battery when 1 runs low. Speed is another factor to keep in mind, selecting a model that gets you around the course in a safe and efficient manner. While many models can be adjusted to go faster than 15 miles per hour, you really don’t need that increased speed to safely navigate your favorite country club. Of course, you’ll want to take some test rides to make sure you’re physically able to handle the cart comfortably – the 3-wheel models reduce the risk of tipping over or falling off the vehicle.

BETTER FOR THE COURSE AND THE GAME?

The advantages to using a single-rider golf cart are many, with manufacturers and courses around the world reporting impressive gains in use and acceptance.

These types of carts are lighter, and most courses allow riders to cruise right up next to the green, which increases the

The golf cart industry around the world is booming, and it makes sense that single-rider golf vehicles will follow suit at a brisk pace. Electric bicycles and scooters used off the golf course are exploding in sales because of volatility in gas prices, and experts see a similar trend in the evolution of these unique carts and the fun they add to the game. - GCMAG

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golfcart GOLFBOARD
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A Sweet EV KANDI VEHICLES COME TO AMERICA

A well-established EV manufacturer from China has entered the US market, and affordability is the key to what they call “an EVolution” to the electric vehicle industry.

In China, the vehicles are known as Zhejiang Kangdi Vehicles and are widely popular for both individual consumers and ride sharing companies. In fact, you can rent a Kandi EV from a large vending machine that “dispenses” the vehicle after the renter enters their info and payment.

Beginning in late 2020, Kandi America was established and began importing US versions of their first 2 models, the K27 and the K23. The firm acquired a Texas-based company called SC Imports to serve as the exclusive US distributor. They are currently establishing a network of dealers around the country that will sell and service the EVs.

SMALL CAR, SMALL PRICE

The marketing strategy behind Kandi EVs is based on a lower price point than that of comparable vehicles available today. While most people think of Tesla when they think of

electric cars, there are many other manufacturers who market small EVs, like Volkswagen’s ID Buzz and the brand new Toyota bZ4X, among others.

While the overall size and travel range of Kandi EVs may not measure up to those of some competitors, Kandi is hoping the lower price will still attract buyers. The company is hoping to attract those who want to make the switch to an electric vehicle but don’t want to pay $40,000 for a Tesla Model S or around $35,000 for Toyota’s new EV which debuted in 2021.

The Kandi K27 begins at just under $20,000, and the company is anticipating that those who qualify for the $7,500 US Federal EV Tax Credit will be drawn to going electric for about $13,000.

The first two Kandi models are street legal, but a bit smaller than other electric passenger cars. Another concern consumers may have is the range of travel from one charge. The Kandi K27 can carry four adults and reaches a top speed of around 63 miles per hour. The 17.7-kwh battery pack is said to supply a range of about 100 miles. The company promotes its

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“haggle free” pricing at $20,490 before applying any tax credits.

The larger K23 is described as “the same size of a small SUV,” comes with a larger 41.4-kwh battery pack and is reported to have a range of around 180-200 miles. The top speed is a reported 70-mph. Upgrading to the K23 will set you back $29,999 before any tax credit deduction. This places the K23 in competition with the Nissan Leaf, which also retails for just under $30,000. Both EVs are eligible for the Federal tax credit, but its important to point out that in order to receive the EV credit the applicant must owe the equivalent amount$7,500 – in taxes or they may not receive the full credit.

MUD ON THE TIRES

For their effort in getting into the offroad market, Kandi just introduced the K32 model, a pure EV that resembles a small pickup truck but is not street legal. The K32 is meant to compete with the UTV and side-by-side products currently on the market, and the company feels their engineering and design accomplishments will make them a player in the industry. The all-wheel drive K32 comes with a 21-kwh electric motor powered by either a 20.7-kwh or 50-kwh lithium ion battery system. The range for the smaller batteries is about 60 miles and around 150 miles for the more powerful batteries. It takes around 7.5 hours to fully charge both

systems. Top speed is around 65-mph.

The K32 has a curb weight of just over 4,000 lbs. and a wheelbase of 214 inches. It can seat four adults comfortably and comes with car-like 265/65/R17-sized tires. Other features include an anti-theft system, dual airbags, backup camera and 10-inch interior touch screen LED display to monitor all the EV’s operating systems. The K32 starts at around $27,000 for the smaller battery version and $35,000 for the longer-range model.

For comparison’s sake, the K32 is a bit larger than Ford’s new Maverick pickup, resembling something like a Chevy Colorado or Ford Ranger in size. But, the high-tech, futuristic look of the K32 is without a doubt the “cooler” looking mini truck, and Kandi is hoping people who want to upgrade from a traditional 4x4 UTV will choose the model for adding comfort and more enjoyment to their outdoor adventures.

PLAYING A ROUND WITH THE KANDI KRUISER 4P GOLF CART

Kandi America is no stranger to the golf cart industry, offering the stylish Kruiser 4P model with all the bells and whistles to rival any custom cart manufacturer.

Although it is called a golf cart, the Kruiser 4P is a fullycustomized, street legal neighborhood EV that will definitely turn heads anywhere it goes. There are several configurations

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you can order, the most popular being the four-passenger version with rear-facing back seats. The cart sits high on 23x10.5/14 tires and a lifted frame, and they can be tricked out with many accessories like a front light bar, (in addition to the standard headlamps,) heavy-duty brush guards, rear passenger grab rails, extended rigid roof, cargo holders and more.

The Kruiser 4P comes with a 5,000-watt electric motor and 48V/6 of 8V Deep Cycle battery pack. It is rear-wheel drive with a top speed of around 25-mph. The cart will attain a full charge in under 7 hours, and travel about 40 miles per charge. They weigh about 1,400 lbs., have an overall length of 120 inches and a wheelbase of 65.7 inches. The 4P’s seats are 32 inches from the ground and there is 7.8 inches of ground clearance.

These carts offer a premium ride with independent McPherson strut front suspension and a swing arm straight axle in the rear. Stop on a dime with the help of the front hydraulic disc brakes behind the custom-colored aluminum

wheels. You can get your Kruiser 4P in one of several color combinations from mild to wild, and the cart’s interior finishes and seat upholstery resemble a custom car.

Considering the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of just $10,999, you may be surprised at how much cart you can get for your money. The Kandi Kruiser 4P carts are marketed by Kandi Motorsports, a division of Kandi America. The company also makes and sells gas-powered go carts and electric and gas-powered bicycles and dirt bikes. The extensive network of independent Kandi dealers around the country means you’ll always be able to get factory-warranted service and parts for your Kandi vehicle.

Although Kandi may be relatively new to the US market, their vision in designing and manufacturing cutting edge EVs and the electric power sources they use are making them a force to be noticed in providing eco-friendly, low-priced electric transportation options. - GCMAG

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SHAWN, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS BUILD?

I bought it on Facebook Marketplace. I then took the cart to a local builder to have frame powder coated and painted. Unfortunately, about a week later, he passed away. When I got to the cart, I only was able to get the frame. So, from the frame I pieced together everything, and this is what I have today.

GIVE US SOME BACKGROUND ABOUT YOU AND HOW LONG YOU HAVE BUILDING CARTS: This is my first build. I have a 1996 Club-Cart DS that I am rebuilding now.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR YOU?

I'm retired and I want to build carts.

WHAT AFTERMARKET PARTS DID YOU USE?

• Heads up speedo display

• Navitas Motor with

• Navitas controller, both purchased through Converted Carts

• Seats were donated by Converted Carts

• MadJax body from Converted Carts

• Madjax Brush guard from Converted Carts

• 14" Gunmetal Tempest Wheels and Tires Combo

• Dakota Lithium batteries

OWNER: SHAWN WILLIAMS FROM AUBREY TX OF BIG BAD CARTS, LLC YEAR/MAKE/MODEL: 2006 E-Z-GO TXT
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GOLF CART ENCLOSURES DO YOU NEED ONE?

Whether you have a neighborhood electric vehicle, (NEV), that your family uses to get around your community, or use your cart exclusively for golf, you may have wondered about adding a golf cart enclosure to keep you comfortable.

You may be trying to get through the last 2 holes when a quick Florida shower kicks up or taking the family to dinner across the street from your neighborhood in your cart, and these are times when having some type of enclosure will be beneficial.

There are a wide variety of different enclosure types and styles, making it easy to find the exact enclosure to fit not only

your cart, but how you use it. Some are designed to cover specific areas of the cart and others cover the cart’s entirety –it all depends on what you need. There are multiple options from which to choose, custom-designed to fit nearly every cart. There are also “universal fit” enclosures that will fit most popular carts on the market.

PROTECT YOUR CART INVESTMENT, AND YOURSELF

Drivable cart enclosures – not “covers” which are meant for storing your cart – come in every conceivable configuration, including for 2, 4 and 6-passenger carts, and today’s

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advancements in the design and manufacture of enclosures mean high-quality, waterproof materials, a secure fit and easy operation.

Early golf cart enclosures made for use while the cart was being driven were made of a canvas material that was not designed for constant exposure to the elements over time. Today’s cart enclosure options are made from marine-grade canvas with UV-ray protection, and just like a quality boat cover, manufactured to last much longer than enclosures made just 10 years ago.

Cart enclosures are made for covering 2 passengers and 2 sets of clubs or for protecting multiple passengers. If you’re in a colder climate and need to take prospective real estate clients to preview a condominium on the beach, you’ll find a quality enclosure to be a worthwhile upgrade.

There are different types of enclosure installation options, using either a “track” or frame installation, a snap installation to connect the panels, a wrap-around system, or an “over-thetop” enclosure. If you don’t want the hassle of screwing snaps into your cart or paying the local shop to do it, you may want

to select a 3 or 4-piece enclosure that wraps around the cart on supplied fasteners that can be installed with no tools. The anchor pieces are placed onto the front and rear roof sup-ports and the enclosure pieces wrap around those.

The most popular type of cart enclosure is the “over-thetop” cover, most commonly secured by elastic straps that go under the cart’s chassis. These enclosures are available to fit every model of cart and provide a very secure fit and good weatherproof protection.

Some more elaborate – and expensive – models have rigid doors that open like a car and secure tightly. A good enclosure will completely cover the passenger and cargo areas, from the roof all the way down to the lower body. If you find the process of zipping and unzipping your enclosure to get in or out of your cart to be a hassle, an enclosure with a door – most open from the front like the rear “suicide doors” of the early Lincoln Continental, allowing the driver and passengers to step in or out easily – will provide the most protection from a blustery wind, snowstorm, or sudden downpour. The majority of fixeddoor enclosures allow the doors to be completely and easily

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re-moved during more comfortable conditions.

THE PRICE OF PROTECTION

There are different price points for golf cart enclosures, so you should shop carefully for the specific style of enclosure to suit your cart and what you do with it.

For a standard, 2-seater golf cart that carries 2 golf bags on the back, you can expect to pay around $150.00 for a quality, fitted cover with canvas sides and clear vinyl windows, designed to fit your specific cart manufacturer and model. A more elaborate version, made of Sunbrella® material and covering more areas of the cart, goes for around $250.00. You can even order custom colors, including a camouflage version.

If you’d rather have an enclosure with doors instead of zippered panels, there are several options on the market that allow you to install them yourself. The doors are hinged at the rear of the door and can be locked in the open positioned when the weather is nice and easily closed when things turn cold or wet. These start at around $500.00 up to around $800.00, and cart owners report much more protection and comfort.

For places like resorts, school campuses, medical facilities, real estate development sites or sports complexes, protecting cart drivers and passengers while transporting them in a 4 or 6-passenger cart is critical in inclement conditions. Many manufacturers make custom covers for multi-passenger electric vehicles that will keep everyone warm and dry, and they start at around $500.00.

You can get an over-the-top enclosure that fits the 110” x 64” roof of the Club Car® models from 2018 and newer with roll-up doors, UV and weather-resistant materials and simple

installation. The style for 6-passenger carts comes in several colors and start at around $450.00. If you just want to install a rear enclosure that folds up and down and covers your golf clubs and bags, those start at around $150.00.

There are dozens of companies online that make and sell high-quality golf cart enclosures to fit virtually any model.

CAN I ENCLOSE MY UTV OR SIDE-BY-SIDE?

Keeping warm and dry is an affordable option for more than just golf carts. There are many companies that can outfit your electric vehicle, side-by-side or custom cart to protect you from the elements.

Tractor Supply Company sells a Massimo soft enclosure package designed for UTVs and installed using a Velcro® and zipper system. These panels cover the sides and rear of the vehicle, providing added warmth and protection if you’re at your hunting cabin or the family lake house. They start at around $500.00.

If you own a Polaris Ranger or similar side-by-side vehicle, you can find a top-quality, soft cab en-closure system featuring marine-grade material and stitching resistant to mold, mildew, puncture and discoloration, removable door and rear panels and easy installation with Velcro®-mounted sup-ports. These are available for around $750.00.

People who have over-the-top style of enclosures tend to leave them on their carts year-round, making it easy to adapt to any kind of weather conditions. Whether you’re hauling materials and supplies on a job site or ranch or trying to enjoy as many rounds of golf as possible where you live, enclosing your cart or UTV can mean more outdoor enjoyment and increased comfort. - GCMAG

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ASK THE MECHANIC ASK THE MECHANIC

Q: What are my options for playing music in my cart?

A: There are several ways to enjoy your favorite tunes while driving your cart. Most easily is by installing a Bluetooth enabled soundbar. There are several well-respected companies that make waterproof sound bars including ECOXGEAR, WET SOUNDS, and JBL. These would mount to your roof supports to which you would purchase or make an aftermarket bracket to fit your cart securely. These soundbars simply need a 12v source for power and then you connect to your phone wirelessly to play music through apps like Pandora or iTunes. Many sound bars also have LED lighting to play with the music as well to add to the fun factor. Alternatively, you can also install an in-vehicle style head unit with added speakers. The speakers can mount directly to the body, or you can purchase speaker pods or custom dash kits that allow for adding speakers. Going this route, you would need to wire everything up individually but make sure you go with a good marine grade head unit and speakers to be trouble free for the long haul. Be sure to install to a voltage reducer and fuse box for added protection.

Q: How involved is it to stretch a golf cart?

A: In the past, stretch kits required welding parts of the frame together, but now there are more kits on the market

that allow bolting the stretch kit in place. With that being said, you still have to cut your frame in half so make sure to measure twice (even three times) and cut once. You will need to purchase longer rocker panels or customize ones to fit as well as purchasing an extra seat pod. Wiring will need to be lengthened as well as using longer brake lines as well. This job is best left to a knowledgeable golf cart technician to be done correctly. Even though these kits can cost several thousand dollars, stretching your current cart could end up saving you money rather than purchasing a whole new one.

Q: Should I disconnect the batteries when storing the cart for over three months?

A: There will still be a constant draw on the batteries if left idle for long periods, so it is best to disconnect your main positive and negative leads as well as placing the cart into tow/service mode. Make sure before you fully disconnect, that the batteries are fully charged and topped off with water if they are lead acid types. You could also investigate purchasing a 36 or 48v battery maintainer. You can find these types of trickle chargers through online sites like CartPros.com. Also, if you live in a colder climate, it may be a good idea to insulate the batteries as well so they do not freeze if kept outside.

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