Good old golf carts  

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

When we moved to The Villages some 19 years ago, I had known very little about golf carts and my gentle wife knew even less.  In fact, we debated whether we should have two cars or one car and a golf cart.  After some discussion, we went with the latter and started our search for a cart.  First, we had to make the determination of electric versus gas. I figured that since we were not going to mow our own lawn here that we should go with electric and not worry about gasoline in the garage which we thought might be an issue.

We bought a nice electric cart and plugged it in the garage. That night one of our alarm systems that detected gas fumes went off.  We couldn’t get the thing to shut up, so we called TECO who sent down a grumpy guy from Ocala. It was pretty late at night, and when he got there he said that it probably a defective alarm. Then he brought out his handy dandy detector and muttered that there was a problem.  Trouble was he couldn’t find out what was causing it. Finally, he went out in the garage and found the problem was the electric golf cart.  From then on, we had to charge during the day with the garage door open or the alarm would soon sound.  We eventually traded for a gas cart.

Now back in the ancient days nineteen years ago, the cart paths were simply a sidewalk.  The sidewalks did as concrete sidewalks usually do – that is they became uneven.  This meant that you pretty much bounced along and when someone came the other way there was very little room to pass. When the good wife was with me she used to close her eyes and pinch my leg as she was certain that we would end along the side of the walk way bruised and bloody from a big crash.  We never did have one, and I am not certain how pinching my leg was going to avert one, but mysterious is the mind of the distaff sex. Eventually The Villages came through and we now have smooth wide asphalt golf paths, which is even more important today considering some of the sizes of today’s carts.

Then there was the fact that when it rained or there was even a little wind you needed to be able to close in the sides of the carts in order to keep the wife happy. (Blown hair is never acceptable). Back then they didn’t have snaps or zippers.  You just grabbed the side, pulled it down and slid hooks under the side of the cart.  If the drops were coming down, I would grudgingly pull the sides down.  However, with a little wind, I probably was not the most accommodating person around. This is exactly why we now have a cart with sliding doors.  Let the rain or wind come barreling through, I just pull the doors shut and wave benignly to those who have stopped their carts to pull their sides down – although they do have zippers and snaps now.

We do have a local golf cart hero whose exploits I will mention without stating a name of course. This fine gentleman moved to The Villages a couple of months before us.  He discovered the Markets of Marion and while perusing the many available artifacts there came across a used golf cart.  After some discussion he purchased it and nineteen years later he still has it. It has carried him through all kinds of adventures including violent storms.  He does have a very nice patient wife who does not necessarily agree with his concept of the value of the cart. Thus, for the last couple of years, he has indicated that perhaps he should get another one, but just can’t seem to find one that agrees with him.  Sometimes it is the wrong color, wrong make or some other important failing.

Just before I started this I advised him of a 2016 cart that cost $16,000 new, but the owner will sell it for much less than half the original price. It apparently has every add on that you can think of including a radio.  His long suffering wife is aware of this. It will be interesting to see what occurs!

My thinking is that radio will kill the deal.  Not enough stations most likely!

Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for