William Stevens Jr. decided to take a 450-mile journey in the winter of 1962 to prove the reliability of the golf carts. William, who was the owner of a golf-cart company, took six days to drive from the factory in Georgia to the golf-cart showroom in Florida. On that journey, William was accompanied by his colleague. On the highway, they were stopped by highway patrol officer claiming that the slow-moving machine was not allowed on the highway. Stephen replied to the officer saying he didn’t see the signs that restricted them from driving such vehicle. At that point, the officer was defeated, and he let them continue with their journey.
However, it turned out to be an insightful trip that predicting the changes in both golf and retirement. Before then, the golf players were required to walk the 18 holes. However, things have changed because the players should use a golf cart. Back in those days, the retirement meant that people have stopped working, and not the beginning of a new lifestyle. The first age-restricted community known as Sun City, Arizona was formed around the same time William Stevens drove to Florida. Nowadays, over 1 million people live in such retirement developments. To many, a golf cart symbolizes the liberation from the bondage of their past lives.
In the late 1980s, an elders-only community was opened in the west of Orlando. The community host of 83,000 elder people and has over 100 miles of golf cart trails. In fact, that community was developed purposely for golf-cart lifestyle. In this community, people are supposed to use golf carts in their daily activities such as going to shopping, bank, hairdresser, movies, dancing, etc. In fact, a video of the village website illustrates the rejuvenating qualities of the golf cart. One resident says that golf cart makes him feel like a kid again.
In most senior residential communities around the country from Georgia to Texas and Florida to California, the golf cart is the primary mode of transportation. In other words, a golf cart liberates as well as limiting the users. Elders cruise happily on the quiet electric vehicles without worrying of seat belts and doors. On the other hand, it means that an individual will not go far and will not get to the destination fast when the golf cart is the only means of transportation. In this case, most of the seniors won’t go beyond the retirement community.
A 66-year old Don Hahnfeldt, who used to drive submarines, says that using golf cart is exciting. Six years ago, Don and his wife bought their home in the village. They arrived with an Infiniti and a Cadillac. As soon as they settled in their new home, they bought their first golf cart. Six months later they acquired another golf cart. One year after seeing that their cars were sitting idle, they sold the Infiniti and retained the Cadillac for driving kids to Disney World. Nowadays, there are more than 50,000 privately-owned golf carts in the retirement villages. That is more than all taxis and buses in Manhattan, New York.
Ernie Keckonen, who is the sales manager of The Villages Golf Cars, says that most people move to the villages because of the ability to travel in a golf cart. He says that the golf cars retails between $6,000 and $8,000. People love golf carts because they are open and go slowly allowing them to observe things. Moreover, one can interact with people in other golf carts as they go. Furthermore, it is much easier to park golf carts. Most people spend a great deal of time customizing their golf carts to look like Mustangs, Vintage Chevys, and Hummers. A retired firefighter had customized his golf cart to look like a fire truck. Most people like to decorate their carts with memorabilia from favorite football teams or their homes states.
Journalist Andrew Blechman, is his book Leisureville, has a skeptical view of The Villages. He is concerned about self-segregation of the elderly people. However, Blechman admits that riding is golf cart is enjoyable. He says that riding in a golf cart at 20 miles per hour more exciting than driving a car at over seventy. He acknowledges that the golf cart is very peaceful and more relaxing. Moreover, the golf carts are safer, economical and eco-friendly. He observes that golf carts are social as it is easier to talk to passersby.
There are many residential communities in Myrtle Beach that encourage golf as a means of transportation. Best Golf Cars has new, used and custom built golf carts. Stop by one of our 3 showrooms to see what is right for you.
Best Golf Cars
1400 Enterprise Ave.
Myrtle Beach, SC, 29578
Best Golf Cars – Market Common
1600 Farrow Parkway
Coventry Crossings Shopping Plaza
Myrtle Beach, SC