CS (JanFeb12) - 2012 Custom Golf Car Winner

cover-janfeb12Pictured is the “Best of Show” winner The Cartguy, from Lindsay, Ontario Canada, in our Custom Golf Car Contest.

While sitting around the Cartguy shop “discussing” golf carts and how to come up with a unique cart the owner of this particular cart stated it would be different to have a set of dual wheels. Then we got creative! Old rims were used, plasma cutting the center out of them to keep the same bolt pattern. We welded the cut out onto a 2 inch O.D. steel pipe 12 inches long, fit it over the existing wheel studs on the cart. Then the studs were changed up to 2 inches for more stability. The embedded pipe was torqued to the cart with the original wheels on it. A second wheel was put over the extended pipe to simulate dual wheels, now the wheel was secured an inch apart from the inner wheel. An aluminum spacer hub was positioned on the 2 inch pipe approximately where the outer wheel would sit. The spacer was marked, pulled off, a 3/8 inch hole was drilled, then positioned back on the pipe, a 3/8 hole was drilled through the pipe lining it up with the spacer. Then it was bolted together with a 3/8 inch bolt and lock nut. Now we had an outer hub with the studs already in the aluminum spacer in the original bolt pattern. The outer wheel was then bolted on, this ended up being the birth of the Cartguy dual wheels! The customer loves his cart and drives it every day.

ATG (JanFeb12) - Testing Club Car Computers

QUESTION: BW Writes; What is the testing procedure for Club Car computers?

ANSWER: First it must be determined what issue is seen:
1) Will Not Charge
2) Charges But Car Will Not Run
3) Charges But Will Not Shut Off
4) Charger Will Not Work On A Different Car
5) Working Charger Will Not Work On Specific Car

System #1:
Re-boot Computer first and confirm battery pack voltage is above 41 volts. The Computer is voltage sensitive and must see battery pack voltage to activate system.
Rebooting consists of battery disconnection per manufacturers procedure. If the car utilizes a run/tow switch you must place the car in tow position before disconnecting any batteries. For cars that have a Regenerative One system (first generation) the key switch is utilized as run/tow. For all 1995 and up Series cars place car in neutral, key off and disconnect battery number six negative cable and any accessory wires that may be connected to that terminal. Lay the cable and or wires aside as not to touch the frame of any other wiring! Turn key switch on and place shifter into reverse. Hold the accelerator pedal at about 1/3rd down until back up buzzer softens or stops. Repeat accelerator pedal up and down several times until you see that. Then reconnect all wires and cable onto number six battery negative terminal. Note you may see a small arc as you make this connection this is just the capacitor bank inside the controller being charged. In the event the back up buzzer does not function simply discharge the controller. With batteries disconnected short out B+ to B- on the controller it will arc loudly so do not be alarmed (series systems only). After the cables and wires have been connected you have now re-booted. All regenerative systems will be a little different you have to remember turning run/tow switch on before putting car in reverse and then remember to turn run/tow back off before connecting number six or number four battery (if it have a four battery arrangement instead of six).
After you have competed this try to first drive the car. Then try to charge the batteries once again. If all is well the re-boot took care of the lock out. If the car still does not run or runs but will not charge we move on the next level.
Will not charge but does run:

1)    Make sure the AC cord is receiving voltage (test for AC voltage)
2)    Make sure you have DC voltage at the cars charging  receptacle (positive only) (negative not seen)
3)    Make sure you have battery negative voltage at the yel low sense lead fuse and to the charger relay
4)    Make sure the charger relay “clicks” if not confirm 48-volts positive and negative on the relay coil
5)    48-volts present on the relay coil and does not “click” the relay is defective
6)    Missing negative from the computer or blue sense lead wire on charger cord it is open. Meaning the blue wire can be broken inside the DC cord and usually breaks at the handle plug end from up and down movement. If missing negative from gray sense lead wire on car half replace the computer.
7)    All voltage present and relay “clicks” and does not charge, check DC battery connections on the car and confirm they are not broken, corroded or connected to wrong area. If all connections and wiring is good then the computer rectifier is defective replace the computer. Note: just because the relay “clicks” it does not mean it is good, the main contacts can be open so test that.
8)    If the charger will not shut off it means either the relay contacts or stuck in the closed position or the computer is defective. Technical Note: This system will not shut off if there is a defective battery (batteries) in the system. You must confirm you have a good working set of batteries.

System #2:
Car Will Not Run:
1)    Car will not run. Does the solenoid “click”?
2)    Solenoid does not “click” we have either a “lock out” from computer, controller, solenoid or wiring issue
3)    First determine if we have a “lock out” from compute Re-boot as per System #1.
4)    Still have “lock out” and will not charge follow System #1 testing.

Follow the following by-pass procedures:
1)    For series systems remove yellow solenoid wire from solenoid. Tape the end of this yellow wire so it does not touch anything. Place a jumper wire from battery negative to the vacated solenoid terminal. Activate the system (meaning key on, in forward and accelerator pushed). The car should now run and if it does and the car will charge add a 10 fuse to a 18 gauge wire and place this wire and fuse to the vacated solenoid terminal and to a battery negative connection. At this point computer replacement is not necessary. However, if you wish to retain the “lock out” function you must replace the computer.
2)    If the car does not run (no solenoid “click”) you have a car wiring issue, follow car wiring diagram to locate issue. Or (solenoid does “click” you have a drive control system issue such as controller, motor, shifter, solenoid or cables and wiring. Do not confuse solenoid activation with computer “lock out” it is two separate things.
To by-pass “lock out” on other computer system (SepEx) you must know exactly what drive system is in the car i.e. Regen 1, Regen 2, IQ, IQ+ or what ever. Each uses “lock out” differently then the standard series system. Notice on the series system negative “lock out” is used. Some of the SepEx “lock out” is based on positive voltages. So make sure of exactly what you have before doing anything. At this point do not and I mean DO not jump any solenoids activation terminals without removing the main negative solenoid wire! Failure to do so can destroy a controller or computer!
A)    Regenerative System 1 (first generation) connect a negative 18 gauge wire with a bullet connector going into the Z plug pin number 12 yellow wire. This will by-pass computer input to the controller. If the car runs and charges add a 10 amp fuse and leave it that way. If you wish to have the “lock out” feature you must replace the computer.
B)    Regenerative System 2 (Power Drive Plus) connect yellow, blue and white wires together on the car side of the on-board computer harness. These are all positive connections. If the car runs and charges with the applied positive add a 10 amp fuse and leave connected as a by-pass. If you wish to have the “lock out ” feature replace the computer.
C)    IQ System cut the light blue wire at pin number 5 on the 16 pin controller connector. Connect a 18 gauge wire from the light blue wire going to the 16 pin connector and route the other end to battery positive at the solenoid large terminal (from battery number one) or the back of charging receptacle red positive terminal. Tape the light blue wire going to the computer. If the car runs and charges install 10 amp fuse in the jumper and leave it that way. If you wish to retain “lock out” replace the computer.
Always advise your customer that any type of by-pass does remove the “lock out” function. This by-pass is a way of testing to see if it is a computer issue or controller issue. Of course you can allow just confirm the voltages with a voltmeter if you understand the voltage pin-outs. Knowing the voltage pin-outs you must have the correct wiring diagram for the system being tested.

TS (JanFeb12) - Battery Water

By: Matt Vallez

This article was originally published in the Golf Car News Mar/Apr 2009 issue, it has been fact checked and updated as needed.

Do you know what kind of water is going into the batteries you maintain? Aside from making sure there is adequate water in the battery in the first place, what’s most important is the purity of that water, because any water is better than no water at all. This is not a question about the water being healthy for humans to drink. The water could be considered healthy for humans, but may be harmful for a battery. Chlorine is commonly used to kill bacteria by water municipalities and is present in most tap water; it keeps the water free from bacteria dangerous to humans. However this same chlorine is harmful to a battery. Any dissolved mineral in the water such as calcium, magnesium, chlorides and other naturally occurring minerals and salts are said to make the water hard. Hard water is water with a high mineral content.

Hard water will shorten the life of any battery, and even more so the life of a deep cycle battery. The more often the battery is charged or cycled and gassed, the more evaporation takes place, as a result more water must be added to keep the battery plates covered. Over time the hard water’s dissolved minerals and salts build up on the plates of the battery. This build-up will seriously shorten the usable life of the battery. Preventing these impurities from getting into the battery in the first place is what we are discussing today.

The first question you might ask is how hard is the water where I am? Do I even need to worry about this in the first place? Those are both good questions and an answer can be found at: http.//water.usgs.gov/owg/ there is a map there that will give you hardness by region. Let me just give you a “readers digest version”. The softest water is in parts of New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, Hawaii regions. Everywhere else has moderately hard water, hard water or very hard water. Even if you are in an area with the softest water there may be things added to the water that makes it hard, such as chlorine depending on how the water is treated in your local area.

The best ways to test the hardness of your water is with an alkalinity test or contact your local utility. See the website http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/il.htm if you want to get locally specific water hardness info. Hardness is caused by compounds of calcium and magnesium, and by a verity of other metals. General guidelines for classifications of water are: 0-60 MG/L (milligrams per liter) as calcium carbonate is classified as soft; 61 to 120 moderately hard; 121 to 180 MG/L as hard; and more than 180MG/L as very hard. Most people have hard water and for the sake of this article let’s assume you have hard water.

Once you have determined you have hard water and hard water is bad for your batteries, you have limited choices. A. You can ignore this article and the major battery manufactures and just top off your batteries with hard tap water. B. Buy distilled water, not just bottled water but distilled bottled water and top off your batteries with it. C. Get a filtration system to filter out the harmful minerals and salts and top off your batteries with that. To me B & C are the only ones that make any sense.

And unless you are only caring for a few golf cars or you want to get some practice as Gunga Din for you’re your local playhouse’s annual Rudyard Kipling poetry reenactment day, I suggest you look into getting a filter set up to purify the water before it goes into your batteries. Lugging around gallon jugs of water is hard work and expensive, you usually have to drive to the store to get the distilled bottled water and then there is a storage issue. The water in the tap can be made pure no mater how hard it is with a good filter system. And now available for the first time from Nivel is the Philadelphia Scientific Water Deionizers Filtration System. These can be ordered with the patented, non electric watering gun with automatic shutoff.

I know putting pure water in your batteries sounds like a lot of extra work, just keeping water in the things can be a full time job, but how much work is it to change out a set of batteries a year earlier that you should have?

Industry News - January/February 2012

Yamaha Golf-Car Company is pleased to announce the introduction of Electronic Fuel Injection as a standard feature for all Yamaha golf car based Personal Transportation Vehicles. As an industry first, the Yamaha Electronic Fuel Injection system offers many benefits over traditional carbureted fuel delivery systems. Those benefits include:
• No choke required.
• Cleaner burning with less exhaust emissions.
• Smoother, more responsive acceleration.
• No need to re-jet to compensate for less dense air in higher altitudes.
• The smallest carbon footprint of any gasoline powered golf car.
• Provides as much as 38% better gas mileage than the competition.*

*According to independent verification conducted by Applied Technical Services testing The DRIVE® by Yamaha to Club Car Precedent and E-Z-GO RXV.

“We’re excited to be the first golf car manufacturer to offer Electronic Fuel Injection to our customers” says Tom McDonald, president of Yamaha Golf-Car Company. McDonald adds, “We were able to draw from the knowledge gained in manufacturing other reliable Yamaha products such as WaveRunners, outboard motors, motorcycles and ATV’s that also have Fuel Injection. I think the benefits of Fuel Injection will refine our car to an unprecedented level, not to mention the benefit of potentially saving thousands of dollars in fuel costs.”

For more information on Yamaha Golf Cars, visit us on the web at www.yamahagolfcar.com.


In the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania, deep inside the Corporate Headquarters of Custom Seats, Inc., one of the East Coast’s premier contract seat manufacturers, the management team in the Backspin Seating division is ecstatic about the upcoming launch of their new custom golf cart seats. “Seat Styles to Match Your Lifestyle” will be officially unveiled at January 2012’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. The customizable line of seats features durable, all-weather construction, easy installation and minimal maintenance.

Backspin Seating CEO Thomas Dellamalva is looking forward to the Show, “As a golfer myself, I’ve always had my eye on the industry. As an entrepreneur, this feels like a very natural expansion of our business. At Custom Seats, Inc., we are 100% focused on making quality seats. You’ll find our seats in casinos, lecture halls, wheelchairs and other environments where long-term comfort really matters. We’ve poured over a decade of knowledge and experience into creating Backspin Seating. People ask me why Backspin seats feel so great. While we’re using molded-form construction to deliver terrific support, the secret is really in the styling and craftsmanship, in the way the seat fits your body.”

Tom’s son, John Dellamalva, a Certified Public Accountant, serves as the company’s Vice President of Finance. “Because we are first and foremost a seat manufacturer, there are certain economies of scale that benefit the Backspin customer. Compared to other seats on the market today, Backspin products are an incredible value for the dollar.”

As Backspin’s Director of Product Development, Jamie Durkin is the artistic mind behind the design of each of the company’s three seats: the Turbo-Charge (bucket), The Crossover (bench) and The Streamline (bench). “I admit, in addition to comfort and value, we went for drama. Each of the three seats is available in three very unique styles, sewn and upholstered by experienced craftsmen. Each style can be completely customized and personalized. There’s contrast piping, diamond-tufting, racing stripes…customers can mix and match colors, textures, top-stitching details, embroidery and more. The Inspiration Gallery on our website shows just some of the creative possibilities.”

“We’ve assembled a team of smart, talented, forward-thinking people to bring these custom golf cart seats to market…product design, manufacturing, marketing, finance, sales,” says Vice President of Operations Dana Trotta- Jayne. “Backspin Seating is truly a collaborative effort. With so much manufacturing being done overseas these days, we’re proud that we’re making our products right here at home.”

Backspin Seating is currently accepting Dealer Inquiries within the continental United States. A limited number of International Dealership Opportunities are available. Dealer benefits include pricing incentives, business development assistance, a downloadable resource library and aggressive showroom/retail support. Dealer Applications are available at www.backspinseating.com. Inquiries can be directed to info@backspinseating.com.

Central Park in South Manhattan is everything that is awful about driving in New York City. Tour buses, horse-drawn carriages, trucks, cyclists, taxis and passenger cars converge from Fifth Avenue in a tortured tango of man and metal trying, without apparent success, to get somewhere in a New York minute. And now I am adding another machine to the transportation mix: a battery-powered Garia LSV, which is short for low-speed vehicle.

Garia is the latest entry in the market for LSVs, which are essentially street-legal golf carts. They used to be confined to retirement villages and gated communities, where no one is in particular hurry and traffic is a sign of vitality. But changes in state laws have made these souped-up golf cars increasingly popular on regular roads, and some towns have been accommodating the surge by doing things like converting parking spaces for these itty-bitty buggies and designating which major intersections they can cross.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most states now allow LSVs on any road where the speed limit is 35 m.p.h or less. This makes LSVs legal in New York City, where the crush turning onto Central Park South reveals some advantages the Garia has over a typical sedan. The Garia is made by a Danish company of the same name that has positioned itself as the Porsche of the LSV market. (Its vehicles are made in Finland at the same factory that assembles the Porsche Boxster.) The tricked-out $21,000 model I am testing has a dashboard refrigerator and chrome wheels. But by federal decree, it can’t go any faster than a very un-Porsche-like 25 m.p.h. Its squat front end means I can weave through the swarms of pedestrians more easily, and the turning ratio is such that cutting into traffic is a snap.

But then comes the reality of what this maneuverability means: Do we really want LSVs, which have little in the way of passenger protection, out there with the heavy metal? When the IIHS crash-tested one popular LSV model, the GEM e2, the results weren’t pretty. In one test the institute took the smallest car on the market, the Smart, and rammed it into a GEM at 31 m.p.h. Sensors showed that the crash-test dummy in the Smart was protected from serious harm by the car’s air bags and roll cage. The GEM dummy was toast. David Zuby, chief research officer of IIHS, called LSVs the undoing of 40 years of auto-safety improvements. To be street legal, LSVs need headlights and taillights, rear and side mirrors and seat belts, but they don’t have to pass the crash tests required of all passenger cars and trucks, nor do they have side-door air bags. Heck, they don’t even have side doors. The relatively low price of LSVs make them affordable to more people. But when a colleague took a look at the Garia, she said there’s no way she’d drive it in Manhattan. This did not prevent her from assigning me to drive it. Having done so, I’d have to agree with her assessment. These are still golf cars, and they have their place. But not in the big city. Time August 22, 2011.

J.R.’S Lawnmower Shop held its annual Customer Appreciation Day along with being in business for 25 years Friday, October 21, 2011. J.R.’S had 634 to register for great door prizes and grand prizes, with upwards attendance of over 700; this includes children and adults which did not register.

One of the Grand Prizes was a 2008 Yamaha recondition electric Golf Cart. The winning ticket belonged to none other than Opp Firefighter Jason Whitehead who suffered a stroke earlier this year. Whitehead is pictured with owner, Joe Richburg, who said on realizing Whitehead was the winner that God is always working in the world.

Other winners were; John Harrison who won a Caliber Utility Trailer, Jerry Mulling won Snapper Push Mower, Neil Mckinnon & Sara Cullman each won Husqvarna Chain Saw, Al Kirk won Poulan Chain Saw, Janice Moody won Stihl Blower.

During the day names were drawn from the crowd for door prizes, while they enjoyed a free meal of BBQ from Pick & Save, Kelley’s hamburgers & hot dogs as well as sausage dogs, chips, David’s Catfish, Mrs. Stratton Slaw & Potato Salad, Subway sandwiches, Little Caesars Pizzas, Cake from individuals of Carol Polk & Lucile Foley and don’t forget drinks from Pepsi. And of course, JR, the Mechanikin dog visited the crowed throughout the day.

When you have your next golf outing, you will be glad to know that YKK Snap Fasteners America (YSU) offers a product that is designed to keep all of your golf accessories securely attached to your cart.  YSU’s SNAD (snap adhesively attached) snap components product line works great for mounting radios, windshields, cup holders, seat covers, carpeting, canopies, and an infinite number of other accessories to your golf cart.

Originally created for the marine industry, these fasteners have a unique dome shape, and they come in either an automotive grade of plastic or a flexible base silicone.  They also contain a pad of 3M™, VHB™ acrylic conformable foam adhesive on their underside which enables them to stick to most any surface including those where it is impossible to drill a hole.  Installation is a snap!  All one must do is simply clean the surface to which the snap is to be applied, peel off the protective paper backing, position and firmly hold the snap in place and release.

The plastic snap fasteners and the flexible base silicone adhesive snap fasteners can be used together.  The plastic snap fasteners are designed to stick to flat surfaces, while the flexible base silicone adhesive snaps work best on convex and concave surfaces such as the inside and outside of a metal tube.  The flexible base silicone snaps also attach to layered surfaces where different levels of framing come together.  The SNAD sockets and studs work perfect for securing items which conventional screw studs may not hold securely including golf cart frames, bodies, and covers.

The plastic snap fasteners are incorporated into a 40 mm diameter low profile, plastic dome, while the flexible base silicone adhesive snaps are incorporated into a 25 mm diameter low profile, silicone dome.  Both the plastic snap fasteners and the flexible base silicone adhesive snap fasteners can also be used in many other applications including materials handling, RVs, ATVs, signage, awnings, promotional displays, and trade show exhibits.

The plastic and flexible base silicone snaps’ snap on/off lifecycle exceeds that of hook and loop closures.  And since there are no moving parts, the snap action is more consistent over thousands of connections than conventional metal snaps.  SNAD fasteners are also available as either a stud or socket, and they come in black, white, gray or custom colors.

For more information on the plastic adhesive snap components or the flexible base silicone adhesive snap components and other YKK Snap Fasteners America Products, contact Rod Helwig at rodh@ykksnap-america.com.

Capable of moving a host of materials: snow, aggregate materials, livestock feed and silage

Curtis Industries, LLC has introduced a new and improved line of Sno-Pro tractor blades that feature a no-weld design to simplify the process of attachment to the bucket loader arm.  No more welding or painting necessary.  Just attach and go!

These new Sno-Pro tractor blades range from 5’ to 8’ and offer a full moldboard design that protects both operator and equipment.  The operator can choose between three mounting options: Skid Steer, John Deere Quick Attach or the new Bolt-On Pin Mount Bracket.

All blades feature center-punched cutting edges with high-carbon steel for maximum utility and extended usage.  The durable charcoal powder coat finish provides a superior non-stick surface so no material remains on the blade and requires less passes. Hydraulic cylinders provide over 30 degrees of left and right adjustment with mechanical stops.  Each blade includes high visibility plow markers and adjustable cast-iron skid shoes. For more information on Curtis products please visit www.curtisindustries.net.

Owners of Club Car’s electric Precedent golf cars include families who live in gated communities, automotive dealers, apartment complexes and other individuals and business owners. These consumers want to interact with passengers and often want a four-passenger vehicle. Until recently, the only way to transform Club Car’s electric Precedent golf car into a four-passenger vehicle was by adding an optional rear-facing seat.

Club Car now offers these owners another choice. Known as the Precedent Stretch Conversion Kit, this dealer-installed option transforms the electric Precedent from a two-passenger vehicle into one with four forward-facing seats. The no-weld kit can be installed in about four hours, increases leg room by 35 inches, and includes an integrated grab bar for rear passengers.

“Unlike the optional rear-facing seat, the Precedent Stretch Conversion Kit allows all four passengers to face forward. This more familiar automotive configuration fosters conversation and increases passenger comfort,” says David Selby, Club Car’s director of consumer and commercial category.

The frame and other key components are made from rustproof aluminum, and te kit includes all the components needed to convert the vehicle into a four-passenger model, except the actual seats. “Seats are sold separately to allow owners to personalize their vehicles by selecting from our assortment of styles and colors,” Selby says.

The kit accommodates an optional 103-inch canopy to protect the car and its occupants from rain and snow. It also accommodates an optional track for users who want to install vinyl enclosures. The Precedent Stretch Conversion Kit is available at Club Car dealers and distributors. To find a dealer near you, visit www.clubcar.com and click “Dealer Locator.”


Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC begins production of the NEW 2012 GOAT vehicle in November of 2011.  The GOAT is 100% electric powered by a 48 Volt - 12 Peak HP AC motor system.  The Ameri-Torque brake system is now used exclusively in all Evergreen 2012 vehicles and is known for ease of maintenance and reliable braking

The GOAT comes in a multitude of passenger configurations; 2 facing forward, the 2+2 with a rear facing seat kit, the 4 facing forward with 4+2 option utilizing the same rear facing seat kit.  Base models come with a rear cargo box, front utility basket and brush guard.  Customers can choose from 5 color options or upgrade to 5 premium colors or a CAMO wrap. Other standard features include AC motor, head and taillights, horn, on-board high frequency battery chargers, single point battery watering system, 6×8volt wet batteries and state of charge meter, just to name a few. Most orders for single car orders ship in is less than 14 days.  GOAT vehicles can be shipped one at a time by common carrier to expedite delivery.

Like the other quality vehicles offered by Evergreen Electric Vehicles, they are fully assembled here in the United States.  The parent company, Fairplay Electric Cars, LLC is a Colorado company headquartered in Grand Junction, Colorado and has offered a wide range of all electric vehicles since 2004.  Their production facility is conveniently located near the port of Long Beach in Southern California,   a perfect location for receiving a variety of assembly parts and loading containers for export.  To find out more about the new HOSS Extra Duty Utility Vehicles, visit the HOSS web site at www.goatutv.com


You certainly cannot put the last decade in the golf business in perspective without looking at the changes in the supply and demand balance… or imbalance.

Let’s begin by re-visiting the golf development boom of the mid to late 1990’s…  The industry was riding the real-estate boom and the opening of new courses was disproportionately driven by developers building and maintaining high-end courses as an amenity to sell homes and lots.  While not a universal truth, most of the entrepreneurs funding this course construction were not concerned as to whether the course could survive on its own as a business.  Thousands of golf courses were added to the supply in the seven years from 1994 to 2000.
At the same time, the golf participation rate was holding steady (around 10.5% of the U.S. population, age 6+) and we saw an increase of nearly five million golfers primarily due to population growth and increases in some key demographic groups.

What happened to the golf landscape over the past decade is a not-so-simple lesson in economics.  Golf course over-supply has diluted the stagnant demand and created a highly competitive environment for course owners and operators.  Add two recessions during this period and what you have is an extremely challenging marketplace.

The accompanying chart offers an illustrative overlay of trends in several core metrics in our industry.  You will note that rounds played have seen a cumulative drop of 12% since 2001.  This drop in rounds (equivalent to approx. 60 million rounds) has been driven, in large part, by the two periods of recession mentioned earlier (2002-2003 and 2008-2010).

From 2001 to 2005, the industry was still adding to golf course supply at a rate of over 100 net courses per year.  Although we have seen a net reduction in course supply since 2006, we remain in an oversupply situation (despite the six years of net reduction in supply, we stand today at 300 facilities higher than 2001 levels).

The Bonita Springs developers of the Sunmobile solar-powered electric utility vehicle promise a smooth ride from its four-wheel, independent suspension – and speed unheard of in most golf carts. And, for a golf course superintendent or a resort manager in a hurry, one push of a switch ramps up the maximum running speed from 15 mph to 25 mph. “It’s like going into overdrive,” said Hans Holzmann. He and William Heckenstaller are the principals in Solar Cart Solutions. It’s a spinoff of Gulf City Solar, a developer of solar power kits for installation on existing golf carts.

The original company recently installed its thin-film solar panels and power management systems on 125 carts at Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club north of Tampa. That made it the first golf fleet in the country to run on solar energy, according to Holzmann.

Now, in addition to the kits, the entrepreneurial duo are starting to market complete carts, which they think will have a bright future in the work fleets at golf courses and resorts and at mega retirement communities where electric carts are the preferred means of travel. The Sunmobile boasts 80 percent U.S-made parts. Final assembly occurs at the companies’ facility in Bonita Springs, where Holzmann and Heckenstaller are joined by three to four part-time workers. Unlike solar power kits that use heavy glass panels that can weigh up to 60 pounds, the local companies use a thin-film panel, weighing about nine pounds. Extra performance is provided by the proprietary power-management system Heckensteller developed. It costs about $2 per day to charge a conventionally powered electric golf cart.

With Breast cancer awareness month behind us, so is the Extreme Custom Cart Breast Cancer Awareness Raffle. This one of a kind beauty made appearances at Viera East Country Club;  Indian River Colony Club, BayTree Country Club, Patrick Air Force base for the Chamber of Commence tournament, Turtle Creek in Viera, Tuscany Customer appreciation day and Bar Bells for Boobs at 26.2 Crossfit in Rockledge where gym owner Allie Newell proudly sported this pink wonder.

With the help of our many vendors who donated various items and services to this cause. The cart raised $2500 to be donated to Breast Friends of Florida, right here in Brevard County. This Raffle was the first for Extreme Custom Carts, but certainly not the last. Our efforts started off a little late, but ended nicely. Our goal for next year is $5000.

We couldn’t be more pleased to draw winner Mitzi Hansrote, of Tuscany Villa’s, a breast cancer survivor herself. What a heart warming end to a beautiful cause. A hug thank you to all vendors and persons involved!! We will see you next year!

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