Buying a Used Golf Cart: The Villages4sale Guide

Guide to Buying a Used Golf Cart in The Villages

Guide to Buying a Used Golf Cart in The Villages

By Howard Moon

Buying a used or reconditioned golf cart can be a bit more confusing than buying a used car.  Most people have been driving cars or been around cars all of their lives.  They know the makes and models.  They have been inundated with car ads for years.  Most even have a basic understanding of how cars work and what to look for.

This is not always the case with golf carts.  Unless you have owned a number of different carts you probably have little or no experience with them.  So before you buy your first used golf cart, here’s a quick guide to what you need to know:

Gas or Electric?

There’s plenty of argument over gas versus electric, with advantages and disadvantages on each side.  Gas carts tend to be noisier but often go further on a tank of gas than electric carts go on a full charge.  Gas carts can be re-fueled quickly, while recharging can take some time.

“There is less to go wrong on an electric cart,” says David Stormer of David Stormer Golf Carts in Ocala.  “If there’s a problem there are typically only one or two areas to look at.”  This is not so with gas carts.

“One of the myths is that gas carts are cheaper to operate,” says Bill Andrews of Cart World Golf Cars in Lady Lake. “Figure two fill ups a month and you’re spending $1,500 to $2,000 dollars in four years.”  In that same time frame you would probably replace the batteries in an electric cart one time at a cost of about $800.

Buying a Used Car — Here’s Your Checklist:

  • Windshield – Make sure it is in good shape and not cracked or significantly discolored.
  • Horns – Golf cart drivers are no different from auto drivers and need to be moved along with a good beep of the horn now and then.
  • Mirrors – Both rear and side view.  This is especially important if the cart is going to be used on road.
  • Turn Signals – Useful when used on road.  Very useful if they are actually used!
  • Lights – Headlights, tail lights and brake lights.  You want to be seen when driving.  Of course you should check that they are all in working condition.
  • Seats – The material should be in good condition and wear well.
  • Rear Seat – If you are carrying more than two passengers an extra seat is important.
  • Bag Holder – If the cart is going to be used for golfing then a bag holder is essential. Often the cart may have both a rear seat and a bag holder.

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How Long Do Golf Carts Last?

When considering a used golf cart, Bill Andrews suggests looking at two main areas:  The age of the cart and — if it’s electric — the age of the batteries.  For everyday use a cart should probably be no more than 6 or 7 years old.  If it is electric, batteries have a life of about 4 years.

Condition of the Cart

As when buying a used car, check the overall condition.  Get some insight as to how the golf cart was used.  Was it on the course only or does it have a lot of street mileage?  This can affect the overall condition and life of the cart.

David Stormer believes condition is one of the most important aspects of the cart. He suggests condition is more important than brand or extra features.

Take A Test Drive

Go ahead kick the tires but then give the cart a good going over. Take it for a test drive.  Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Then enjoy your golf cart either on the course or on the road.

About the Author: Howard Moon is a retired business man who has been writing in his spare time for over thirty years. 

Find the Latest Golf Carts for Sale in The Villages.

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This feature is brought to you by The McDonald Agency, your Villages Allstate insurance agent. The McDonald Agency offers golf cart insurance from $6 a month. For more information, visit the McDonald Agency or call (352) 259-3825.

Secret CIA Spy Plane Flies Undercover as a Golf Cart

2014-09-02 The Villages, FL News

Comments Off on Secret CIA Spy Plane Flies Undercover as a Golf Cart

Henry Childs with his Jet Conversion Golf Cart

Henry Childs with his Jet Conversion Golf Cart

THE VILLAGES, FL — Henry Childs runs through the checklist in the cockpit of his Grumman GHSS. He switches on the power, extends the wings, then turns on the turbo jets. He sets the elevation to 65 feet and calibrates his GPS.  Then he flips on the strobe lights and the flashing red tail beacon and he’s ready to take flight.

Among 50,000 golf carts in The Villages, the Green Hornet is unique. According to the ‘official’ history, this CIA spy plane built during the 1970s was designed to fly below the radar and work in stealth mode as an ordinary Yamaha 4-seater golf cart. The plane flew more than 50 top secret missions in North Korea, North Vietnam and other as-yet-undisclosed hot spots.  After losing its Top Secret status, the Green Hornet has been a trophy of celebrity airplane collectors (though Chuck Yeager reportedly said it was the “slowest damn jet I ever flew!”) Its cameo in a James Bond film never made it past the cutting room floor.

The tall tale behind the golf cart was created in the spirit of the fanciful historical markers that are part of Villages lore. “A lot of people would rather believe that than the fact that I just made it in my garage,” Childs says.

The native of Stow, Massachusetts has invested about 500 hours in the project, including countless trips to Home Depot. The engines are made of 6-inch PVC pipe, disposable paint pots and 5-inch computer fans from Radio Shack. The nose cone was created from a plastic garden cart and a large salad bowl. The authentic instrument panel was assembled from salvaged aviation parts. In addition to the tail light and LED running lights the engines sport lighting that mimics the blue flame of a jet aircraft at moderate thrust.

From the control panel, Childs can raise and lower the wings (useful when passing other golf carts on the Morse Bridge), control the lights and deliver a blast of authentic jet wash over twin Bose 151 speakers.  He’s prepared a special recording of German beer hall tunes for the Oktoberfest parade.

Childs first flew in air force pilot training program, where he had experience in the T-34, T-28 and the T-33 jet. “When I got out I got a private license. I flew as long as I could afford to. I flew mostly the Grumman Cheetah and the Tiger. This project came about because I joined the Villages Hangar Flyers Aviation Club and its golf cart drill team. The other guys have wooden props and mockups of engines but this being the jet age I decided I wanted to make it a real jet.”

The Green Hornet attracts a crowd wherever it goes, Childs says. It’s also a way to entertain grand children when they come to visit. “It’s a real conversation piece. Everywhere I park people come up and take pictures.”

“The Villages is so great. It’s no wonder they call this Disney World for adults. Where else could you do something like this and not be thought of as a madman?”

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This feature is brought to you by The McDonald Agency, your Villages Allstate insurance agent. The McDonald Agency offers golf cart insurance from $6 a month. For more information, visit the McDonald Agency or call (352) 259-3825.

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