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Having lived in Viera for a number of years, this author has become a little numb to the pervasiveness of the golf cart. But as I meet more newcomers, one of the first topics of conversation, after the weather, is “what is it with all the golf carts?” I consider myself neither here long enough to be considered a local, nor short enough to be called a newcomer. In other words, I’m not either. The perfect stance from which to write this little primer.
I’m going to use my community as an example, because obviously I know it best. Viera is also likely Brevard’s most heavily trafficked area in golf carts. There are certainly other golf-cart communities, and you’ll see the carts everywhere, but Viera does seem to be ground zero for the explosion of little battery-powered carts.
EVERY POSSIBLE USE
My wife has taken the golf cart to Publix. We have driven it to Long Doggers. We take our boys to school on it when they can’t ride their bicycles. We’ll send our sons to Dunkin’ Donuts to bring back coffee and donuts on Sunday morning. They love that as much as we do.
Here’s a local’s tip: the car line at any given elementary school or middle school is a nightmare in time management (but, more importantly, it keeps kids safe). Golf carts can wait quietly, lurking on the grass nearby. This alone can save you hours each week and a great deal of frustration. Have a look around 2:45 p.m. at Manatee Elementary or the Viera Charter School — it is a sight to behold.
Some evenings, my wife and I just drive around neighborhoods to look at lighting, landscaping, and ideas for our pool. It is quite the pleasant experience to cart around at dusk. Our oldest son drives the cart to nearby friends’ homes as well. There are specific rules about a driver’s age and golf cart equipment for driving on streets versus sidewalks. I’ll let your dealer explain those to you.
Here is where the golf cart rules the day. You take your children to Viera Regional Park for football, baseball, soccer or lacrosse. It is game day so you need gear bags, chairs, possibly a tent, a cooler, camera bag, snacks, and yes, the little athletes. Pack
all of that into your SUV… no problem. Drive to VRP and, unless yours is the early game, you’re parking quite a few hundred yards from your game field of choice and schlepping all of that to the sidelines. Oh, you can buy one of those cute beach wagons to pull, but really, a golf cart is the way to go. I realize it is a much bigger expense, but as one who bit the bullet way back, it has proven to be worth every penny. You’ll now load up the golf cart in your driveway and drive to the end of the field.
GO BIG OR JUST GO
There seems to be at least two schools of thought here. You’ll see a six-seater, lifted with off-road tires, light bars, a killer sound system and wrapped in professional graphics. That cart can approach $20,000 and easily take up one car’s spot in your garage. Or you can buy the typical refurb from a golf course for around $4,000. Of course, you can also find decent used cart deals for under that, but not by much, and have a dealer check it out before you buy.
This is the allure of the golf cart. Personalize it with your school colors, make it an extension of your personality and arrive in style, or go utilitarian and keep it real on the cheap. Either way, you’ll quickly learn why you see so many of them. They just fit our lifestyle here in Brevard.
Oh, and did I mention they are awesome if you golf?
GAS OR ELECTRIC?
You will see both, and you’ll know instantly which is which by the noise. The gas golf carts are louder and emit exhaust. But, you can go farther with a little planning for fuel stops. Battery powered carts are what most people are thinking of when you say “golf cart,” but gas is a viable option. Most battery-powered carts have four batteries under the seat. You plug it in at night and get a varying distance depending on load and the condition and charge of the batteries. A quick online search says that an electric golf cart has a range of 35-50 miles. I’ve never gone that far, but remember, and this is critical, that would be 17-25 miles out…and back.
Melbourne, FL: (321) 610-7011
Viera, FL: (321) 632-1005
Titusville, FL: (321) 268-4882
All Brevard Golf Cars, Inc.:
Rockledge, FL (321) 639-6777
Golf Cart Center:
Rockledge, FL (321) 757-2397
Micco, FL (772) 664-5700
East Coast Custom Golf Carts, LLC:
Melbourne, FL (321) 622-6868