Cart Culture

While I was in high school, I lived in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. It’s a beach town, surprisingly enough.

My mom still lives there, and she putts around in a golf cart. To and from the beach, to and from the store, and around the neighborhood. She’s not some weirdo for doing that, though. Lots of Surfside folks travel via golf cart. It’s a good way to keep sand out of your car, and you’d think it’d be relaxing: most standard issue golf carts max out at 10 m.p.h.

But not all golf carts are created equal.

Sure, there are the old standards, Club Car and EZ-Go. But the blandness of these particular carts is not good: Most EZ-Go models use the same key, so theft is a pretty big issue. And golf cart abduction is a pretty big deal. Local police have shut down golf cart chop shops where thieving cart lords strip VIN numbers and sell the hot carts to unsuspecting senior citizens.

Let’s compare the two most common styles of carts.


On the left, we have a standard-issue cart. Nothing too fancy–this particular one still had the little holes in the dash for your golf tees. I’ve seen beach-goers use those for cigarettes. On the left, you’ll notice the slightly more intimidating cart. Let’s get a better look at that one.


Notice the larger, knobby tires (sometimes those beach parking lots get some pretty big puddles) and the toolbox-style treadplate. These are kind of the Hummer H2s of the golf cart world–big show, but essentially just a normal, wimpy cart.


Horry County Police recommend personalizing your cart to make it less appealing to cartjackers. In Surfside, most people limit the personalization to a collegiate sports team theme or maybe some hot rod flames.

Most. But not all.

I think most potential thieves would stay away from the cart rigged up with a full-sized American flag mounted on an actual flag pole. Especially since the owner was sporting an NRA t-shirt.


To the left, a normal-sized cart. To the right, a Yukon and Ford F150. Directly behind, one flabbergasted vegan.


It turns out that there are all kinds of lift kits and massive tires for golf carts. It also turns out that my H2 comparison from earlier is pretty weak. Because there are actual H2 golf cart kits:


There are actual Buick Lucerne kits:



And there I was thinking lift-kits and flag poles were impressive.



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