6 Golf Cart Brands To Avoid (Don’t Buy These Brands)

As a seasoned golf coach, I’ve seen the impact of a reliable cart on the course. It’s not just about getting from one hole to the next; it’s about comfort, reliability, and, obviously, a bit of style. 

However, not all carts are created equal. Through my experiences and extensive reviews, I’ve identified which brands to embrace and which to avoid.

Plus, I’ll touch on the pros and cons of owning your own golf cart.

Brands to Steer Clear Of (Literally)

1. Icon EV

Picture this: a beautiful morning, the course is calling, and your Icon EV decides it’s not a morning cart. I once used an Icon EV that loved to play hide and seek with its battery life.

One minute I was cruising, the next I was contemplating a very long walk back to the clubhouse. 

They’re sleek, sure, but sometimes their reliability is more of a gamble than a sure bet.

Most guys I’ve known to use them find that the brand’s lifespan is extremely limited, sometimes only a couple of years!

2. Evolution Electric Vehicles

Evolution suggests progress, right? Well, the Evolution that I used must have missed the memo.

It was like that one friend who promised to show up on time but always arrived when the party was over. 

The company plays up the speed at which these carts can go, but I think the only speed to be concerned about is how fast these things are slapped together.

I have heard reviews of cart pieces literally falling off, including one guy who literally lost a wheel! The even bigger nightmare seems to be getting in touch with customer service.

3. EM Electric Vehicles

Ah, GEM, the luxury liner of golf carts. Riding in one feels like you’re making a statement, until the statement becomes, “Does anyone have a tow?” 

I remember a tournament where a GEM cart decided it preferred the scenic route, aka stalling every few yards to admire the view.

Stylish, yes, but sometimes at the cost of your patience and punctuality. I may have played better that day if my ride hadn’t made me feel seasick.

4. Royal Electric Vehicles

With a name like Royal, you’d expect a smooth, regal ride. However, my experience was more akin to a royal quest for a charger.

It seemed every outing became an adventure in power conservation, turning what should have been a leisurely round into a strategic operation to ensure we could make it back to base.

5. HDK

I don’t know what it is about this brand, but these carts turn every smooth path into an amusement park ride, minus the amusement.

Picture this: you’re cruising at a leisurely 2 mph, expecting tranquility, but your cart decides it’s auditioning for a role in “The Bumpy and the Restless.”

One time, a group of 8 of us were out playing a round, so when we caught up to the 4 playing ahead of us, I asked if I was crazy or if we just had a bad cart.

They had the same problem. At faster speeds it felt more like riding a galloping horse than a golf cart.

6. Melex

Melex brings to mind that reliable old dog that’s a bit too tired to learn new tricks. I’ve driven Melex carts that felt like they were part of golf history, in a museum-worthy way.

They’re charming in an old-school fashion but sometimes leave you lagging behind, puffing and panting as they struggle to keep up with the pace of modern play.

Don’t get me wrong. Their vintage models from the 70s and 80s look sweet on the course. Their EVs haven’t gotten there yet, though.

Trusted and Reliable Brands

When it comes to golf carts, I typically lean towards the name brands. These are the only brands I would recommend to friends looking to buy.

Club Car

Club Car is often my trusty steed on the greens. I recently got my hands on a 2021 Club Car Onward, and let me tell you, it’s been nothing short of a joyride.

It’s as comfortable cruising an RV resort as it is navigating the fairways, proving itself to be the ultimate companion for any golf enthusiast or leisure seeker.

With its smooth handling and stylish design, the Club Car Onward elevates every outing into a luxury experience. It’s not just a golf cart; it’s a statement – one that says, “I’ve arrived, and I did it in style.”

I really appreciate the handling on these golf carts. I feel like I can zip around as needed and don’t need to cautiously take corners at a snail’s pace like I do with some other brands.


Yamaha golf carts are like the stealthy ninjas of the green, blending power with silence. Their electric carts zip around with eco-friendly grace. 

It’s like having your cake and eating it too, especially with the QuieTech EFI technology that whispers through the course.

The Yamaha Drive 2 PTV showcases a kaleidoscope of customization, from snazzy colors to handy accessories, making each cart as unique as a golfer’s swing. 

Inside, it’s all about comfort, with spacious seats and modern touches like USB ports. Durability? Check.

Yamaha carts are built to last, ensuring your ride remains a reliable companion through countless rounds.


Known for their easy customization and upgrades, these carts are like fine wine—they just get better with age.

Whether you snag an older model or roll off with a new one, you’re in for a treat with their solid build and smooth ride. 

I find that the newer models, in particular, glide over bumps like a pro, ensuring your coffee remains in your cup.

And when it comes to pricing, E-Z-GO hits the sweet spot, offering great value without skimping on quality. Plus, finding parts is a breeze, making maintenance as easy as a tap-in putt.

Owning Your Own Golf Cart: Pros and Cons

Ah, the sweet freedom of owning your very own golf cart – it’s like being the captain of your ship if your ship was designed to putt-putt across the green.

Let’s dive into the rollercoaster ride of golf cart ownership, shall we?

The Upside:

Pimp My Ride: Got a golf cart? Great, now let’s trick it out. Whether you’re all about that need for speed or just want to make it look pretty, the customization world is your oyster. Go wild, my friend.

On-Demand Wheels: Imagine never having to wait for a cart again. It’s like having a loyal steed, ready to carry you to victory (or at least to the next hole) at a moment’s notice.

Wallet-Friendly: Sure, there’s an upfront cost, but think of all the rental fees you’re dodging. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, especially for those who live on the links.

The Downside:

TLC Required: Love it or hate it, your cart will need some pampering. Maintenance is the name of the game, and it’s not always cheap or fun.

Aging Gracefully?: Just like us, carts get older and start to show their age. Today’s hot model is tomorrow’s old-timer, complete with outdated bells and whistles.

Hide and Seek: Got space? You’ll need it. These babies need a cozy spot to rest their wheels when not in action, and not everyone has a garage with spare room next to the Christmas decorations.

Transportation: It really only makes sense to own a cart if you live in a golf community. It’s not like you’re going to be cruising down the M5 Motorway on your way to the greens.

Considerations When Purchasing Your Golf Cart: A Buyer’s Guide

Ah, the quest for the perfect golf cart – it’s not just about splurging on a fancy ride; it’s about elevating your golf game and lifestyle.

As your trusty golf coach with a penchant for fun, let me guide you through this maze with some pro tips and a sprinkle of humor.

1. The Age-Old Debate: New vs Used

New: Shiny, brimming with the latest tech, and a warranty as comforting as a well-struck 7-iron. But, it’ll cost you a pretty penny.

Used: Like finding a vintage wedge in the rough, a used cart can be a steal. Just make sure it’s more “seasoned pro” than “rusty relic.”

2. Power Source Showdown: Electric vs Gas

Electric: Quiet as a whisper, green as the fairway, and kind to your wallet in the long run. Perfect for those serene neighborhood cruises.

Gas: Packs a punch for the long haul and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. A bit noisier, but hey, so is a cheering crowd.

3. Brand Matters: Reliability & Service

Stick to my list! Go for the brands that stand the test of time, much like a classic golf course. A solid support network post-purchase can save you from future bogeys.

4. Customization & Features

From the essentials to the extravagant (heated seats, anyone?), pick what enhances your ride. Remember, it’s about adding to your experience, not clutter.

5. Purpose-Driven Purchase

For Golfers: Seek out carts that know the course – quiet, smooth, and with space for your clubs.

For Community Dwellers: Make sure it’s street-legal, because no one likes a penalty stroke.

For the Hard Workers: Look for a cart that’s ready to carry the load, durable and spacious.

6. Budgeting: Don’t Break the Bank

Set a budget that includes all the extras – insurance, maintenance, and maybe even a custom paint job. Shop around for financing deals but read the fine print.

7. Warranty & Support: Your Safety Net

A solid warranty is like having a great caddie; it’s there to support you. Know what it covers and for how long.

8. The Test Drive: Feel the Breeze

Take it for a spin! The comfort, handling, and overall vibe should feel right. It’s like choosing the right club – when it fits, you just know.

Remember, folks, choosing a golf cart is like selecting the perfect golf club. It’s not just about looks or prestige; it’s about finding the one that suits your game, style, and needs.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you really feel the difference between gas and electric carts on the course?

Absolutely! Electric carts glide silently like a pro sneaking up on the 18th hole, while gas carts announce their arrival like a fan who’s had one too many at the clubhouse.

Is splurging on a new cart worth it, or should I go vintage?

New carts come with that fresh-out-of-the-box smell and zero history, but a well-loved vintage can offer character and savings. It’s like choosing between a shiny new driver and a trusty old putter.

How do I know if a cart is street-legal for my community cruising?

To ensure your cart is street-legal, look for must-haves like headlights, taillights, turn signals, mirrors, and seat belts. Remember, though, that just because it’s legal on the streets doesn’t mean your HOA gives it the thumbs up. Always double-check your community’s specific rules to avoid a surprise visit from the neighborhood patrol.

Final Thoughts

As a golfer, my game is much more important to me than my cart, but I still understand the allure of buying one for those who live near golf courses.

That said, I’ve driven A LOT of golf carts over the years. So take it from me when I tell you which brands to absolutely avoid buying.

Ollie Neave

Professional Golf Player and Coach

Ollie Neave

AKA Aussie Beef Golf, One of Australia’s Busiest Golf Coaches.

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