Land of a Thousand Golf Carts: Peachtree City, Georgia
There are golf carts all over Heaven...which turns out to be a suburb of Atlanta.
Have you ever wondered what a town would look like if electric cars were the rule rather than the exception?
Picture a town with 7500 electric cars registered.
Where the high-school has special parking designated for electric cars.
Where most all the households have at least one electric car.
Where the kids do their first driving behind the wheel of an electric car (safer!),
Where the moms run them to school and soccer in the electric car (saving money on gas!)...
...in other words, a community where the electric car is woven into the carpet of (quieter, cleaner) everyday life.
Now picture that town in the deep South.
The town is Peachtree City, Georgia, and the electric cars are golf cars.
There are at least 75 miles of golf car paths (some folks say there are as many as 90 miles worth of cart path. I should go measure, don't you think?; ) connecting the residences with the businesses and parks and churches and libraries and schools, and - oh, yeah, also the golf course. I've heard it said that you never have to drive your regular car if you don't want to (although most people do have one. They just never drive it. Sound familiar?), as long as you don't leave Peachtree City.
Driving a Golf Cart in Peachtree City
Golf Carts in a Different Light
Golf carts have been with us forever. The neighborhood electric cars were modeled on them, and in fact the same laws that govern golf cars also govern the neighborhood electric vehicles, for the most part. If your parents or grandparents have gone south for retirement, they probably have done a little "Peachtree-ing" themselves.
Yes, it's true, golf cars are slow. So is a crock-pot, and the microwave didn't manage to knock it off its pedestal, did it?
Because there can be some real advantages to taking it slow:
New driver: If you're at the age that you're just learning to drive, then - contrary to what you may think - your driving skills are not quite all that! What's more, your tendency to drive ninety miles an hour with a car full of friends and the stereo turned up to illegal decibels will never be stronger. How do I know this? Well, let's just say some people outgrow this phase, but my growth got stunted somewhere; )
So how to keep you in one piece 'til you're old enough to vote? Give you a car that goes only 25 miles an hour. I'll bet there are a lot fewer tragedies on prom night in Peachtree City than the national average, because all the kids drive golf carts; it's normal. As I mentioned earlier, there's a special parking lot at the high school just for golf carts, and you can legally start driving them at age 12, as long as you've got an adult in the front seat. Then you can drive them alone at 15 with your learner's permit. That's three more years of experience than most kids get, in a car that's way safer than the parents' nasty old Buick!
You're slowing down, too. But you're not stopping, for heaven's sake! If you're at an age that you're...well, doing a lot more golfing than you used to, shall we say...maybe your eyesight and reaction time is slowing down, and you're aware of it, but not about to give up your wheels. There's a pretty good solution in an electric golf car or NEV. You can legally drive it on roads that are posted at 35mph or less, it won't go any faster than 25 mph, it will surely get you around town economically, quickly, and safely.
You can save a lot of money by plugging in the golf cart batteries rather than tanking up. Most of the trips the second car takes are short ones, easily managed on golf cart range.
These cars are as steady and reliable as old plow horses. Golf cart technology has been around for a long, long time, the systems are all designed to work together, the parts are readily available.
They're relatively inexpensive. Ten thousand dollars barely gets you to the low end of gas-gobblers, but it will buy you a very nice golf cart! If you're thinking of saving money by buying "used", here are some tips for buying a used golf cart from a friend of mine, Randy Wade.
75 mph is not appropriate everywhere. You need it on the freeway, yes, but other roads might call for other rates of speed. We don't all like to drive on the freeway, anyway. My mother would gladly live out the rest of her life without ever getting on the freeway again.
It's good to get outside and quietly zip around the greenbelts. I suspect this is why most people golf to begin with; it has less to do with the game itself than with getting out in the fresh air and nature in relative solitude and quiet. Slow speed just adds to the experience of really being here, now, in the moment.