Golf carts have become increasingly popular for use in apartment communities, sports fields, parks and retirement villages as an environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to get around.
Buying a golf cart can be practical for many reasons, especially for golf enthusiasts. The top brands of golf cart include Club Car and Yamaha models. When comparing Club Car versus Yamaha Electric Golf Carts, picking an absolute winner isn’t necessary.
Vehicles used specifically for golfing draw owner attachment based on practical design features, so this review will try to cover the most important characteristics of the top two vehicles.
A Very Brief History of Golf Vehicles and Their Widespread Use
Golf carts didn’t start out as the tremendously popular vehicles they are today. Widespread sales of three-wheeled carts didn’t happen until two decades after the first golf cart appeared.
A brief history of golf carts includes the following highlights:
- Merle Williams, who owned the Marketeer Company that built buggies for shopping, built the first electric golf cart in 1951.
- Golf carts were officially designated “golf cars” by the American National Standards Institute.
- Marketeer soon developed competition when LEKTRO and E-Z-Go introduced their versions in 1954.
- Cushman began marketing a golf cart in 1955, and Club Car began selling golf carts in 1958.
- Harley-Davidson and Taylor Dunn began selling golf carts in the 1960s.
- Over the years, companies experimented with gas-powered versions of the electric cart, but these generally were not as popular because of their noise and emissions.
- Sales really took off in the 1970s as a multitude of manufacturers jumped on the golf cart bandwagon.
- Club Car added a cargo box in 1979, and Yamaha built the first Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, or NEV, in 1986.
- The introduction of lifted golf carts made golf carts more practical to use on rough terrain. People use NEVs for thousands of purposes to manage properties and living communities, resorts and big-box warehouses.
You can use a cart to travel in snowy conditions, wooded areas, long stretches of open land, college campuses and apartment communities. If you buy a golf cart for off-road use, getting a lift kit for your cart is essential. Lifts raise the clearance of the cart so that you can travel over any kind of terrain.
Today, the golf cart industry generates billions in sales, and golf cart prices range from $1,000 to $30,000 or more. People take their golf carts seriously because they can provide transportation in many situations where cars are impractical.
The following reviews of Club Car and Yamaha golf carts can help you choose the best brand to fit your personal style:
Club Car Golf Carts
Club Car manufactures many versions of golf carts, including street-legal carts. For comparison purposes, this review focuses on the Club Car Precedent, which is one of their best-selling models.
The car distinguishes itself with its proprietary AlumiCor frame, which is lighter, stronger and more resistant to corrosion than steel-framed carts. The frame resists rust even at the beach, where golf carts are often used for fast transportation over the hot sand, emergency services and trips to and from hotels and nearby attractions.
The cost of the Precedent model seating four people starts at $8,959 and up, depending on the options you choose. You can practically build your cart from scratch. The price might run a little higher than similar models, but the Precedent provides enough value for the money to remain a sensible choice.
One of the great features of Club Car Precedent is E.R.I.C., the battery valet, which provides charger-status lights and audible alerts when the battery needs charging. E.R.I.C. can even monitor the status of your battery while it’s charging, and it provides information about the cart’s energy use and helps you make intelligent decisions to reduce consumption.
Pros and Cons of Club Car Precedent
The benefits of buying a Club Car Precedent include:
- Greater power in challenging terrain
- Perfect for hunting trips because the cart handles hilly and rough terrain
- Easy steering
- Aluminum frame that won’t rust, even under extreme conditions
- Long-lasting life expectancy of 20 years or more
- Smooth suspension for a better ride
- Readily available parts and accessories
The cons of Club Car Precedent include:
- Battery that drains faster, based on all the accessories
- Parts that cost more than average
Top Features of Club Car Precedent
The features of the Club Car Precedent can be compared with those of a luxury car because the model shook up the industry with its elegant features when it was first introduced in 2004. These features have been updated constantly for those who want a refined way to travel across their estates, commercial properties or the beach — and golf courses, naturally.
Top features of the model include:
- Incredible durability
- Choice of the number of passenger seats
- Best-in-class range and power, based on lower energy-consumption rates of the smart battery
- Monsoon Top™ canopy that channels water to the ground, keeping you and your gear dry Surround, bumpers that protect you 360˚
- Choice between a carbon fiber or burlwood dashboard
- Wide range of colors
- Comfortable soft drip steering wheel
- Choice of colors for accent stripe
- Tinted and hinged windshield
- Private-use speed option
- Technology hookups to stay connected
- Electronic scorecard to enter your group’s golf scores
- GPS messaging to other riders with the technology and golf courses
- 3D flyover option for viewing the golf course of off-road terrain
- Incredible range of accessories for personalization
Differences Between Club Car and Yamaha
The major difference between Club Car and Yamaha is the frame material. Yamaha uses traditional steel, but Club Car has developed an aluminum alloy called AlumiCor that provides greater strength and a lighter weight, which means the cart has more power and resistance to the weather. Precedent ranks in the top two or three spots in comparison reviews.
Yamaha Electric Golf Carts
Yamaha electric golf carts were first introduced in the United States in 1978 with a gas-powered model. The company now produces gas- and electric-powered models, but this review focuses on electric golf carts.
Yamaha gas-powered carts lead the market, but Club Car doesn’t fall too far behind. Unlike other golf cart manufacturers, Yamaha is the sole provider of all of the components that make up their IntelliPower System: the electric motor, control unit and the regenerative braking.
Pros and Cons of Electric Yamaha Golf Carts
The pros of Yamaha golf carts include:
- AC power provides better energy efficiency, more power and a longer engine life
- Favorable brand identify
- Sporty design for aesthetic appeal
- Speed up to 19.5 mph
- Hill-climbing power
- Fun to drive
- Halogen headlights with high output
- LED brake lights
- 10-inch aluminum wheels with chrome caps, chrome lug nuts and black accents
- State-of-the-art charger that weighs less than 10 pounds
The cons of Yamaha electric golf carts include:
- Limited choice of color
- Company’s more limited experience with electric carts
Features of the Yamaha Electric Golf Cart
The Yamaha Personal Drive2 serves as an excellent model to compare with the Club Car Precedent.
This model retails for $7995 and $8495, ad provides excellent value for money. Some of the model’s top features include:
- Accessory options that include beverage cooler, ball and club washer, cooling fan, full cart enclosure system, carpet kit and more
- ClimaGuard Top that has dual gutters to channel rain away from passengers
- Independent front suspension
- Rack and pinion steering system
- Matte goldish tan color that looks elegant and sophisticated
- Comfortable seating for making extended security rounds around your property
- Best warranty available in the industry
Main Differences Between Yamaha Electric Carts and Club Car Precedent
As mentioned in the Precedent review, Yamaha uses a steel frame. That’s the industry standard, but Precedent comes out ahead with its aluminum alloy frame that resists rust.
However, Yamaha surprisingly wins the motor comparison because of its high-tech motor that uses AC power.
Both models are excellent investments that provide strong value for the money. Overall, Precedent might last longer and provide more options for high-tech accessories. However, Yamaha carts are cheaper and more energy efficient. The motor will last longer, so it’s a great choice for heavy-use commercial applications.
As Monty Python’s Black Knight said, “Alright, we’ll call it a draw.”