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A number of country clubs began to develop private courses during the closing decades of the nineteenth century, and the United States Golf Association (USGA) was founded in 1894. However, those Ameri- can golfers who did not belong to clubs often played the game without designated courses until after World War II, using such sites as open fields, orchards, and cow pas- tures. The war’s end freed up earth-moving equipment for recreational use, and, as many more private and public courses were constructed, record num- bers of Americans took up the game. The self-propelled golf cart as we know it today came into use in the early 1950s. In 1953 only a few of the most ex- The first step in golf cart manufacture is floor and body panel fabrication, which is done by sheet metal shearing or molding, depending on the material used. Next, the chassis or frame is made by cutting, beveling, and arc-welding the tubular pieces. clusive golf clubs owned motor driven carts, but by 1959 the little motor-driven carts could be seen just about everywhere. While caddies are still available at private clubs, health-con- scious players on public courses often prefer to carry their bags or rent hand-drawn carts, the power-driven cart has supersed- ed both of these options. Raw Materials The frames of golf carts are usually made out of steel plates, rods, and tubing. The bodies may be made of sheet alumi- num, fiber glass, or sheet steel. Other components, usually plas- tic or metal, are generally pur- chased from outside suppliers and assembled to the vehicle. These include components such as tires, which are made out of rubber; seat cushions, which typically consist of foam cush- ion covered by vinyl; steering mechanisms, made of metal; and motors, brakes, batteries, transaxles, suspensions, drive trains, and electrical cables. er draws the first line. Should the body be made from steel, aluminum, fiber glass, or wood? Should it seat two, four, or six passengers? Is it to have an electric or a gaso- line engine? Must the cart have a powerful engine and strong brakes to nav- igate hills, or a small engine to insure efficient operation? Once the capabilities, materials, and appearance are decided upon, a designer uses an integrated CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Man- ufacturing) system to draw the cart and all its components on the computer screen. Next, the shop makes a prototype cart that will be used to test the new design. If the design proves suc- cessful, the production system is set up and the manufacturing process begins. Generally, once a design proves to be a good seller it will not be changed from year to year. There are few style trends in golf cart design: the vehicle is, after all, largely utilitarian. Part 2 Coming in the December 2018 issue Design There is no standard design for a golf cart. Many choices must be made before the design- NOVEMBER 2018 29