Golf Cars In The News

Debate Rages In Iowa

PHOTOGRAPHY: shutterstock / SevenMaps

Lines are drawn as a town votes to ban golf cars.

An Iowa town voted to ban golf cars on city streets, leading to a blistering column in the local paper. The Marshalltown city council held its first vote on the matter, and before the vote, councilors debated the issue.

“If we ban the (all-terrain vehicle), we need to ban golf carts too,” councilman Gary Thompson said, according to the Times-Republican newspaper. “I can’t see having one without having the others.”

Councilor Jeff Schneider wanted to leave the city’s ordinance alone and allow golf cars to stay.

“These are legal today already,” he said. “It’s not like we’re introducing a new novelty.”

Writing in the Times-Republican after the vote, Harvey Varnum recalled a day when golf cars were in short supply.

“40 plus years ago there was about a 20 year wait to get a golf cart in one of the Legion golf cart sheds, but if you lived 8.8 miles away from the Legion entrance you could bring your golf cart on and pay a trail fee. After years of waiting many young golfers went to join nearby golf courses,” he wrote.

“That’s when the Legion decided to let golfers haul in or drive golf carts to the course to play golf and pay a trail fee. Back then, the city ordinance was that carts had to have a slow moving flag on cart and brakes worked. I think there were more wrecks on the golf courses than on city streets.

“Even Chief Tupper couldn’t recall any wrecks in the last 10 years. So I’m not sure why city leaders think they need to change the ordinance on ATV and golf carts other than to piss off those who drive on the streets. I wonder if any city leaders have been out of town and met groups of ATV riders on road to raise money for sick kids, K-9 units or fire departments?

“I heard there is a big ATV ride to Garwin in November to raise money for the Garwin Fire Department, and they expect over 100 ATV riders to be involved. If the state says it’s legal and other towns say it’s legal, what goes on here with Marshalltown city leaders?”