How Fast Do Golf Carts Go? Everything You Need to Know

by | Last updated May 23, 2024

How Fast Do Golf Carts Go

Have you ever wondered just how fast those golf carts zipping around the golf course can go?

Are electric golf carts faster than gas ones? Can you even make a golf cart street-legal? Get ready to have all your golf cart speed questions answered!

We’ll cover everything from the average speed of a golf cart to the world’s fastest and whether you can tweak your electric golf cart to go faster.

We’ll even talk about maximum speed limits and what it takes for your golf cart to be street-legal.

  • Standard golf carts usually go 12-14 mph.
  • Modified golf carts can reach 20+ mph, but check course rules.
  • Street-legal golf carts (LSVs) can go up to 25 mph on public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.
  • Gas vs. electric: Similar top speed, but gas carts have faster acceleration. Electric carts with lithium-ion batteries can travel further.
  • Want to go faster? Upgrades like bigger tires, a new motor, or a speed chip (for electric carts) can help, but consult an expert and always prioritize safety.
  • Factors influencing speed: Motor power, tire size, weight, terrain, and speed governor.
  • Safety first: Follow speed limits and local regulations.

the Basics of Golf Cart Speed

golf cart on the ground

Let’s start with the basics. Most standard golf carts you see cruising around golf courses go about 12 to 14 miles per hour (mph).

That’s a comfortable pace for enjoying the scenery and getting to your next shot.

Did you know that golf cart speeds can vary greatly? Gas and electric golf carts might have the same top speed, but gas-powered golf carts tend to have a bit more pep.

The top speed of your golf cart depends on a few things:

  • Is it gas or electric? Gas golf carts have a higher top speed out of the box.
  • Has it been modified? Some people like to soup up their carts with things like speed chips, speed codes, or even a new speed controller. These can make your cart go a lot faster, but more on that later!
  • What kind of batteries does it have? For electric golf carts, lithium-ion batteries can give you a bit more speed.

So, what about the world’s fastest golf cart? Believe it or not, there are golf carts out there that can go over 100 mph! But most of us are probably more interested in what our carts can do.

Now, let’s talk about those super-fast golf carts you might have heard about. Some companies modify golf carts for speed, and these can reach up to 25 mph.

There are even street-legal golf carts (LSVs), which have a few extra safety features and can legally drive on some streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

But remember, going fast is only sometimes the best idea, especially on golf courses. Most courses have their speed limits to keep everyone safe. Plus, taking turns too fast can be dangerous, no matter how cool it might seem.

Factors That Influence Golf Cart Speed

Okay, so we know different kinds of golf carts have different speed capabilities.

golf cart on the ground

But what really makes a golf cart go fast or slow? It’s kind of like what makes a bike go faster – a few different things working together.

  • The Engine or Motor: This is the heart of your golf cart. A bigger, more powerful engine or motor will give you more speed. It’s like having a bigger engine in a car – more power means more speed.
  • Tires: Just like on your bike, bigger tires on a golf cart can make it go faster. They cover more ground with each turn, but they might also make your cart a bit harder to steer.
  • Weight: The more people and stuff you have in your golf cart, the heavier it gets and the slower it will go. It’s like trying to ride your bike uphill with a backpack full of books!
  • Terrain: If you’re going uphill, your golf cart will naturally slow down. It takes more power to go uphill than to go on a flat surface.
  • Speed Governor: Most golf carts have a speed governor, a device that limits the cart’s speed. Think of it like a parent telling you to slow down! It’s there for safety, but some people remove or adjust it to increase the cart’s speed.
  • Battery (for electric carts): If you have an electric cart, the type and health of your battery can affect your speed. A newer, fully charged battery will give you the best performance.
  • Speed Chip (for electric carts): Some electric carts have a speed chip. This is a little computer that controls the motor and sometimes has speed settings you can change.

So, there you have it! These are the main things that affect how fast your golf cart can go.

Remember, safety is always important, so always wear seat belts and follow the speed limit on the golf course.

How Fast Do Different Types of Golf Carts Go

Let’s break down the different types of golf carts and how fast they typically go:

golf cart on the ground
  • Standard Golf Carts: Most of the golf carts you see at the course are standard models. They usually go about 12 to 14 mph. These are great for getting around the course and enjoying a leisurely ride.
  • Modified Golf Carts: If you want a little more zip, you can modify or upgrade your golf cart to go faster. Some people swap out the motor, add a speed chip, or use bigger tires to reach speeds of 20 mph or more. These can be fun to drive, but they might not be allowed on every golf course.
  • Street-Legal Golf Carts (LSVs): These are special golf carts that meet certain safety rules and can be driven on some public roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. They need extra features like headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and seat belts. LSVs can go up to 25 mph, making them a good option for short trips around the neighborhood or community.

Whether you have a gas golf cart or an electric one, the overall speed will be the same. The main difference is how they reach that speed.

Gas carts tend to have more torque, which means they have faster acceleration. Electric carts rely on their batteries, and their speed can drop a bit as the battery gets low.

But with newer lithium-ion batteries, you can go a longer distance before that happens.

No matter what kind of golf cart you have, remember that safety is always the most important thing. If you’re thinking about making your golf cart go faster, talk to an expert first.

They can help you make the right upgrades and ensure your cart is safe to operate at higher speeds.

How to Make Your Golf Cart Go Faster

Now for the fun part: How can you make your golf cart go faster?

golf cart on the ground

There are a few ways to do this, but remember, safety first! Always check your local rules and regulations before making any changes to your golf cart.

  1. Upgrade your motor: This is like putting a bigger engine in your car. A more powerful motor means your golf cart can go faster.
  2. Get bigger tires: This is a simple trick that can make a noticeable difference. Bigger tires cover more ground with each turn, which means you can reach higher speeds.
  3. Get a higher voltage battery (for electric carts): If your electric golf cart has a higher voltage battery, it can give the motor more power to work with. This is especially helpful if you plan on going up hills or carrying extra passengers.
  4. Add a speed chip or modify the speed controller: A speed chip or modified speed controller can trick your golf cart into thinking it’s going slower than it really is, allowing it to bypass the built-in speed limit. However, this should only be done by a professional, as it can be risky if not done correctly.
  5. Lighten the load: The less weight your golf cart has to carry, the faster it can go. So, remove any unnecessary items or heavy accessories.

If you’re thinking about making your golf cart street-legal, you’ll need a few extra things.

These usually include headlights, taillights, turn signals, a horn, rearview mirrors, and seatbelts. Before taking your cart on public roads, make sure it is equipped with all the necessary safety features.

Remember, making your golf cart go faster can be fun, but safety should always come first. Always drive responsibly and be aware of your surroundings.

Golf Cart Speed Regulations and Safety Tips

golf cart on the ground
  • Standard Golf Carts: These are the most common type, clocking in at 12 to 14 mph. They are perfect for leisurely cruising around the golf course.
  • Modified Golf Carts: Want a need for speed? These souped-up carts can reach 20+ mph but check with your course before taking one for a spin.
  • Street-Legal Golf Carts (LSVs): These are street-legal on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less and can go up to 25 mph. Think of them as your neighborhood runabout, perfect for quick trips.

Gas vs. Electric: There isn’t a huge difference in top speed, but gas carts usually have faster acceleration. Electric carts with newer lithium-ion batteries can go a longer distance before needing a charge.


So, there you have it – the lowdown on golf cart speed.

golf cart on the ground

Whether you’re cruising around the golf course in a standard cart or thinking about tricking out your ride for more speed, remember safety. Always follow the rules of the road (or the fairway), and never go faster than what’s safe for you and others.

If you’re itching to go faster, talk to an expert before making any changes to your golf cart. They can help you choose the right upgrades and make sure everything is installed correctly and safely.

And remember, a faster golf cart doesn’t necessarily mean a better one. Sometimes, it’s just more fun to enjoy a leisurely ride and soak up the scenery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average speed of a golf cart?

Most standard golf carts go about 12 to 14 miles per hour. This is a comfortable speed for getting around the golf course.

How fast can a modified golf cart go?

Depending on the upgrades, such as installing speed chips, modified golf carts can reach speeds of 20 mph or more. However, remember to check with your local golf course or community for any maximum speed limit restrictions. The club car is very interesting.

Are there golf carts that can be driven on public roads?

Yes! Street-legal golf carts (LSVs) can be driven on public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less. They must have specific safety features and be registered as a street-legal vehicle.

How does battery life impact the speed of an electric golf cart?

While the battery life won’t affect the top speed of your electric golf cart, it can impact how long you can maintain that speed. As the battery drains, you might notice a slight decrease in speed.

Which is faster: gas or electric golf carts?

Gas and electric golf carts usually have similar top speeds. The main difference is how they reach that speed. Gas carts generally have faster acceleration times, while electric carts can sometimes lose a bit of speed as the battery drains.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder


An avid golfer and author, merges his passion for the sport with insightful writing, offering readers a unique perspective on golf.

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