Can Golf Carts Be Driven Off Road?

As the name implies, street legal golf carts are designed to be driven on the road. Nevertheless, the naming convention does not stop adventurous drivers from driving their LSV off-road. Taking this into consideration, golf cart fans may be wondering if EZ Gos, Club Cars, and other luxury LSVs can be safely operated on any terrain.


Read on to discover whether or not the aforementioned feat is possible.


Cheap Used Low Speed Vehicles


Traditional golf carts are designed to be used on the golf course. In turn, the grassy golfing locations are engineered for delicate low speed vehicles to ride on. Given this relationship, it may seem obvious that low speed vehicles are only able to be driven off-road if the non-street area is a designated golf course.


Yet despite this clear association, golf cart fans have a tendency to drive their LSVs onto unsafe terrain. After all, grass is grass, right?


Unfortunately, operating street legal golf carts on unkempt lawns can damage low speed vehicles in some way, shape, or form. A great example of this is micro tears that are not noticeable at first, but later become obvious when a major repair is suddenly required. 


That said, some street legal golf carts, Club Cars, and luxury LSVs are actually designed to be driven on any terrain. To determine if a powersports device is compatible with off-road driving, evaluate the following traits of the low speed vehicle in question.


  • Undercarriage clearance on par with a lifted LSV height
  • High-quality shocks and brakes
  • Extremely low rollover potential
  • Puncture resistant tires


In general, golf cars that have all of the traits listed above can be used off-road if the area in question lacks extremely uneven terrain.


Driving LSVs on Trails


As we mentioned above, golf cart owners hoping to use a low speed vehicle off-road may be able to do so if their LSV is equipped with the right gear. Nevertheless, this official golf cart status is not always recognized by local legislators. 


For example, in South Carolina, officials in Horry County are considering a golf cart ban that would prevent LSV owners from driving their powersports machine on multi-use paths. Although this seems unfair, the asphalt trails in question are not designed for low speed vehicles. 


To elaborate, the routes are only wide enough for cyclists or wheelchair users to pass by each other, whereas golf carts block traffic in one direction. Knowing this, Horry County is faced with two options. Implement a multi-use path ban on off-road street legal golf cart usage, or install steel pipe bollards along the asphalt trails.


Now, the former option is likely going to generate unwanted effects from LSV owners that own off-road compatible golf carts. On the other hand, erecting bollards is an effective, proactive measure that sends the desired message and bypasses the need to take legal action. 


Needless to say, bollards are likely to show up on the multi-use path at some point in the future. But, regardless of the outcome in Horry County, it is important to note that some LSVs can be driven off-road in a safe manner if it is legal to do so.


Bintelli Powersports, located in Charleston, South Carolina is your one stop shop for golf carts, LSVs, motorcycles, atvs, dirt bikes, scooters, mopeds, go karts, and more. Nationwide shipping and financing is available! Give them a call at (843) 405-8366 or visit them online!