CHAPTER
02

Golf Cart Inventor

Golf Cart Inventor

Chick Harbert, Lloyd Mangrum, and Hudson

Thunderbird Country Club Icon

A REVOLTUION TO GOLF AND IMPARTS ITS ONGOING POPULARITY

  • Arnaz, Harris, and Hicks
  • First golf cart in Palm Springs
  • President Eisenhower in golf cart
  • Mrs Hubbard in golf cart
  • Golf carts in Thunderbird Country Club

Thunderbird was the first to develop the motorized golf cart, as familiar on golf courses today as golfers. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine the great history of the game of golf, without the introduction and impact of motorized carts.

1951

In 1951, Eddie Susalla, Associate Golf Professional at Thunderbird, came up with the idea for the first golf cart after seeing a man tooling around on the sidewalks in Long Beach in a gas-powered cart. Susalla promptly purchased the same vehicle and had it shipped back to Thunderbird to equip it for golf.

1st Golf Cart with Desi

1st Golf Cart with Desi

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It was a one-seater and a three-wheeler with a hand steering control like a tiller.” Susalla recalled. “And it couldn’t go in reverse at all. You just had to keep driving forward. I put a rack on front to hold the clubs and it was on the course every day.

Carts soon spread to Los Angeles Country Club due to overlapping membership then the rest of the nation.

In 1953, Susalla came up with a four-wheeled cart and the rest is Thunderbird and golf history.

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CHAPTER
03