So much more than just a way to golf faster and ride more comfortably, today’s off road golf carts can be found in a variety of settings — from hunting trips and campsites to communities and race tracks. Featuring greater versatility than most low-speed vehicles, off road golf carts are becoming more and more popular simply because of the many ways to customize or upgrade your cart at home. However, a lot of questions pop up when deciding to modify your golf cart:
Can I make a golf cart "off-road ready"?
How can I make my golf cart look better in the process?
Off road golf cart modifications can be used to offer improved performance and safety, or they can be modified for fun, like adding decals or more power. Knowing how to upgrade your golf cart, and exactly which modifications are right for you, is, of course, where a lot of golf cart owners get stuck. To help, we’ve created a guide specifically for off road golf carts modification, listing all of our favorite and most common ways to improve the functionality and aesthetics of your cart.
Before you dive in, it’s always a good idea to think about how your golf cart is currently being used.
- Is your golf cart meeting all of your needs?
- Do you wish that you could use your golf cart in other ways?
- How often do you transport other people in your golf cart?
- Do you ever haul heavy loads?
- What type of terrain do you take your golf cart on — trails, turf, streets?
- Do you have a need to use your golf cart for towing?
Once you've determined these factors, you'll have a better path forward when it comes to knowing how to make your golf cart faster, stronger, and just an all-around cooler vehicle. Below you’ll find eleven of the best off road golf cart modifications so that you can do even more with it (and have it look even better, too)…
Eleven of the Best off Road Golf Cart Modifications
- Lift Kits. If adding bigger tires and wheels to your golf cart is on your list so that you can transform your standard golf cart into an off road golf cart, then you’ll need to add a lift kit. Not only do lift kits accommodate larger tires for more difficult terrain, but they can also help create a more comfortable ride for you and your passengers. There are several different types of lift kits to look at, but one of the most popular is the Drop Spindle lift kit, which increases your golf cart’s spindle length and size, making your cart have a wider stance with improved off-road stability. This kit is easy to install and more affordable than other options.
- Heavy Duty Leaf Springs. Utilized in all types of vehicles for improved suspension, you’ll want to consider adding heavy-duty leaf springs to your golf cart if you’re planning to use it off-road. Heavy-duty leaf springs are also a good idea if you carry a lot of weight in your cart, whether with extra passengers or heavy loads of cargo. By offering more rear suspension and stability, these springs offer an improved ride and overall performance.
- LED Light Bars. Driving at night is difficult to do when you just have the stock lights on your golf cart. Adding an LED light bar allows for safer, more practical night driving. The majority of LED utility light bars you’ll find on the market are designed to fit on any gas or electric golf cart and weigh less than five pounds. Depending on the number of lights, style, and brightness, you’ll find that you can purchase LED light bars for your off-road golf cart for between $25 and $350.
- Larger Tires and Wheels. When shopping for larger tires for your golf cart modifications, you’ll want to check the ratings and designations. Standard golf cart tires typically have an NHS designation, which means they can’t handle high loads or high-speed rotation. If you’re planning to go fast or want to go off road, you’ll need to look for tires with a B or C rating for your golf cart. Another thing to look for when shopping for new tires is the type of tread they have. There are a lot of different treads to choose from based on how you’re planning to use your golf cart. Some of the most common treads for off-road golf cart tires include directional tread, which is great for mud and dirt, sand tires, and knobby tires, which are some of the most accommodating for various terrains, and, of course, all-terrain tires. And, if you’re upgrading your tires, then you’ll also need to look at the wheels on your golf cart, which will likely need to be modified, too. If you really want to turn your golf cart into an off-road vehicle, you’ll probably need to consider purchasing negative offset golf cartwheels, which will prevent rubbing and solve stability problems.
- Push Bars. Push bars can be installed on the front bumper of your golf cart pretty easily, allowing them to help move (or push) drag and show cars from one place to another. Most push bars can be mounted with brackets on the factory bumper mounts and then released easily as needed. Some of the best push bars for off road golf carts are coated with heat duty powder coating, which means they can withstand the weather if they’re used outdoors frequently.
- Winch. Capable of being installed quickly to either the front or back bumper of your golf cart, adding a winch can help you literally get out of sticky situations, including if your off road golf cart finds itself stuck in the mud. Installing a winch to your golf cart can come in handy for gardeners too, as it’s a great tool for removing shrubs and other plants. There are different ways to wire the winch to a power supply, so be sure to consider your options in order to determine what’s best for you and your cart.
- Upgraded Seating. Upgrading the seating in your golf cart not only makes your golf cart look nicer, but it can also dramatically improve the comfort of your cart. As you can imagine, there are plenty of options to consider, including DIY covers and completely custom seats and cushions. You can change the color of your seats, the comfort of your seats, and the durability of your seats, which is smart to consider if you’re planning on getting your cart dirty with off-roading. You can also add more seating to your golf cart by adding a rear flip seat, which will accommodate more passengers while also creating a flatbed surface when you fold it down. Other accessories for your golf cart, like a mounted cold beverage cooler, can also improve the seating in your cart simply by creating more space for passengers. When you have a mounted cooler, you don’t have to use a seat to carry your drinks!
- Upgraded Motors. There are two primary reasons why golf cart owners will decide to upgrade their motor. The first is if they want to have more torque. The second is if they want to go faster. If you’re in the first group and want to create more torque for your cart, you’ll want to look for a motor with a larger field coil inside. This larger coil allows for a larger magnetic field, which produces more torque by holding the armature more securely. If you’re wanting to go fast, then you'll need to look at motors with a smaller field coil. While the motor coil will produce a weaker magnetic field, it can spin faster which results in higher RMP from the armature.
- Lithium-Ion Batteries. If you want to modify your off road golf cart so that it has a better weight-to-performance ratio, then you should definitely consider swapping out your standard golf cart battery with a lithium battery. Because lithium-ion batteries weigh a lot less than lead-acid batteries (nearly half as much), you can lighten your cart’s load dramatically - and quickly.
- Speaker System. One of the easiest and most practical ways to customize the sound system on your golf cart is by adding Bluetooth speakers. Depending on how much money you want to spend on this modification, you can choose from speakers that are installed directly into your cart or speakers that are portable. As you can imagine, speakers installed directly into your cart will have much richer sound experience. Portable speakers designed specifically for golf carts, however, are super affordable and allow you to take your music with you if your golf cart is staying behind.
- Custom Mats. Consider equipping custom golf cart floor mats in order to improve the overall life of the OEM flooring. Offering the most advanced floor protection available on the market today, Xtreme Golf Cart Mats are created with digital laser measurements so that they fit perfectly into your custom cart, covering the entire floor area, from the dash to the seat. These mats also allow you to select your trim color so that they look as good as they work.
Get started with your own off road golf cart modifications today and consider ordering a custom golf cart floor mat from Xtreme Mats while you're at. Taking advantage of an easy to install golf cart upgrade that both protects your vehicle and gives a stylish flair is one of the best places to start when getting ready to customize your off road golf cart.
READ MORE: Golf Cart Accessories