When it comes to golf cart covers you have quite a few options on how to best set up your cart depending on the type of weather you regularly ride in, temperatures in your locale, and other factors regarding the conditions in which you operate your cart. But before we dive deeper into how to choose the best cover for your needs… we must quickly explain the difference between golf cart covers and golf cart enclosures (because almost half of all people get the two mixed up)!
A golf cart enclosure is a DRIVEABLE cover that you use to protect you and your riders from the elements while operating your cart.
A golf cart cover is a STORAGE cover used to protect your cart from the sun, rain, and other elements when it is parked outside or put into storage.
Okay, now that we have that covered (pun intended), let’s explore what it takes to choose the right enclosure or cover for your golf cart, what sets different golfcart covers apart from others? How come some covers are extremely expensive, and others are relatively cheap? Allow us to answer that below.
Back in the “old days”, things were simple. Typically, all enclosures (rideable covers) were the classic ‘over the top’ style enclosure and they were offered in just a couple colors (white or tan). These simple enclosures worked decently well, but were often made of non-complex materials, such as canvas, that weren’t built to protect from UV fading, moisture seepage or other issues the weather caused. While rudimentary; these enclosures were about your only option to avoid getting crushed by a cold blustery breeze or wet and rainy conditions while riding your cart.
Flash forward to modern times and over the top style golf cart enclosures are still popular, but they now come in multiple colors and far superior modern materials. Marine-grade vinyl is now the norm when it comes to enclosure material (which lasts twice as long as old canvas enclosures) and issues of seepage and fading are long gone! But what separates the different styles and price points of the covers available on the market? Read on below to find out:
The basic golf cart enclosure is designed to fit all golf cart makes and models (universal). These covers typically come made of Durable Vinyl or Sunbrella brand Canvas material and are 3-Sided or 4-sided (covering both sides, and the rear end of your cart). The cover fastens up around your golf cart’s windshield seams, giving you a weather proof seal for the cabin of your cart. These basic enclosures will typically work with or without a rear facing seat or utility box.
Basic driveable 3-sided and 4-sided golf cart covers are easy to install and can stay on year-round. Depending on the brand of Over-The-Top enclosure you choose, there are two methods of installation. The first is the “no drill” option WRAP option. With the no drill option, you will install your new golf cart enclosure with front rubber wraps that fix to your front roof supports (around your windshield)
This no drill option simply wraps around the front roof supports and is used to secure the front of the cover to the cart.
No need to drill and can be removed at any time.
The second method of installation is the “snap” option. This installation method will have you screw a set of metal snaps (male side) into your roof support posts, allowing you to snap your enclosure into place using the other (female) side of the snaps fixed to your covers.
Using the pre-installed snaps in the cover you can attach the cover directly to the front roof supports using
the screw snaps included with your enclosure.
Both installation methods work perfectly fine. And no matter which method of installation you choose, Over-The-Top enclosures feature doors that are easy to roll up, providing a nice breeze for passengers on those hot summer days.
If you’re looking to get the most function and the highest quality enclosure for your cart, you should look to golf cart covers with doors. The most expensive and highest functioning golf cart enclosures will include hinged doors that can be latched open or closed (even while you’re driving).
Having doors on your enclosure speeds up the amount of time it takes you and your passengers to get in and out of your golf cart when compared to basic zipper style enclosures. This is a wonderful feature on those cold days where you get in and out of your golf cart multiple times over. It is a welcome feature to not stand in the freezing rain longer than you need to, fussing with a zippered system! Best of all the doors can easily be removed when not needed, to provide a nice breeze while riding.
A golf cart cover with doors is more ridged in its design, making your cart feel more like a real enclosed vehicle. In addition, enclosures with doors are typically made using the same great UV resistant Sunbrella material found on basic enclosures, ensuring yours will last for many years of enjoyment.
Track Enclosures are made to fit carts with Golf Bag set up, Rear Facing Seat or a Utility Box with no customization. These enclosures fit EZGO, Club Car, Yamaha and more.
Track-Style Enclosures consist of three main fabric pieces (2 Sides and 1 Rear) that slide onto a pre-drilled awning track.
Typically on the higher-end of price point; track-style enclosures offer you the ability to change colors without ordering an entire new cover. Simply order new fabric pieces and swap out with your current fabric reusing your existing track system.
As we said at the start of this article, when most people search for golf cart covers, they are typically looking for a golf cart enclosure – and not a golf cart rain cover / storage cover. But many people do in fact end up wanting a golf cart storage cover to protect their prized vehicle (enclosure included) when it is not in use. The last thing you want is to have your golf cart unnecessarily damaged by the elements while it is not being used. Spending a hundred dollars or less on a golf cart storage cover will save you tons of money in the long run when you don’t end up replacing faded plastic, broken buttons, damaged seat cushions (foam) or peeling golf cart seat covers. We recommend storage covers to all our customers, because they are cheap and functional (especially compared to the cost of all your nice accessories).
Most golf cart covers are universal fit (fit all carts). You will just need to choose the proper cover size depending on if you need a cover for a 2-passenger, 4-passenger, or 6-passenger golf cart and also note whether your golf cart is Lifted or Non-Lifted. Lifted golf carts require a cover with a bit more material in order to ensure coverage of your entire cart.
Whether Lifted or Non-Lifted, most golf cart storage covers have easy to use zippers and a drawstring on the bottom to help to secure tight placement and ensure moisture protection.And most covers are high quality UV resistant, to keep your golf cart cool no matter how strong the sun-exposure is for your cart (yes… Arizona and Florida included!).
All of our golf cart covers are UV resistant, so you will never burn your legs sitting on a hot seat when you pull your cart out of storage.
Now that you have a good understanding of all the different lingo surrounding golf cart covers and golf cart enclosures, as well as the offerings available on the market: it’s time to protect your passengers and your cart today!
The GCTS Team