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BOB WEST ON GOLF — New golf carts latest upgrade at Babe Zaharias

Although rain was coming down Monday morning, Babe Zaharias Golf Course was a beehive of activity. Arrival of the much-anticipated fleet of new Club Car golf carts in a trio of 18-wheelers dictated assembly of the new and disassembly of the old for shipment elsewhere.

The next time you tee it up at Zaharias you will be impressed. Acquila Golf owner George Brown didn’t just settle for 60 new carts, he purchased the Augusta, Georgia, based company’s Cadillac model.

Included are plexiglass windshields and pull-out covers on the back to keep clubs dry when it’s raining.

As Southeast Texas golfers know all too well, we have periods of way too much rain. When showers come during a round it is not easy keeping equipment from getting wet. In addition, the windshield protection from biting north and east winds can greatly enhance comfort levels.

Appealing to Brown from a business standpoint is that his new carts have lithium batteries and an eight-year transferrable warranty. If he chooses to sell the carts before 2028 the new owner inherits the warranty.

“These carts are a truly nice upgrade,” said Zaharias head pro Mitch Duncan. “Golfers are going to appreciate those windshields on cool, windy days. The first time they are on the course when a pop-up shower hits, they’re going to be thrilled with the covers.”

The new carts are the latest in a series of both major and subtle improvements made at Zaharias in the past few years. Improved course conditions, especially the greens, are No. 1 on that list. On the drawing board is a plan to rework sand trips.

All the enhancements are paying off in increased traffic. Even with so much cold, wet weather in the first two months of 2020, the number of rounds played at Zaharias is up. Another near record-setting weekend contributed to that.

“We’ve been open and off the paths when some other courses haven’t,” said Duncan. “We continue to get a lot of play from Beaumont and beyond. That has also boosted merchandise sales. The new carts can’t do anything but help.”

Golf news should be e-mailed to rdwest@usa.net. Bob West’s golf column is sponsored by 5 Under Golf Center.