By Marc Gelbke In an effort to continue from my last editorial where I wrote about “The Importance of a Golf Cart Fleet,” I would like to continue with this all-too-important topic on another theme, one that is sometimes an underestimated or even overlooked category by golf managers. Being able to determine what size fleet your facility requires or needs is important from many points of view, such as financials, facility space, and staff. How many carts should you buy or lease? On one hand, you want to accommodate all of your customers and have carts available when golfers request them.  However, having more carts than you really need is a poor investment and can cost the facility (owner) precious revenue. Therefore, having the right amount of carts results in more revenue for the club. Of course, there is no magic formula you can use, as it all depends on the circumstances at your particular facility. There are some basic statistics that are readily available with averages that can be applied to an extent.  For instance, the average 18-hole course has a fleet size of 60 carts in the United States for daily fee facilities and private clubs, whereas municipal courses average 55 carts. South Florida has the highest average size with 77 carts.  Lastly, the national average is 57 carts per facility. The best advice I can give, in my opinion, is to study your facility and situation in order to come up with the right number of carts. There are additional guidelines that can be applied to help determine your number, such as one cart for every 500-800 rounds played annually, or one cart for every eight playing members.  You can also use as a rule of thumb the guideline of 72 carts (two on each tee and two on each green). Other important factors to keep in mind is that you need carts for staff such as course marshals and others.  You need to clean carts in between rounds, and location and usage of your practice facility is another factor. Other considerations are tournaments played at your facility and if you allow private carts to be used, as it may reduce the number of carts you need and the size of your cart barn or cart storage facility. Figure on about 75% of your fleet being rented on a normal daily basis and 25% available for peak demand periods.  As a final note, rent or buy fewer carts than you think you’ll need, as it is relatively easy to add carts to your fleet if needed, and you won’t end up with more carts than you can rent out.
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