April 2011

LowCountry Golf Cars: High Quality Sales and Service for Low-Speed Vehicles

Author: Peter Zink | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Eric Goldstein likes a challenge. He stands quietly as a discerning couple scrutinizes a golf car in the sun drenched lot behind his dealership. On the surface, it’s not the prettiest out there, but the price is right. It’s a used E-Z-Go on a steel frame, with faded eggshell white paint and worn tires that have spent some serious time on a golf course. It looks conspicuously out of place next to its shinier brethren. But Eric isn’t worried. Deep down, he knows by the time he’s done with the car, there’s nothing stopping it from being exactly what this couple wants.

As the gentleman looks over the vehicle carefully, he turns to Eric and begins to pepper him with questions.

“So you’ll replace this with a green body like all the new cars here?”

“Yes.”

“What about the wheels and tires?”

“‘They’ll get changed out with new ones.”

“And you’ll install a flip-down seat in the back for the grandkids to sit on?”

“Yes.”

“What about fishing pole holders?”

“Done.”

The man seems impressed with the quick response until he notices a crack in the windshield. “What about that?” he asks, as he taps the glass with his finger.

“That’s covered in our inspection with every used car; it’ll be replaced.”

With the final question answered, Eric knows he’s sold another car to customers who never intend to throw a set of clubs in the back. “We actually sell a lot of cars outside of golfing. Over 35 percent of the cars we sell never see a golf course. And it makes sense; it’s a great way to get around the community,” he said.

Eric became involved in the golf car business through his brother Doug. In 1992, Doug bought the Village Station convenience store outside of the Landings in Savannah. Attached was a small garage that, at one point in the past, serviced golf cars. Doug noticed a niche opportunity, started to service them again, and opted to become an authorized E-Z-Go dealer. “I wanted a change. I was ready to escape the ball and chain,” Doug said. Over 18 years later, it remains the core of his business, and he’s able to service a variety of manufacturers.

While Doug wasn’t initially looking to expand, a unique opportunity emerged with LowCountry Golf Cars. The gold E-Z-Go sign emblazoned on the storefront off Okatie Highway offers a clue to the store’s past. Before Low Country Golf Cars offered a wide range of golf cars to choose from, the showroom space was occupied by an E-Z-Go golf car dealership. Then the economic stimulus bill passed in 2009, and with it came a $5,300 electric vehicle tax credit. E-Z-Go decided to help their customers by jumping on the electric vehicle bandwagon.

But that meant E-Z-Go had to build low-speed electric vehicles (LSVs)—cars that go over 20 MPH but no more than 25 mph. Golf carts went up to 20 mph and had fewer regulatory requirements, which meant they didn’t qualify for the tax credit. But when they started producing LSVs, E-Z-Go was classified as an automobile manufacturer, which meant they couldn’t directly own a dealership. So Doug bought the E-Z-Go dealership in Ridgeland and Eric took over its management in 2009. According to Doug, the decision was easy when he realized that would make them the only authorized E-Z-Go dealership in the entire Hilton Head area. Ironically, E-Z-Go missed the initial rollout of an LSV to take advantage of the tax credit.

Doug and Eric have brought in a good mix of brands from which to choose. They carry the latest golf cars and LSVs from E-Z-Go and others. Along with E-Z-Go, they’re an authorized dealer for STAR, Polaris, and Garia cars and sell used golf cars from other brands as well. “An authorized dealership is key. If you don’t buy a new E-Z-Go from an authorized retailer, you’ll end up voiding your warranty,” Doug said.

In addition to sales, LowCountry Golf Cars services every brand they sell. “The bottom line is we can pretty much do anything we want to your golf car,” Eric said—and with the STAR car especially. Assembled in nearby Simpsonville, nearly every facet of the car’s operation can be customized at LowCountry Golf Cars.

“The STAR car is the only car we sell with a high and a low gear, and I can make very precise changes,” Eric said. For example, if you have grandkids who will drive the vehicle, I can customize and set the speed for one gear in such a way that they’re not going to go more than 15 miles per hour. And there’s a way to make sure they can’t change the setting. If you feel like going off road, I can adjust the torque to handle hills and rougher terrain. A lot of people don’t realize how much you can fine tune these vehicles.”

LowCountry Golf Cars has a fully outfitted shop to take care of your needs, and the generous service plan is hard to beat. “We basically offer ‘Triple A’ for your golf car. If you break down, we’ll pick you up and tow you at no charge. I don’t want any of my cars breaking down on the side of the road—anywhere,” Eric said. The plan also includes one deluxe maintenance job per year and four service calls to your house free of charge.

As Eric watches satisfied customers walk out of the showroom, he reflectively gazes out the door. “I love finding out what every customer wants when they walk through that door, because I know if I can find out what they want, they’ll walk out of here happy with the right car,” he said. With a wide selection and fanatical service, it’s easy to see why he could believe that.

LowCountry Golf Cars is located at 649 N. Okatie Hwy., Ridgeland, S.C. For more information, visit lowcountrygolfcars.com or call (843) 987-8272.

  1. we have a 2nd home on daufuski. we are ready for a golf car. we would like a reconditioned electric 4 seater car that will do 20 mph, have a golf bag carrier and most importantly have a substantial enclosure such as door craft or curtis. Do you have such something in inventory. what can we expect to pay?


    — bob hueston    Apr 2, 08:05 am   

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