Baby You Can Drive My Cart
When you drive around Kissing Tree, one of the first things you might notice is that most folks aren’t in cars—they’re in golf carts. Here, golf carts are more than a way to get to the golf course—they’re a way of life. “Residents at KT get all revved up when they start talking about their golf carts,” says Kevin Wilson, Director of Community Engagement at Kissing Tree.
Open Air Means More Socializing
“Golf carts are really part of the Kissing Tree lifestyle,” says Jon Fiese, who helps run the Kissing Tree Golf Cart Group. “They provide social engagement within the community and a way to get acquainted. By that, I mean you can go down the street and meet people; you can stop and introduce yourself and get to know them. If you were in a car, you wouldn’t stop and talk to people.”
Getting From Here to There
Golf carts also provide a convenient mode of transportation around the Kissing Tree campus. “You can jump in your golf cart and be at one of the social buildings or the fitness center in a matter of minutes,” says Jon’s wife, Charlotte. “But you might not get there for 20 minutes because you have to stop and talk to so many people along the way,” Jon adds.
One Car, Two Carts
Since moving to Kissing Tree four years ago, Jon and Charlotte have downsized to one car and added another golf cart to their garage. “More and more people are doing that,” Jon says. “Especially the people who play golf. If there’s a couple, they might be playing at a different time, or one might be going golfing while one is going to the fitness center or to play bocce ball.” Often, when a couple buys a second cart, the Kissing Tree Golf Cart Group puts together a parade. “It’s a fun way to celebrate,” Charlotte says.
Join the Club
The Kissing Tree Golf Cart Group is open to everyone and hosts a variety of fun events throughout the year, including their stellar 4th of July parades. Last year’s event was produced in conjunction with the Craft Beer Group, and it included four stations throughout the community that offered different beers and patriotic entertainment from Kissing Tree residents. Residents decorated their golf carts and drove between the stations. The group has also hosted themed events such as a 50s party, a Kentucky Derby party, and events around the Masters golf tournament. “It’s really a broad social group,” Jon says.
It Takes All Types
Most residents wait to buy their golf cart once they move to Kissing Tree, and you’ll see all types, from luxurious six-passenger club carts to zippy two-seaters. Whether you choose gas or electric, Jon recommends you talk to people and find a dealer you like before committing to a model. “It’s all about the batteries,” he says. “That’s the main thing you have to watch out for.”
New Home, New Golf Carts
Traci and Dave Davlin just moved to Kissing Tree five months ago from San Antonio, but they’ve already got two cute golf carts in the garage. “We did a lot of research when we knew we were moving,” Traci says. “We were originally going to get a 4-seater, but our friends told us that as active as we are, we had better get 2 carts or we were going to fight over them! We found these carts from a brand called Icon that were half the price and go twice as fast!”
Zippity Do Dah
The first time Dave went to put air in the tires, he actually called the company to double-check that the 45 psi pressure requirement was correct. “That’s high for a golf cart tire,” Dave says. “These carts are technically categorized as a SMV (slow moving vehicle), and made for road use.” The cheerful colors help to set the Davlins’ carts apart. While Traci had originally wanted the blue, when they were delivered, she fell in love with the yellow, and she is getting a cartoon bumble bee with her name to go on her cart. Luckily, Dave was happy to switch to the blue.
Tunes for the Road
While you might be tempted to get a fancy sound system for your golf cart so you can listen to music while you drive, Dave suggests you wait. “If you spend money on installing a sound system,” Dave says, “there’s a good chance it will be obsolete in 2 years when there’s something better out there. We did little Bluetooth speakers that stick to a steel bar in cart. The frame hides it, and if technology changes, we won’t have to get a whole new speaker system.”
The Davlins are avid golfers, playing several times a week and hitting the putting range many evenings. “To me, it saves time, because I don’t have to load up the car,” Traci says. “We have the garage set up with golf shoes, clubs, and extra balls, so it’s easy to get out and go.”
Follow the Carts to the Party
While they love the game, the Davlins are happiest when they’re using their new carts to explore the community. “If it’s a nice night, we’ll go ride around neighborhood and see what’s happening,” Traci says. “Last night we were just riding around, and we met up with friends and stayed out until 10 pm. We laugh that it takes you an hour to check the mail because there are so many people to talk to.”
“We still have 2 cars,” Dave says, “But we never use them inside the gates. We call Friday driveway night. Everyone drives around and grabs a drink; it’s a great a way to be open and meet neighbors without being in a car.” If you’re driving around the neighborhood, you’re likely to see golf carts indicating where a gathering is happening. “It used to be you’d see 7-8 cars parked in front of house,” Traci says. “Now you see 7-8 golf carts! And you can park a lot more golf carts than cars, so it means bigger parties!”