Getting the Most Speed Out of Your Golf Cart Motor

A golf cart sitting on the fairway

Golf carts come in an array of styles and types, and each performs differently. If you're thinking about modifying your golf cart to increase the top speed, you'll need to consider many factors including the components you have and your budget. Most golf carts are designed to operate at a top speed of 12 to 14 miles per hour. With enhancements, either a gas or electric powered golf cart can achieve 20 miles per hour. If you are looking at purchasing a golf cart, you may want to consider getting one that has already had these enhancements, as they can be laborious and costly. However, if you already own a golf cart and are just looking at making some upgrades, increasing the overall performance of the cart will likely be on your mind. Here you will find several factors to keep in mind when considering any modifications to your golf cart.

Gas vs. Electric

Row of golf carts

Gas-powered golf carts and electric-powered golf carts differ greatly when it comes to increasing the speed of the vehicle. With a gas-powered cart, you can look at modifying the speed governor or even swapping out the engine for a more powerful one. With an electric golf cart, you will need to look at completing a number of modifications, including the electrical components, to achieve greater speed. Gas golf carts cost a few hundred dollars more initially, but are much more easily worked on if enhancements are needed.


Changing the tires on either a gas or electric cart can help to increase speed and overall handling, and is one of the first measures many look at when increasing the performance of their cart. Most dealers or servicing shops can make recommendations on what tires will give you the best performance for your cart.

Speed Controllers

Both gas and electric golf carts usually have a speed governor in place from the manufacturer to control the top speed of the vehicle. Removing or modifying the governor can make a tremendous difference in the speeds that can be achieved by your cart.

Changing Out the Engine


Some prefer to swap out the motor entirely in order to achieve greater speed and performance in their cart. Many service places can do this for you, but it is also a task that many do-it-yourselfers take on themselves. When considering this as an option, keep in mind that this frequently means a lot of other components will need to be upgraded as well, particularly when it comes to electric carts, as a more powerful motor will frequently mean more voltage, which the existing components and wiring on the cart may not be able to handle.

Hiring a Professional

Ultimately, you may choose to leave the modifications to the pros. While this can cost more, you will know that the project is done correctly and safely, and you will save yourself the frustration of replacing one part, only to find that now you need to replace one or more additional parts.

When the ultimate goal is to get the most speed out of your golf cart, consider everything from the tires that touch the ground to the engine that drives it.