NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Yamaha Golf Car
Mike Chrzanowski – President, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America (YMMC)
Tom McDonald – President
Headquartered in Newnan, Georgia, since 1988, The Yamaha Golf-Car Company manufactures golf cars, along with utility and specialty vehicles.
Yamaha is prolific within golf and has been a noteworthy innovator in the golf car space over the years, as the first company to develop electronic fuel injection technology (thereby improving gas mileage and leaving a small carbon footprint); the first to feature a fully independent four-wheel suspension (for a smoother ride); and the first to introduce a gas-powered car that’s almost as quiet as an electric car.
Yamaha Golf Car is a segment of Yamaha Motors, which is known for its expertise with musical instruments and motorcycles, as well as for developing machines that range from ATVs and WaveRunners, to unmanned helicopters and industrial robots.
When it comes to golf, Yamaha remains a leading global manufacturer of golf cars, both gas and electric. The company produces a range of different vehicles for almost every possible need at a golf course – for players, course marshals, food and beverage carts, range pickers, and concierge and maintenance vehicles.
Throughout the past decade, more than 2,000 courses have added its cars to Yamaha’s fleet. In fact, Yamaha is firmly among the top four golf cart companies that comprise a total share of roughly 70 percent of the overall market. While golf facilities remain the largest consumer for golf cars, their use extends beyond the course – to hotels, airports, and other industries.
Yamaha introduced its first golf car in 1975, a compact and lightweight model that was the bedrock for offerings to come. Ten years later, Yamaha rolled out its G-3 Sun Classic model, which was designated as the original “Neighborhood Vehicle,” and came standard with deluxe bucket seats, headlights and taillights, turn signals, a tempered glass windshield, a locking glove box, and a large front storage compartment.
Other advances over the years included the first 48-volt electric golf car in 1996; the first production line-built, 4-passenger vehicle in 2000; and electronic fuel injection in 2012. In addition, Yamaha introduced YamaTrack – a comprehensive cloud-based GPS solution that allowed facilities to manage entire fleet operations remotely – in 2015. The following year, the company unveiled the Drive2 QuieTech EFI, a gas golf car that’s almost as quiet as an electric, but also provides the profitability and performance of a gas car.
In 2019, the Drive2 QuieTech EFI was named the Best Gas-powered Golf Car by Golf Digest (for its Editor’s Choice Awards) for the third straight year – an incredible achievement for the industry’s first (and only) golf car to feature fully independent, four-wheel suspension.
“To be recognized for the third consecutive year for our Drive2 QuieTech EFI car is an amazing honor and a true testament to the quality and performance of Yamaha golf cars that continue to set the bar for what people clearly want,” said Tom McDonald, President of Yamaha Golf-Car Company. “The first year we won, we were wowed. The second time, we were pleasantly surprised. This being our third year winning truly solidifies the fact that we are setting the industry standard.”
Yamaha has established itself as a leading brand in the golf car market, due to its consistent innovation, trusted performance, and focus on luxury and comfort.
Throughout the years, Yamaha has also built a strong team of partners, including multiple PGA sections, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Club Manager Association of America, The First Tee, and LPGA-USGA Girls Golf.