History of Golf Pull Cart


(also known by Caddie Cart, Kaddie Kart, Pull Cart, Push Cart, Bag Cart

Bag Boy golf cart Not the First

A simple search of the web credits Bruce Williamson in Portland, Oregon for developing the first golf pull cart. Further research in the OREGONIAN, the GOLFDOM and the PGA PROFESSIONAL GOLFER monthly magazine prior to 1945 disputes this fact.

“California’s pioneer status in establishing the cart as a customary item of golf was unquestionably caused by the short twilight during the many months of the year plating season. Swiftly the bag cart attained a social status as its use was not entirely dependent upon economy but upon utility, labour saving and convenience. In California the public and resort courses adopted the new carts because of a lack of caddies. The number of players playing increased proportionately.” (GOLDOM April 1939)

In the September 1941 issue of GOLFDOM Chuck Congdon related his golf cart experiences:  “These carts have come to stay, and boy they sure do add to my income in days when income is not too easy to increase.” Further research of  GOLFDOM shows the Kaddie Kart pull cart existed in Chicago area in 1939.


Reasons why cart had to came into existence

“Caddies are scarce. Caddies are small. Caddies are arrogant which is natural when their services are in demand. How long will members of private clubs continue to support a club where they cannot play unless they carry their clubs? On ladies day with no caddies around will women continue to support a club where the club does not support them/ Several of the private clubs in desperation have installed “Kaddie Karts” for their membership.  In Chicago first Elmhurst CC then Midlothian, Flossmore, Old Elm, fully 40% of the clubs have equipped themselves with Kaddie Karts.” (GOLFDOM March 1941)

“Many clubs players choose the carts because they are annoyed by the kid who smirks when a shot is missed and lazes dreamy-eyed far behind while the foursome fumes about delays.” The War created a shortage of caddies. A Caddie is more expensive than a cart. Caddies are scarce. Caddies are small.  Caddies are untrained. Caddies are arrogant, which is natural when their services are in demand. Caddies insist on carrying double or they will not work.” The US labour laws began investigating  if small children should  be carrying large fifty to sixty pound bags around a golf course for  four to five hours. Average school age caddie only available in summer. Golfers had to carry their own clubs in the spring and fall.

Advantages for a pull cart

“On the average rolling golf course of today these carts are cinches to pull or push.”  “Cart rentals build up steadily after the players start using them. First a player will timidly try one and may feel a little self-conscious rolling the little cart along the fairways but then he finds himself fresher and feeling better after his exercise. His shoulder does not ache and his scorecard shows better results.” The carts provided a new form of revenue for Pros. “The bag cart is definitely increasing the golf market. The reduction in caddie fees for many now makes it possible to afford the green fees.” (GOLFDOM April 1947)

Consequences after the introduction of the golf cart.

Golf course architects needed to adapt the areas around the greens for the golf cart. The editors of  GOLFDOM argued golf course architecture must change: “The design of future golf courses will be planned around the bag cart traffic. Traps may be located differently and fairway contouring to handle the cart traffic. To assist in the protection of the golf course turf manufacturers changed the limit on the size of the wheel and the width of the tire to at least 1.5 inches”.  “The caddie cart pulled by the small boys now makes it possible for the player to carry all his clubs and equipment.” GOLFDOM April 1946 The freedom the golf cart provided encouraged women to play more rounds.


The Beginnings



WagnerIn 1945 while Bruce Williamson experimented with his new invention 13 other companies distributed carts or were about to design a pull cart. By May 1949 only 3 of the original existed. But a new crop of hopefuls began in the 1950’s. Examples of other carts on the market prior to 1950 include Wagner, Caddie Boy, Caddie Master, and Roll-King, Tag –a –Long Mi-Cart, Caddy Queen, Healthways, Jersey Co. In the 1950’s Rutledge, Nadco, Roll King and Con-Voy began production to compete with the Bag Boy cart.


Wagner Golf Cart

Master Caddie

Master Caddie Cart

“Production of an aluminium golf cart with retractable wheels has been started by the Jarman- Williamson Company. The collapsible cart made from lawnmower parts with  retractable wheels fold up like the wheels on an aircraft,” OREGIONIAN November 28th, 1945.

Bruce Williamson, member of the American Society of Tool Engineer, utilized his experiences creating tools for the aircraft industry, to invent his new “Folding Cart To Aid Golf”. Roy Jarman owner of a Chevrolet dealership in Oregon City provided the business expertise to the new partnership. The fledgling company converted an abandoned 10,000 square foot war factory located at 601 NE 28th Avenue. Also  the new company continued to employ workers from the old war factory. “The new ten pound gadget is designed to fit any golf bag and can easily be wheeled about the course with one hand. When not in use it folds up like the retractable wheels on an airplane. This new company is one of the first to manufacture sports equipment from the light metals developed during the War.”

Bag Boy ad

Company Successes

After opening on November 28th, 1945, three months later on March 10th, 1946 the company had produced   3,000 units. As a reward for his masterful marketing campaign, Joseph R. Gerber, the company’s marketing guru, received the 3,000th one. Gerber focused the company’s strategy much like the inventors of Kleenex, Aspirin,  and Scotch Tape. The new product name “Bag Boy” became the consumer’s generic name for a golf cart. By 1948, 50,000 Bag Boy carts had been sold throughout Canada, US, and Hawaii.  In  April 1949 Bag Boy opened their Chicago plant to better serve the region east of the Mississippi.  Expanding the market world wide in February 1950 Bag Boy sold the British rights to AC Car Company giving them the exclusive right to manufacture the Portland, OR based Bag Boy cart   In North America  Bag Boy carts were  sold in 2700 dealers and 75,000 were privately owned.

In 1953 to add value to their Bag Boy cart Williamson patented a new gadget for the golfer. He attached a yardage meter to the cart wheel. Golfers could now prove their drives measured 300 yards. Also in 1953 Williamson, the constant innovator, expanded the  Bag Boy market  by inventing a new-patented version to supply the US Postal letter carriers. The carrier could now attach his letter & his parcel bags to the new cart.  “I know one thing. Miles (US Postal Representative)  has been so co-operative that we’re not going to make just 200 test carts. We’re going to make 201 and give him one for his own use.”

Full partnership and sale

In May 1955 Ray Jarman sold his Chevrolet dealership to devote all his time to the company. Bag Boy sales reached 375,00 units in Canada and US. On September 26th, 1956  the Company claimed  to be the largest manufacturer of golf carts in the world. On February 26th, 1960 Roy Jarman purchased Bruce Williamson’s interest in the company. “Jarman stated he and Williamson are forming a new operation devoted exclusively to research and development of new products.”  Strangely Williamson’s name disappeared from all connection with the golf industry. No further US patents were ever  issued to Norman Bruce Williamson. In the fifteen year period from 1945 – 1960 the Bag Boy Company manufactured 750,000 with sales offices in Chicago, Toledo, Atlanta, New Jersey, and California. The Play-Day golf cart and the  Cart-Mate golf  bags  formed part of Bag Boy operation in the late 1950’s

Unknown 2

Manufacturer early 1950’s Unknown

Dating Bag Boy carts can be accomplished by observing the wheels. Prior to 1960 the wheel had a solid hub with a thin rubber tires attached around the hub of the wheel. After 1960 to lower the cart weight the company installed open wire wheels. With regard to dating golf carts in general the manufacturers began installing the open wheels in 1955.




Mercury Cart

Roll King

Roll King Cart


Play-Day Cart with Cart Mate Bag by Bag Boy


Sit-in-Rest cart

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