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A Golf Cart American Dream

Keith Lacey builds thriving golf cart business by treating customers like family

Article by Erica Hernandez

Photography by Mike Wilson

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

Keith Lacey, a Tomball native and welder by training, has suddenly found himself living the American dream. A family man and salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, is the founder and owner of Lacey’s Golf Carts, where he helps customers purchase a cart, repair one or add custom details to their existing vehicle. 

It’s not like he’d never done this type of thing before. Keith started welding as a 14-year-old in his dad’s metal fabrication shop. Eventually, he became a full-time welder for his father, but over the years he made a hobby of rebuilding dirt bikes and go carts. When he first tried his hand at refurbishing golf carts, he started simple. He installed a new back seat on one, along with new tires, headlights and made mechanical changes before posting both vehicles online for sale. The carts sold in two hours. Keith then knew he was on to something. He started doing more custom work like adding Alpha bodies that resemble Ford trucks to his carts and reselling them. Word spread, and what started as a backyard side hustle soon grew into a fleet of custom golf carts all equipped with Keith’s personal touches.

In 2020, Keith quit his full-time job and officially opened his current showroom just as government shutdown orders rolled through. The effects were devastating for many small businesses while others did well. After learning that golf cart sales were deemed essential during the pandemic as part of the transportation industry, Keith flung open his doors and customers poured in. “People started buying everything they could think of to have fun at home and luckily golf carts were on the list,” Keith says.

2020 proved to be a landmark year and 2021 even better. Keith hired extra help for the showroom, brought on a trusted friend, partner and accountant and together they doubled business revenues. This year, business continues to thrive.

These days Keith handles everything from hiring to helping customers decide what color neon lighting they want on their vehicles. He runs a small team and likes to keep the store stocked with new inventory. Customers can shop golf-course-ready or passenger carts from makers like Icon, Evolution and Epic with most models available for next-day delivery. Staffers are friendly, no-pressure and care more about building great rapport than just making the sale. Keith, a father of six, even installed an arcade room where kids can play while parents shop. He’s fond of telling stories and building relationships with his customers, a trait he learned from watching his father run his own business. 

“You do what you have to do to make sure your customers are happy,” Keith says. “Because your customers are your best salespeople.”

John Barilla, a longtime customer, is one of those salespeople. He enjoys sharing about his buying experience with others after he and his family purchased a custom golf cart from Keith.

“He was very honest, very personal and friendly,” John says.

Keith’s business is as much about his own family as it is about golf carts. Keith credits his wife, Danielle, for helping him grow the business. She helped single-handedly run their household and care for their young children while Keith invested countless hours into the business. His children are also regulars at the shop. These days, much like his father before him, Keith invites his children to come work and earn extra income. 

In the not-so-distant future, Keith hopes to open a second showroom and continue growing the business. It’s been a fascinating journey, but the ride’s not over yet.

“Never in a million years would I have thought golf carts would be my thing,” he says. “But I love it.”

9807 Farm to Market 2920, Tomball


Businesses featured in this article