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Ultimate Golf Cart Wheel and Tire Guide

Golf Cart Wheels and Tires- Be In The Know

If you have questions about golf cart wheels and tires- we have answers! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about golf cart wheels and tires.  Covered topics include wheel and tire sizing, when you need a lift kit, how to understand wheel and tire measurements, lug nut patterns and more! If you still have question, don't hesitate to reach out!

When Do I Need A Lift Kit?

Wheel and Tire Combinations with an 18" - 20" Overall Diameter

Wheel and Tire Sizing Guide 18"-20" Overall Height

Wheel and Tire Combination with 18" Overall Diameter

• EZGO: No Lift Kit Required

• Club Car: No Lift Kit Required

• Yamaha: No Lift Kit Required

Wheel and Tire Combination with 20" Overall Diameter

• EZGO: No Lift Kit Required

• Club Car: Minimum 1" / 3" Lift Kit Required (depending on tire tread)

• Yamaha: G-Series (G1-G22 Models)- Minimum 3" Lift Kit Required

Drive (G29)- No Lift Kit Required

Drive2- No Lift Kit Required

Wheel and Tire Combinations With a 22" -23" Overall Diameter

Wheel and Tire Sizing Guide 20"-22" Overall Height

Wheel and Tire Combinations with a 22" Overall Diameter

• EZGO: Minimum 3" Lift Kit Required

• Club Car: Minimum 4" Lift Kit Required

• Yamaha: G Series (G1-G22 Models)- Minimum 5" Lift Kit Required

Drive (G29)- Minimum 3" Lift Kit Required

Drive2- Minimum 3" Lift Kit Required

Wheel and Tire Combinations with a 23" Overall Diameter

• EZGO: Minimum 5" / 6" Lift Kit Required

• Club Car: Minimum 6" Lift Kit Required

• Yamaha: G Series (G1-G22 Models)- Minimum 6" Lift Kit Required

Drive (G29)- Minimum 5" / 6" Lift Kit Required

Drive2- Minimum 5" / 6" Lift Kit Required

How Do I Understand Golf Cart Wheel and Tire Sizing?

Overall Tire Height

Perhaps the most important metric you need to know is the overall tire height of a specific wheel and tire combo. The overall diameter of a golf cart wheel and tire is typically between 18 and 23 inches. Depending on your cart's make and model, the overall height will dictate whether or not you need a lift kit and, if you do, what size you will need. As a general rule of thumb, EZGO carts have the largest wheel wells and can accommodate the most amount of wheels without needing a lift (up to 20"). Club Car and Yamaha golf carts both have smaller wheel wheels and can take wheel and tire combos at 18" without a lift kit but will need a lift kit for anything over that size.

Why Do I See Multiple Wheel Sizes But The Same Overall Height?

When scrolling through our wheels and tires you may notice multiple different sizes with the same overall height. What is going on there? Let's use 10, 12" and 14" wheels as examples when answering this question. A 10", 12" and 14" wheel and tire combo with the same overall height will vary in one aspect- the wheel to tire ratio. A 10" combo is going to have less wheel and more tire when compared to a 12" combo. Likewise, a 14" combo is going to have more wheel and less tire when compared to a 12" combo. If all three combo's have the same overall diameter, the difference will be in what "fills in that diameter". 10" combos will have less wheel and more tire. 12" combos will be the middle ground of wheel to tire ratio. 14" combo will have more wheel and less tire. Regarding which one is better? That comes down to personal preference. The more tire you have, the smoother the ride as there is more cushion to absorb bumps and impact. The more wheel you have, the flashier and more stylish your golf cart will look.

Understanding American (Standard) Sizing- With Diagram

American (Standard) Tire Sizing Example on a 23x10-14 wheel and tire combo. 23" is the approximate tire height. 23" is the approximate overall height. 10" is the approximate tire width. 14" is the size of the wheel.

If you see a golf cart wheel and tire combo with numbers that look something like this, you are looking at Standard Sizing measurements. These are easy to understand once you know what the numbers represent.

• The first number in the sequence ("23" in this example) is the overall diameter of the combination. As stated above, this measurement is taken from the bottom of the tire to the top of the tire.

• The second number ("10" in our example) is the approximate width of the tire. This would be the width if you were standing directly in front of your golf cart and were to look at the tire straight on, NOT looking at your cart from the side.

• The third number ("14") is the overall diameter of the wheel. This is measuring just the diameter of the wheel itself, not the complete combination. (The "wheel" is the metal part of the complete combination. The "tire" is the rubber.)

Understanding Metric Sizing- With Diagram

Metric Tire Size Calculation Example of a 215/35-12 wheel and tire combo. 215 is the approximate width of the tire in millimeters. 35 is the aspect ratio and dictates the height of the tire sidewall. 12 is the diameter of the wheel in inches.

Although slightly more complicated than standard sizing, metric sizing can be deciphered once you understand the order of the numbers and what they measure.

• The first number ("215" in our example) is the approximate width in millimeters of the tire. Like our example of the Standard Sizing, this would be the width of the tire from the view of standing in front of your golf cart.

• The second number ("35") is the aspect ratio. This number indicates how large the sidewall of the tire is and is the percentage of the tire width. In our example, the sidewall of the tire is 35 percent of 215 millimeters. That would give us a sidewall height of approximately 75.25 millimeters which is about 3".

• The third number ("12") is the diameter of the wheel just like it is in the Standard Sizing. This is not the diameter of the wheel and tire together, just the wheel (the metal part).

What Tire Tread Do I need?

Low Profile/Street

Whether you own a golf cart for personal or professional use, it is important to understand when to purchase street tires. Ideally, non-aggressive tread tires should be used when driving your golf cart in neighborhoods and residential areas since these tires help maintain even traction on pavement. Low-profile golf cart tires feature a smooth contact patch with wavy tread grooves to provide traction while dispersing moisture. As well as traction, street/turf tires will minimize the loud sound that occurs when driving on pavement with off-road tires. In addition to the benefits of pavement driving, many golf courses provide limited access to golf carts with off-road tires; using non-aggressive tread on your cart can help prevent damage to the course's fairways and greens. In addition, most low-profile tires fit under your Club Car, EZ-GO, or Yamaha golf cart without any need for a lift kit or modification! Ultimately, these tires benefit the cart owner who keeps their cart on roads, paved pathways, or the golf course.

Turf Tires
Turf tires are popular on golf carts used in the yard, farms, or golf courses. Think of this tread style as a “utility” golf cart tire offering better grip than an OEM sawtooth tire or street tire listed above. These turf tires provide a solid grip while remaining functional on other surfaces like what you find on a zero-turn lawnmower. Most golf courses should have no issue accepting turf tire treads.
Off-Road

Off-road golf cart tires are aggressive and can handle the toughest of terrain. If you regularly use your golf cart on trails, dirt roads, or farmlands, investing in off-road tires is vital. These specialized tires have an aggressive tread pattern that provides superior traction and handling in rough terrain. They also feature deeper grooves and thicker rubber construction, making them more durable and hold up against rocks, stones, and other outdoor hazards. Whether driving over trails or navigating muddy fields, off-road tires will give you the traction and stability you need to navigate these challenging terrains safely and easily. So if you want to enjoy worry-free riding on trails and other unpaved surfaces, be sure to invest in a set of quality off-road tires for your golf cart today. Keep in mind that larger golf cart wheels and tire combos typically weigh more, which requires more torque to get moving.

All-Terrain (Campground/Trail)

All-terrain golf cart tires have a variety of applications - campground, trails, or gravel roads, to name a few but are likely not allowed on the golf course due to the larger tread blocks, which also increase the noise factor on hard surfaces. All-terrain (Campground/Trail) tread tires are a middle ground tread that leans heavily toward off-road. There are plenty of tires in this category that are also in the Off-Road category, but the all-terrain tread style also has some tire treads that are less aggressive but don't quite reach street tire status. Some examples would be the "Lightning", "Street Fox" and "Timberwolf" tires. The tread on these tires is more closely grouped for less spacing, and the tread goes with the directional movement of the tire instead of cutting across it. The close tread grouping allows the wheel to crossover onto pavement driving more efficiently and reduces tire noise and wear and tear that off-road tires would experience on concrete or hard surfaces. As you move into oversized all-terrain golf cart tires, please note that these typically require a golf cart lift kit to accommodate.

Tire Tread Examples

Scroll Through The Photos Below To See Tire Tread Examples
GCS™ Forerunner™ 215/35-12 Street/Low Profile Tread Example

Street/Low Profile Tread

Pictured: GCS™ Forerunner™ Street Tire

Turf Tire Tread Example

Turf Tread

Pictured: Kenda K500 Super Turf Tire

Off-Road Tire Example

Off-Road Tread Style

Pictured: Arisun X-Trail Tire

All-Terrain Golf Cart Tire Tread Example

All-Terrain Tire Tread

Pictured: GTW® Timberwolf Tire

Golf Cart Lug Nuts and Bolt Patterns

Lug Nuts

Golf cart lug nuts come in two different measurements- standard or metric. This refers to the measurement of the lug nuts and the thread pattern that the lug nut employs. Club Car, EZGO and ICON use standard lug nuts (1/2x20 Standard (SAE) Thread) while Yamaha and Star EV carts will use metric lug nuts (12mmx1.25 Metric Thread). Gem Car also uses a metric lug nut measuring at (12mmx1.5 (common) or 10mmx1.5 (rare) Metric) If you own a different brand golf cart, be sure to check what lug nuts you need before purchasing.

Acorn Lug Nuts

Acorn lug nuts are the most common lug nut style in the golf industry. These popular lugs come in chrome and gloss black finishes that fit a variety of applications. Use a 19mm or 3/4” socket to install these onto your application with a socket wrench or torque wrench.

Spiked Lug Nuts

Adding spiked lug nuts to your golf cart will make your wheel and tire setup look mean and aggressive. Our 2-piece spiked lug nuts come in Chrome, Gloss Black, and Red finishes. First, use a 19mm or 3/4” socket to install the lug nut base bevel end. Once all four wheels are installed securely, hand tighten the lug nut spikes. Double-check that all lug nut components are fastened securely!

Spline Lug Nuts

Spline lug nuts are a nice touch to your EZGO, Club Car, or Yamaha golf cart featuring added security. GOLFCARTSTUFF™ Spline Lug Nuts sets include a special 6 point key that you must use to install and remove your lug nuts. Simply attach the key to your socket wrench and attach these lug nuts. Some aftermarket golf cart wheels require spline lug nuts due to space restrictions

Acorn Lug Nut Example
Spiked Lug Nut Example
Spline Lug Nut Example

Bolt Pattern

Almost every golf cart on the market today will have the standard "4x4" bolt pattern. This measurement is technically 4x101.6mm. This measurement is taken from the center of one stud to the center of a diagonal opposite stud. If you own a Club Car, EZGO, or Yamaha Golf Cart, this is the bolt pattern you have. If you think you have a different bolt pattern you may need to make sure that is not a wheel covering on your cart- sometimes different wheel or hub coverings can make it look like the wheel has a 5 lug nut pattern but underneath it is still only four. Always remove any wheel/hub coverings to check what bolt pattern you have.

Golf Cart Wheel bolt pattern example photo.

Bonus- Golf Cart Wheel Offsets

GOLFCARTSTUFF™ receives many questions on the offset of the golf cart wheels that we carry. What does ET-15 mean? How do I know the offset of my wheels? What offset should I put on my Club Car golf cart? We will try to make this simple. On the backside of every golf cart wheel or automobile wheel, you should find an “ET” number stamped into it. The letters “ET” stand for Einpress Tiefe, which is German for offset. Offset refers to the mounting point of the wheels in relation to the golf cart hub mounting surface.

Positve, Negative, and Neutral Offsets

Postive Offset- A positive offset would carry the "ET" symbol with a plus sign and a number. Example- "ET+25". Contrary to what the name may imply, a positive offset moves the wheel and tire further underneath your cart or vehicle.

Negative Offset- A negative offset would carry the "ET" symbol with a minus sign and a number. Example- "ET-25". A negative offset moves the wheel and tire further out from under your cart or vehicle.

Neutral Offset- A neutral offset mounts directly in the center of the wheel. Example- "ET-0". This wouldn't move your wheel and tire further out or in in relation to your cart.

What Offset Do Golf Cart Wheels Have?

Golf cart wheels almost always have a negative offset. This pushes your wheels and tires out from the cart to avoid rubbing your cart's frame and suspension components. If you have a very aggressive tread pattern or want a more unique look for your golf cart, you can also add wheel spacers which will push your wheel and tire combos even further away from your cart. Positive offsets are extremely rare in the golf cart industry. Use caution when installing positive off-set wheels on your golf cart as this greatly increases the chances of rubbing and interference. All of the golf cart wheels that we sell will have a negative offset of "ET-15" or "ET-25".

"ET" Offset Example
Wheel Off-Set ET Stamping Photo
Golf Cart Wheel Offset Example. Covers Positive, Negative, and Neutral Offsets

Positive Offset: Moves your wheels and tires further underneath the body of your cart

Center Offset: The wheel is mounted to the hub assembly in the direct center line of the wheel.

Negative Offset: Moves your wheels and tires further out from underneath the body of your cart.

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