Offering Sales and Service for Myrtle Beach’s Favorite Toy
by Melissa LaScaleia
Russell Graham is from Conway, and has lived in the area his entire life. He started Graham Golf Cars in the early ’80s— traveling around locally and servicing people’s golf carts.
Over the years, his company has grown from a single truck and trailer, and three employees riding around to see if people needed service, to five retail locations and over fifty employees.
He is still the owner and operator, and very active in the business today, stepping up and lending a hand whenever the need arises.
Graham Golf Cars has several locations along the Grand Strand. Their Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach locations sell, service, and store golf cars. Their Garden City location deals exclusively with rentals. All other locations, except Myrtle Beach, also rent golf cars.
Their showrooms are the largest along the Grand Strand, where they sell customizable as well as basic cars. Pre-owned cars start around $3,500; fully reconditioned ones start around $6,000; and new range from $8,500-$11,500.
Graham Golf Cars isn’t so much focused on selling golf cars as they are on the customer service they provide— taking care of the car and the customer for a lifetime.
“I came to work here five years ago after running my own business for forty-five years,” says Carl Sherman, the manager of the Surfside Beach location. “I owned my own smoke and fire restoration business in North Carolina. Seven years ago, I was ready to retire, and built a house at the beach and moved here. Soon thereafter I told my wife, ‘I cannot sit around, I need something to do.”
“I had a friend who worked for Mr. Graham, and he introduced us. Two days later, I came in and started working and I’ve been here ever since. It’s been about six years now. I come through the door because I want to. There are a good bunch of people here, they’re friendly and make you feel like you’re family; we all work well together.
“During the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen people come in and buy repeatedly from Russell because of the excellent customer service they receive. He follows up with them and does anything in his power to meet their needs. The people who work here extend the same level of service—it’s part of our company culture.”
“Being able to maintain and repair the product that you sell is just as important as being able to sell it,” Carl continues. “For that reason, we invest a lot in our service technicians and the customer service of the repair department, to treat our customers right.”
Graham Golf Cars has about twenty mechanics working in their shops, and nine service drivers who pick up and deliver golf cars that have been repaired, serviced, or upgraded. They cover Horry, Georgetown, and Brunswick Counties on a daily basis.
“Every refurbished car comes with a warranty, and we’ll deliver it for a fee as far as Charleston; we offer free local delivery for the Grand Strand area,” Carl says. “If something happens within that warranty period, we pick up your car and repair it for you, and get it back to you as fast as possible.”
In Myrtle Beach, golf cars are a way of life. Instead of owning a second car, many people instead invest in a golf car to move around the neighborhood. It’s less hair-raising to lend your teen, and fits in with the tempo and balmy climate with ease.
Graham Golf Cars has an in-house fabrication department so they can offer more to their customers. They have played a big part in designing and manufacturing new parts and accessories that are available nationwide.
“We make a lot of things ourselves,” Carl says. “People come in from everywhere wanting to buy the accessories that we make. There’s a bar on the back of the car called a safety bar. But Mr. Graham also turned it into a chair rack. In the summer we can’t even keep them in stock they’re so popular.
“I really like to see, when a customer comes in, looking for a golf car but not really knowing what they want, the excitement and enthusiasm on their face when they realize that they can special order a golf car and put together the color schemes and accessories that they want, and fully personalize it.
“I think knowing they have a part in designing the car brings them joy. We do a lot of design work to help personalize and make the car their own. We often build between twenty to thirty a week. People are just as glad to get that golf car as they are to get a new car. It’s just remarkable to see their faces light up. People like to look good in their golf cars. They take a lot of pride in them.”
“I think Mr. Graham has a service here that can’t be touched by anybody else at the Beach,” he adds. “It’s unique to be able to purchase a golf car that you build from the bottom up. The price is fair, and the service can’t be beat. Graham Golf Cars wants to do everything they can to be a positive part of the experience of helping their customers acquire, upgrade or repair their golf car— to do what’s right for the car and the customer. We’re always here to help.”
You have to be at least 16 years old and have an unrestricted driver’s license to drive a golf car in Myrtle Beach. Golf cars can be driven on any 35 mph or less, secondary road during daylight hours. They can cross, but not drive on main roads, and are not allowed on bike paths or sidewalks.
Graham Golf Cars