Street gang membership is alive and well in PB, and participants should be prepared to join in on the ride – the golf cart ride, that is.
The Pacific Beach Golf Cart Gang describes themselves as “a friendly bunch of PB neighbors who cruise the hood in a street-legal golf cart, looking for front row parking on the beach year-round” .
Like any real gang, there is no board of directors, no membership fees, and no formal agenda, other than having fun.
The group is based in Pacific Beach, but anyone who can make it to the events is welcome.
Linda Rosas Townson has lived in PB for years. She started the group in 2012 when she and a group of her neighbors all received golf carts around the same time.
“We wanted to join the PB Holiday Parade with our golf carts, but there were only two of us that first year in 2013 – me and my neighbor, Chris Shay,” Townson said. “We put flyers on every golf cart we saw and asked them if they wanted to join our gang.”
She said there was an overwhelmingly positive response.
“The following year we had 20 golf carts in the parade. After that, we really grew,” she said.
PB resident Derek Major is a member of the gang and loosely co-leads the group with Townson. The two agree on events to attend, which are then announced on their Facebook page. Major then prepares a map of the event, with directions around PB to meet and take pictures.
Why golf carts?
“Why not?” Major asked back. “You can drive these street legal golf carts around PB and it’s so much more fun than the hassle of getting in a car. You can get around town really fast, and that’s just fun, man. It’s like being 16 and driving a car for the first time. »
Actual golf carts are “all things true” according to Townson. She said many of the new cart models are loaded with everything from speakers, touchscreens and computers to auxiliary power and custom rims.
“Mine is the biggest old drummer, I fancy a golf cart,” she joked. She added that she still loves her golf cart, named Baby.
“No one puts baby in the car!” she joked.
From the original Gang of Two, the group now has a group of 235 members, based on the Facebook page. Due to their creativity and holiday spirit, the Gang has won the “Car Category First Place Award” in the PB Holiday Parade every year since 2017, not including 2020 when the event was canceled.
Ironically, Townson said his neighbor had been sidelined since their first outing because Shay’s golf cart was “dead” after that first parade. But after a five-year hiatus, Shay finally has a new steed, and another member of the Golf Cart Gang will soon be riding again.
For the PB Holiday Parade 2021, the band went with the vintage theme. Club member Pamela Jane Taylor decked out her wagon as the Mystery Machine from the cartoon show “Scooby-Doo” and was a crowd favorite.
Unfortunately, Taylor’s golf cart was stolen after the parade. Like any good legend involving a gang, no one is quite sure how he disappeared – or how he was eventually found.
“I got it back, that’s all that matters,” Taylor said evenly when asked about the incident.
“Pam is going all out, all the time,” Townson said. “She is so much fun and she wants to do every event. She loves the community so much.
The gang is also on the streets on Halloween and the 4th of July.
Members also participate in a beach cleanup once a month, joining the organization Purpose First Beach Clean Ups and Waterbar Restaurant.
Before COVID, the gang volunteered to drive people to the top of the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial in La Jolla in their golf carts, as there is limited parking in the area. and it is difficult for many to climb on foot. Townson said she hopes to resume the volunteer effort when the pandemic subsides.
Meanwhile, the Gang continues to grow in membership and ambition.
“We are just the neatest little happy group. There’s a kind of golf cart culture that happens when we get together and it’s great,” Townson said. “And we get the best parking spots at the beach all year round.”
One look at the band members, smiling and having fun everywhere they go, and it’s obvious they’re all in agreement.
“It’s the best gang ever,” Major said.
The PB Golf Cart Gang Facebook page can be found at tinyurl.com/PBGolfCarts.