A golfer drives down a hill in a golf cart at Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Hoover, Ala., on June 10, 2008.

AP Photo/Jay Reeves

Mark Twain once said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled."

But if you really want to take the walking out of golf altogether, just use a golf cart. Golf is one of the few sports (outside of motorsports, of course) that allows participants use motorized transportation as part of the game. And if you're doing it right, you can properly and politely use a golf cart when you're out on the course.

So, first off -- what is a golf cart? Actually, golf carts aren't even technically carts. A cart is something that can't move under its own power. A golf cart, on the other hand, is a small mechanized vehicle powered either by an electric motor or a small gasoline engine. On the golf course, golf carts carry two players and their bags. However, golf carts have a lot of uses that reach beyond traversing the back nine. Institutions that have a lot of ground to cover, where cars would be impractical, use golf carts to carry people and supplies where they're needed. For example, think of the courtesy cars found at most airports -- they're based on golf carts. In some communities, golf carts are the main means of transportation.

While you're wondering how to hit the perfect drive, you may also be wondering how that little cart that's ferrying you around the course works. In this article, we'll look at how golf carts work, including the many different types of carts that are out there, accessories for golf carts and even how you can get a tax credit by buying a golf cart.