CHURUBUSCO — Notre Dame may be one of the most famous colleges or universities in the world — especially among football fans. With South Bend only being a short distance away from Churubusco, it isn’t difficult to find fans of the Irish in this part of the state.
So, when Notre Dame officials contacted Dave Pearson and asked him to complete new golf carts for them, his answer was never in doubt.
Pearson, from the golf cart shop in Churubusco, along with the help of several local businesses and people working with him, was able to deliver six new golf carts to Notre Dame just in time for the team’s season opening football game against Michigan.
In the spring, Pearson was contacted by school officials, so he made the trip to South Bend to find out exactly what they were looking for.
“I went and met with them and came up with some ideas,” Pearson said. “They wanted something that would really stand out.”
Pearson delivered exactly what Notre Dame asked for.
He started out with new 2019 Yamaha carts. Then, Pearson went to work contacting local businesses to complete the project exactly how Notre Dame wanted the carts.
BNS Customs with Ryan Gaerte and Brock Schultz fitted the carts with custom wrapped vinyl.
The seats were first sent to Angela Enright, of Sew What, to be customized before they were moved to ABC Embroidery where Andy Gaerte put the Notre Dame logos on. At the shop, Pearson’s son Landon installed USB ports in the back seats of the carts while his daughter Mallory and her boyfriend, Clay Tinney, worked on the tops.
While that was all taking place, Pearson and Mark Banston were installing the lift kits. The carts all had to be raised 6 inches and fitted with new tires.
“There were many days we were working from 7:30 in the morning to late at night,” Pearson said. “We had 130 hours of work over two-and-a-half weeks just in the lift kits.”
Pearson and his team delivered the first three carts the week before Labor Day. They were able to complete the final three and get them to Notre Dame the week of the game against Michigan.
As soon as all of the carts were delivered to Notre Dame, social media directors had a photo shoot on the 50-yard line of the football field.
“The first thing they said was, ‘these are incredible,’” Pearson said.
Notre Dame is using the golf carts, which feature all front-facing seats, for recruits and the team’s nutritionist. As part of ESPN’s College Game Day coverage on the day of the Michigan game, the new carts were used to give a tour to a reporter from the network. Pictures of the new carts were also posted on the school’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
“For ’Busco and small vendors to have that exposure is great,” Pearson said.
The new carts for Notre Dame could lead to other opportunities for Pearson and the other businesses who built the carts. Pearson said the Yamaha distributor has already informed him that Michigan and Michigan State would like to talk to him, and he is hoping to be able to do carts for Purdue University and Indiana University as well.
Notre Dame has been a customer of Pearson’s for the past 10 years, as the football team has rented from the local golf cart shop for years.