Golf Cart Smarts

Last week during league play, an empty golf cart rolled down the hill and tipped into a bunker. File that under amusing/unexpected/semi-dangerous golf moments – really, the game never fails to entertain.

The runaway got me thinking about smart cart usage …

Who doesn’t love golf carts with their cartoon look and silly beep-beep backups?  Is there anything finer than hopping aboard with your favorite partner, anticipating the hills and thrills of the next few hours?  It’s worth noting though – carts cause much more damage to the course than walkers, and are involved in many serious injuries each year.

BE KIND TO THE COURSE
ALWAYS, AND ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S WET

  • Know the local cart rules
    Before beginning a round, ask about the course’s cart rules – they may change daily based on course conditions. Can you drive on the fairway, is the 90 degree rule in effect, etc.
  • What IS the 90 degree rule?
    Use cart path until you get parallel to your ball, then enter fairway at 90 degrees. (My friend has her personal interpretation – when it gets to be 90 degrees out, take a cart!!)
  • Steer clear of delicate areas of the course.
    Don’t drive:
    - Within hazard boundary lines
    - Close to water hazards or bunkers (unless there’s a path)
    - Over or close to tee boxes
    - Through mud or casual water
    - Close to greens

CARTS SHOULD INCREASE SPEED OF PLAY, NOT HOLD IT UP
Always be thinking how to use the cart efficiently.

  • Drive & Drop
    If you and your partner hit balls to different parts of the course, drive to nearest ball, drop off the player with several clubs and proceed to the next ball. Players can be ready more quickly,  and play moves along. Likewise, as you come to the green, you might drop off a player with his wedge and putter while you go park the cart.  Efficiency in all things!
  • Be a smart parker.  When you get to the green, park your cart at the back or on the side, positioned so that you can walk off the course and be quickly on your way to the next tee. You will not hold up the players in back of you. Remember – score when you get to the next tee.

BE KIND TO OTHERS

  • Carts are noisy. Stop when someone is about to hit the ball. Carts are VERY noisy when going in reverse.
  • If you have to drive to another part of the course – say you’ve left a club behind – be very aware of other golfers and where/when they are hitting.

CART SAFETY CAN BE BOILED DOWN TO THREE WORDS – “DON’T BE STUPID”
It’s a day of golf, not Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

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