Some feel golf, in its truest form, must be played while walking.
Simply mention the words “golf cart” to a golf purist and you are sure to see a scowl spread across their face.
What the rules of golf say about power carts
The rules of golf do not directly indicate whether or not a power cart can be used, and ultimately leaves the decision up to individual course committees. In our own jurisdiction, the Golf Association of Ontario is now allowing players to use power carts in their tournaments.
What walking the course really means
During an average 18-hole round, a golfer travels up to 5 miles and spends 4-5 hours on the course. However, during that period they may only have contact with the ball about 5% of the time (roughly 100 times), with the rest of the time being spent getting to the next shot. With an average golf bag weighing anywhere between 25 and 45 pounds, it can be quite a workout walking the course and carrying your bag.
Benefits of walking the course
By walking the course many believe that you stay more in tune with the course and the pace of the game. Your body keeps moving and you stay warm and alert. Statistics also say that you burn up to 50% more calories by walking as opposed to riding the course.
Benefits of power carts
Contrary to what many may believe, a power cart doesn’t necessarily make your game any quicker. However, for many the game is not just about the shot, but it is also a social outing. Riding in a cart allows you time to relax and socialize between holes. And when the weather is less than desirable, it provides you some respite from the elements. While many argue walking the course honours the traditions of the game, it is clear that power carts are here to stay.
Golf Cart Rules of Etiquette
- Drive carts carefully, and avoid making sharp turns that damage grass.
- Stay away from bunkers, off grass mounds, and stay on cart paths wherever possible.
- Keep at least 15 yards away from tee decks and greens.
- Never drive your cart while others in your group are making a stroke.
- Always park your cart behind the tee deck you will be hitting from, unless the cart path allows otherwise.
- When on a fairway never move your cart ahead of the golfers in your party who haven’t yet hit.
- Obey all roped off areas and golf cart directional signs.
- When parking always park on the side of the path where the green is located and closest to the next tee, or in the direction that you will be heading next.