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Cart Etiquette


StuM

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In the thread on being the only walker in a group there was a suggestion to discuss Cart Etiquette and I am starting this thread so that one can stay on-topic.  To see the background:

I'll get things started.  There are many aspect to "Cart Etiquette" including proper handling, staying in appropriate areas and "Pace of Play".  There may be others and I hope this thread encompasses them as appropriate

I will start with a generalization on using carts related to "Pace of Play" since @famousdavisfeels that carts themselves are a problem.  I contend any pace-of-play problem with golfers in a cart vs walkers is the GOLFER, not the CART.

Assuming you have the same golfer who understands pace of play then I feel a cart would not slow the pace down and in fact it may speed up play.  Per the following article golf carts can average between 12 and 14 miles per hour.  All golfers have a different walking speed but I doubt any are above 5 MPH.  Thus driving a cart to your ball should take much less time than walking to it.  Thus any pace-of-play issues would be with how the golfer utilizes the cart, not the cart itself.

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  What is the Average speed of a golf cart? A standard version of an electric golf cart produces more than enough power, with an…

I see many problems with how carts are utilized and below are some suggestions to keep up the pace of play.

1) When at the tee box, park your carts so that once you have hit you can easily replace your club and be ready to drive to your ball without interruption.  All too often I see the carts "Bumper to Bumper" so that the back cart cannot move until the front cart moves.  If the front cart is that of the last golfer to tee off both carts need to wait for that last golfer to find his tee, clean/cover/replace his club in the bag and get in the cart before either can proceed.  Sitting at the tee box waiting for a player to fumble with the head cover, etc. is just wasted time, the sooner you get moving the sooner you get to the ball. I suggest you park so that either cart can proceed on its own without being impeded by the other cart.  That way, while the last player to tee off is cleaning his club, etc. the other cart can already be heading down the fairway.  This will get them to their ball quicker and if a ball requires searching they can begin the search quicker.  It is the "Time Between Shots" that most impacts pace of play.  The idea is to get to your ball quickly then start your prep. 

2) In the Fairway, as long as you do not interfere with another player's line you should drop a player at their ball and once they have pulled their club you can proceed to your ball to prepare for your shot.  All too often I see a player sitting in the cart on one side of the fairway while the 'Cart Partner" is waiting for the green to clear to hit the approach shot.  Then the driver only goes to his/her ball after that player has played (and cleaned his club & replaced his cover).  As long as you do not interfere with another player, drop the 1st off then go directly to your ball and begin your prep.  That way, once the green clears both golfers are ready to hit.  After the shots, one can walk over to the cart or the cart can drive back to pick up the other.  That will reduce the time between the 2 golfer's shots.  This does require judgement but usually it is fairly obvious.  If your ball is on the left side and mine is maybe 10-15 yards further on the right side I can go to my ball without interfering with you.  Hey, I get it, we all have a bad shank now and then but if I'm 30 yards to your right and only 10-15 yards forward odds are you will not hit me.  If that is a frequent issue then maybe the practice range is a good suggestion.

3) Searching for balls.  If a player hits a wayward shot then you need to judge the best way to proceed.  There are variables but consider.  You may drop one player at their ball then the other quickly drives over to the area to help search.  You may even want both players in the cart to make their shots before joining the search.  What you want to avoid is all in the group searching for the ball while there are 3 playable balls just sitting there waiting.  Carts move quickly, you can hit your ball then get to the search area pretty fast in most cases.

4) Seldom should both carts in a group be sitting together.  How often are all 4 balls in the same area?  I would argue "Not Often".  Even if you are waiting for the group ahead, get players to their balls and have them begin to prep for the shot.  Sitting there talking until the green clears then going to your ball is a simple waste of time.  Again, the idea is to minimize the amount of time between shots.  

4) At the Green, this is very similar to being at the tee box.  Park so that you can easily proceed without waiting for all golfers to re-enter the carts.  Lets face it, some players are slower getting into the cart then others.  Once all have putted, you have replaced your putter get in the cart and go to the next hole.

5) At the Green - Scorecards, this is no different than when walking.  Do not sit at the green to fill out your score card.  Move forward to the next tee so the group behind can hit up.  There will be plenty of time to write 4 numbers on a piece of paper at the next tee box. The sooner you get to the next tee box the sooner a player can begin prepping for their shot.

Looking forward to comments & additions.

 

 

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Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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I'll just say this: there are many times a golfer should just hold his club and get in the cart. If they have a head cover, grab the head cover perhaps and put it on while you're in the cart, and then just make one trip to your bag: put your driver away and grab your 7I. Don't make two trips: once to fumble around with your head cover and then again to get your 7I. Just do them in ONE trip.

If you hit the green on a par three, and can throw your club in the bag and grab your putter before the cart is ready to go, cool. Otherwise, get in the cart and grab your putter when you put your 7I away. Or grab your wedge if you missed the green AND your putter… when you arrive at the green.

Just get going.

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Everything I've seen so far mentioned in this thread I was taught to do by the neighbor who brought me into the game, incl. bringing both wedge and putter if you're going to be chipping in from right near the green.

Most times, though, I will put my driver/iron/whatever back, head cover and all, before getting back in the cart.  I use in-cart time to vape, grab a drink of water, grab a bite of a protein bar, or what have you.  Requires two hands ;-)  Exception is if my strike was really short and I'll be using the same club again.  Then I hold onto it--if I even bother getting back in the cart.  (Yeah, sometimes they've been so st00pid short it was quicker to just walk to my ball and let my  partner drive on.)

One thing I've seen suggested I may try is take a head cover off while walking to the ball and drop it near me or stuff it in a back pocket, then grab and put it back on as I walk back to the cart.

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@StuM, thanks for the tip about not parking too close to the other cart (tee and green). I was not the driver yesterday but there were a few times we just sat there waiting for the guys in the cart in front of us to move. Sometimes "going around" is difficult but there are many more where "going around" would speed things up.

Once more proof that an old dog can learn new tricks. 😉

p.s. Also, you are spot on in the debate whether walking is as efficient as carting. Poorly utilized carts may be comparable or slower than walking. A decent player or players properly using a cart are so much faster than  a walker(s). Two days ago I played and pushed with another player in a cart. He was a good player and fortunately he took pity on me or he would have run me ragged. I had to bust my behind so as to not hold him up too much.

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Brian Kuehn

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All the chatter about 'cart etiquette', pace with carts, etc... do this, do that, etc...

On a normal day at a Public/Muni, it makes NO difference in the time it takes to play 18 holes. The pace is already set once you arrive. You can only be as fast as the slowest group ahead. If you have a walker in the group, it makes no difference. Surprisingly enough, when I play as a walker with my buddies in carts, we finish at the same time. 

As long as each group keeps up, who cares what people do in other groups? Other than the usual- 'don't go here, don't drive on greens, tees, etc..' 

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36 minutes ago, RayG said:

All the chatter about 'cart etiquette', pace with carts, etc... do this, do that, etc...

On a normal day at a Public/Muni, it makes NO difference in the time it takes to play 18 holes. The pace is already set once you arrive. You can only be as fast as the slowest group ahead. If you have a walker in the group, it makes no difference. Surprisingly enough, when I play as a walker with my buddies in carts, we finish at the same time. 

As long as each group keeps up, who cares what people do in other groups? Other than the usual- 'don't go here, don't drive on greens, tees, etc..' 

A true statement. Kind of preaching to the choir here. But, if the dumbass 4 groups ahead will take one more/less club to his 200 yard drive into the right rough and put down the range finder, it just speed up the game by 4-5 minutes. But, it also means having a pro-active course marshal on busy days to crack the whip. I support the use of a cattle prod by course marshal's.

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1 hour ago, snapfade said:

A true statement. Kind of preaching to the choir here. But, if the dumbass 4 groups ahead will take one more/less club to his 200 yard drive into the right rough and put down the range finder, it just speed up the game by 4-5 minutes. But, it also means having a pro-active course marshal on busy days to crack the whip. I support the use of a cattle prod by course marshal's.

Course Marshal, what is that?  I can't remember the last time I saw one of those at a muni. :8)

Christian

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On 7/7/2023 at 3:51 PM, StuM said:

Assuming you have the same golfer who understands pace of play then I feel a cart would not slow the pace down and in fact it may speed up play.  Per the following article golf carts can average between 12 and 14 miles per hour. 

My cart does 17 mph. It really moves but that's not really the point. They are faster than walking for sure, especially when crossing streets, getting to farther away tees, etc. Florida courses can be spread out so its an advantage. 

On 7/7/2023 at 3:51 PM, StuM said:

All too often I see the carts "Bumper to Bumper" so that the back cart cannot move until the front cart moves.

Great point, I always try to leave space. 

On 7/7/2023 at 9:42 PM, iacas said:

I'll just say this: there are many times a golfer should just hold his club and get in the cart. If they have a head cover, grab the head cover perhaps and put it on while you're in the cart,

If I am last to tee off, or have to move up to another tee box, the club is in hand. 

So I transitioned from muni golf to a country club. The whole premise of the club is to play under 4 hours. Its a big deal and due to club rules there can only be 2 carts for 4 people. Having been a cart player most of my life, I know the tricks to ready golf and pride myself on being ready to go. 

So MJ has a course here (Hobe Sound) called Grove XXIII. The carts reportedly go 40 mph. A guy I know (ex ball player) played a 7 some (individual carts) under 3 hours with MJ himself. I just kept thinking someone is going to fly into a tree. The stories coming out of that club are amazing. 

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1 hour ago, TourSpoon said:

So MJ has a course here (Hobe Sound) called Grove XXIII. The carts reportedly go 40 mph. A guy I know (ex ball player) played a 7 some (individual carts) under 3 hours with MJ himself. I just kept thinking someone is going to fly into a tree. The stories coming out of that club are amazing. 

40mph sounds like an accident waiting for an idiot.  Could you imagine going that fast and trying to stop on a slope with a little dew on the grass?  

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Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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On 7/8/2023 at 12:40 PM, SEMI_Duffer said:

One thing I've seen suggested I may try is take a head cover off while walking to the ball and drop it near me or stuff it in a back pocket, then grab and put it back on as I walk back to the cart.

I almost always walk, but if I'm on a course that doesn't allow it, one thing I do is take all headcovers off and leave them in the basket. I like my clubs as much as the next person, but they're not made of eggshells and a little bit of rattling in a cart is not going to hurt them. Unless it's Michael Jordan's cart 😉

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56 minutes ago, StuM said:

40mph sounds like an accident waiting for an idiot.  Could you imagine going that fast and trying to stop on a slope with a little dew on the grass?  

I am just thinking hitting a normal hump in the fairway.  See ya! 

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3 hours ago, TourSpoon said:

So I transitioned from muni golf to a country club. The whole premise of the club is to play under 4 hours. Its a big deal and due to club rules there can only be 2 carts for 4 people. Having been a cart player most of my life, I know the tricks to ready golf and pride myself on being ready to go. 

So MJ has a course here (Hobe Sound) called Grove XXIII. The carts reportedly go 40 mph. A guy I know (ex ball player) played a 7 some (individual carts) under 3 hours with MJ himself. I just kept thinking someone is going to fly into a tree. The stories coming out of that club are amazing. 

I'd love to hear more about the transition, especially as it relates to carts, since I'm going to have to start using one soon.

I pretty much only use a cart if it's required -- course requirement or temperature in excess of 105 degrees.  I've almost never used a cart on a busy course, due to how rarely I play courses that require their usage (and when I do, it's the aforementioned temperature).  I'm going to be trying out a higher end course soon, and might transition to being a regular there instead of municipals (the one I like I moved away from, it's now 50 miles from where I live, and I don't like the ones near me anywhere near as much;  I'm going to try a higher end course, justifying the difference in expense as part of the difference in distance (it's 7 miles, not 50) and time it takes to get there, play, and get home.   Prior to a few years ago, I pretty much never played non-municipal courses. 

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22 minutes ago, Shindig said:

I'd love to hear more about the transition, especially as it relates to carts, since I'm going to have to start using one soon.

I pretty much only use a cart if it's required -- course requirement or temperature in excess of 105 degrees.  I've almost never used a cart on a busy course, due to how rarely I play courses that require their usage (and when I do, it's the aforementioned temperature).  I'm going to be trying out a higher end course soon, and might transition to being a regular there instead of municipals (the one I like I moved away from, it's now 50 miles from where I live, and I don't like the ones near me anywhere near as much;  I'm going to try a higher end course, justifying the difference in expense as part of the difference in distance (it's 7 miles, not 50) and time it takes to get there, play, and get home.   Prior to a few years ago, I pretty much never played non-municipal courses. 

I can tell you a few things about the move. First thing is that I wish I would have done it earlier. When you belong to a course its just different. There always is a game, there are always premium range balls, there is always a superior short game area. I have met some really great people, not all of them great golfers, but really good people. I just love having the access to a great facility. The cost is not really that much more, especially for something that I value. Let us know how it goes for you. I think its going to be great. 

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15 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

I can tell you a few things about the move. First thing is that I wish I would have done it earlier. When you belong to a course its just different. There always is a game, there are always premium range balls, there is always a superior short game area. I have met some really great people, not all of them great golfers, but really good people. I just love having the access to a great facility. The cost is not really that much more, especially for something that I value. Let us know how it goes for you. I think its going to be great. 

Thank you.  In my case, it's moving towards a higher-end daily-fee course than a country club, although apparently there's a player's card that includes membership tournaments and play days (which I guess are different from tournaments).  It isn't clear if it includes a handicap or not.   The big deal to me would be getting used to using a cart, so I'll have to study this thread a lot more.  But first I need to play the course and see if I even like it, and that's next week. 

-- Michael | My swing! 

"You think you're Jim Furyk. That's why your phone is never charged." - message from my mother

Driver:  Titleist 915D2.  4-wood:  Titleist 917F2.  Titleist TS2 19 degree hybrid.  Another hybrid in here too.  Irons 5-U, Ping G400.  Wedges negotiable (currently 54 degree Cleveland, 58 degree Titleist) Edel putter. 

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2 hours ago, Shindig said:

The big deal to me would be getting used to using a cart

I think the hardest part involves “Coordinating” the cart with a playing partner.  You need to consider their ball when deciding where to go first and when to stop and drop them off and when not too. You can’t just head straight to you ball. It’s not hard but does take a little getting used to.

I prefer to drive since at least I have control and do not get stuck in a cart with a driver that does not know what to do.  I do not want to be in “That Cart” (the one driving in circles people complain about).

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Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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15 hours ago, RFKFREAK said:

Course Marshal, what is that?  I can't remember the last time I saw one of those at a muni. :8)

They’re the guys in carts with no clubs sleeping under the shade of a tree on 14.

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9 hours ago, StuM said:

I prefer to drive since at least I have control

I prefer to "ride" so that I can get out of the cart and walk to my ball survey the shot or get dropped off. I quickly hit the flag with the range finder, take the sand bottle and 2 clubs (if I am not 100% sure) and when its my turn to play I am ready. I sand my divot, pick up my equipment and walk back to the cart. Many times I will walk in from 100 yards with my putter or I will drop off the driver and pull the cart up if needed. Some drivers like to get dropped off and have the rider take the cart and its really dependent on where the tee shots land. Usually I am the longer player, but if not the roles can and will change when people know how to play ready golf and use a little common sense (that's the key). 

I love getting paired with people like you that love to drive and know how to maneuver around the course. Its just a little more freeing for some reason. Maybe its because drivers usually keep score. 

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1 minute ago, TourSpoon said:

I prefer to "ride" so that I can get out of the cart and walk to my ball survey the shot or get dropped off. I quickly hit the flag with the range finder, take the sand bottle and 2 clubs (if I am not 100% sure) and when its my turn to play I am ready. I sand my divot, pick up my equipment and walk back to the cart. Many times I will walk in from 100 yards with my putter or I will drop off the driver and pull the cart up if needed. Some drivers like to get dropped off and have the rider take the cart and its really dependent on where the tee shots land. Usually I am the longer player, but if not the roles can and will change when people know how to play ready golf and use a little common sense (that's the key). 

I love getting paired with people like you that love to drive and know how to maneuver around the course. Its just a little more freeing for some reason. Maybe its because drivers usually keep score. 

I think we would get along well.

One thing that can frustrate me is when my ball is past a "no carts sign".  In those instances I often take my cart partner to thier ball then grab my weapons and and walk the remainder of the hole.  I tell my cart partner "I'll walk from here".   Then after I play my ball I look back and they walked away from the cart leaving it far from the green.  Then one of us needs to walk back to get it.  Maybe I need to be a little better in comunicating, but it seems when  I say "I'll walk from here" they should know they need to pull the cart up after making thiere shot.  

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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