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Extra fee to have a non-golfer ride along in your cart?


gsu_paintballer
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What are your opinions on this? I understand it if you are playing a course where random people are paired together. However, the courses I play allow singles to go out alone. For that reason, it doesn't affect the course at all if I go out by myself or if someone rides along with me.

I've quit playing at two courses because of this, and I think it's ridiculous. Like I said, if the course was going to pair me up, I would understand the charge. However, I don't get it when singles are allowed out alone.
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What are your opinions on this? I understand it if you are playing a course where random people are paired together. However, the courses I play allow singles to go out alone. For that reason, it doesn't affect the course at all if I go out by myself or if someone rides along with me.

doesn't make sense to me either, unless they think you're trying to rip them off and the person riding with you would eventually play somewhere around the turn or something....... I've heard of people taking their young children and not having too pay for them......
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The extra rider fee should only apply when, because of your rider someone else will have to take an additional cart. In this instance that clearly isn't the case and people are following the rule to the letter and ignoring the intent.
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I think it shouldnt have an extra cost unless it takes an extra cart. Also, If me and a buddy ride, we share a cart but both pay 14$ for 18 holes. If I play alone and ride, I pay 14$. So since we share a cart shouldnt it cost us just 7$ each? I always wondered this, and have thought of asking for separate carts just to see what they would say
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It is just a rip off and serves no purpose other than to put a few bucks in their pockets. My wife rides with me sometimes and for that reason, I will not play a course that charges for a riding non-golfer. Too many courses out there.
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The first time I ran into this was 5 years ago. My Father in law wanted to go play a course that boasted beautiful views of the mountains. My son was 6 and wasn't playing on the course at that time. When we went to pay the guy said that will be an extra $15 for the kid to ride. I immediately said well we will go somewhere else! My Father in law insisted he wanted to play the course and he would pay the extra for my son. I reluctantly agreed but let the guy at the counter know I thought it was rediculous.

I later told the pro at my home course and he also thought it was rediculous. His feeling is you should do everything you can to get kids on the course because they will someday be your future customers.

It turned out the course with the so called beautiful mountain views was a cow pasture and will never get mine or my sons business again! Not because it's a garbage course, thats just one reason, but mainly because of thier greed and lack of promotion of the game to juniors!!!!!!

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I think it shouldnt have an extra cost unless it takes an extra cart. Also, If me and a buddy ride, we share a cart but both pay 14$ for 18 holes. If I play alone and ride, I pay 14$. So since we share a cart shouldnt it cost us just 7$ each? I always wondered this, and have thought of asking for separate carts just to see what they would say

Basically what they are saying is that the cart fee is $28. If you go out solo you only pay half of that. Some courses word it as the cart fee per person is $14. Either way, they are getting $14 from everyone who uses a cart.

It is a little ridiculous that many courses won't let a non-player ride for free. I can understand it on a busy Saturday where they may not have enough carts, but as someone else said, if I go out solo or as the third person of a threesome, why couldn't someone come along for the ride?

I will judge my rounds much more by the quality of my best shots than the acceptability of my worse ones.

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I was told once that it's a liability issue. According to this source, by paying green fees or in this case a cart fee the golf course is not liable for any injuires incurred by a golf ball, flying clubs, or whatever. The point of sale is the agreement. If someone were not to have paid the course could be held liable since there was no transaction. I have no idea if this is true or not and my source who is an honest guy isn't a course owner but at the time I heard it it made sense. Now I am curious about this. I'm going to dig into this further.
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Fee or not, you should be glad the course is letting a non-player out with you at all.

I've seen many courses that will only allow golfers on the course. Nobody else. Maybe it's a liability issue.

Cart revenue is a profit center for the courses that use them. If you don't want to pay the extra fee for a ride along spectator, it looks like you have 2 clear choices.

1. Only play courses that allows free passengers.

2. Leave the non player at home.

To complain because a business is charging a fee for something it normally charges a fee for, is senseless. Aren't cart fees usually separate from greens fees anyway? You pay a cart fee to ride in a cart, and pay a greens fee to play golf.

Is the non player doing one of those activities?

Because he's not doing one, should the other be free?
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Fee or not, you should be glad the course is letting a non-player out with you at all.

Don't go bringing logic into the discussion

Seriously though... the only time I feel the course is being somewhat greedy is when they try to charge a full fee for the cart regardless of whether there is one or two people in the cart. My buddies and I play as a threesome 95% of the time and there are some courses that charge $25 bucks for a cart regardless the number of players.
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It's a damn shame, but down here in FL, many courses don't allow walking. One course in my area used to allow walking, but a large group of walkers formed and was taking away from cart revenue, so they decided to instigate a "trail" fee for the walkers to recoup a bit of the losses. The walkers complained and went elsewhere to play.

Then, to further discourage the members to ride the course instead of walking, they raised the "trail" fee to equal the cart fee. This in effect forced members to purchase a cart every time they played, if they use it or not. They also disallowed walking after 8:00 am and as a result, most of the walkers left and/or didn't renew their membership.

It never ceases to amaze me - the extent to which a club will go to to make a buck. The latest exploit: Dropping membership to the USGA's GHIN system and buying a $99 handicap software. The $35 annual handicap fee remains. Instead of the GHIN network getting $25 and the club taking $10, they take all $35 and provide this "homebrew" handicap, which is not even USGA approved. Sad.

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The extra rider fee should only apply when, because of your rider someone else will have to take an additional cart. In this instance that clearly isn't the case and people are following the rule to the letter and ignoring the intent.

completely agree... unless the course is busy and the rider creates a problem, then it should be free.

I was told once that it's a liability issue. According to this source, by paying green fees or in this case a cart fee the golf course is not liable for any injuires incurred by a golf ball, flying clubs, or whatever. The point of sale is the agreement. If someone were not to have paid the course could be held liable since there was no transaction. I have no idea if this is true or not and my source who is an honest guy isn't a course owner but at the time I heard it it made sense. Now I am curious about this. I'm going to dig into this further.

Then they could always charge a nominal fee like $1.00 or $2.00, not the $10-15 that many courses charge.

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Stupid off topic question, is GHIN pronounced like the clear alchohol "gin" or like "guin" as in the beer "Guiness"?

Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to...

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Stupid off topic question, is GHIN pronounced like the clear alcohol "gin" or like "guin" as in the beer "Guiness"?

GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) is pronounced like the alcohol...

In my Srixon staff bag:

Driver: Titleist 909D2 8.5 - Grafalloy Epic X
Fairway: Adams RPM LP 13 degree - Grafalloy Epic X
Hybrids: Adams Idea Pro 18 degree - DGSL X100Irons: MacGregor 1025M 3-PW - DG X100SW: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 54 - DG X100LW: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 58 - DG X100Putter...

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I don't agree with the fee, but it is what it is. I like to take my 6 year old son out with me sometimes so he can just tag along and have fun. He doesn't play yet because he just doesn't have the necessary attention span. Sometimes if the starter guy is cool, he'll let my son ride. Other times they'll charge my son the green fee as if he was playing.

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Yeah the place i play at the cart prices are more than the twilight green fees

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My home course lets my wife ride along. She likes to go just to get outside/take pictures/read a book. If she goes, we usually wait till later in the day, however.
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  • 7 years later...

Most people might not like my answer but it's what I've formulated and seems to work.

The premise is "a round of golf." Whether 9 or 18 holes, the fee charged is "an access fee" to play a stipulated "round." This access is a contract for play on foot. As a courtesy, a club might offer a pull cart a golfer can rent, or a motorized cart, a golfer may lease and ride in, to complete their stipulated round of golf. In the case of a motorized golf cart, this is a separate contract for which the lessee is responsible for all fees to rent the cart, their property and persons contained therein, and any damage caused by their negligent use of that motorized cart.

As a separate contract, any facility is within their right to charge an additional fee for a rider in that cart who might not be playing golf. This is no different than a movie theater that charges a ticket price for someone who just wants to have a place to sit down or enjoy a tub of popcorn. Or a restaurant goer who wants a cool comfortable place to sit and enjoy some free ice water on a hot day. Neither of these happen because policies are in place that are adhered to. Somewhere along the line, golf was allowed to be concerned about who we might offend by charging a just fee for someone to "ride along" that is doing the identical same thing as a golfer playing the golf course. Everyone makes the mistake of "assuming" a cart fee is what is paid to move from one golf shot to the next. No, it is a fee paid to traverse the golf course by motorized fashion.

Many municipalities and parks have regulations in place that are born from liability issues. If a body is in a cart you pay a "rider fee." No exceptions. This is no different than having a policy that says only TWO golf bags are allowed per cart and only TWO persons are allowed at one time to ride in that cart. Any breach of this rule renders all insurance void in the event of some sort of accident. 

Many for profit equity clubs operate daily on numerous gestures of "goodwill." As such, in periods of "non peak" play, they might allow a rider to go along with you and NOT charge you the separate rider fee. Understand, this is and was a gesture of goodwill extended to you as "a one off event." It is not the norm. It is not to be construed every time you just show up as though you're entitled to it. If you use it to threaten to take your business elsewhere then also understand your business elsewhere WILL ALSO GET CHARGED A RIDER FEE DURING PEAK PLAY! 

Singles and twosomes have no standing on the golf course. By paying your fees, you understand that other golfers you do not know will be paired with you. That is how the business works. If you don't like this, I encourage you to take your business elsewhere. Please don't use the excuse that 1's and 2's are what grows this game. No, singles and deuces destroy the flow of a golf course on busy days. The same holds true FOR INSISTING you get a rider in your cart for free. Just because I may not have had a body to put in that cart with you at that precise moment you came to play golf does not extend the right to you to put a friend or child in that empty seat next to you as a result.

Bottom line, if you "just show up" expecting to have your friend or companion ride with you at no charge, then you are out of bounds! You should be charged simply on the audacity of it all. The best policy for all concerned is to investigate the club's policy in advance. You also should let them know in advance that you have a rider. There is no "this happened last minute." Well guess what? Our course is also completely full last minute.

If our sport is to the point that free cart riders are "a bargaining chip" to gain future business then our sport is in trouble. And if you the golfer insist that your "free cart rider" is something you are entitled to as a Buy One, Get One Free" then I would prefer you go elsewhere to play the next course we're about to see go out of business.

I operate from the simple premise that my objective is to put TWO bodies in every cart that goes out on the golf course. If I am unable to do that, then that obligation does not extend to you as a "value added" enticement to purchase. It extends to me SOLELY as a courtesy to you. You will need my permission each and every time to allow for that rider at no charge.

We currently charge a "replay fee" of $14 or $12 depending on the day. This is a cart fee. Expect your rider to pay the same because they are in fact doing the identical same thing at the beginning and for a replay since the green fee was paid at the onset of the contract with no regard for a motorized cart.

Tell me which city in the US allows a friend to ride the city bus or trolley with you for free because you graced them with your business? Once we have a clear cut vision that this is the norm nationwide, then I will gladly give your rider a seat for free while I have a line waiting to play golf because there are no golf carts available.

Edited by GolfTheSimpleTruth
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