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PSA: Golf Carts

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Yesterday at my golf course there was an accident involving a golf cart while I was working. An individual, who was very hammered, made much too sharp a turn at high speed while his cart was on a sidehill, causing the entire cart to roll. While most carts don't move at incredible speeds, they still go fast enough to injure people.

This man was very injured, leaving the course bloodied, bruised, and with a likely concussion. This is just a heads up for people who may think horseplay with golf carts is safe, just because they don't go all that fast: It's not safe, at all. People get hurt doing silly things and it's never fun when it happens.

A couple safety tips to keep in mind while operating golf carts:

  • When on a sidehill lie, don't drive at full speed due to the risk of tipping.
  • Please slow down when you make a sharp turn. Many people either fall off or accidentally tip the golf cart by moving too fast on sharp turns. Passengers are especially vulnerable to falling off if they are not expecting a sharp turn.
  • Please don't try cart surfing. It never ends well.
  • When you start moving, make sure the passenger is seated fully. Many people have hit their heads on the bars behind the seats (which support the back end of the roof) because they were still in the act of sitting down when the cart started and they were jolted backwards.
  • Donuts are not as cool as they seem, especially when they can tear up the grass and roll the cart
  • Ditto for drifting

Just a warning for you and others since it is not fun to be hurt playing golf.

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One thing I always worry about are those people who drive along with their left foot hanging outside of the cart. There is a member at the course I play who has a very bad limp and I found out it is because he ran himself over with a golf cart. He was hanging his left foot outside and hit a bump. His foot caught on the ground and it pulled him out of the cart. The cart ran over his ankle and leg. Surgery and a stay in the hospital. Even though driving the cart can be enjoyable we need to remember to be careful.
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Used to work at a course. One day this middle aged guy from asia and his wife were hauling way too fast down the fairway. To get back to the concrete path there's a little dirt path with a lot of little rocks that runs back to the path right in front of a huge lateral waste hazard. From the fairway there's a little hill where you cant see how sharp it goes right. Guy swerved to get the cart back on the dirt and drove off into the hazard. I get out there and see the back end of the cart sticking up out of the hazard, front end in the mud, and i swear to god the guy took his bag off the cart, walked into the fairway and was hitting balls as we drove up. First thing he said to us was "you bring me new cart?" Glad he wasnt hurt, but man that guy had no damn sense.
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Looks like the guy left part of his scalp on the roof of that cart, I swear I see stupid stuff every day where I marshal and we are a hilly course with switch backs to get down some of the holes and people just try and haul ass down it, the scariest time was last year when we were in limbo between the old carts and new ones we had rentals out there and these things were gas with no governor, the suspension to say the least was loose on a lot of them and you could really get cooking down some of those downhill fairways #9 especially I swear you could reach 30mph in those things, minor miracle nobody got maimed or killed during that time. I think I may print those images and take them in, they probably will not show the blood one though.

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Scary. I'm always afraid of being the passenger with an unsafe driver, whether golf cart or road car. Suppose I'm at a golf course as a single, but it's a course that requires carts. What should I do if I feel unsafe with the guy driving the one I'm assigned to?
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I saw a video once of a guy's foot popping off while riding in a cart. His toe caught a root or something, his heel caught the bottom of the cart, and POP! Off came his whole foot.

I'm now paranoid about keeping my hands and feet inside the cart, and insist on anyone with whom I ride that they do the same.

That video still freaks me out and it's probably been 8+ years since I've seen it.

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I tipped one over last fall and I wasn't messing around. Early morning, first out after frost delay. Ground was frozen and slick on a small mound and it slid down and tipped over. I see people doing insane stuff in carts. It's just a way for me to get around the course fast. I don't need to make it any more exciting than that.

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I saw a video once of a guy's foot popping off while riding in a cart. His toe caught a root or something, his heel caught the bottom of the cart, and POP! Off came his whole foot . I'm now paranoid about keeping my hands and feet inside the cart, and insist on anyone with whom I ride that they do the same. That video still freaks me out and it's probably been 8+ years since I've seen it.

No freaking way... OMG.....

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Scary. I'm always afraid of being the passenger with an unsafe driver, whether golf cart or road car.

Suppose I'm at a golf course as a single, but it's a course that requires carts. What should I do if I feel unsafe with the guy driving the one I'm assigned to?


One thing our course does that I don't like but understand is not allow singles to ride alone if there is another single with a cart, I had to be a passenger with a guy who first off didn't know how to use the cart for pace of play but also was a bit unsafe IMO but not enough to make me say something but I made sure I held on. You can always pay extra I guess for your own but in essence your paying for that guy as well to have his own cart, kind of an unavoidable situation. I know they make single golf carts and I'm sure people would prefer that versus having to ride with a stranger just charge a few dollars more for a person in a single cart versus a 2 person.

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Golf Digest just did a big article in the Keegan Bradley issue about golf cart accidents and DUI laws. It focused way too much on what sounds like a golf community / town where everyone uses golf carts instead of cars proper, but it had a few interesting nuggets nonetheless..

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Never thought about DUI and carts but I am certain drunk people are on the roads in street legal carts. Both the private course I play and the home course have an abundance of member owned carts I see on the street. Nicer carts with headlights and taillights get into the 20-25 mph range.

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Watch what happens at 1:30 of this video...

These guys are nuts!

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One thing our course does that I don't like but understand is not allow singles to ride alone if there is another single with a cart, I had to be a passenger with a guy who first off didn't know how to use the cart for pace of play but also was a bit unsafe IMO but not enough to make me say something but I made sure I held on. You can always pay extra I guess for your own but in essence your paying for that guy as well to have his own cart, kind of an unavoidable situation. I know they make single golf carts and I'm sure people would prefer that versus having to ride with a stranger just charge a few dollars more for a person in a single cart versus a 2 person.

Yeah. If I felt unsafe, I'd disconnect my bag at a stopping point and call the starter to ask for a replacement cart. If it wasn't a busy course -- like the desert in the summer -- I'd try to just separate from the group (worst case, walking for a bit, and I suspect they'd bring me a cart, just like if one broke down). I wonder if they'd charge for it. If they did, I'd pay, but probably wouldn't return to that course in the future. Not sure what I'd do at a busy course ... maybe disconnect and walk with the group, and call to ask for a cart. Awkward to explain, but I'd rather be awkward and safe than sorry. Then again, if I'm playing a busy course that requires carts, I'm probably with someone I trust enough to have him or her drive (or I'm driving someone). Most of the courses I play as a single during busy hours are courses I can and do walk. I don't know. Scary scenario to me, but it probably wouldn't happen.

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Yesterday at my golf course there was an accident involving a golf cart while I was working. An individual, who was very hammered, made much too sharp a turn at high speed while his cart was on a sidehill, causing the entire cart to roll. While most carts don't move at incredible speeds, they still go fast enough to injure people.

This is what we call a 2014 Darwin Award nominee and the guy probably got everything he deserved.

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I don't understand the being hammered and playing golf combination.

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Never thought about DUI and carts but I am certain drunk people are on the roads in street legal carts. Both the private course I play and the home course have an abundance of member owned carts I see on the street. Nicer carts with headlights and taillights get into the 20-25 mph range.

The cart I drive to work is like that, except it also has offroad tires and a lift kit (it is a vehicle we use on our farm, so the stock wheels had to go) to go with the headlights and tailights. It's nice because I can drive it on trails/dirt roads all the way to work at the golf course, and it ends up being cheaper than driving a car to work since it gets excellent mileage.

I don't understand the being hammered and playing golf combination.

You'd be surprised. Over Memorial Day I once cleaned out a cart that had 11 empty bottles of beer and 2 empty 75ml whiskey bottles in it. The person who used it was a single rider and only played 9 holes, which was slightly terrifying. There's a lot of people who get real drunk on the golf course from my experience, and then there's the people who enjoy in moderation or without alcohol.

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You'd be surprised. Over Memorial Day I once cleaned out a cart that had 11 empty bottles of beer and 2 empty 75ml whiskey bottles in it. The person who used it was a single rider and only played 9 holes, which was slightly terrifying. There's a lot of people who get real drunk on the golf course from my experience, and then there's the people who enjoy in moderation or without alcohol.

The last round I played I got paired with a couple guys.  They were quiet and pleasant at the beginning but were babbling clowns by the end.  I assumed they were drinking but I never saw them crack a beer or stop the cart girl so I just don't even know...

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