As we have been on our summer travels, it has been surprising to note the increase in the number of golf carts being used in places that previously had few, if any, available for hire.
I was very disappointed to see young, fit golfers with no apparent need for a cart, driving around the courses in St Andrews, Scotland.
There are some advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of the golf cart.
Probably the greatest advantage of golf cart usage is for those who are aging or disabled and are genuinely unable to walk 18 holes. This alone should warrant the need for a small supply of carts. Also, people located in warmer climates where in the middle of summer, walking a round is a step too far need access to golf carts. Many golf clubs make money from cart rental, so this too helps golf clubs in testing times.
However in my opinion, the introduction of motorized carts, not trolleys, into the game – except for the genuinely needy — has not been an innovation which has enhanced our 500+ year old game.
If we abandoned our carts for a round or two, and walked, we’d find that:
- Using caddies, light weight carry bags or pull or powered trolleys — the pace of play would improve
- We would be healthier for the exercise and would not require a cart
- We could be more sociable with our four-ball rather than spending the round talking mostly to only one of our playing partners
- The environment and the game would be less polluted and more attractive. Walking allows us to connect to the environment more readily than driving a cart.
- Without the golf cart, golf courses would be designed to be more walkable, in the style of some of the old classic courses, rather than routed with huge distances between holes, which make many golf courses today totally un-walkable
- Excessive alcohol consumption on the course would be reduced (ever tried carrying a six pack of beer and ice bucket around in your golf bag?)
I know that cart manufacturers and even some club professionals will not agree with anything I have said.
I would like to hear from you: are golf carts good for the game? Share your thoughts by replying below.