I Dislike Golf Carts
By cjgiant on 3/15/11
We asked for readers to send in blog posts- and Craig "cjgiant" Messinger did not disappoint.

I have decided I dislike golf carts. This is not to say I won't use one, and in fact more often than not, I do. Mainly I do so when a course is un-walkable or I am concerned about perceived (if not actual) slow play. I also will admit to enjoying the convenience of the cup holders for a beer.

For me personally, I enjoy the exercise walking affords. I also feel walking to the ball keeps me loose, either physically, mentally, or both. Generally, walking lessens the wait at the ball, which also alleviates the mental frustration and physical stiffness that could arise from waiting for the group ahead. However, this decision is not based solely on my preference for golf cart use, but includes how they affect a round of golf.

In general, use of a cart will allow for an increase in the speed of play. However, I do not think this benefit is allowed to be realized too often. I live in a highly populated area, and the courses are fairly well booked, so play is held up by players and volume, not the speed with which you can get between shot and ball.

There are enough cases independent of this where using a cart slows play to some degree. The obvious case is that the cart carries two bags; because of this, two players who hit shots to different locations cannot both have their bags available at the same time.

Similarly, carts are not allowed near the greens. The fact that there are enough idiots out there who don't follow this is another reason to hate carts. The fact that regular use can hurt the course is enough. Misguided use just adds to that. Another thing, you don't need to locate your ball before exiting your cart. Step out and look for it, you can walk as fast as the 2mph you are driving the cart.

Okay, so I digress... so at the green, the walk to a ball not near the cart path can take longer than a direct walk to the ball (also think about adding in the time to drive the cart around the green). Add in the time to walk back to the cart if you have a lie or shot you didn't expect. Although it has nothing to do with pace of play, cart us in this situation can lead to bad decisions because "I don't want to go back to get the right club". When walking, you almost always have your bag right with you. This issue obviously is even worse on days that are cart-path only.

The last and most irritating thing about golf carts is that they bring rise to cart paths. I detest cart paths. Even though this one time, my ball apparently rode the cart path for a 400-yard drive on a par 5, cart paths more often exaggerate bad shots. Given the location of some paths, the exaggerated bad shot might not have even been that bad in the first place. I'd put the ratio at 10:1 where a cart path hurts versus helps.

Too bad I can't afford to employ or belong to a club that offers a caddy, because that would give me that ability to walk the course without the threat of tiring myself and my back carrying a bag. I guess I'll have to live with golf carts until individual golf hover carts are invented.

This was written by Craig Messinger, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo source

[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
I'm with you on most of this. Definitely a bad thing for the game as far as exercise and relaxation goes. I hate when clubs are like "it's packed out there" and i say "so can i walk then" they say "no." really..... i mean REALLY!? yea that's just what i want to do is hit a ball, drive to the spot that it landed then wait for 10 minutes for the guys in front of me to clear and the guys behind me to get mad that i'm "slowing them up". More often than not though, the slowness with carts comes from not knowing how to use them effectively. Not taking 2 clubs, not driving to your ball while the other guy hits, and all that. Unfortunate.
homermania says:
I prefer walking because I have a better sense of distance between shots and ultimately play better. The cart takes away the Zen game a lot of us walkers enjoy.
dottomm says:
Where I usually play, walking is ALWAYS faster than riding. If I'm paired with a someone or 2 with a cart. Unless they are scratch golfers (both of them) I always find myself waiting on cart users.
Also I find riding in a cart really messes up my rhythm and effects my putting the worse. Weird. Don't really know why.
bkuehn1952 says:
@cjgiant: well written and a timely post as the season nears for those of us in the north country. All I have to add is amen brother!
Bryan K says:
I hate not having my golf bag with me at all times. Ergo, I hate carts.
cph2133 says:
Perhaps my job as a caddy in my younger years, and now caddy master at a nice country club has swayed my view, but golf carts are the devil.

I hate golf carts with a passion. They do in fact slow up play (as mentioned in the article, idiots who drive right to their ball, then have to go get a yardage. Walkers calculate their yardage as they walk). They do in fact cause more frustration. Golf is already frustrating sport for most of us, why cause further frustration by speeding around shot after shot. I like the walk between shots, especially after a bad one. I can think about what I did wrong, what I need to do on the next shot, etc. If I'm in a cart, I get up to my next shot w/o any mental time to reflect on the last shot, and think about my current shot. I think playing with a cart is mindless.
preny says:
get a clicgear if you can't have a caddy
brian575 says:
Perfect!! I HATE CARTS. Just this weekend I was going to walk because our 4th canceled and I could use my pushcart and walk while the other two would take a cart. Well just before we were about to tee off I was told the 4th was on his way and I would need to get a cart!!!! And what really ticks me off about carts is most of the nicer daily fee courses in the Houston area make you take a cart on the weekends. So this leaves me to play only the municipal courses in town that are not nearly as nice just so I can walk. I dream often of a trip to a course where there are no carts and you just see a bunch of people walking and enjoying the REAL game of golf. I HATE CARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pappybro says:
I don't like carts but I'm pretty much stuck with using one, unless the others don't mind playing just nine holes in 3-4 hours. The course has a solorider which is an improvement, but I try to leave that for the guys missing use of both legs.
SD Charlie says:
I'm 100% with you guys. I prefer to walk whenever I have the option, even on long courses. To me, it's part of the game, and also part of the fun. You get to really see a course. I found myself nodding my head while reading this and the comments above with things like calculating distance as you walk, messing up one's rhythm, etc. Golf Digest posted some statistics a couple years back showing that walking a course actually leads to shorter rounds than cart use. It's only the savvy golfers who can speed up the game in a cart. Unfortunately, most cart-riders don't seem to be that savvy.
DiC says:
My legs certainly ache more after walking to if I'd used a cart but it's a small trade off against all the benefits (most of which have been mentioned - feel for distance, better rhythm, better view of the course etc).
I recently bought a remote controlled trolley, not to be lazy (although it does help with the tiredness thing) but to speed up my play. If you get the speed right you can be putting the iron back in your bag and pulling the putter and taking the glove off All while still being on the move. By the time I reach the green I'm all set to just continue walking to my ball without pausing. Plus when I've holed out I just walk to the next tee and remote control my trolley to meet me there, no need to o back to the wrong side of the green to where I left it!!
Seriously, it's 'almost' like having a caddy (without the advice of course).
hp says:
I walk whenever possible.

The only time I take a cart:
- The course design or terrain will significantly slow down the walker and it'll be rude to everyone else on the course.
- It's over 95 degrees.
- I have 2 hours to play before sunset and nobody is in front of me. (I've finished a round in less than 3 hours walking)

Advantages to walking:
- Body stays loose, play better.
- Easier to get to know your fellow golfers.
- Always have the right club.
- Very easy to enjoy the scenery and any wildlife.
- Very easy to appreciate the course architecture.
- Burn the calories that you'll eventually put back in from the 19th hole.
mankowa says:
The course I am a member at has a policy of no walking before 2pm on the weekends because it will "slow" play up. I went out the other weekend and there within 4 holes of me. I caught them by the 9th hole and had to wait on them for the rest of the round. I was playing with another walker and there were 3 of them riding. You can see when you are teeing off in front of riders that they are thinking, "Oh boy, we get to wait on the walkers." Then we tee off and don't see them the rest of the round. I love walking, it lets me forget the bad shots and think my way around the course better. Get a Bushnell range finder and it will make you even faster by not haveing to walk of yardages.
chief_broom says:
Carts don't speed up play. Fast players speed up play. Now if you put a fast player in a cart and send him out on an empty course and time him and then have him do it again on an empty course but walking sure the cart will be faster, but this really isn't the usual case.

The two reasons carts have taken over is that they are cheaper and more reliable revenue stream for courses, and the average golfer isn't looking for exercise while playing.
Duke of Hazards says:
Coming from a hacker Dad that is striving to break 100 and only gets to play a few rounds a year, I prefer walking and believe that it's as fast if not faster than a cart.
Duffer 83 says:
I am not a fan of carts but I do almost always use one the first time I play a course and on really hot humid days. If I am by myself a cart is faster if I play with anyone else it's faster to walk. Either way I usually end up waiting on someone.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Craig, nice post and I'm with you on carts. Well-played. :)
legitimatebeef says:
Carts don't kill golf rounds, people do.
siggy22 says:
Personally, I prefer carts because of the rate-of-play aspect. I play faster when using a cart, and some of my best rounds have been while using carts; however, I do walk most of the time because of my age. This is probably why I like carts - I only get to use them every once in a while.

Given the option though... I would probably pick carts over walking.
cjgiant says:
@legitamatebeef - I actually agree in a lot of respects, as well as the point that if I played a round on a totally empty course, I will finish quicker in a cart, no doubt. Will I play as well or have as much fun, I am arguing more than likely not.

What I messed up by hiding it in my other points (tongue partially in cheek):

golf carts don't kill rounds... cart paths kill rounds!!!
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