Super Secrets: Why Cart Path Only?

Golf course superintendents realize that golfers ultimately pay our salaries and fund our budgets. But golfers sometimes don’t understand the reasoning behind certain practices—such as the “cart path only” policy.

While it might appear we are trying to punish the golfers or to make our jobs easier, nothing could be further from the truth. Our purpose is more about protecting the golfer than preserving the turf. For instance, after a big rain, carts moving from the path to the turf tend to hydroplane, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Also, the rule creates more work for us. With the sand bottle in the cart, which is on the path, golfers tend not to fill divots they’d ordinarily repair—and the super’s staff has to fix them.

Bottom line: I don’t necessarily like the policy either, especially during prolonged periods. However, please respect it—no matter how far from the clubhouse you are. I have observed over the years that the greater the distance between golfers and the first hole, the less attention they pay to this rule. But now that Big Brother is watching via the GPS, he can and will send a gentle reminder!

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