Golf Cart Laws

By Steve Silverman

One of the most enjoyable things about playing golf is riding in the golf cart. While it may take away some of the exercise value of playing, riding or driving a cart on a particularly hot day is a great advantage as well as fun. While you can cut time off your round by driving swiftly around the course, there are rules and laws that all drivers must follow to ensure safety on the course.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

A golf cart is not a dragster and is not meant to start or stop abruptly. Build speed slowly. Golf carts can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. However, you must gradually slow down over 30 or 40 yards so you don't jam on the breaks. There are no seat belts on a golf cart, and an abrupt stop can throw a passenger out of the cart.

Drive in the Rough

Never drive your cart in the middle of the fairway. After you tee off, drive your cart down the right or left side of the fairway, but always in the second cut or rough. If you have hit your ball down the left side, and your partner has hit it down the right side, you are allowed to cross the fairway, but only to get from one side to the other. If you have hit the ball in the middle of the fairway, drive up the rough and stop even with your ball. Apply the break, pick out your next club, and walk to your ball.

Right of Way

If you are driving your cart up the rough of one hole and you see another driver coming down the adjacent fairway, you must get out of his way. Do not drive recklessly and do not play "chicken" with the other driver. Not only is it dangerous, you will get thrown off the course and charged with a driving infraction if you have deliberately caused an accident. Many golfers like to have a beer or two when they play. That's normally fine, but if it impairs the judgment of the cart driver and results in an accident or injuries, the driver can face legal problems.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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