Walking Versus Carts Again

Riding a cart is NOT faster than walking. Walking with a partner at a local course, we recently finished in two and a half hours.  And when walking a few days later with two guys in a cart, it was me waiting on them, not the other way around.

Every serious golfer knows that, for healthy people, walking is faster than riding. You take your shot and walk directly to your ball, and everyone else is doing the same. It’s a continuous flow. In a cart, you drive to your partner’s ball and wait while he hits, and then drive to your ball and he waits while you hit.

But shop pros and managers insist on perpetrating the lie that carts are faster. It has nothing to do with carts, though. It’s all about making some extra money.

The biggest evidence for this has always been the “mandatory carts” courses that will let you walk—IF you pay for the cart anyway.

Long Island Newsday reports latest course to fall victim to the “carts are faster than walking lie” is the Eisenhower Red on Long Island. Now I’ve never traveled to Long Island, and likely never will. But there was something in the article that caught my eye—the tacit admission that carts are about boosting revenues, not speeding play.

“County officials say making cart use mandatory will speed play—though some golfers disagree—and raise $100,000 to $150,000 in revenues.”

That’s the crux of it, isn’t it. Courses got rid of caddies because they ultimately were an expense. And they added carts as a revenue enhancer. I’d love to know what the profit margin is on a golf cart.

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4 thoughts on “Walking Versus Carts Again”

  1. I will go with you on the 2 players walking is faster than 2 players in a cart, as long as the 2 in a cart are paired together.  If each has their own cart, then at best it could go either way, but yesterday I played 36 in about 5 hours playing time, with the first 9 in 45 minutes. 

    However, when cart path only is in play, or if you are riding with someone else, walking is a whole lot better.  As soon as it gets back to the low 80s I am rededicating to walking the rest of the year.  (That will probably be late Oct or early November if it was like last year)

    On the revenue thing, it has to be a big money maker.  At $15 per person to ride, that is $15 to go 6 miles in 4 hours—when you put 2 people in there for $30—wow!.  Consider you can get a discounted rental car for a whole day with unlimited milage for around $20.  The carts last years.  I would bet the tires probably only need replacement every 7 years or so.

  2. I couldn’t agree more.  My wife and I walk a valley course through hill and dale and still go faster then carts.  We have also noticed we both play better when we walk.

  3. I agree I play all the time and when we use carts it seems to go a whole lot slower.

    The other day we opted to take carts only because the rain had made everything so wet it would have turned into a really uncomfortable day

  4. Funny thing… On Monday, when I played 36 holes, my club was giving out a raffle ticket with every purchase in the pro shop and I won complimentary carts for the rest of the year.

    That is going to make it harder to rededicate myself to walking!


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