Note: This is the Northwest Region update in the January 10 edition of the Green Section Record.
Okay, so you have read your share of New Year’s resolution lists. You have probably have had your fill of them, but there are certain New Year’s resolutions regarding cart usage on golf courses that will improve pace of play and turf performance. With the New Year in mind, the following list is offered to encourage all players to understand the positive and negative impact your use of power and pull carts can have at your golf facility.
1. I resolve to remember that cart paths are not like a road where parking is needed on the edges. I will park/drive my golf cart on the hard surface only to avoid wearing out turf along the edges.
2. I resolve to enter and exit to and from cart paths while being mindful of areas with very thin or worn turf.
3. I resolve to realize that any sign with a directional arrow and the word “carts” on it means I should go in that direction when driving a power cart.
4. I resolve to park my cart in the direction of the next hole behind the green (when applicable) to improve pace of play.
5. I resolve to be aware of pace of play when sharing a cart with another player. Parking and watching each other’s shots does little to speed up a round of golf.
6. I resolve to always take my pull cart to the outside of bunkers rather than narrow areas between greens and bunkers where turf easily thins and is difficult to maintain.
7. I resolve to be mindful of wet spots on the golf course and avoid such spots with my power cart.
8. I resolve to be mindful of dry areas showing signs of severe drought stress and avoid such spots with my power cart.
9. I resolve to understand that when carts are restricted to paths, it is for good reason with the health of the turf and condition of the golf course in mind.
10. And finally, I resolve to remember that the game is truly a game that is meant to include walking. For the sake of the turf and improved personal health, here’s to walking more and driving less.
Larry Gilhuly is an agronomist in the USGA Green Section's Northwest Section. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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