and why we have them.
Our cart rules are in place for one primary reason: to help protect the condition and quality of the golf course so that golfers can experience the best possible playing conditions.
In-season we follow one of these sets of cart rules:
Cart Path Only – used only in the worst conditions, carts are relegated to staying on the path 100% of the time. Certainly not the preferable situation, but by limiting traffic to cart paths we are able to have the course open many times when conditions would otherwise have us completely closed.
Roughs Only – Carts are limited to traveling on cart paths or in the rough areas only. Carts are not to be in the fairway.
90 Degree – carts should travel on paths whenever possible, but may travel into the fairway at a 90 degree angle to your ball and then return to the cart path. Carts should be kept out of the fairway, as much as possible.
Cart rules change daily depending upon weather and course conditions. Signs are posted in the Golf Shop as well as near the tees on holes 1, 3, 8, 10, 14, and 16. Keep in mind that just because it is beautiful and sunny today, the course may still be wet from previous rains.
Return to Path signs: In the vicinity of most greens are narrow vertical signs with the wording Return to Path on them. Cart traffic should never be closer to the green than those signs, unless on a cart path. Cart Traffic should return to cart paths around all greens, as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary turf wear and damage.
Pars Threes: On selected par 3 holes (#2, #15) you may see signs that say something to the effect of Carts on Path Only. Because of the short length of those holes we expect carts to remain on the path only.
Orange Flags: I’ve got an orange flag, so I can go anywhere, right? Wrong, basically all that an orange flag does is afford you the option to adhere to the 90 degree rules when others are restricted to Roughs Only. But you should understand that on days when the course is Cart Path Only your orange flag doesn’t gain you any special status you are also restricted to Cart Path Only. An orange flag doesn’t allow you to drive right up to the greens, or inside the Return to Path signs. Orange flags simply give you the option to drive 90 degree when others are restricted to Roughs Only.
One more thing about orange flags; if you’re fit enough to walk the front 9 holes you probably shouldn’t need a flag for the back nine.
It’s winter, but it’s bone dry. Why can’t everyone drive in the fairway? For years we suffered fairly regular instances of winter kills to our Bermuda grass fairways. Upon hiring the USGA turf experts to review our situation, we learned that there were three contributing factors to winter kill. Two of them were weather related and out of our control. The one and only factor that we had any control over was cart traffic. During the winter months our Bermuda grass is dormant and does not have a chance to grow or repair itself. Continuous or excessive cart traffic can beat it down even further to a point where it makes springtime recovery more difficult and slower. By limiting the amount of cart traffic each off-season we give the turf a fighting chance at making a full recovery each spring.