Push Carts on Tee Boxes? On Greens?

Push carts on putting green, Victoria Golf Club, Melbourne, Australia, June, 2010.

During the women’s member-guest at my club, a couple of weeks ago, a few guys from my Sunday Morning Group played a travel round at our enemy club, on the other side of town. (We have a reciprocal arrangement for tournament days, etc.)  A member strode up at some point and told them to stop rolling their push carts onto the tee boxes—and later he strode up to again and told them not to put their golf bags on the tee boxes, either. (Hey, maybe they should remove their golf shoes, too.)

I took the photos above and below at Victoria Golf Club, near Melbourne, Australia, in 2010. (The Australian Masters was played at Victoria that year and the next.) Players there are asked to roll their push carts and pull carts not just over the tee boxes but across the greens, to keep the fringes from being beaten up by concentrated foot traffic. Other Sandbelt courses have the same policy—including Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath, which are ranked No. 22 and No. 11, respectively, on Golf Digest’s list of the 100 Best Courses Outside the United States.  Ditto Bandon Dunes (although at Bandon golfers with carts are asked to cross the greens only, and not to park their carts on them).

These practices makes perfect sense, because a push cart weighs much less than a greens mower. Or a tee mower. Or any of the guys that you or I play golf with. So lighten up, enemy club.

 

18 thoughts on “Push Carts on Tee Boxes? On Greens?

  1. That would be the 2010 and 2011 Australian Masters at Victoria. You will really annoy The Lakes GC in Sydney if you took away their Opens because of the amount they spent renovating the course- and they have another this year.

  2. As a cart pusher, I follow most of the same rules as if driving a cart: keep it off the tees and greens, period. Keeping carts off the greens is obvious–too easy to dig up the green; keeping carts off tee boxes is thoughtful but not necessary, and enforcing it is nitty and snarky.

  3. I tried rolling my push cart across the green a couple times. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s not doing any damage, but when it feels awkward and I look behind me and see three faint stripes on the green from my cart I feel guilty. Tee boxes? Meh….no biggie. Just make sure it’s not in my way when I want to tee off near that position.

  4. Playing in Australia a couple of times, there is certainly refreshing differences. The first time I saw carts/trolleys crossing greens or parked on greens, I had a smile on my face. Makes the game quicker and removes a lot of the ‘pins and needles’ when playing some world-ranked courses.

    I would love to see North American courses have the guts to following some of these ideas. Bandon has been a good start. Who’s next?

  5. David,

    Thank you for bringing this issue up. It needs to be discussed!!!!
    I got severely cussed out for rolling my cart on the greens here in the States.
    It speeds up my play (a lot).

    Like your column. Thanks

  6. If you are a guest and are asked not to do something by a member you should graciously comply. Don’t be snarky about it, just do it even if you do not agree.

  7. It seems to me that any additional traffic on the green is not desirable. Regarding the carts, three wheel push carts are probably ok but two wheel carts that have the bag on a metal prong at the bottom can be a problem. I have seen damage to turf when those style carts move when the cart is at rest.

  8. As an Aussie (from Melbourne), I believe this is more of a Melbourne/Victoria thing. Our sandbelt courses never really get wet, whereas up north in Queensland or even New South Wales (Sydney), the turf seems to be wetter all around. I could be wrong, but I believe not many clubs in QLD or NSW allow pull carts over greens.

  9. I know in England or America you are not allowed to push your cart onto the tee box, but over here in New Zealand they are OK with it.

  10. I had this discussion with a green keeper here in Darwin recently – he told me that they don’t allow it as it minimises the transfer of weeds / seeds of different grass types onto the greens. Have a look at your cart wheels during a morning round after dew or after the grass has been watered, and you will see lots of stuff stuck to the wheels – makes sense to me.

  11. Makes no sense to me to pull a golf cart across a putting surface – next thing you knoiw you will have the lazy Arses pulling them through bunkers! If greens or damp or moist from early moring dew and syringing, then the wheels can leave a rut that is almost undetectable until your putt gets into one of them. Remember the old Titanic Thompson bet where he left a garden hose on the green overnight? Then bet he could make so many putts on that line while only he knew where the rut was. Enought said on that. Tee boxes? Not a big deal if turf is healthy and firm. Common sense applies but is usually not engaged. jb and John M. both are correct – 1.) mind you mannaers when visiting a club / course, for you are a guest and it is a privilege for you to play there, and 2.) additional compacation on a putting green is not a good thing – PERIOD, especially if the golfers has his bag stuffed with extra clubs and junk in his golf bag. On another note, golf car traffic is the #1 cause of damaaged turf. and, Finally, Pull / Push carts impart more PSI on the turf than does a riding golf car!

  12. RE: Shoes / Spike damage to greens – the USGA and the R&A need to implement a simple rule re: spike types: If you wear soft spikes, you should be permitted to tamp down spike marks. If you wear metal spikes, you are not permitted to tamp down spike marks. Talk about helping improve the condition of the putting surface, plus making the game more equitable. Spike marks are like divots (unfilled especially) and un-raked bunkers; All three are an unnecessary nuisance that should and could be addressed in the Rules. For a golfer to be penalized for someone else’s laziness is absurd. You may replace your ball if a dog runs out and picks it up, but you can’t do anything about the idiot playing in front of you that can’t pick up his feet, won’t rake a bunker, and never fills a divot. The game is hard enough as it is.

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