The Unwritten Golf Cart Rules

Whether you like playing golf with a cart or not, you have inevitably either seen or been the cause of stupid golf cart use. In this post however, I’m not talking about the idiots who have driven their carts on the greens, smashed into each other, jumped from a moving cart or any of the other idiotic things you can surely find Youtube videos of – I’m talking about the people who plainly have no clue how to properly use a golf cart to improve speed of play. Here’s a short list of the most annoying and time-costly action golf cart users routinely do on the course.

Dumb Parkers

This is one of the most common and irritating thing golfers in carts can do. We get it, you hit your ball just short of the green, and you have to walk up passed the “no cart line” to hit it. So you park your cart at the edge of the no cart line, walk up to hit your shot while your partner walks onto the green to make their putt. You chip on, putt out and then trek back down the fairway 40 yards to your cart before moving on to the next hole, while the group behind you is waiting. These are the worst golf cart parkers known to man (lake parkers aside of course).

Golf Cart Etiquette

This isn’t rocket science folks. Yes, this happens all the time on the course. Here’s what your supposed to do. Your golf cart buddy who hit the green  is responsible for parking the cart. The guy who hit it just short, grabs his wedge and putter and walks up to play his shot and continues walking to the green to complete the hole. Your playing partner parks the cart in a line between the next hole and the current one, walks onto the green and finishes the hole. You both walk away from the group behind you onto the next hole.

Time Saved: 2-3 minutes per hole.

Not-so Dumb Parkers

A slightly more common occurrence is when both you and your cart buddy are close to the green, one is putting, another is in a greenside bunker or bunker. Your buddy on the green is Mr. Eager Pants to line up his birdie and hops out of the cart to mark his ball. You trek into the sand, hit your shot, and play out the hole. Then you both walk back to your cart, and drive around the entire green before heading onto the next hole.

Golf Cart Etiquette

Again, the guy who’s putting should be moving the cart behind the green in a better position while you take your shot. This saves you time, and speeds up play for everyone. Red cart has it right on this hole and parks in the right spot.

Time Saved: 1 minute per hole.

‘What’s Line of Sight?’ Parkers

You’re playing a hole with a steep hill followed by a drop, or any hole with trees lining the fairway. Both you and your fellow playing partners miss-hit your tee shots and end up in the trees, so naturally you both go searching for your balls. All of a sudden you hear the thud of a golf ball landing on the fairway your playing, and you think ‘what the hell?’. You then emerge from the trees and shake your fist at the group behind for hitting into you.

Golf Cart Etiquette

First of all, your whole group is full of dumbasses. If the group behind you can’t see you or your cart because you’re in the trees, what the hell should you expect them to do? It’s not their fault you’re a group of idiots. If your entire group is in the trees, leave a cart or person in plain sight with eye-shot to the tee behind. This saves aggravation for both groups.

Time Saved: 0 minutes, but headaches are saved.

‘I’m going for it’ Parkers

Good for you! You had an awesome tee-shot and you’re going to go for that par 5 in two. Your playing partners weren’t so lucky and they’ve played their second, while you are waiting for the group ahead of you to leave the green, your cart buddy is searching for his ball that is lost in the trees, and since you have to wait anyway… you drive ahead with your buddy and help him find his ball. Once the group ahead clears, you both hop in the cart drive back down the fairway 50 yards to your ball, you then decide on what club to hit, make a few practice swings and hit your shot and continue down the hole.

Golf Cart Etiquette

Please don’t do this. Your playing partners who have already hit their second should be helping your buddy find his ball, not you. You should have a few clubs in your hand, and be prepared to hit your shot the moment the green is clear. Then you should walk (yes, WALK) ahead while your buddy can pop by to pick you up. This not only lets the group behind you know not to hit into you, but also they can hit their tee shots sooner this way. Your cart buddy should not be driving back down the fairway to pick you up.

Time Saved: 2-3 minutes per hole.

‘I’m effing lazy’ Golfers

Awesome you bought a golf cart. But that doesn’t mean your legs don’t work. People have walked golf courses for hundreds of years, you can sure walk half a hole. If you’ve hit a bad shot, or are simply behind the rest of group, they don’t need to pick you up. Grab a few clubs, decide on a course of action using those clubs (even if you decide otherwise)… and hit your shot. Then walk ahead to where you playing partners are and jump in the cart. Please don’t make your cart buddy drive back and forth across the fairway just so you don’t have to walk.

Time Saved: 1-2 minutes per hole.

I’m sure there are many more unwritten rules for golf cart use and etiquette out there, and we’d love to hear them, share them in the comments below.  All in all, a group of four golfers who abide by these rules can speed up play by 20+ minutes per round – which makes everyone on the course happier golfers.  It’s simple things like this that can really help improve the pace of play and enjoyment for all golfers on the course, so heed some of these tips if you’re guilty of breaking some of these unwritten rules.


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  1. Look, I will carry until I cannot any longer. but I do get a bit of a kick out of the ‘no cart here’ signs. do you really think a little 2 seater golf cart compresses turf more than the various mowers and tractors that one sees any given day?

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