Cart paths are bad for golf

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
Categories: Miscellaneous

I’m taking a stand against cart paths. I think they are bad for golf. I can do completely without them and here are my reasons why. (in no particular order)

1. When a course has a cart path only rule it slows down play. This is especially the case when you have a very wide hole and your ball is on the opposite side of the fairway than the path. It is even worse if you brought the wrong clubs with you and need to go back.

2. Paths are designed to reduce wear and tear on the course but I think they actually cause more wear and tear than they save. People scatter and drive all over the place when there are no cart paths, spreading out the wear. But when there are cart paths, carts always congregate in the same areas either entering or exiting the path. These areas are almost always trashed and the grass doesn’t grow there any more. A GREAT course I play has virtually no cart paths and has tons of cart traffic. They have about 20 feet of path where you park next to the tee and that’s about it. None of the holes on this nicely maintenanced course have any problem whatsoever with carts ruining the fairway or green side. The greatest course I’ve played, Aronomik (Donald Ross), has virtually no cart paths.

3. I’m a purist who loves to walk. Walkers don’t do damage to the course. “Walkers only” means no cart paths. However from a business standpoint, golf course revenue is greatly increased by cart fees so there’s no way that idea would fly.

4. Cart paths slow down play and cause problems when balls hit them, or by interfering with stance or swing.

5. Carts paths ruin golf balls and golf clubs.

6. Perhaps the biggest reason I don’t like cart paths: Cart paths are ugly. Cart paths ruin the aesthetic/visual splendor of golf courses. I really enjoy taking pictures of beautiful golf courses. I’m always trying to figure out ways to shoot pics of golf holes and leave out the paths. Many great golf pictures are ruined by cart paths.

Agree or disagree? Any other reasons?

2 responses to “Cart paths are bad for golf”

  1. iacas says:

    #4 is a little weak, but otherwise, I agree. Though one designer I’ve talked to – Dan Maples – does his best to simply hide the cart path behind some mounding or whatever that fits in with the hole. Look at some of his courses and you’ll have a hard time finding the cart path most of the time.

  2. Alan says:

    The game is a walking game, plain and simple. Has been for 500 years; should be for 500 more.





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