Safety Tips in Driving a Golf Cart

by Kevin Hutto

Golf carts are now a common feature in any golf course. They certainly make navigating the wide expanse of a golf course easier. They also save time by transporting players to the teeing ground and to any of the holes thereafter much faster.

However, driving a golf cart is no joyride. Just because you’ve paid your cart fee doesn’t mean that you can drive your cart anywhere you wish on the golf course. All golfers must observe some basic safety regulations where golf carts are concerned. Doing so prevents accident that could harm yourself and others. It also avoids damage to the golf course.

1. Make sure you know how to drive before getting into the driver’s seat. Common-sense dictates that you don’t turn on the ignition of an automobile if you don’t know how to drive it. Read, understand and follow the safety guidelines and other warnings posted in each cart before you speed up.

2. Don’t drive the cart where they’re not supposed to be driven. These places include hazard boundaries, about 50 yards of greens (unless you’re on a designated cart path), tee-off areas, fairways, casual water, trees or rough terrain on any part of the golf course. Golf carts aren’t trucks but they can damage the soil and vegetation in these areas. A damaged golf course won’t do any good for your game.

3. Don’t go golf-cart joyriding. Maintain the designated speed. These vehicles are open at the sides and most in use aren’t equipped with seat belts. Turning corners at top speeds have been known to throw bodies off the cart, injuring some and killing others.

4. Keep your body parts inside the cart at all times. Passengers for one crazy reason or another hang their feet outside the cart when it is in motion heedless of the dangers. The soles of golf shoes can easily be caught in a tree branch that can lead to twisted ankles and other injuries.

5. Stay on the cart path. Cart paths are areas designated by the golf course so that grasses on the turf are protected. This also prevents accidents that could otherwise stem from driving off the path.

The safety regulations you observe when driving a golf cart is similar to what you observe when you drive your own car. Bottomline: Don’t do anything in a golf cart that you wouldn’t do in your own automobile.

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