The Weekend Rules: Golf-cart etiquette
Golf had to be created as a gentleman’s sport with strict rules of conduct and etiquette. If not, it would just be a blood bath out there on the links and scientists would be scurrying to create an antidode for a Big Bertha to the forehead.
So, welcome everyone to the first installment of “The Weekend Rules.” Every weekend (that I feel inclined), we’ll go over a different scenario to see what the ruling or etiquette would be. Feel free to send in your own scenario, by the way. The stranger the better.
You and your pal are at No. 14, having a great day. The course is full, but a nice rhythm has been created and there’s very little waiting time. You have a single playing in front of you. Then, his cart spectacularly breaks down (ok, they never do that, they usually just slowly come to a stop).
So you are as far away from the clubhouse as you can be, there is no marshall in sight, and the guy in front of you is stranded and a prior knee condition won’t let him walk.
As the person behind him with a full cart already, is it your responsibility to help? To either go find a marshall, or to take the wayward golfer back to the clubhouse to get a new cart?
Or, can you play on through, giving the guy in front of you a “Hey, life’s a bitch, huh?” shrug (as I once had done to me) and let him know you’ll tell the marshall if you see him.
Obviously, there is a right and wrong thing to do, but look at the scenario. You’re four holes from finishing. The act of taking the guy back to the clubhouse could very likely tack another hour on to your game, and slow down everyone else behind you. Plus, the guy is playing by himself, so he could make up time quicker than you and your pal.
Or, is it mandatory to help the guy? Sort of like how every vessel within 100 miles has to come to the rescue of an injured boat in the ocean?
So what do you think?
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Use that cellphone for something worthwhile (for a change), call the clubhouse, and get another cart sent to you in the meantime.
JMar: Being as I like to have my mug shots taken at 15-year intervals, I'm a bit more aging and slouchy than young and strapping. What the hell is strapping, anyway?
Mary: That really is the main thin when you're on course -- Don't mess with karma because man, will it mess back. Good point.
The cell phone is definitely a wildcard here. I personally avoid taking one on the course and will leave it in my car. Also, the computer tracking systems for carts are becoming more popular, as with most technology, the prices will come down, and this whole scenario will be moot eventually maybe.
I still carry bitterness for the guys that drove past me many years ago in this same situation. I hope they got karma'd good.
Regarding joint man: give him the cart and walk, call for another one, flag down the ranger, it's all the same. Rangers often have short-waves and can buzz for another cart. If you're on the 9th or 18th tee, you can call the kitchen and ask them to send a cart. What course, though, has any hole so far away that it will take you 30 minutes to drive in and 30 minutes to drive back? Even Bethpage Black, from 7 green to 1st tee, wouldn't take that long in a cart.
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