Is it OK to roll your bag over a starter box?

It’s a simple question but one that can stir up emotions. Here’s our take on this controversial piece of golf cart etiquette

It looked just as good as we imagined. Green, carpet-rolled and flawless – there are few places to match the feeling you get when you spot the first tee of the Old Course at St Andrews.

It was so perfect I felt guilty for just trudging in my size nine and so we carefully parked our carts at the entrance to the tee and prepared to pull out a club.

The starter looked at us quizzically then said the words I never thought I’d hear: “It’s okay guys, you can bring your carts here.”

And that’s what we’ve done. But it was just weird. We have become so accustomed to leaving our carts as far away from the precious turf as possible that when we were beckoned to bring it, it felt somehow illicit.

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie found himself at the center of a minor social media storm in the summer of 2021 when he posted a video of himself taking the famous postage stamp at Royal Troon .

Except it wasn’t the quality of his shot that fanned the flames rather than his cart trailing in the background.

Speaking on the From the Clubhouse podcast, Lawrie said: “A guy made a comment saying, ‘Carts shouldn’t be on the tee – that’s terrible etiquette. I don’t know about you, but a cart on a tee isn’t something that’s going to change golf. It’s not something I would blame anyone for. My cart is always on the tee when I golf.

So what is the proper approach to golf cart etiquette? How to avoid trouble?

Lawrie felt the carts caused no damage off a tee. I imagine there are few greenkeepers in some wetter parts of England who would strongly disagree with that assessment.

But the European Tour legend, who was talking about the general mentality that we needed to take away from golf, then said what the answer is basically in this situation. “If some clubs don’t allow you to do that, that’s up to them,” he added. “No problem.”

Golf Cart Etiquette Rules

Although there is nothing specific in the Rules of Golf, it is an unwritten rule that you drive your cart over a wide berth – this is usually found on a club’s websites or displayed on their notice boards.

For those who apply it, especially at this time of year, studies have shown that carts and carts can damage the grass on golf courses and can compact the ground as they move through it.

There are other clubs, however, that are more relaxed, have a bit more resilient turf and are happy for you to move around as you please.

If in doubt, it’s probably best to be on the safe side and steer clear of the tees or of course you can always ask.

What do you think of golf cart etiquette? Is it okay to roll it off a tee, or should they be away from such a prepared surface? let me know with a Tweeter.


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