Why I prefer to Walk

The introduction of motorized carts has allowed many people who are not otherwise physically able to enjoy the game. This is a very good thing. It has also allowed many people capable of walking to ride instead, and this has encouraged many course operators both to build extensive cart facilities and require the use of carts. This is a bad thing.

Some folks feel that riding violates the tradition of the game. That is not among my reasons for prefering to walk and for encouraging others to walk. My reasons are practical and related to how I enjoy the game:

Mandatory Carts

Upscale courses are increasingly requiring the use of carts. Lots of us don't like it, because it is a threat to the ability to play game that we enjoy. (If you don't feel that way, think about the way you felt when they cancelled your favorite TV show or your favorite restaurant stopped making the dish you really liked to get some idea of what it feels like). Most of them claim the reason is speed of play. To put it as politely as I can, this is BULLSHIT. Walkers and Riders are both capable of playing most courses in well under 4 hours as a foursome. Slow play is caused neither by walking nor lack of golfing ability, but by a variety of time wasting practices that basically amount to not being ready to shoot promptly when it is your turn. My personal experience has almost always been slower play in a cart than walking.

Many people believe that the real reason for this policy is simple economics: Cart fees are ready cash. Unfortunately, I believe few look at the longer term costs of buying, maintaining, storing, replacing and insuring carts as well as cart related facilities, and the cost of repairing the damage they do to the course. When all factors are considered, I believe the economic beneift to the course owner is probably minimal. The owner would be much better off raising the greens fees and lowering the cart fee than annoying and probably losing business from those who prefer walking, but would gladly have paid more money to play a quality course.

Suggestions for thought

Golf has room for walkers and riders. All I ask is to be allowed the choice.

Warren Montgomery