Is rolling your pushcart across a green a breach of etiquette?
A reader writes:
I was aghast the other day when my buddy wheeled his pushcart across a green. He said it was no big deal and that it wouldn’t damage the putting surface. Is he right? — Troy from Michigan
I’ve seen this question surface on social media, Troy. But don’t waste your time wading through the flood of comments and replies, because there’s an authoritative answer: It depends.
When the greens are firm and healthy, few course operators will curse you out for piloting your rickshaw across a putting surface. At Bandon Dunes, for instance, where the putting surfaces have a lovely, linksy bounce and the rickshaws have wide wheels to distribute their weight, management is OK with the practice, a resort representative told the Etiquetteist, adding, “We just ask that guests don’t park them on the green.”
Something similar is true across the Sandbelt of Australia. You’ll hear no serious complaints about pushcarts on the greens, especially if it helps maintain the pace of play by providing the quickest path to the next tee.
To hammer home the point, the Etiquetteist got this blunt input from a veteran superintendent on the impact of pushcarts: “They do less damage than a lazy person dragging their feet.”
Not all pushcarts are created equal, though.
“It’s a different story with those mechanized pushcarts with heavy motors,” a New York course operator told the Etiquetteist. “Those can leave a mark, especially when they stop and start or turn abruptly.”
Greens vary in their makeup, too. When the putting surfaces are wet and spongy, keep your pushcarts off them, favoring the firmest, driest path instead.
It’s common sense.
As is this final bit of wisdom: If you plan to use a pushcart, inquire in the pro shop about any dos and don’t before you start rolling.