The Etiquetteist: 5 mistakes you make when ordering from the beverage cart

a golf beverage cart

It's important to keep pace when the beverage cart rolls around, so please avoid these errors next time you order.

Let’s face it, slow play is bad enough. But slow play caused by a sheer lack of self-awareness and basic golf etiquette is infuriating.

This was my frustration a few weeks ago, when I was standing on the tee waiting for the fairway to clear on a dogleg par-4. The foursome in front of me did a pretty good job keeping pace all day, but at this point they came to a screeching and lengthy halt. Why? Because they spent way too long buying drinks from the beverage cart.

That got me thinking: Surely there should be basic etiquette guidelines when it comes to ordering a drink on the links, right? As a service to the public — and as someone who has lots of experience ordering said drinks on the golf course — I decided to jot them down and pinch-hit as this week’s Etiquetteist author. Here are five mistakes made when ordering from the beverage cart, nearly all of which I’m pretty sure that group in front of me committed. Now please, go and spread the gospel.

Not planning your order

See the cart driving up? After that double-double stretch, it’s a sight for sore eyes. But plan ahead. Cocktail? Water? Beer? Narrow it down now so you don’t waste time when you need to order. Same goes for payment. Cash is faster, or you can have your card ready. Either way, just don’t have this process take as long as your exhausting putting routine.

Taking several individual trips

Your buddy Tim is still looking for his ball in the woods, which means he could definitely use a pick-me-up. Instead of forcing him to take the walk of shame from the hazard to the beverage cart, ask him what he wants and grab it for him. This isn’t social hour; no one has time for your entire group to make four individual trips. Venmo the guy who handled the drinks; you got next.

Not playing ready golf

Golf is a thinking-man’s sport. So if the group ahead of you is just about to clear the green and you see the beverage cart driving up, think of it as a riddle. Should you A) go snag your drinks and snacks now, then go back and hit your ball? Or, B) wait another 30 seconds, hit your approach and then go grab a beverage? The answer, of course, is B, which allows you to clear the area sooner and advance up toward the green. Better yet, tell you buddy what you want and he can get a headstart on the order. Always keep pace, folks.

Buying drinks that take too long to make

Let’s keep the mixology to a minimum, which helps save time. A beer, water or simple cocktail will do. But anything that needs more than one mix-in is better suited for the 19th hole. Luckily for us, most beverage carts don’t even offer those time-consuming drinks. Kudos to them.

Chatting up the beverage cart gal

No, she doesn’t want to continue the small talk. It’s her job to be out there. Oh, and by the way: tip!


Josh Berhow Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at