Renting a golf cart every time I go golfing adds up FAST. In fact, I played about 30 rounds of golf last year and spent roughly $1,200 on the cart fees alone.
In most situations, buying makes more sense than renting. But can you bring your golf cart to a golf course?
As a general rule, most golf courses allow the use of a privately owned golf cart. Some will charge an additional “trail fee” or an insurance fee to help mitigate wear and tear on the golf course and protect the club in case you or someone else gets hurt because of your cart.
However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind before we haul our golf carts to the nearest course, and some of them you haven’t even considered before.
Why Do Golf Courses Charge So Much for Carts?
In some cases, you can’t bring your own golf cart and you need to rely on renting one to enjoy your golfing day. Renting a golf cart is an expensive idea when you don’t have any other options.
The golf club has to consider the wear and tear the cart will have on the course.
It affects cart paths, the grass you drive upon, and even pollution if it’s a gas cart. It can tear up a golf course if it is heavier than normal and just rained, making the grass very soggy.
In some instances as well, the price of the cart forces people to consider just walking. That can be an indirect health benefit for you.
Once you consider factors such as these, it is easy to see why golf courses charge so much to use their carts.
Can I Save Money on Bringing My Own Golf Cart to a Course?
You’d be surprised to find out how much money you can spend when you rent your golf cart from a golf course.
While you might think buying a golf course is also expensive, in the long run, you’ll realize it’s an excellent investment.
The question is, however, can you bring your own golf cart to a golf course?
When you choose to bring your own to the golf course, you save a lot more on paying for any additional costs, such as for liability, should you damage it while on the course.
Ideally, if you spend a lot of time at the golf course during the week, then you should consider buying.
Regardless, an added benefit is that you can drive it around in your yard if your property is large enough so that you can get used outside of the links.
Are Gas/Electric Golf Carts Allowed on Golf Courses?
First, it’s essential to understand that there are two types of golf carts.
You have gas-powered golf carts and electric ones. The gas carts rely on a conventional combustion engine.
While most are four-cycle engines, you can still find ones with two-cycle engines. These use the same gas that you find in any gas station.
On the other hand, electric carts rely on rechargeable batteries to operate.
Both carts are allowed on golf courses. However, it’s more common for you to find that most people prefer to use electric carts (including myself).
This doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from using a gas golf cart. In fact, there are many advantages of using a gas golf cart.
However, just like with everything else, choosing to use a gas golf cart has some drawbacks. Here’s my take:
|Easier to refill a gas cart||More pollutant gas emissions|
|They run at a faster speed while managing heavier loads||Noisier|
|It’s easy to customize a gas cart||Higher cost for maintenance|
|They have more amenities compared to the electric carts.|
Gas Golf Cart vs Electric Golf Cart: Which to buy?
So, what are the main things you should know before buying or selecting your preferred golf cart at your next game?
Price is a crucial factor that you should consider before you decide to buy a golf cart. But for pricing, the big question is, are you planning on buying a new or used cart?
A used gas cart will probably cost you less than a used electric one.
However, electric carts are taking over (and rightfully so). It’s not uncommon for you to pay nearly the same price for a new electric cart as you would a used gas one.
2. Reliability and Durability
My parents used to always drill into me to learn from the mistakes of others.
Read as many reviews as possible before you invest in a cart. The most common ones are Club Car’s, EZGO, and Yamaha’s, but as you research, be sure to read positive and negative reviews.
My favorite hack is to read 3-star reviews. They are usually more down to earth and the point.
As you read these reviews, take specific notice of their reliability and durability. If you come across things you are OK with, go for it. If not, move on to another cart.
3. Environmental Concerns
When buying your golf cart, please consider the environment.
Now, I am not saying you need to buy the Teslas of golf carts, but gas-powered carts do more harm than good.
A gas-powered golf cart emits large amounts of carbon monoxide that’s bad for the environment.
Is It Worth Owning a Golf Cart?
Golf carts have a variety of uses.
Let’s make it clear that you don’t have to use it strictly on golf courses once or twice a week (or more if you are like me). Other great things that you should consider are if you will be able to ride around your community or hunt, or use to haul stuff around a farm.
There are many advantages to owning a cart as well:
- You can save a lot on fuel (if you choose an electric golf cart)
- They’re easy to operate.
- They provide ease of access for disabled persons.
If you’re looking for a way to save money on your golf course experience, consider bringing your own golf cart.
It’s true that most courses charge more than $40 per round for carts, but if you have the means and time to drive yourself or bring your own ride, it’s likely worth the investment.
But besides saving money over time, there are other benefits of owning a golf cart, including being able to use it outside of golfing environments.
If you do make the leap in getting your own cart, it may be hard to know which products work best in different situations, so to help with that… check out my best products that you must own with your shiny new cart!