Increase In Golf Cart Damage Causing Some Northland Courses To Change Policy
More people are golfing lately than we've seen in years. Many people have returned to the sport after being cooped up inside during COVID-19. In fact, I shared some statistics just last week about how Minnesota has seen a 38.4% increase in rounds played in the last two years. With more people golfing, another aspect has seen an increase: damage to golf carts. I've noticed several courses take some measures to address it.
I was at Pike Lake Golf Course the other day, and we heard that just the day before someone had crashed a cart and wrecked a section of hole #7. We also had to give them our driver's licenses if we were taking a cart. The reason was because of all the damage that was being done, and they are trying to hold people responsible.
Poplar Golf Course also had a sign-out sheet with a waiver where you needed to give your name and phone number. You are also supposed to check that your golf cart is in working order and not damaged before your round. If there is damage, you're to let them know immediately.
The waiver isn't a bad idea, and it's a good way for the course to let people know that they are serious about their equipment. It is a good idea to check that your cart is in working order so that you won't have any issues. I had a cart just the other day where the parking brake wouldn't engage, so I returned to the pro shop and got a different cart. Golf courses will definitely look for you to pay for a damaged cart.
Nationwide, from 2010-2019 there were over 63,000 golf cart accidents in the United States. The trend has been getting worse in the last several years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has actually brought this up as a significant risk to children getting injured. 6,500 children were injured in golf cart accidents from 2010-2019. While most accidents are usually minor, deaths do occur. Criminal charges can also be brought to a driver, especially if they are under the influence.
In closing, if you are planning on using a golf cart, please be responsible. Golf cart rental fees have been rising in recent years. Continued damage will just cause those prices to go up further.