Why Don’t PGA Golfers Use Golf Carts?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t see professional golfers using golf carts during PGA events? Golf carts are a common fixture on the golf courses, so it may be surprising that we do not see the pros driving around in carts.

There are a couple reasons why pro golfers do not use golf carts during tournaments. In the article below, we are going to cover all you need to know about golf carts at professional events.

We will look at why pro golfers don’t use carts, if there are exceptions, and everything else you need to know. We have a lot to cover so let’s jump in!

Why Don’t PGA Tour Golfers Use Carts During Tournaments?

Golf’s governing bodies require players to walk because they believe that walking is an important aspect of the competition.

Organizations such as the USGA and the PGA Tour, that regulate the rules of professional tour events, prohibit the use of golf carts in their tournaments.

golf cart on course

Students of the game of golf won’t be surprised to hear pro golfers don’t use golf carts. This is because walking is a tradition of the game.

The use of electric and gas golf carts are modern additions to the game of golf. While there is a place for these new adaptations to the game, professional tours and the USGA continue to hold their participants up to the historically high standards of the game. Part of golfs allure is its traditions and the honoring of its history. 

Are There Exceptions For Using A Cart At A PGA Tour Event?

There are certain circumstances when golf carts are used at a PGA Tour event. Players with disabilities are able to use golf carts during an active round. Golf carts are also used before and after the tournament for player transportation.

1.) Special Applications for Disabilities

Players with disabilities can apply for special approvals to use a cart at tour events, but this was not always the case. Pro golfer Casey Martin sued the PGA Tour in the early 2000s and won.

The US Supreme court agreed with Martin that under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), he could use a cart due to his disability.

Although this was a victory for Martin, carts are still a rare sight on tour. John Daly is the main notable player that has leveraged the special application process to use a cart at PGA Tour Events.

2.) Player Transport

Even though it is rare to see carts during an active round, golf carts are used heavily during a tour event. Players use carts before and after their rounds for transportation between facilities and the first tee. Carts are also used to transport players after a round to playoff holes when needed.

Can Caddies Use Push Carts At A PGA Tour Event?

Although it is a rarely seen occurrence, professional caddies are allowed to use pull carts at tour events. That said, no top-tier caddy will use a pushcart at a tour event. Traditionally, caddies carry bags, and no self-respecting caddy would think of pulling a player’s bag on the course.

Besides it being against tradition to use a pushcart, it is also not functional to use a pushcart. A caddy needs to be able to walk with their player. Pushcarts have limitations in the terrain they can navigate.

Relying on a pushcart would likely impact a caddy’s ability to serve their player in the best way possible during an event.

Do Professional Golfers Use Golf Carts During Practice Rounds?

For practice rounds as part of a tour event, pros will act as if it was a competition day. They will emulate their normal competition day routine to prepare for the actual event. Furthermore, the rules of the tournament typically apply to the practice days which would prohibit the use of electric or gas carts.

When tour professionals are practicing at their home course, it is common for them to use carts to play. The strain of constantly walking can be demanding on a tour professional.

It is unnecessary for them to walk when practicing every round. What is important is honing their training to maximize their practice time. While walking is an important aspect of their competition, practice time can be better spent working on their game.

Final Thoughts

Golf carts and push carts have changed the way we play the game. They make the game more accessible to a wide range of golfers as well as speed up the pace of play.

These changes, however, have not made their way to the professional circuit. Golf’s governing bodies prefer to uphold golf’s rich traditions and history.

As part of this high standard, they have not allowed the use of golf carts in normal play, unless medically necessary. Golf professionals continue to use caddies to carry their bag and avoid the use of electric, gas, or pushcart equipment during pro events.

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