If you’ve never tried a golf buggy – be that a ride-on or a walker – you may have some preconceived ideas about them. Here we bust some common myths about golf buggies, and reveal the truth you may not have known.
They’re only for old people
Golf buggies have long been seen as useful only for older or disabled people – but that’s not the case nowadays. The use of golf buggies is fast becoming more popular with young people, who prefer to access the benefits offered by a golf buggy – and there’s a lot of them.
Click here to discover all the benefits you’ll gain by using a golf buggy.
You either have to ride in a golf buggy or walk the course
No, actually you can use a walker golf buggy as well to prevent straining your back from carrying your clubs, but still get the benefits of walking.
They prevent you getting exercise
It’s a common myth that sitting in a golf buggy reduces the activity level of golf and prevents you getting the benefits of walking around the golf course. This may be true to a point if you’re a healthy and active individual, but if you have troubles with mobility, using a golf buggy will actually help you get more exercise. This is because the use of a golf buggy will make you more likely to get out and play golf. If you find it too hard to walk around the course, you’re not likely to go and play a round, so you won’t get any benefits at all. And despite driving between holes, you will still get the benefits of climbing in and out of your buggy, and hitting your strokes, that you wouldn’t get if you didn’t play at all. Using a walker golf buggy gives added exercise benefits as you’ll have to drag it around the course. Research has shown that even golfers using a motorised buggy can burn around 1,300 calories during a round, as there’s still a lot of walking involved.
What it adds up to is any exercise is better than none, and a golf buggy will enable those with mobility or health issues to get some exercise that they may not otherwise be able to achieve. For some, it may be the only way they can continue to enjoy the game.
They slow down play
Many people believe that golf buggies slow down the pace of play, as it takes time to climb in and out of the buggy (if you’re using a ride-on) and access your clubs. This may be true, but this effect is counteracted by speeding up the long walks between holes. Riding in a buggy can shave a fair bit of time off the walk – and even using a walker buggy shouldn’t slow down the pace of play too much. In fact, it’s likely to be quicker to drag your clubs around on a walker than to carry them on your back (not to mention it’s a lot better for your back as well!).
It costs a lot to buy a golf buggy
Not so, you can buy walker golf buggies from as little as $600, although they can certainly range higher in cost. Ride-ons are available from $1,180 upwards. Golf buggies are becoming much more affordable these days, and are usually well within the range of the average golfer.
See Parmaker’s quality range of affordable golf buggies here.
They can’t be used in competition
They certainly can be – and often are.
They’re not good for all weather
Golf buggies are generally fine to be used in most weather conditions – and some even come with umbrellas to protect you from the worst of the weather!
However, one caveat is that it’s best not to use golf buggies after a lot of rain, as they may damage the soft course. Your club will impose conditions on the use of buggies from time to time, such as preventing their use on rain-affected ground; but generally speaking, they can be safely used in most types of weather.
You can drive them wherever you like
It’s tempting to drive your golf buggy anywhere you like on the golf course, but there are rules in place to prevent golfers taking their buggies everywhere. You can take a golf buggy on the paths, but generally you need to keep it away from bunkers, greens, tees and protected or damaged areas. It’s also best to avoid going too close to the edge of bunkers, to prevent creating worn tracks in the grass. You’ll need to observe local notices that regulate the movement of buggies around the course too. If you’re using a ride-on, you should drive slowly and brake slowly, especially on downhill areas, and avoid sharp turns at higher speeds.
Check your club’s policy, but this will generally apply in most clubs.
They can be driven on roads
This one is not true at all, as golf buggies are not considered roadworthy vehicles. They don’t have indicators, brake lights, rear vision mirrors, seatbelts or number plates, and they don’t fully enclose their passengers. As well, they can’t go as fast as other vehicles and would impose a serious safety risk if driven on the road.
However, there are a few minor exceptions where you might be able to drive a golf buggy on the road, such as in the car park attached to a golf course, or when crossing a road that runs through a golf course. You may also be able to specially licence your golf buggy to be driven in places such as caravan parks, retirement villages or for ground maintenance on private properties.
You don’t need a driver’s license to drive a golf buggy
Actually, you do (for the ride-on buggies, anyway). You must hold a class C driving license to operate a golf buggy in Australia, meaning they are not suitable for children to drive.
They’re more of an American thing
While golf buggies are certainly very popular in the US, they are growing in popularity in Australia, as more and more people realise the benefits of using a golf buggy.