A number of high end private and resort courses like Oak Hill in Rochester, Somerset Hills in N.J., The Country Club in Brookline, Mass, Royal Oaks in Dallas, Long Cove in Hilton Head, Bandon Dunes in Oregon, and others have broken the mold and allowed the use of hand carts at their facilities setting a new precedent in support of the health and well being of their members and patrons. For anyone who has travelled across the pond you know that walking with “trolleys” is part of the fabric of golf throughout the British Isles.
Other courses around the nation are starting to change their view that hand carts are pedestrian and allow those playing their courses to get the full benefit of a good walk spoiled without continuing to stipulate they carry their own bags. For the over-50 crowd the orthopedic price of carrying for 18 holes can be a deal breaker.
Our club, Woodmont Country Club outside Washington, D.C., has recently followed this lead with the bold step of instituting a test program allowing our members to walk our golf course with the assistance of hand carts. As you can see from this picture we still have our standards-we insist that our members wear traditional golf garb and have fun while they are out there.
Private clubs steeped in tradition will continue to resist this change. In our health conscious society it swimming against the tide to deny people the pleasure of the golf walk and the calorie burn that goes with it. Those clubs with progressive views that support the best interests of their members will soon realize that the future is now when it comes to modifying their stance on this issue.