How To Drive A Cart

How To Drive A Golf Cart: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Author: Larissa Allard

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Comments: 0

Golf carts are a blessing in disguise when you have to walk longer on the course from one hole to another. I cannot emphasize enough its significance as it saves energy, which doesn’t negatively impact gameplay.

While you are planning to have your two golfer friends along with their equipment with you, you should know how to drive a cart; here’s where we have covered you all!


  • To start your golf cart, simply insert the key and gently press the right pedal to accelerate.
  • To slow down or stop, just release the right pedal slowly, or if you need to stop it right away, press the left pedal.
  • To go in reverse, simply use the lever or switch to change the gear direction. When you do that, listen for the beep to make sure it’s in reverse.

Safety Measures When Driving Golf Cart

Golf is just like any other vehicle though not legalized. However, since it’s used for transportation and it needs to be driven, therefore, safety precautions are essential.

The golf cart is used on the golf course, and safety is vital for golfers inside the cart and people on the field. A Golf GPS or a Rangefinder won’t serve the purpose well until you know how to drive a golf cart safely!

Safety Precautions To Take When Driving A Golf Cart

There are specific safety measures that will help you:

1. Check The Preparation For Night Drives 

Playing golf at night has another level of fun, and for numerous other reasons also, you would drive the cart at night.

But it’s dangerous without visibility, potential hazards, or the absence of night equipment. Therefore, check does your cart has the following equipment:

  • Brake Lights 
  • Turn Signals 
  • Headlights
  • Reflective Devices 

If anything is missing, you shouldn’t continue driving the cart until you get it ready for a night drive. Also, skipping it or finding a substitute can lead to risks.

2. Slow Down While Turning 

Whether driving a car or a buggy like a golf cart, driving at full speed is always dangerous. However, it’s not a full-fledged vehicle, and for safety at the course, carts aren’t designed to exceed the rate of 25 mph. 

Yet, you shouldn’t reach this speed limit, especially while taking a turn, as it can lead to accidents like flipping over buggies. So, as you are towards the curve, press the brakes gradually to lower the vehicle’s speed, and hence, you can turn safely.

3. Honk If Required 

Though honking isn’t preferred on the golf course yet a cart driver can relate to situations where horns are an ultimate recuse.

There may be caddies, other players, or anonymous people on the golf course across your way. 

Therefore, tow-arm them about your buggy heading towards them and use a horn if necessary. Not every time you can warm up verbally or notice pedestrians.

Moreover, even at intersections, personal buggies might be riding; hence it is essential to prevent accidents.

Golf Cart Etiquettes You Must Follow 

Golfers use golf carts for traveling with their equipment on the course as these are usually areas spawned across long distances.

But there are constraints and rules about golf carts, also as to where you can drive, how you can, and similar.

1. Cart-Path-Only Rule 

Every course and range has areas designated for driving the cart. As a wise person, you must ensure to drive the buggy only where it’s allowed to! For it, the course would have marked regions to drive it safely.

Cart Path Only Rule

Thus, it won’t harm other pedestrians. So, drive it only where you see the specific sign and not elsewhere under any circumstances. If you can’t find the path, contact the caddie or any staff in the field.

2. 90-Degree Rule 

For drivers driving the cart, you must follow the 90-degree rule while riding on the grass. It implies that you can raise your car on the grass but only at specific points and in a specific way. 

Thus, for grass, you should, the ride should be such that it should make a 90-degree angle or be in an L shape with the path.

This maintains the golf course surface and topography, and the Cary would be on the grass only when required.

3. Cart Path Only On Specific Holes

There are several holes on the course where you can keep the cart and thus avoid driving on the grass. Specific golf courses adopt this measure to protect the turf and maintain the course and grass. 

You should always ask the ground staff if there is any hole with the “cart path only” rule! If they do exist, then keep your cart on those designated holes only, and don’t drive on the grass.

4. No Carts Beyond This Point

It is a common rule which every golf course adapts, and you don’t need a detailed explanation of what it means. However, you must know its significance as many golfers don’t adhere to it, which often has severe consequences. 

According to it, there’s a specific location after which you cannot take the cart ahead on the course. It’s usually the middle of the course.

Hence, taking beyond the point can destroy the turf and also lead to accidents if mismanaged. There would be no difference between cart paths, and golf games can again be hazardous for players.

How To Drive A Golf Cart?

Golf is one of the most expensive yet challenging games. Since golf courses are often too long and the equipment is too heavy, golf carts come into the picture.

Batteries power golf carts and not fuel. Besides, these batteries are somewhat different from those of electricity-driven cars. But, since I’ve driven a lot of golf carts, I can guide you well.

Man Driving A Golf Cart

Grab the key of your cart, insert it into its crucial slot, and turn it towards the right. Since it’s not fuel-powered, the engine won’t be noisy during this process, yet it will start the buggy.

How To Start A Golf Cart? 

After starting the vehicle, ensure that everyone is seated comfortably so you can start the engine. For that, press the right pedal of the cart.

Since the pressure you put on this pedal also determines the acceleration, be careful as it’s sensitive. 

The cart will start moving, and you should drive it slowly., therefore giving light pressure to the pedal. The more pressure, the more acceleration, and the faster the cart.

Yet, a wise practice is to ride the cart at a nominal speed and not much fast. To slow down, you can release the right pedal!

How To Reverse And Stop? 

To slow down, gradually release the right pedal or remove your foot until the cart stops. But in situations when you have the sudden need to stop, use the left pedal or press it, which will immediately stop the cart. It is highly responsive, and you can slow down while turning on the curve. 

For reversing your cart direction, use the lever (switch) that changes the gear direction. Most buggies have R (reverse) and F (forward) directions. This level is located on the right side near the floor or is just a switch. It doesn’t affect the buggie you have. 

Irrespective of the cart type/model, each one will beep when traveling in the reverse direction. While you reverse the direction, hear the beep and then proceed with driving. 

To continue driving in the reverse direction, similarly press the gas pedal, but the speed adjustments won’t be the same. Turn your upper body and head to look over your shoulder in the reverse direction. 

Next, use your right hand to hold onto the back of the golf cart’s passenger seat for stability. While in reverse, use the golf cart’s steering wheel to control the direction of the cart.

Tips For Beginners: Gear Up For Driving

Driving a golf cart, it’s never only about how to start, turn, reverse, or stop it. Several more aspects come into the picture!

Especially before driving, these are mainly for novices, but everyone must adhere to them.

Preparing To Drive A Golf Cart 

Before driving, you must prepare to use a golf cart. It involves a series of steps and isn’t a single-step process. 

1. License 

You should have a license to drive the golf cart on the course, which differs from an on-road vehicular license.

It decides your expertise, and some courses don’t allow unlicensed cart drivers. Besides, don’t leave your cart on the public/private road without this driving license.

2. Condition Of The Cart 

Before jumping into the cart, check if it’s in excellent driving condition. This includes assessing for damage, broken lights, engine issues, low battery, etc. Proceed only if nothing is wrong!

3. Provision Of Spare Tyre 

Always have a spare tire to avoid a last-minute hassle and prevent accidents. Moreover, you should know how to replace these tires if required.

4. Carry Some Essentials 

Most of the time, you have to drive your cart during the daylight. It’s common to have the scorching heat of the sun or sunlight that irritates the eye. Therefore, have a water bottle, sunscreen, and hat to protect yourself.

Too much sunshine can irritate your eye, obstructing the vision ahead hence protecting your eye is essential.  Afterward, you might have to walk on the course, so carry closed-toed shoes.

What To Do After You’re Done Driving A Golf Cart? 

After driving the buggy on the fourth, you have to park it at the clubhouse. But before doing so, check the instruction manual of the golf cart to know the parking SOPs (ID any). 

Next, your parking brake should be on; the gearshift should be neutral, and keep a watch on the oil level.

Afterward, park it and view your course map and GPS for the next tee time. Now, before going to clean the cart. Besides, if you notice any harm to the golf course, inform the clubhouse staff.

What Is An Electric Golf Cart? 

An electric golf cart is a small vehicle where golfers travel, and their equipment is transported from one hole to another.

Instead of using gasoline-like regular cars, electric golf carts run on electricity. They have a battery that powers an electric motor, which makes the cart move.

Electric Golf Cart

Electric golf carts are eco-friendly and quieter compared to gas-powered carts, which is a good option in terms of course maintenance and sustainability as well.

It provides a convenient and quieter way to travel around the golf course while enjoying a round of golf.


Golf cart driving is a refreshing and unique task that cheers you up before the game. Many courses have a cart, while for others, you have to buy one. It’s a small vehicle you use on the field to drive from one point to another.

Though it’s simpler than driving a car, you should know the safety measures, study the cart, be well-versed in driving it, and also abide by other rules before and after driving. Failing to adhere to any of these might lead to hazards; hence always prefer to be safer.

<a href="" target="_self">Larissa Allard</a>

Larissa Allard

Larissa has been a flamboyant golfer since the raw age of 8. With her savvy mind and keen observation skills, she mastered the sport faster than anyone else could. Larissa has always been eloquent with writing and is a graduate of Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. Being a golf player for 16 years and a professional golfer for 8 years, she's adapt and has coached many amateur golfers as well.


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