How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart?

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Last updatedLast updated: April 19, 2021
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In 2014, a seven-year-old boy was arrested for driving a golf cart alongside his mum on a beach side, he was subsequently find $271 dollars for this action. This story brings to the fore the issue of age as it relates to driving a cart, golf carts are vehicles though simpler and smaller than other types of vehicles, does the same law as regards minimum age requirement for driving apply to them? The question we should therefore attempt to answer is what is the minimum age to drive a golf cart? This article will answer this question, explaining what a golf cart is, state age requirements, others rules and regulations guiding the use of a golf cart and we’ll conclude with the tips for driving a golf cart.

What is the legal definition of a golf cart?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Golf Cart?

The definition of a golf cart is relative to each state laws. The delineation as a golf cart or vehicle is based on overall weight, seat capacity and maximum speed. If any golf cart is faster or heavier than what the state law prescribes, it is classified as a motor vehicle.

The golf cart is a small vehicle used to transport golfers and their clubs to the golf course. In general, golf carts reach a maximum speed of 24 km/h, being used for this particular purpose. Most golf carts are powered by four-stroke engines. It is important not to confuse the golf carts with the person carrying the golf clubs. It is characterized by:

  • Carrying two occupants at a time
  • Having three wheels
  • Maximum weight of 590kg, when there is no occupant
  • Maximum speed of 24km/h
  • For sporting purposes on a golf course

Why is a golf cart necessary?

Without a doubt, there are different options to transport our golf clubs such as lightweight shoulder and tripod bags, trolley bags, electric carts and even buggies for those who prefer to save energy to hit.

In the absence of a caddy, a good electric golf cart can be our perfect ally when it comes to making kilometers around the golf course with greater comfort. We will quickly notice the difference compared to crushing our back carrying a bag full of clubs. In fact, there are studies that quantify the improvement that occurs in our game thanks to the rest of having the help of a car in our rounds.

What are the state age requirements?

Before we get started, it should be noted that most age requirements and other rules and regulations guiding driving a golf cart mainly applies to a public property, these rules do not apply to a private property i.e. driving on a private property is not subject to state age-restrictions, and all other state rules and regulations do not apply. Some private properties e.g. golf courses ae considered public properties, these rules and regulations therefore applies on golf courses. These rules notwithstanding, safety first is the guiding principle of driving, under-aged drivers should therefore not be left to drive a cart without guidance.

Most states have an age-limit of at least 14, however some states are an exception to this, this includes:

  1. Colorado: The state of Colorado sets the age-limit for cart driving at 14 years, however any unlicensed driver under the age of 21 is to be a lone driver i.e. without a passenger.
  2. California, South Carolina: These states have an age-limit of 13 for drivers.
  3. Texas: Texas has an age limit of 16 for golf cart drivers.

Driving a golf cart: rules and regulations

Other than age requirements, there are other rules and regulations guiding the driving of a cart. It is important to note that though rules and regulations are set and enforced by the government. The responsibility lies on the individual to put prioritize the safety of the individual driving the cart.

  • Driving on Public Roads: Not all states permit golf carts to be driven on public roads, for the states where it is permissive, registration and insurance cover are required, otherwise it might not be a requirement.
  • They can only be driven on roads with speed limits between 25-45m/hr.
  • It can only be driven during daylight
  • Requires a licensed driver to be used on a public road.
  • To be used on public roads, it must have a horn, headlight, brakes, rear view mirror, bicycle safety flag and taillight.
  • It must not be driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Driving a golf cart: useful tips

  1. Rules notwithstanding, the onus lies on the golf driver to ensure that they prioritize their own safety while driving, this will require that the driver keeps to safety tips such as:
  2. Ensure that you drive as though you are driving a regular motor vehicle
  3. Ensure that you always fasten your seatbelt
  4. Do not drive above the speed limit on public roads (Do not drive on roads with speed limits above 45m/hr.
  5. Be sure to observe all sides before turning.
  6. Do not speed down a slope or when you are driving up the slope.
  7. Be sure to always horn while in traffic or trying to overtake another vehicle.
  8. Only drive during daytime.
  9. Under no condition should you drive under the influence of alcohol.

On the golf course, you should follow these helpful tips:

  1. Ride only on cart tracks and paths delimited by ropes and when this is impossible to ride on the rough.
    It is forbidden to ride on the tees, greens and front greens.
  2. It is forbidden to ride in all areas within 30 meters of a green or within 15 meters of a bunker, tee or water hazard (even if these are not delimited by ropes).
  3. 90 ° rule: you must drive on the paths (or rough) to the spot of your ball then you can drive on the fairway but only at a 90-degree angle from the path. After you have made your shot, you must drive backwards on the cart (or rough) path.
  4. Always put your cart near the path that leads to the next departure. After your last putt, you can leave the green quickly and allow the game behind you to play immediately. You can save at least 30 seconds per green and per player. Saving time when going out of the bunker.
  5. Maintain your golf cart properly, maintenance is key to the durability of your golf cart. Good maintenance practices for golf carts include:
  6. Keeping it from dust and harsh weather conditions when it is not in use. You can do this by using a good golf cart enclosure. Team of experts and professional players recommend the Greenline by Eevelle 2 Passenger EZ-GO Custom Golf Cart Enclosure.
  7. Regular servicing with a certified mechanic.
  • Replacement of worn parts such as seat, gears, brakes, lights etc. According to reviews the sturdiest model of car seats is Buggies Unlimited EZGO TXT/Valor golf cart seat kit

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have provided information on what a golf cart is, what state requirements for driving it are in different states, how to drive these carts on a golf course. We also gave you some useful tips on maintaining your golf cart.

Golf carts are vital equipment to golf players and it sounds cool to allow your kids have a try in the things you delight. However, their safety is more important and it will be wise to know how old a child has to be to drive a golf cart.

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