The golf car is not going away. The portable sofa is now inextricably linked to golf as our primary source of revenue; golf cars also provide young people with their only connection to golf through youtube fail videos.
Therefore, the GCS, the true heart of the golf industry, must search out and utilize newer, more effective ways to control the four-wheeled demon of the fairways,
driven by those who believe the golf course is merely a theme park with unrestrained electric versions of Kowalski’s Dodge Challenger in “Vanishing Point”.
At one time–in the late Sixties–I naively thought the battery-powered caddie would never become a problem.
Only the truly physically challenged wanted to ride one and our massive fleet of four golf cars was plenty. We rented out two on Saturday morning, which left one free for use as my personal hunting vehicle and one for parts because they were always breaking down.
Another factor in my ridiculous belief that golf “carts” wouldn’t be a problem was the toughness of the turf in those olden times.
We mowed at 5/8″–okay, maybe 3/4″–and kept the fairways dry, thus limiting vehicular damage.
This was not due to a fast and firm philosophy, it was mostly due to single-row quick coupler irrigation systems with non-automated pumps and night watermen that were inconsistent and given to nocturnal hallucinations.
When turf became more lush and golfers became soft and lazy, unable to walk, use of the golf car exploded. By that time, I had become the son of a GCS rather than a pro’s son and was banished from golf car use, which only made me want it more. As part of my psycho-defense mechanism, I became a hardened walker, given to ridicule of “cart riders” and their lack of testosterone production facilities. It was during this period we began to see the damage from golf cars, especially after a hard winter.
Sod trucks appeared, in ever-growing numbers, as we repaired the compaction damage on fairway entry/exit points, pull-off spots near tees and greens and those damnable cattle trails around greenside bunkers, the result of stubborn, blind architects unaware they were funneling golfers toward a greenside parking lot.
I hated sod trucks.
Sod forced its way into my life, little squares of turf applied like a big Tetrus puzzle composed of live organisms that demanded a race-the-clock mentality.
We knew we had to do something. I wrote an article for a trade magazine in ’89 on golf car control methods used by my brother Mike at Braelinn GC in Peachtree City, Georgia. Mike mounted concrete traffic balls on spikes, drilled holes in the paths and moved the traffic balls around in order to disperse traffic . . . and send violators to the orthodontist. It was successful, but labor intensive.
It’s been almost seven years since that first TurfNet training film on the subject of Golf Car Control appeared and things have not improved. In that video, I demonstrated the futility of ropes, stakes, signs and spineless marshals, while suggesting futuristic control methods inspired by the invisible dog fence concept.
The idea was to utilize buried wire to warn the trespassing golf car operator with buzzers–followed by electrocution strong enough to trigger involuntary bladder release.
Other factors that damage the golf course when allowed to coexist with golf cars are coolers filled with beer. The cumulative effect of 24 beers on a hot day leads to accidents, turf ruts, broken irrigation fixtures, uncontrolled placement of processed beer and poor decisions regarding interaction with beverage cart operators. (This is much more common on the back nine.)
If the perpetrators in question were walking, they would be too tired to make suggestive remarks, nor would they be so confident in their personal animal magnetism. I know this from experience, having been a beverage cart operator on Ladies Day; the walking golfers were concentrating on their game and making it back to the clubhouse, while the cart riders were concentrating on luring me closer . . . especially the larger girls. (I have never understood why I attract the plus-size girls.)
Anyway, if you can’t afford the new GPS-based motor killing golf car systems, see the following video for information on the newest affordable Rockbottum Golf Car Control System.