What Is The 90 Degree Rule In Golf?

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

What Is The 90 Degree Rule In Golf

Rules: for a good game of golf, they are necessary, yet can be frustrating. The 90 degree rule in golf was created in order to protect tone of he most important and largest part of the course: the fairway. Without the 90 degree golf club rule and 90 degree cart rule, the driving of carts can damage the fairway, and hold up the perfect game of golf. Therefore, the 90 degree rule in golf is really a mechanism that keeps the fairway at top gaming condition by limiting when the golf carts may ride upon it.

90 Degree Cart Rule

As stated above, the golf carts must stay off of the fairway at all times when this rule is in place. The only exception allowed by the 90 degree golf cart rule lets a driver onto the fairway, but only at a 90 degree angle from the cart path. The cart path is driven upon in line with your ball, a right angle turn is taken as mandated, and the golfer then must drive straight toward the ball from this spot.. 

This rule may be in effect for all or for only some holes in one golf course, especially when the turf grass is soggy. An example of a sign sign typically found on a fairway might read, according to AlamoCityGolfTrail.com, “90′ Rule: Carts May Travel Onto Fairways Only At 90′ from Cart Paths or Rough.”

However, not every course, club, or country even uses the 90 degree rule! It really comes down to the club you are at and perhaps the conditions on the particular day. Even more particularly, the specific course hole you are at. “The 90-Degree Rule Is a Middle Ground. 

At most golf courses carts are allowed to go on the course often depending on daily turf conditions and weather conditions. The cart rules can even change hole-by-hole.  Having your wedge distances accurately known will help you know which clubs to take when walking to your ball.

So at most courses, the rules, depending on conditions, will range from it being OK to drive the cart up and across fairways, to the carts being banned entirely from leaving the cart paths” (https://www.liveabout.com/90-degree-rule-1560732)

what is the 90 degree rule in golf

History of the 90 Degree Golf Cart Rule

Golf is a medieval athletic entertainment tradition from the United Kingdom, specifically Scotland’s Eastern coast near Edinburgh. Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745 – 1813) is quoted as saying “Golf is an exercise which is much used by a gentleman in Scotland……A man would live 10 years the longer for using this exercise once or twice a week.” 

Originally, in fact, mounds were actual sand dunes, and people used sticks to drive pebbles up and down the dunes. Golf clubs were actual clubs, or bent sticks. The sport was so popular to the medieval gentlemen that when Scotland was called to war in the mid fifteenth century, military recruits neglected their training in favor of playing golf all day, so that King James II had to ban golf in 1457. 

Most people paid no mind to the ban and continued golfing. Soon enough, by 1502, King James IV of Scotland became the world’s first golfing monarch.

There is no endorsement quite like the advertisement of a king; much of Europe began to borrow Scotland’s favorite sport in the fifteenth century. England was introduced to golf by King Charles I, and Mary Queen of Scots introduced it to the French court. 

Her French military aides, or “cadets,” are where the term “caddies” comes from. Another fun fact: at the time, “golfers were using hand-crafted wooden clubs usually made from beech with shafts of ash or hazel, and balls were made from compressed feathers wrapped in a stitched horse hide.” (historic-uk.com)

In 1744, the medieval past time was newly made an official sport, when the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith, Scotland established the world’s first golf club. Within its official rules read the forerunner to the modern day 90 degree golf cart rule: “If your ball comes among water, or any watery filth, you are at liberty to take out your ball and bringing it behind the hazard and teeing it, you may play it with any club and allow your adversary a stroke for so getting out your ball.”  

As the Victorian era saw the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, trains allowed ordinary people to adventure beyond their hometowns for the first time. More people learned about golf and enjoyed the game, and golf clubs were formed all over the countryside; the demand for gear supplanted by the new mass production methods. 

The technology allowed for affordable gear for the less wealthy. In other words, golf was the new big thing. (historic-uk.comAlthough golf was already being played in greater Europe for some centuries, the first actual golfing club outside of Britain was in India, the Bangalore, founded in 1820.

what is the 90 degree rule in golf

What is the 90 Degree Rule in Golf: Affects on the Fairway

Ideally a golfer keeps their cart 30 feet away from the golfing green at all times. The turf grass is important to allow the game to work, and skidmarks from a cart can greatly affect the mechanisms. 

The compaction of soil that results from driving over it changes the efficacy of the green as well. If a cart rides over the fairway mounds or bunkers, costly damage can occur, and games will be delayed. In contrast to what historic golf’s origins may have used, the driving range is not a sand dunes track for four wheelers. 

The greenskeepers cannot possibly keep up with the amount of damage carts on the green causes. The fact is, even at courses or parts of course where the 90 degree rule in golf isn’t mandated, it’s always a good practice to preserve the green. Besides, carts on the fairway also run the risk of running over a golf ball!

“Today, it is the golf courses themselves that reflect the history of the game, with the US courses presented as beautifully sculptured and manicured landscaped parklands, unlike those in Britain, which are typically rough links courses with bunkers you can hide London Double Decker buses in!” (historic-uk.com)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *