Golf Cart Coterie

By Phil Goldstein | North Forty News

My wife and I live in a golf course development, although we moved here because we liked the house, not because of the golf. In fact, if the house had been one that backs to a fairway, no way… not interested in the constant parade past the backyard, let alone golf balls hitting the windows. And while both Amy and I can play golf, it’s not a priority compared to other, more active recreations. We’d rather share stories of hiking 14’ers versus hiking that long par 5.

Now of course, hardly anybody walks the golf course; they drive golf carts. Oh, there are a few who walk, but I’ve noticed most of those who opt for a little exercise with their frustration certainly don’t carry their golf bags as we once did. Instead, they use those three-wheeled buggies that hold the bag, but they don’t even have to pull them; they’re ‘gyroscopically balanced’ and ‘GPS navigated’ to stay right by your side like your favorite canine pet.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov:

By the way, if you were a fan of the movie Caddy Shack, forget about the title-referenced occupation; presumably golf carts have put a lot of teens out of work.

Meanwhile, if one wishes to secure the secret password to the golf cart coterie, one must also be seen around the development in one’s cart for reasons other than golf. The carts are often driven to social happenings where several may be seen circled like so many Old West pioneers’ Conestoga wagons. That way the carts provide the seating from which the tales of golf mastery and misery are told, while one conveniently reaches into the onboard coolers and cubbies for beers, snacks and the laser rangefinder for gauging the distance to comely passersby.

But just having a cart is not enough; one must also customize and/or upgrade one’s country club chariot because doing so is the bourgeoisie version of Billy Bob’s jacked up Ford F-150s. One’s favorite pro or college team flag is a must, as are an audio system, mag wheels and, of course, annoying AH-OOH-GA horn. And a typical cart trade-up might be from a two-seat to four-seat, thus providing a means for grandchildren—not old enough to legally drive carts even on the golf course—to illegally careen around at night on the streets with their friends. 

Not surprisingly, the golf cart is also a common means for walking (?) one’s dog, even for those humans who appear healthily ambulatory. By some perverted logic this also seems to obviate the need to pick up the poop. I presume that when you can’t see what Fido is doing as he races along behind your cart while you check stock prices on your phone, that relieves you of the obligation after he relieves himself, plus you can make a quicker getaway from the scene of the offense even if you do notice the act.

Golf carts are also apparently exempt from all traffic laws. But then they should be, since, like electric cars, their non-polluting status conveys a certain environment-saving, anti-proletariat ostracization privilege toward internal combustion vehicle drivers. And pity the poor pedestrian on the sidewalk when approached rapidly from fore or aft by cart careeners; this is, after all, not a walking course community.

So, if you’re thinking about joining the mechanical caddy clique instead of remaining ‘persona non golf cart’ like me, first you must consider the obligations therein of fraternization, customization and pedestrian alienation, then imagine how you’ll look in plaid slacks and two-tone shoes.

Until next time, be well.

Phil Goldstein is in his fourth year writing Tales from Timnath for North Forty News. Phil is a 13-year Timnath resident who is finally using his West Virginia University journalism degree after getting sidetracked 50 years ago. The views expressed herein are Phil’s only. Contact him with comments on the column at

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