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Death of the Two-Person Cart

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https://mygolfspy.com/the-two-person-golf-cart-needs-to-die/

I have seen this topic on MGS a lot in the past couple weeks and there is already a ton of comments on the blog. 

I don't see courses switching to full fleets of single rider carts unless there is a profit advantage. Perhaps shortening the rounds can get more people on the course and raise revenue. I could see courses purchasing/leasing a handful of these type carts for singles, threesomes and millennial golfers. 

Has MGS tested how much quicker a foursome with their own carts would be? I'd really like to see the data on how much quicker 4 carts vs 2 carts would make a foursome. Maybe run the numbers and see how many more golfers a course could get though in a day if all the rounds were shorter. 

Thoughts?

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Cost would be the biggest obstacle. It’s not like clubs could just get rid of an entire fleet of two-man carts. I see it as an issue for public courses more-so....


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I'm sure they'll be some interest somewhere for these. In our area they won't be popular at our courses because of several factors: Our carts are always occupied by 2 people - the marshals see to that. Cart "roofs" and windscreens protect us from typical Great Lakes weather elements - sun, wind and rain, note; our cart even has a cover and heater.  Then there are the numerous social aspects......

Do I see them being popular at resorts ...... of course! My prediction is that they will become the golf course version of the Segway vs. the replacement of the 2 person cart. 

Oh and this is written by an early technology adopter 😁

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I posted a comment in the blog yesterday about these "carts".  I liked the looks of one of them. The Ellwee I  think it was. At the time I wasn't thinking about any weather issues which in my area is the summer sun mostly. It's pretty intense and having a roof over your head makes a difference. Bigly. I also told of me and a guy driving our own carts without a passenger and how it sped up our round.

I think some form of these single rider carts have merit. I'm just not sure when and where. One of our local private clubs experimented with a few standing surfboard style carts somewhat recently. But it didn't go over and they sold them.

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One issue I can see with single-rider carts is for those days when carts are restricted to cart paths.  Those days always require a lot of walking, and tend to slow down.  With two riders, there is often at least one player on the side of the golf course nearest the cart.  The player on the far side can walk green-ward after his shot, while his cart-partner moves the cart forward.  With single-rider carts, anyone on the far side of the fairway from the path will be required to take that long walk back and forth, there's no way anyone will be able to move his cart onward.  Single rider carts will slow down play in these circumstances.

I know that these cart-path-only days aren't every day, and in some areas may be very rare, but this is one thing that should be considered before making a change.  

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22 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

One issue I can see with single-rider carts is for those days when carts are restricted to cart paths.  Those days always require a lot of walking, and tend to slow down.  With two riders, there is often at least one player on the side of the golf course nearest the cart.  The player on the far side can walk green-ward after his shot, while his cart-partner moves the cart forward.  With single-rider carts, anyone on the far side of the fairway from the path will be required to take that long walk back and forth, there's no way anyone will be able to move his cart onward.  Single rider carts will slow down play in these circumstances.

I know that these cart-path-only days aren't every day, and in some areas may be very rare, but this is one thing that should be considered before making a change.  

I just played yesterday cart path only and had the same thought. Single carts wouldn't speed up the pace and as you say could lengthen the time. 

 

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Looks like all I need is a set of lawn tires on my Honda Recon to join this latest craze.  

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

One issue I can see with single-rider carts is for those days when carts are restricted to cart paths.  Those days always require a lot of walking, and tend to slow down.  With two riders, there is often at least one player on the side of the golf course nearest the cart.  The player on the far side can walk green-ward after his shot, while his cart-partner moves the cart forward.  With single-rider carts, anyone on the far side of the fairway from the path will be required to take that long walk back and forth, there's no way anyone will be able to move his cart onward.  Single rider carts will slow down play in these circumstances.

I know that these cart-path-only days aren't every day, and in some areas may be very rare, but this is one thing that should be considered before making a change.  

Great point on the cart only days. In our neck of the woods - that would be all of March, quite a few days in the summer and then most likely all of October and part of November. 

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

One issue I can see with single-rider carts is for those days when carts are restricted to cart paths.  Those days always require a lot of walking, and tend to slow down.  With two riders, there is often at least one player on the side of the golf course nearest the cart.  The player on the far side can walk green-ward after his shot, while his cart-partner moves the cart forward.  With single-rider carts, anyone on the far side of the fairway from the path will be required to take that long walk back and forth, there's no way anyone will be able to move his cart onward.  Single rider carts will slow down play in these circumstances.

I know that these cart-path-only days aren't every day, and in some areas may be very rare, but this is one thing that should be considered before making a change.  

So, you have two carts per foursome now.  You know what we do when one cart is in front of the other on cart path only days?  We drive around it just off of the path on the rough side of the cart path.

Gee!  What a novel concept.  I can come up with 100 ways people won't change from the two person cart too, if I think about it long enough.

First off, old guys out of shape aren't riding on a single person cart, or anything that requires any sort of physical ability.  Some of these guys can barely walk, let alone operate an alternative to the two-person cart.  I can tell you a story about one guy I used to be forced to play with in our group that was obese, (and I am being kind about that) who insisted on driving the cart all the way up to the fringe of the green, so he wouldn't have to walk more than 10 steps to putt.  Where his ball went, so did his cart.  One day we teed off on one of the holes and he dribbled one down the fairway about 50 yards.  He was so tired that he leaned out over the cart to pick up his ball and fell out of the cart, requiring the assistance of others to pick him up and put him back in the cart.  I am not exaggerating this story at all either.  I was hoping that dude would have gotten the hint and quit trying to play golf, but some guys don't get it.

Beyond that story, I've rented a golf board at one course and loved it.  I could zip around the course, and I actually felt it after 18 holes in my legs as you used your legs to steer the golf board.  Tons of fun, and I wish these were at every course I played at, but unfortunately no one is wanting these things.  It's a solo rider thing, and it is great to zip you around the golf course, and because it's much lighter than a regular cart, you don't have to worry too much about it making tracks in bad conditions like you get with a regular cart.   In fact, the golf course told me I could ride the golf board right up to the green if I wanted to.  So convenient, quick, and easy that it's a shame more people don't get on board with this thing.

But just like every other invention that has attempted to kill the golf cart, nothing seems to be able to defeat this thing.  But yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with the social aspect of things.  In a regular cart you are riding with your buddy and can have a conversation and whatever along the way.  That's a big part of the game to a lot of people, and I certainly get it.  But nothing is stopping you from having a conversation on something like a golf board.  Just ride them next to each other and talk.  Works the same way.  Some people just aren't willing to change.

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As I stated in the blog article, it won't happen at munis, at least not where I play. Too much liability.  Our carts get trashed.  It seems like one is always in for repairs during the summer.  I can only imagine what would happen with single rider carts when someone says: "Hold my beer!"

Unless you stay in (your own) fairway, most of these single rider carts would not be able to safely negotiate the mounds in the rough.  Many people hit balls into adjacent fairways, and the slopes getting to their ball could be hazardous, especially when wet from overnight irrigation.  I've seen near accidents in two-person carts when improperly negotiating these slopes.

OK, I can see that rounds would be faster if everyone used one. At my course, there are many rounds where people are paired up; 2 twosomes, a threesome and a single; a twosome and 2 singles, and not everyone rides in a cart.  Many foursomes are walkers with pushcarts.  Exactly how would a round be faster for a foursome on single rider carts when there are a dozens of walkers on the course??  

If I rode one of these single rider carts, I could see that I would be waiting more times than I already am, AND I would not have the social interaction between shots to keep my mind off the slow play.  Horrible!  I would rather have the slow but steady pace of play that I expect at a muni on the weekends than a "hurry up and wait" pace that for me is a round ruiner.  At that point I would probably end up being one of those players trying to see how much "air" I could get off one of those mounds.

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54 minutes ago, GSwag said:

So, you have two carts per foursome now.  You know what we do when one cart is in front of the other on cart path only days?  We drive around it just off of the path on the rough side of the cart path.

Gee!  What a novel concept.  I can come up with 100 ways people won't change from the two person cart too, if I think about it long enough.

I'm afraid I'm not sure what I said that you disagree with.  With single-user carts, on cart-path-only (CPO) days, every player HAS to walk back to the cart path before he progresses towards the green.  With two-person carts, one player can be moving that cart toward the green while a "far-sided" player walks in the same direction, instead of walking back to the cart to move it.  On these days, single player carts have the potential to be slower than two-person carts.  When you can drive to your ball, single player carts should be expected to be faster.  I only suggested that a course should consider the slower CPO days as well as the faster "drive anywhere" days when they make their decisions.  The course would be foolish NOT to consider all potential effects of a decision, positive and negative, before they actually make the decision.

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If I'm playing as a single, I wouldn't mind it.  I prefer the two man carts when playing with a group because part of what is enjoyable in golf to me is the fellowship with buddies.  Those moments wouldn't be as nice if you weren't riding together.

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The biggest issue aside from cost like others have mentioned, is the older generation IMO. I can't imagine gramps hopping on a golf bike and ripping it down the fairway, but maybe I'm wrong. I'd hate to see an entire generation of golfers get the shaft (pun!) because of this.

Also, I heard somewhere that courses have to replace their carts every x years? Anyone who work at a course that can confirm that? Maybe @Golfspy_CG2?

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12 minutes ago, yungkory said:

The biggest issue aside from cost like others have mentioned, is the older generation IMO. I can't imagine gramps hopping on a golf bike and ripping it down the fairway, but maybe I'm wrong. I'd hate to see an entire generation of golfers get the shaft (pun!) because of this.

Also, I heard somewhere that courses have to replace their carts every x years? Anyone who work at a course that can confirm that? Maybe @Golfspy_CG2?

Our muni has a 3 year lease with Yamaha.  We get new carts in the spring!!

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2 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

Our muni has a 3 year lease with Yamaha.  We get new carts in the spring!!

Ah, maybe it was a case of the "telephone" game, and the lease part was left out. Personally, I'd love a golf board since I grew up skating/surfing. Combining two of my favorite things would be some epic levels of fun

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm afraid I'm not sure what I said that you disagree with.  With single-user carts, on cart-path-only (CPO) days, every player HAS to walk back to the cart path before he progresses towards the green.  With two-person carts, one player can be moving that cart toward the green while a "far-sided" player walks in the same direction, instead of walking back to the cart to move it.  On these days, single player carts have the potential to be slower than two-person carts.  When you can drive to your ball, single player carts should be expected to be faster.  I only suggested that a course should consider the slower CPO days as well as the faster "drive anywhere" days when they make their decisions.  The course would be foolish NOT to consider all potential effects of a decision, positive and negative, before they actually make the decision.

I've wondered about this as well.  I've also wondered about the weight of single person conveyances - perhaps they are light enough that they won't create as many "cart path only" days.  Maybe they are no different from a pullcart? 

That's a sincere question.

I'm also concerned about the social aspect of the game.  I rarely ever road a cart until I moved to Florida 13 years ago - the only reason that I would ride in one before that was in a scramble or to socialize.  I don't know what the individual cart will do for that important element of the game - perhaps nothing but it's another consideration.

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32 minutes ago, yungkory said:

The biggest issue aside from cost like others have mentioned, is the older generation IMO. I can't imagine gramps hopping on a golf bike and ripping it down the fairway, but maybe I'm wrong. I'd hate to see an entire generation of golfers get the shaft (pun!) because of this.

Also, I heard somewhere that courses have to replace their carts every x years? Anyone who work at a course that can confirm that? Maybe @Golfspy_CG2?

A lot of courses have lease agreements for their carts. I would think this is pretty common practice as it's far more cost effective than purchasing carts, and having to maintain and replace them outright.

I know a lot of people seem to be taking a pretty strong stance against the removal of two-seater carts and the way MGS articles have approached it don't seem to help. That is to say, everyone makes it sound like this is supposed to be some overnight switch and it simply can't/won't work that way. Odds are we may never see the day when two-seaters no longer exist. I do think there is a definite place for them. However, I don't think the social aspect is a particularly strong argument. Sure, I converse with my buddies when we share the same cart, but we also have plenty of conversation on the tee box, on the green, when we have to wait for a slower group, and any time in-between that allows for chit-chat. Not a huge deal in my mind.

I think the best argument that has been made is the cart path only argument suggest by @DaveP043. That's the only time I see a true disadvantage of a one-person cart. And speaking of wet conditions, weather is certainly a factor, but not one that can't be overcome. Besides, how much does the average cart really protect you from the elements other than offering shade in the summer? Cart covers are an add-on accessory and would likely be something offered for one-person carts as well. 

I don't know. I see both side, but I'm definitely leaning toward single golfer carts. Someone commented on the article about the OneWheel and it's definitely piqued my interest more than anything else. It wouldn't be for everyone, but a modified version that offers more stability and traction in wet grass (apparently that's an issue from the research I've done) could be a relatively low cost solution for those who see value in it. BTW, I do mean relative cost - $1200+ is still a lot of money to spend on what basically amounts to a motorized skateboard, but is much cheaper than the average cart.

Edited by TR1PTIK
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1 hour ago, yungkory said:

The biggest issue aside from cost like others have mentioned, is the older generation IMO. I can't imagine gramps hopping on a golf bike and ripping it down the fairway, but maybe I'm wrong. I'd hate to see an entire generation of golfers get the shaft (pun!) because of this.

Also, I heard somewhere that courses have to replace their carts every x years? Anyone who work at a course that can confirm that? Maybe @Golfspy_CG2?

 

1 hour ago, Kenny B said:

Our muni has a 3 year lease with Yamaha.  We get new carts in the spring!!

Yep, 3 year lease is most common.  We have a fleet of 150 carts (36 holes) and when you are doing 60,000 plus rounds a year, on municipal "maintained" cart parts, they take a beating...ha

I don't see an all at once conversion from 2 person carts to 1 person carts.  I think it will happen slowly over time.   Like bringing in half a dozen to a dozen single ride vehicles of some type...(not the golfboard)  and see how they go test out what issues happen, what the concerns are, what the advantages are then weigh going forward with more and more a bit at time.    I suspect there will always be some 2 person carts and maybe it never gets to be more than 50/50 who know.

But I have to think there was a day when the first gas carts showed up for the very first time, that some golfers thought, "What the hell.  There bringing cars onto a golf course"    LOL

As to Golfboards.  Our courses have tried them on a demo basis.  They are a novelty that people tire of very quickly.   We found people might try it once and then never again.   The novelty quickly wears off after 5 or 6 holes for most people.   And they are taxing.  You have to be in very good shape to ride one for 18 holes, your legs get a workout. 

As for the other options, I had a demo of a PHAT scooter on course, and the kick stands aren't as bad as most people think.   The put very little pressure on the grass as the weight of the scooter is lifted.   And once you've done it a few times it's pretty instinctive.   And these can be used a lot more liberally off the path than a 4 wheel golf cart can be.  So CPO days for these would be fewer.

Just some thoughts.  it's a conversation that will take on more of a life each year as more and more companies enter into this market and sooner or later, I think there's going to be  Wow!! Moment where someone comes out with the option that is nearly perfect in all regards. 

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Interesting topic.

I also wonder how much time single carts will save over two rider carts. It will be faster, but I don’t know how much.

Though we don’t lose a lot of balls, it’s often a group effort to find balls in the rough, after hitting a tree, blind shots and sometimes even in fairways (e.g. fall leaves) with players in my HI league. We’d probably be congregating between tee and green anyway, which will negate some time savings.

To be honest I’d miss socializing, but I guess we’ll still be together on tees and greens. That may be enough?

I’ll be very surprised if two wheel carts take hold though. A couple of (old) guys fall off, get seriously hurt, and sue and the liability could be huge. Or insurance premiums will be. And we’ll all be signing hold harmless agreements unlike today where anybody can take a cart without any questions or paperwork.

Edited by Middler
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There is a place for both and my previous comments are related to the courses I belong to or play.

The theme of the original blog article was the death of the 2 person cart. After reading of the comments here, i still don't think it'll go away. Is there a place for the 2 wheeler of course - just like there is for the push cart or electric remote control cart.


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