At the beginning of the 2014 Spring season, our student leadership team decided that we would allow walking given the overwhelming feedback from students complaining about taking golf carts. We heard three main complaints:
1) Cost for carts (could add $15-$30 additional cost for a tournament)
2) Students said “I play better when walking”
3) Students desired a “varsity-like” atmosphere
What is the #ReadyGolf campaign about?
Fast forward to the Fall 2014 season, students are now claiming they would rather ride. With a focus on pace of play and #ReadyGolf for the NCCGA, are carts the answer? The long and short of it -- whether we walk or ride -- some will not be happy.
5 Determining Factors for Walking or Riding the Course
1) If a course is “un-walkable”, carts will be used. We will continue to do a better job working with our Regional Coordinators to define un-walkable courses versus walkable courses. I’ll be candid, we have made some mistakes, but we do our best working with course staff on this definition.
2) When booking a golf tournament, if a course is “walkable”, we will always walk as we do not want to increase costs for all participants. Further, we strive to provide a “varsity-like” atmosphere where competitive golfers walk as they do in nearly all other forms of competitive golf.
3) If a course is very poorly marked and GPS is the only way to know distances, we will always ride. This mistake was made at the Florida Regional tournament at Hawk’s Landing over the weekend and the students rode on day 2 versus walking given the GPS on carts drastically helped with pace of play. The course charged $3 for carts on day 2 and it was optional to use a cart.
4) Weather is out of our control, but does factor into our decision to ride or walk. If it is 95 degrees, we should most likely ride, whereas if it is 35 degrees, we should most likely walk. Given the geographic locations of 54 Regional Tournaments, weather needs to be considered for all events. We cannot predict the rain, but if there is any rain the day prior to a tournament, cart path only can drastically slow down the course of play.
5) When booking a golf tournament, location is a big factor for us given cart costs could increase tournament fees between $5 and $20 per round. Given the growth of the NCCGA with new teams competing without school funding, our goal is to keep costs low. Quite frankly some clubs cannot afford the cart and we do not want to limit the amount of teams who can play due to price alone.
I sincerely hope this helps answer some of your questions regarding how we view walking versus riding in our NCCGA events. We do our best to make the NCCGA better each semester and appreciate the constant feedback! If you have any more ideas, tweet me @collegegolfguy.
**Kris Hart is the CEO of Nextgengolf