Cart Path Only Decisions & Guidelines

Dear Spring Run Member,

Some questions have been raised recently regarding our decision processes and guidelines as it comes to making the course “cart path only” or not. I would like to explain what our evaluation process is when we make these decisions.

Our first step is always to look at how much rain we actually received on the course. Usually, anything less than a ½ inch and we don’t have any issues. If we received more than ½ inch then we drive the entire golf course and check the status. While we are driving the course, we are evaluating several factors.

The first thing we are looking at is how soft and how much water our tires are pushing and splashing while we are driving. If it is consistent water under the tires, then the hole will be “cart path only”. If the water sound is a little more intermittent, then we look at several other factors. The first factor then is how much we hear the water under the tires. If it is more than 60% of the hole then we make the hole cart path only. If it is less then that, we typically try to stake it off and put out signs to avoid the wet areas.

The next factor we evaluate is whether or not carts will damage the turf if we let them drive on the hole. If we find a wet area while we are driving, we drive through the area and see if our carts leave any tracks or ruts like the one in the pictures below.

If we hear water but don’t leave ruts or mud anything up, we will stake off the area and leave the hole open to carts.  We drive every hole on the course and make these evaluations, and then meet to discuss what we found and what the game plan will be. If we can, we try to leave as much of the golf course available as possible to drive on and only make certain holes cart path only. However, there are times where there are only 1 or 2 holes available to drive on, in that case, to make it easier for all members and golfers to remember the rules for the day we just simply make it cart path only on the whole course. We always try to minimize the cart path only restrictions to specific holes if we can but, that is not always possible because of the amount of rainfall or possible damage to the course. We never make cart restriction decisions based on who is playing golf that day or if there is an event. Nor do we take into account the appearance to others if we reduce or minimize cart restrictions. Our decisions are based solely on the conditions of that particular day and safety and health of the golf course.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to make Spring Run Golf Club the best bundled community in southwest Florida.


Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club, Superintendent


4 thoughts on “Cart Path Only Decisions & Guidelines

  1. Jack Butler

    Thank you for that detailed explanation on why cart path only or restricted play is put in place. If the people who complain only realized the damage that driving on saturated fairways will cause maybe they would be less vocal. Restrictions are put in place for everyone not just for a privileged few. This goes for the player or players cutting the ropes that are put up to protect certain areas of the golf course.

  2. Joseph Martin

    Your decision making process is spot on. The Golf Course is our most important asset at Spring Run. Its proper care is essential for all of us to enjoy year round. Like aeration, alterations and continuing improvements, you will get some blow back when you close the course or announce cart path only restrictions. But most of us realize it is necessary for the health of the golf course. You and your men do a yeoman’s job to keep the place in great playing shape year round. My compliments. Like everything else in life, if someone isn’t complaining you probably aren’t doing your job, Joe Martin- Sandycreek Terrace.

  3. Carol Benjamin

    Thank you for taking such good care of our course. I played today and it was in great condition. It was wise to close the course and to use cart path only when and where necessary. Also thank you for providing the detailed information.

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