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Will we see the end of concrete/asphalt cart paths in the next few decades?


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Cart paths are terrible. Straight up. They almost never "help" you and for every time you get an added 30 yards on your drive from hitting the cart path, in my experience, there are five examples where a cart path sent your ball flying OB where if it were just grass or even dirt it would have stayed in bounds. With the advent of finn cycles, single carts, those motorized carts that follow you etc...will we see the end of cart paths in my useful playing lifetime? I have to say I f***ing hate cart paths because (a) I don't ride carts unless forced to or playing a course that has miles between holes and (b) because, for whatever reason (particularly at munis), they get put waaaay too close to the greens to where they are almost hazards. 

 

What say Golfwrx, will we get to see the death of cartpaths or at least more cartpaths that are sand rather than asphalt? 

 

 

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I guess I am hopeful that the innovations in carts and cart options will ultimately lead to there not being a need for cart paths anymore. 

22 minutes ago, Warrior42111 said:

Not sure which is more expensive in the long run, but maintaining dirt or sand paths maybe cost more. Adding sand regularly, pulling grass and weeds, man hours etc. smoothing them out from use and erosion. 

 

At this point I am willing to carry the burden of this cost as a consumer. Paths are horrible. I no longer think of it is as "rub of the green" and it is more "rub of the concrete." I wonder how Old Tom Morris would feel about cart paths. 

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47 minutes ago, Mustard_Tiger said:

People blasting music on the course is way worse than cart paths. Neither is going away, though.

and those squirrels who fart, and spiders that bark

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In the southern US paths will always be 100% required.  Look, I love walking in the fall, winter and spring.  But in July and August when it is 95 degrees and 90% humidity and 100 vertical feet over 7 miles?  Give me a cart.  I am 48 and in good shape.  Without carts, clubs/courses down here would suffer.  

 

I dont care how many remote control carts or surfboard things come around, carts are not going anywhere.  If we eliminated our paths the turf condition would be abysmal.  

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1 hour ago, sabram said:

As long as most players ride, there will be cart paths. Riding is here to stay... especially on courses in housing developments  because the green to tee walks are way too long to walk.

 

Don't get me started on housing developments where it feels like you're playing in people's backyards.

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2 minutes ago, david.c.w said:

In the southern US paths will always be 100% required.  Look, I love walking in the fall, winter and spring.  But in July and August when it is 95 degrees and 90% humidity and 100 vertical feet over 7 miles?  Give me a cart.  I am 48 and in good shape.  Without carts, clubs/courses down here would suffer.  

 

What did they do before 1960?

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5 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

 

What did they do before 1960?

Taking away golf carts is not going to fix the past 60 years of obesity and generally poorer health.  My FIL who is 80 and in GREAT SHAPE would have retired from golf by now as he would be unable to play 18 at our course.  Too hot in the summer and too many hills.  Carts allow him and people of poorer health or bad knees or backs to enjoy the game they love.

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1 hour ago, Mustard_Tiger said:

People blasting music on the course is way worse than cart paths. Neither is going away, though.

lots of mental gymnastics to shoehorn that into this thread. 

 

good work. 

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3 hours ago, Warrior42111 said:

concrete will last a lot longer and take more abuse for  less maintenance I assume. 

 

Persons in charge of paving often assume asphalt is cheaper than concrete. Being asphalt is a petroleum derivative, in many cases concrete now is same-same or cheaper.

 

And, durability of cart paths relates in part to the engineering skills of the planners. The paths last longer if areas with heavy water runoff have drainage pipes and proper banking to prevent erosion of base soil.

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3 hours ago, blackbdmillsaps said:

I guess I am hopeful that the innovations in carts and cart options will ultimately lead to there not being a need for cart paths anymore. 

 

At this point I am willing to carry the burden of this cost as a consumer. Paths are horrible. I no longer think of it is as "rub of the green" and it is more "rub of the concrete." I wonder how Old Tom Morris would feel about cart paths. 

Old Tom, being a Pro, would probably love the additional revenue from carts, and also being a superintendent, would like cart paths to keep the carts off the grass.

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100% necessary. I live in the PNW and work on a course. The shortcuts we use are dead within 3-4 months of regrowing them in and these are paths that only the maintenance crew uses. There are 3 paths that are shortcuts that we bark chip (actual chips from trees cut down on property) and they are only for walkers. Those paths have to have new chips at minimum once a year. That is with no carts, just foot traffic. I’ve been stuck 4 times this year on a course I know every inch of.

 

Courses just couldn’t take it. 

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I deliberately use them to add 75 yards to my drives.

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If you're at a Muni, then whatever I agree. But if you're at a top club you guys don't realize how much heavy equipment is moved around overnight and on closed days when you aren't there. There are tractors, 18 wheelers, backhoes, dump trucks, and all sorts of other vehicles moving around the property. The paths are not there for your carts, although they are disguised to be. 

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Carts won't be going away.  So if you're playing with strangers, who on the 1st tee seem to be toying with the idea of playing music, just let them know you have a shotgun in your bag that says they won't.  Or... at least ask them if they could cue up Beethoven's 7th Symphony, Final Movement.

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6 minutes ago, larrybud said:

 

Yeah, but get rid of carts and the music will stop. Most won't walk, and those who do won't want to lug around their bluetooth!

 

They're pretty eash to attach to a push cart, mine fits nicely in the bottle holde of mine.

 

On topic, I have no issues with carth paths, but I dislike poorly routed cart paths that put them right next to OB or water.  As much as an eye sore as it might be, I honestly think putting the path right up the middle of the fairway would be the best thing on most courses, it would speed up cart path only and you wouldn't have to worry about landing on one that results in the ball going in a hazard or OB.

 

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3 minutes ago, MountainKing said:

 

They're pretty eash to attach to a push cart, mine fits nicely in the bottle holde of mine.

 

On topic, I have no issues with carth paths, but I dislike poorly routed cart paths that put them right next to OB or water.  As much as an eye sore as it might be, I honestly think putting the path right up the middle of the fairway would be the best thing on most courses, it would speed up cart path only and you wouldn't have to worry about landing on one that results in the ball going in a hazard or OB.

 

 

1.  More opportunity to land on the middle-of-fairway cart path and get pro length on your drives.

 

2.  If you put your music in the bottle holder where are you going to put your traveling cocktail???

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