What Is The 90-Degree Rule In Golf? – Explanation, Benefits, And Consequences

Are you a golfer looking to up your game on the course? Then you might have heard of the 90-degree rule in golf cart usage. But what exactly is it?

Well, it is an important rule when you drive your cart on a golf course. This rule dictates that your golf carts obey the designated path and make a 90° turn whenever you reach the edge of the fairway or the grass. In effect, it keeps the golf cart from driving onto other fairways and avoids damage to the course.

Following this rule, you respect the course’s traditional layout and keep the ball from potential dangers when carts are driven off their designated path.

But what happens if this rule needs to be followed? And how do you abide by this 90-degree rule while traversing a golf course? Let’s find out!

What is 90-degree golf rule

What Is The 90° Rule In Golf?

Content Summery

The 90-degree rule is an important part of the game. It dictates that when playing golf with a golf cart, you must keep to the paths and grass designated for driving the cart on the course.

This means making sure that when you drive off the cart path onto the fairway to hit your shot, you must make a 90-degree turn back onto the designated path leading away from the ball.

This prevents any damage that would otherwise be caused by one continuous track along the fairway.

The golfer also wants to keep their golf ball on the fairways, so this rule helps prevent it from rolling off into other parts of the course. Following this right-angle rule will ensure that all parts of your game are kept in check, preventing any unnecessary damage or loss of concentration from attempting to find a lost ball.

By keeping within this degree rule, you’ll be able to focus on your swing rather than worrying about potential hazards that may arise due to improper driving etiquette.

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What Is The Purpose Of The 90-Degree Rule?

The 90° rule is an important part of navigating a golf course in a golf cart while keeping the health of the grass in mind. This rule is widely accepted and considered good golf cart etiquette.

90-Degree rule was only officially implemented in 1980 by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

This rule was made to ensure that when you (as a golfer) use your cart, you are following etiquette and not causing any damage to the turf. Otherwise, your trail fee will be much higher.

This policy ensures that damage to turf from the wheels of carts can be reduced and keeps golf courses looking well-kept and presentable for all players to enjoy for years to come.

The 90-degree rule states that you should follow the 90° angle as much as possible when taking a path or driving on a golf course.

This means instead of cutting corners or making sharp turns with the golf cart. You should take wider routes and always stay in line with the normal edge of the grass.

It also provides an extra layer of protection for the grass and turf, especially when conditions are dry. Additionally, following this rule also makes finding golf balls on the fairway easier, reducing players’ need to drive over the grass searching for lost balls.

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Following The 90° Rule In The Right Way For Different Situations

You can follow this rule in different course situations during the game.

  • On a cart path: Golf carts must always stay on the path and never drive at right angles across it.
  • On fairways: Golf carts should be driven straight along the edge of the fairway or at a 90-degree angle off the fairway’s edge to avoid cutting across it. Players should never drive diagonally across a fairway.
  • Between holes: Golf carts should only travel between holes in a straight line following the designated path.
  • They must avoid making diagonal turns to cut across other parts of the course. Around greens and bunkers:
  • Always travel around greens and bunkers in a clockwise motion, respecting their boundaries by only traveling at ninety degrees from them and never cutting through them.

Consequences Of Not Following The 90-Degree Rule In Golf

These are some consequences for not following this rule:

  • You may damage the golf course and put divots in the lawn.
  • It will damage the turf and restrict water from reaching the grassroots, resulting in dead patches.
  • It will reduce your chances of shooting a good score due to damaged greens or fairways.
  • Tournaments or high-level competitions can warn you, fine you, or even disqualify you for breaking this rule.
  • There will be difficult for other golfers to use their carts on the smooth surface.
  • Ignoring this rule could result in a ban from playing golf at specific courses, particularly those well-maintained with lush green grasses.
  • It affects your credibility as a golfer and ruins the golfing experience for everyone else around you!

What Are The 5 Rules Of Golf Etiquette?

  1. Repair ball marks and replace divots on the green.
  2. Play at a reasonable pace without delaying the game.
  3. Allow faster groups to play through when appropriate.
  4. Maintain silence when other players are swinging or putting.
  5. Leave the course in better condition than before your round.

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Golf Rules and Etiquettes


How far should a golf cart be from the green?

Park golf carts a minimum of 30 yards from the green.

What is the scatter rule in golf?

The scatter rule in golf is a putting technique that involves aiming the putter at a broader target instead of one spot. The aim is to increase the likelihood of sinking the putt by avoiding any minor imperfections in stroke and alignment.

What are the rules for golf etiquette?

Golf etiquette requires players to be respectful of other players, respect the course and its facilities, maintain a proper pace of play, replace divots and repair ball marks on the green.

What is the rule if the ball lands on the cart path in golf?

It would help if you treated a ball that lands on the cart path as an immovable obstruction and must not move it. Instead, you should take relief by dropping the ball within one club length, no closer to the hole.

Final Thoughts

Drive golf carts only on designated paths on a golf course. Make a 90-degree turn onto the fairway and back onto the path. Park carts at least 30 yards from the green.

Respect other players, maintain the pace of play, and fix ball marks and divots. So, that’s all for today, folks! Feel free to drop your queries about this rule in the comment box below.

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