If you've ever been to a golf course -- perhaps participating in a scramble or another charity tournament -- then you have probably heard the starter or the head professional say that the 90-degree rule is in effect. Maybe they've said "We're 90 degrees today."
They're not talking about the temperature, though. They're talking about angles and what you can and can't do with a golf cart on the golf course.
What is the 90-degree rule in golf?
At a golf course, the 90-degree rule tells you where and when to leave the cart path when using a golf cart. The 90-degree rule means golfers must enter and exit the cart path at a 90-degree angle. In other words, making a full 90-degree turn into the grass.
What is the point of the 90-degree rule?
The 90-degree rule exists because golf courses want to limit the amount of strain and damage golf carts can cause, particularly on hot or wet days. Golf carts can damage grass easily, particularly if drivers aren't careful with the carts. Asking golfers to observe the 90-degree rule, then, allows them to ask golfers to be more efficient with the use of their carts, trying to get them to drive directly toward their golf balls without meandering through the rough and fairway in search of it.
How to follow the 90-degree cart rule
Now that we've explained the 90-degree cart rule, how do you observe it? What golf courses want you to do is ride the golf cart on the path until you get parallel to the golf ball that you need to hit. From there, you turn left or right toward the golf ball and drive directly toward it. Hit your shot or shots, then get back in the cart and drive it directly back to the path, ideally on the same stretch of grass where you drove to the ball.
By observing the 90-degree rule, you're helping keep the golf course in good shape for yourself and others. Yes, it can be annoying to follow, but it's sometimes a necessary evil for cart riders.