Can People Ride In The Cart While I Play? (Ride Along Rules)

can people ride in the cart while i play and non golfer ride along rules

Golf is an incredibly fun game, but many – including myself – almost find the cart riding to be the best part. Riding the cart on a beautiful golf course while drinking a cool beverage and chatting with your buddies is as good as it gets. 

Many people have friends or a spouse who don’t play golf, but still wish to spend time with them on the golf course. Whether it’s to socialize with your friends or just have a reason to get out in nature, following along in a cart will undoubtedly be worthwhile — but are you allowed to do so?

can people ride in the cart while i play and non golfer ride along rules

Non-Golfer Ride Along Rules

can people ride in the cart while i play and is there a non golfer fee for some golf courses

If you decide to join your friends at the course just to ride along, there are some rules and etiquette to remember.

Firstly, make sure that the course allows it

Firstly, make sure that the course allows it, and that you pay any extra fees that may be presented. It’s also important to not have any more people in the cart than permitted, which is either two or four, depending on its size.

Even though you’re not playing any golf personally, there is still standard golfer etiquette to follow. Be silent, especially when someone is about to hit a shot. When people are putting, make sure to not cover their putting line with your shadow. And lastly, don’t slow your group down in any way, as the groups behind will get annoyed. 


can people ride in the cart while i play are golf cart fees per person

Knowing the fee structure is important when renting a cart for your next round. Either you pay a single fee to rent a cart, or you pay a cost per person riding in the cart.

If you’re going golfing alone…

If you’re going golfing alone, the fee per person will usually give you a better price, but generally speaking, a group of golfers will pay around the same regardless of the fee structure.


Is There a Non Golfer Fee?

If you don’t play golf but still wish to get out on the golf course to spend some quality time with your friends while enjoying the picturesque scenes, you can do so by walking or riding along with them. 

Many clubs won’t charge any fees for just walking around the golf course with somebody playing. However, always check with the club you’re considering going to. If you plan on riding in a cart, there might be a small fee associated with the ride. Some clubs might also charge a non-golfer fee to walk around the course, but this is relatively rare, and the sum is usually pretty small.

Golf Cart Etiquette To Follow

Golf cart riding is one of the best parts of the sport but comes with responsibility. While some rules may seem trivial to some, they’re all there to minimize the risk of accidents and make sure that everyone has the best time possible out on the course. 

  • Always stay behind the other golfers to ensure that nobody makes a miss-hit and hits your cart. Even though they might be hundreds of yards behind you, a golf ball hitting your cart or the people in it will be a disaster. 
  • Remain as silent as possible, as golf is a game that requires a lot of concentration. The slightest distraction can cause a bad shot and an annoyed golfer as a result. This is not to say that you can’t have some fun with your friends, but just try to keep your voice down.
  • The golf course, especially its fairways and greens, is very fragile and needs to be taken care of. If the course is wet, the cart might get stuck in the turf, causing damage. This is why you sometimes need to follow the 90-degree rule, which is explained in the FAQs. 
  • Cart riding is very fun, but sometimes the fun can get out of hand. Joyriding is not okay, as it’s disrespectful to everyone else and can cause serious injuries. So even though the thought of going off-roading certainly is appealing, try only to take the cart to your next shot.
  • If you decide to rent a cart, make sure to arrive at the golf club a while before your tee time, as the renting process sometimes takes a lot of time.

To summarize, golf cart etiquette comes down to common sense. Just be considerate about your and others’ safety.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you bring your wife golfing?

Many couples look for new things to do with each other, and bringing your wife golfing is an excellent idea. Even though she might not play, golf is a fun and social activity to enjoy together. If she doesn’t play, there usually won’t be any problem with her riding or walking along your round, but make sure to check with your club if it’s okay or if it comes with any extra costs.

Can you ride along on a golf course?

If you don’t feel like golfing yourself, but still want to enjoy the golf course and the fun cart riding, you can do so by riding along in a cart. Most golf courses will allow this without any hassle, but sometimes they might charge a non-golfer fee. And if you’re riding along with a foursome, you’ll need to rent an extra cart, which comes with the same cost as usual. Even though you might be riding along with a single, the course might charge cart fees per person, which you’ll also have to pay. 

Can a non golfer ride along?

Most courses will allow non-golfers to ride along with a friend, but it varies from course to course. There usually won’t be any green fees associated with the ride, although some courses will charge a spectator fee. If the club charges a price per person when renting out a cart, this cost will also apply to a non-golfer. So nothing is holding the non-golfer back from spending some quality time with their friends or spouse out on the golf course. 

What is the 90 degree cart rule?

When playing golf with a cart, you should try to stay on the cart path as much as possible to protect the fairway. However, on certain days, especially if the course is wet, you may be asked to follow the 90 degree rule.

The 90-degree rule effectively means that you’re allowed to use a golf cart, but you must stay on the cart path as much as possible, and make straight 90-degree turns towards your golf ball. This might seem silly to some, but the course is extra fragile on certain days, and hence this rule is put into play. 

Does Pinehurst allow ride alongs?

The Pinehurst Golf Resort is one of the most well-known in the game. With nine breathtaking 18-hole courses and the host of prestigious events like the US Open, most golfers dream of being able to say that they’ve played there. While it’s encouraged to walk Pinehurst to get the full experience, carts are available on all courses. They don’t have any explicit ride along policies, but if you ask nicely and make sure to keep the pace of play, there shouldn’t be any problems with you taking someone for a ride along.

Does Pebble Beach allow ride alongs? 

Pebble beach is the definition of a bucket list course, and many may wish to enjoy the experience with their non-golfing friend or partner. Fortunately, this is possible. A non-golfer can walk or ride along the beautiful course without any extra cost, making the steep green fee sting a little less.

Can you just walk a golf course?

Walking a golf course instead of riding in a cart has many benefits. Not only is it great exercise, but it may also improve your scores as you get a better feel of the fairways and layouts of the holes, while also having more time to make high-quality decisions.

Although rare, some golf courses may not allow walking, primarily due to keeping a high pace of play and not slowing down groups behind you. Walking a course might not be a good idea for some, as the distances are very long. 

If you decide to opt for walking a course instead of renting a cart, it’s advised that you bring or rent a push cart (also known as pull cart). This will make your round of golf easier and put less stress on your body.

Conclusion: Research by

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

Golf cart riding is one of the best parts of the sport, and it’s also a great way to introduce some of your non-golfing friends to the beauty of the game. Riding along in a cart creates an opportunity for meaningful conversation in the stunning surroundings of the golf course. 

Luckily, most golf courses won’t have any problem with ride alongs, and usually let them do so free of charge. Some courses may charge a spectator fee, and they might also have a cart payment structure that every rider pays regardless of who’s golfing or not. The team at TellMeMoreGolf hopes that you enjoyed this article, and wishes you a great time out on the course, whether you’re a golfer or not.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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