Sharing a Golf Cart

Players A and B are sharing a golf cart. Player A skulls one out of the bunker and her ball hits Player B’s bag, which is on the cart. Is there a penalty?

Like most questions on the Rules of Golf, we will need more information to come up with the answer.

Meanwhile, the root of the answer is found in the definition of equipment. Specifically, Note 2 of the definition applies. Here it what it says:

“When a golf cart is shared by two or more players, the cart and everything it are deemed to be the equipment of one of the players sharing the cart.”

“If the cart is being moved by one of the players (or the partner of one of the players) sharing it, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be that player’s equipment. Otherwise, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be the equipment of the player sharing the cart whose ball (or whose partner’s ball) is involved.”

So let’s take a closer look at the situation. First of all, this applies when two or more people are sharing a cart. In this case, Players A and B are sharing a cart.

Next, the first sentence of the Note makes the statement that the cart, and everything in it (could even be another person or player), are deemed to be the equipment of only one of the players. That means both Player A’s bag and clubs as well as Player B’s bag and clubs are going to be deemed to be the equipment of just one of them.

Finally, the second sentence of the Note tells us whose equipment it will be. It all depends on whether or not the cart is stationary or being moved.

  • If the cart is being moved, the cart and everything in it belong to the driver of the cart.
  • If the cart is not being moved, the cart and everything it belong to whomever’s ball is involved.

In our original example, the cart was not moving when Player A’s skulled shot resulted in her ball striking the cart. Therefore, the cart and everything it belong to Player A. Consequently, we have a ball in motion deflected or stopped by her equipment which leads to Rule 19-2. It tells her to add one penalty stroke to her score and play the ball as it lies.

Remember, use the index or the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help yourself to enjoy the game of golf.

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