What is this blithering 90-degree rule?

golf cartWhen it comes to playing golf, I’m decidedly old school. Weather permitting, I prefer to walk while playing, which puts me in a decided minority among American golfers, most of whom prefer to ride in a motorized cart.

Golfweek’s British columnist Alistar Tait also prefers to walk, as do most golfers in the United Kingdom, where motorized carts are a rarity. Tait has just returned to the U.K. from his annual golfing trip to the U.S. and he weighs in with this clever article (entitled "Annoyed with America") in which he lists the "peculiarities" of playing golf in the U.S.

He includes one of my favorite cart-riding absurdities — the 90-degree rule — which requires that you drive on the cart path until you are 90 degrees from your ball, then drive to your ball from the cart path, hit your shot, and then return on your 90 degree path to the cart path, where you proceed to 90 degrees from your shot landed. Tait notes:

The 90-degree rule – Tell a British golfer that the 90-degree rule is in effect and you’ll get a blank look. Since we don’t have carts and paths, there’s no need for a rule that says you drive on the cart path adjacent to your ball and then turn 90 degrees to your ball.

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