These Paths Are Made For Walking, USGA Central Region Update

Posted on October 9th, 2019

Many facilities mow a narrow strip of shorter turf from the tee to the fairway – often referred to as a walking or courtesy path. This is done because walking through rough-height turf early in the morning when heavy dew is present can soak shoes and socks. A short grass path helps to keep early morning walkers dry. However, these walking paths were never intended to be used as a cart path.

While the walking paths may provide the shortest distance to the fairway, golfers using a cart should avoid driving directly down them. Instead, cart traffic should be scattered when leaving the tee area because, over an entire golf season, continuous cart traffic on the walking path will result in turf decline. Traffic control is especially important if you have cool-season turf roughs that were scalped down to a less-than-ideal height of cut to create the path.

Golfers should always make an attempt to scatter their traffic and avoid driving down walking paths. Keep this in mind while playing golf this fall.


Central Region Agronomists:

Bob Vavrek, regional director –

John Daniels, agronomist –

Zach Nicoludis, agronomist –

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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