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When Do You Have To Bring Back Rented Golf Carts? – Rules Explained

rented golf carts at golf club
rented golf carts at golf club

Renting golf carts is quite useful on golf courses, especially if you have a hard time walking. By renting a golf cart, you do not have to buy it yourself, saving you money if you do not play a lot for a long time.

On the other hand, when you rent someone else’s golf cart, there are rules and renting etiquette that should be followed to keep all parties happy and not disgruntled.

One of these rules you need to follow is bringing back the rented golf cart on time, which saves staff a lot of trouble. Therefore, if you plan on renting a golf cart at your golf course, you may wonder: when do you have to bring back rented golf carts?

In this article, we will tell you exactly when you have to bring back rented golf carts to organize yourself well and keep everyone happy.

When Do You Have To Bring Back Rented Golf Carts?

When you need to bring back rented golf carts at the clubhouse depends on the closing time set by your golf course. Many times, the closing time for golf carts is somewhere between 6pm and 8pm. The staff will usually tell you the closing time when you rent a cart, or you can ask them.

Bringing rented golf carts back at the right time is proper golf etiquette and important in order to be respectful to the staff of your golf course.

Not bringing rented golf carts back in timely fashion is extremely frustrating for golf course employees, stretches their work hours for the same pay, and can make them less happy and enjoyable to be around when they provide you services you benefit from.

The fact of the matter is that many golf course employees need to be at work very early, and wake up even earlier to have breakfast, shower, and all the other essentials.

Some golf course employees need to wake up at 4am or 5am, so you can see why they would rather not be forced to wait 30-60 minutes after closing time because some people do not follow rules and do not bring their rented golf carts in time. Everyone deserves their sleep.

Rented golf carts need to be brought back before closing time, which is almost always later during the day. If it is sundown, or dark outside, it may already be closing time. Ask the golf course staff when closing time is if you do not know, but they will generally tell you.

Even if you did not complete all 18 holes of your round, if it is closing time, you need to bring the rented golf cart back. Those are the rules. Past closing time, if you can still see the ball, you can often still play golf, but you need to walk.

If you cannot see what you are shooting at, odds that you are late, and need to bring the golf cart back.

On the other hand, using light-up golf balls to tell staff you can still see the ball past dark is flat out disrespectful. If you could not see where a regular golf ball travels in the air, then it is time to go. Be mindful of the staff waiting on you to go home so that they can go home themselves.

If you wait to long to bring back your rented golf carts, staff may start to get anxious and wonder if the rented carts were broken or stolen.

Not returning golf carts before closing time is also a liability for the golf course. Someone running loose with a rented golf cart at night can accidentally injure or kill someone, and the golf course can be sued for it.

Many golf course staff also mention that the times they have left their carts outside, they woke up to them on 4 concrete blocks, with the battery stolen. Golf cart batteries are expensive. In some cases, the entire cards must have been loaded up on a trailer and stolen.

Therefore, do not blame golf course staff is they tell you they need the golf carts back before closing time. You would require the same thing if you were the business owner or the staff of the golf course.

If you thought clubhouse employees get to go home directly after you bring in the carts, and that they are impatient, you are wrong. After you bring in the rented golf carts, they need to clean them, park them, and plug in the chargers to recharge the carts overnight.

This process takes considerable time as well.

Many golf courses have a closing time to bring the golf carts somewhere between 7pm and 8pm. Assuming it takes 30-60 minutes to store all the rented golf carts and plug them in, staff may not leave the course before 8pm or 9pm!

Considering they often need to be up somewhere between 4am and 6am…they are not getting that much sleep or free time. Now, imagine how they will feel if you bring back your rented golf cart 30-60 minutes late… Odds are that you would be frustrated in their shoes as well.

Finally, some golf courses will charge you a fee for bringing in the cart late. Some of these penalties are monetary, like a 1$ fee per minute past closing time if you brought the cart back late.

Therefore, you should try to bring the rented golf cart back in time for closing time every time you play. If by some sort of random accident or issue, you bring the cart back late, you could tip the staff a little bit.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly when you should bring back rented golf carts on golf courses.

Did you know this proper golf cart renting etiquette? Do you find golf carts useful on a golf course? Let us know in the comments down below!

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