Electricity and water don’t mix together well, and with the majority of golf carts being electric vehicles, you may wonder whether it’s safe to use a golf buggy when it gets wet?
Golf carts can get wet, and they are safe to drive in the rain. They are electric vehicles, but their batteries are enclosed inside of a waterproof casing underneath the seat. A standard golf cart is an all-weather vehicle that can be used all year round in snow, rain, and sunshine.
But there are certain conditions when you may want to reconsider using a golf buggy. In this guide, we’ll be covering when and how you should use a golf buggy if the elements are against you.
We’ll also take a quick look at golf cart etiquette and how you can tell when the rain may have caused a problem with your vehicle and if you should leave your golf cart plugged in.
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Can A Golf Cart Get Rained On?
Golf carts are all designed to be waterproof and can get rained on. Most golf carts are electric four-wheel-drive vehicles powered by a battery locked away under an enclosed, weather-proof box. That means your cart should be safe to take out when the rain is pouring on the course.
Most golf carts are electric four-wheel-drive vehicles powered by a battery locked away under an enclosed, weather-proof box.
Frankly, I prefer using a golf buggy when it’s wet on the course because most carts will provide you with a bit of shelter from the elements. It’s never nice getting caught in the rain when you’re ten holes into your round, and that’s why it can sometimes be wise to take a golf cart out when the weather forecast is looking a little bleak.
Typically, golf carts will have a roof to stop rain from falling onto the driver’s seat. They’ll also have window screen wipers to clear the rain off your windshield as you drive. And sometimes, the more high market golf buggies will come with side windows and heated seats for when it gets cold on the course. All golf carts are designed to get rained on and are safe when it comes to a usual autumnal deluge.
But even if the rain isn’t too heavy, you still need to take a few more precautions when driving in the wet as opposed to if you were driving your buggy on a hot summer’s day. Here are several precautions you need to consider before driving in the rain.
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1.Avoid Adverse Weather Conditions
You should always assess the conditions before you play any round of golf, and if the weather is stormy or you’re walking into a blizzard, then I would advise against using a golf cart.
Golf buggies do have their limits on how much rain and snow they can handle. Even though their batteries are tightly enclosed inside of a waterproof casing, there’s always a chance that water could seep into the buggy’s gearbox or wiring and cause a malfunction. Put it this way; you don’t want to have to push a golf buggy back to the clubhouse in torrential rain.
The unpredictability of the weather is why you should always keep a rain jacket in your clubhouse’s locker if there are lockers available, to know what else you should bring see our post.
2.Don’t Play In Saturated Terrain
After adverse rainfall, golf courses can become saturated, and the ground can become boggy. The majority of golf courses will prohibit players from taking trolleys and golf carts out on their rounds if there’s been a lot of precipitation.
This stops players from damaging the fairways with tire tracks and wheel markings. If your local course has gone through an extended deluge of rain, it’s likely the ground is going to be too soft to take a cart tire. And you don’t want to be that one group holding everyone up in the rain because you got your golf cart stuck in the mud.
3.Check The Window Wipers Before Playing
As a safety precaution, if you know you’ll be driving in wet conditions, you’ll need to have a clear vision. That means you need to check the wipers are working and have enough grease and padding on them so they can effectively wipe the rain off the front of your cart.
4.The Grip On Your Tires
As with any car, you should regularly check the tread depth, tire pressure, and grip on your tires before you set off on a journey. While we’re talking about cars, check out our guide on whether you can fit a full bag of clubs in the back of a Ferrari California!
Checking your tires can be critical if you’re driving in the rain, where the surface can be a lot slippier, especially if you have a faulty tire. With golf carts, the same applies, but it’s even worse. As you’re mainly driving on grass and hilly terrain, the ground underneath you will be slicker than if you were driving on tarmac. That’s why it’s always important to double-check your tires before you set off on around.
5.Test Your Breaks
As your driving instructor once told you, you should always test your breaks after you drive through a puddle. The same goes if you’re driving your golf cart in wet weather. You don’t want your breaks to fail if you’re coming down a slippery wet hill, so it’s important to keep checking them when driving in the rain.
Plus, you need to be careful when parking your buggy on a slope or near a water hazard. Your golf balls won’t float if they roll into the water, and your golf cart certainly won’t either!
Most golf carts automatically lock their breaks when they are parked, but if they’ve been sitting in the rain all day, there is a chance their breaks can become slicker. Therefore it’s always a good idea to park your buggy horizontally if you’re on a hill.
Golf Cart Etiquette
Particularly in wet weather, it’s important to remember proper golf cart etiquette when driving your buggy. Here are few rules to remember when driving a cart around a course in the rain.
- Golf carts are not quad bikes. That means you’re not here to do doughnuts or practice drifting your cart on the fairways, which can cause irreparable damage to the golf course.
- Neither are they to be used for racing. Particularly when it’s wet, accidents can always happen when golfers try to outpace their friends on the fairway. Do not race golf, buggies.
- Stay away from hazards. Especially if it’s wet and windy, it is very unwise to park your buggy near a body of water or a sand trap.
- Stick to the cart paths. If it’s wet, golfers should try to avoid driving across fairways and in the rough. There is less chance of your buggy slipping or skidding on a cart path, especially if you’re playing in the rain.
Is It Safe To Drive A Golf Cart In The Rain?
It is safe to drive a golf cart in the rain, but it’s not advisable to drive a golf cart through a storm. When driving a cart in the rain you do need to take extra precautions to consider the situation you’re driving in and know when it’s permissible to take the buggy’s out and when it’s unwise to do so.
Know when it’s too dangerous to drive a golf cart, you should respect the course to know when it’s permissible to take the buggies out and when it’s unwise to do so. Most golf clubs will decide for you and stop you from using the carts considering the weather conditions.
The weather can also change while you’re out on the course, and that’s when it’s good to know the signs if your golf buggy is struggling in the wet. Is the steering pulling? Is the cart slow to break when you put your foot on the pedal? Does the battery keep cutting out on your golf cart?
These are all signs that water has had an impact on your cart’s functionality, and it may be best to take the cart in to get checked out by a member of the club.
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Should Golf Carts Be Plugged In All The Time?
Each golf cart manufacturer recommends different practices but E-Z-GO recommends electric golf carts to be unplugged during prolonged storage. To lengthen the lifespan of batteries ensure they are fully charged before each use and recharged after four hours of use.
There is conflicting information regarding the best practices as shown in this blog post however Club Car recommends golf carts to be left plugged into the car during prolonged storage whilst Yamaha takes an extreme way to completely removing the golf car batteries and storing them away from golf car which is very impracticable for most people.
Still, golf cart batteries should be recharged after four hours of use. Nobody likes to be stranded. It takes several hours to re-charge golf cart batteries that have gone completely dead. To lengthen the lifespan of batteries, make sure they are fully charged before each use.