The Ultimate Cart Chart: Where You Can (and Can't) Use "Buggies" in the UK and Ireland

Many of you heading to the UK and Ireland are confused about the rules regarding carts or "buggies" as they're called.

I don't blame you -- we've all heard how carts are taboo over there, yet there are pockets of acceptance.

To clear this up, I created what I'm calling "The Ultimate Cart Chart."

Now, I'm not suggesting you use a cart if you can walk some the greatest walking courses in the world.

I'm merely pointing out where they're available if you want to mix it up or for those who would otherwise be physically unable to experience these awesome courses.

Indeed, most of the courses below will only provide a golf cart if you have a doctor's/medical note stating you need one. Others, as you'll see, do not allow carts for any reason.

Here are the courses that tend to be on people's hit lists...

Golf CourseBuggies/Carts Available?CostNotes
Ireland
Ballybunion (Old)Non/aAvailable on Cashen Course for €35
WatervilleYes€40-€50Buggy for same-day replay is €25
DoonbegYes, but must be accompanied by a caddie€85 + tipFee includes buggy and caddie
Old HeadYes€60Can pair with forecaddie for €25
TraleeNo, except for those with a medical certificate€50Fee includes buggy and caddie
The European ClubYes€40Small fleet; advanced reservations recommended
Lahinch (Old)No, except for those with a medical certificaten/aExtremely limited availabilty
Northern Ireland
Royal County DownNon/aClub claims "the terrain" doesn't permit buggies
Royal Portrush (Dunluce Links)Non/aCell phones not permitted, either
Scotland
The Old Course
at St. Andrews
No, except for those with a permanent disability and only from April to OctoberCaddie Fee (£30-£45 + tip)Must be operated by an approved caddie
The Caslte Course
at St. Andrews
No, except for seniors or those with a medical certificate and only from April to OctoberCaddie Fee (£30-£45 + tip)Must be operated by an approved caddie
All Other Courses
at St. Andrews
No, except for seniors or those with a medical certificate£25Must be operated by an approved caddie
CarnoustieNon/an/a
MuirfieldNo, except for those with a medical certificate£35Users must sign a "Safety Policy Acknowledgement Form"
KingsbarnsNo, except for those with a medical certificate£50Must be operated by an approved caddie
Royal TroonNon/an/a
Turnberry
(Ailsa Course)
No, except for those with a medical certificate£40 plus Caddie Fee (£40 + tip)Must be operated by an approved caddie
England
Royal BirkdaleNo, except for those with a medical certificate£20Green fee includes soup and sandwich lunch
Royal St. George'sNo, except for those with a medical certificate£30Visitor play M-F; maximum handicap: 18 men/women
Royal Lytham & St. AnnesNo, except for those with a medical certificate£15 + caddie tipMust be driven by an approved caddie
Royal LiverpoolNo, except for those with a medical certificate£30Maximum handicap: 21/32 men/women
Sunningdale (Old)No, except for those with a medical certificate£30 + caddie fee + tipMust be driven by an approved caddie

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's interesting that the top courses in Ireland tend to be a little more cart friendly than those in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England.

That said, I've also know that "exceptions are made" almost everywhere...provided you have the right medical documentation and you submit a polite request months in advance of your visit.

What do you think of my chart? Should carts become more commonplace at UK and Ireland golf courses?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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The Ultimate Cart Chart: Where You Can (and Can't) Use "Buggies" in the UK and Ireland
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