The cart path has been a staple on most golf courses for decades. However, how they are used is a different story, especially on the professional level.
While us amateurs drive on them, the pros would prefer to hit off of them or use them to their benefit (most times). If they get a lie on the pavement, the pros will often take it because they can clip the ball better than from the rough surrounding the path.
Whether it’s a lucky bounce or a calculated swing, cart paths can be your friend — or your enemy.
Here’s a look at 10 pro shots involving the cart path.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez played this shot from a dicey lie during the Lyoness Open in Atzenbrugg, Austria. The issue was that if he took a drop, he’d likely end up with an even worse lie in the rough.
With no margin for error, the most interesting man in golf played a beautiful punch from 110 yards and stuck it on the green. That crunch you here is the sound of metal spikes – remember those?
Louis Oosthuizen used the cart path to his advantage during the 2013 Ballantine’s Championship in Korea. It was clear he was disgusted with this drive as soon as it left the clubface, but as luck would have it, it caught the cart path and gravity took it from there. Finally, after 500 yards it stopped – just like he drew it up.
Phil’s the type of guy who’d probably prefer this lie to the actual fairway. Phil showed us why he’s the best when he clipped this off the path during the 2013 Scottish Open. Just your routine up and down for Lefty!
While the cart path can be your friend, it can also be your enemy. Adam Scott found out the hard way when he caught the path after his ball careened off the grandstand during the 2016 Players Championship. Got to love Terry Gannon and Faldo cracking jokes as it motored on past the hole.
Alexander Levy opted to play this one off the cart path at the 2015 Shenzhen International in China. While taking a drop seemed like the logical choice, for pros like Levy, they’ll take this lie any day. He nipped it perfectly and gave himself a chance to knock in a putt.
Dustin Johnson found himself in this precarious situation at the 2016 Memorial. In a last ditch effort to salvage something out of this hole, he hacked his ball out and let the cart path work its magic. Clever play for not having a swing.
Pros make everything look easy, and this shot is no exception. Marc Leishman hit this tidy approach during the European Tour’s 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge with his feet on the cart path. After having to step off of it because of a trigger-happy camera man, he struck it pure, flew it past the pin, and let the slope of the green bring it back to the hole. We couldn’t have done it better ourselves – or at all!
Normally we’ll see irons and wedges off the cart path but rarely do we see metal woods. Kevin Na demonstrated this wonderfully during the 2012 Players Championship, hitting the green on the tough par-4 18th hole in regulation. It’s not supposed to look that easy!
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Demi Runas hit this tee shot well right of her intended target during the Manulife LPGA Classic 2016. Whether she drew it up like this or not, there was a cart path conveniently located right where her ball landed, sending it flying towards the hole leaving her a short putt for birdie.
Charl Schwartzel snags the top spot with this incredible shot from off a road during the 2014 Volvo Golf Champions. After settling down, he unleashed this beauty that buzzed the flagstick and ended up with a kick in. Nobody could believe it, especially the commentators!