Red Flag Policy

Lake Merced Golf Club Red Flag Golf Cart Policy

Members and guests (including participants in non-member golf events held at the Club) with mobility disabilities may request an exemption from the application of certain restrictions imposed by the Club’s rules on the operation of golf carts on the golf course. This exemption is commonly referred to as a “Red Flag Exemption” because, when granted, the member or guest with the mobility disability must display a red flag (provided by the Club’s Pro Shop) on his or her golf cart so that other players and golf course marshals will be aware that the member or guest is exempt from certain restrictions otherwise applicable to the operation of the golf cart on the golf course.

To obtain a Red Flag Exemption, a member or guest must provide credible assurance to a member of the Club’s Pro Shop staff that an exemption from certain of the restrictions on the use of golf carts on the golf course is required because of the person’s disability. The Club will accept as adequate credible assurance either (1) a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card or other State-issued proof of disability, or (2) a verbal representation from the member or guest, that the Red Flag Exemption is required because of the person’s disability. The Club respects the privacy of its members and guests and will not ask about the nature or extent of the disability.

Upon granting a Red Flag Exemption, the golf cart to which the red flag has been affixed (the “Red Flag Cart”) must be operated in accordance with all of the rules otherwise applicable to the operation of golf carts on the golf course with the following exceptions:

(i) The Red Flag Cart may enter the fairways (even if all other carts are restricted to the paved cart paths) so long as the driver complies with the 90-degree rule applicable to the manner in which all carts are required by the Club’s rules to enter and leave the fairways (the “90-degree rule”);

(ii) Subject to the proximity restrictions noted in (iii) below, the Red Flag Cart may enter the area between the tee boxes and the green on all holes, including par 3 holes, for the purpose of enabling the player with the mobility disability to locate or strike a golf ball, so long as the driver enters the area in a manner that complies with the 90-degree rule;

(iii) For the safety of golf cart occupants and to avoid excessive damage to the golf course, a Red Flag Cart must stay a reasonable distance away from the green complexes (including greenside bunkers) and may not enter on the extreme slope on hole number 16. Many holes have curbs on the edge of the cart paths near the greens. To avoid damage to the cart and possible injury to cart occupants, a Red Flag Cart should back track to enter the paved cart path before the curb starts rather than cross over the curb;

(iv) The Red Flag Cart may enter the rough for the purpose of enabling the player with the mobility disability to locate or strike a golf ball so long as the cart enters the rough at a 90-degree angle from the direction of the fairway and returns to the fairway by the shortest possible route upon retrieving or striking the ball. No member or guest may drive a Red Flag Cart in the rough parallel to the direction of the fairway. No member or guest may drive a Red Flag Cart on any portion of the golf course that has been designated as “ground under repair.” So that the Red Flag Cart occupants may identify ground under repair, the Club shall mark all ground under repair with a white paint border, a border rope or one or more signs; and

(v) The Club will make one Red Flag Cart available for the use of non-ambulatory golfers (the “Non-Ambulatory Red Flag Cart”). The driver of the Non-Ambulatory Red Flag Cart may drive the Non-Ambulatory Red Flag Cart onto any green, and onto any tee designated by the Club as a non-ambulatory tee, in each case for the purpose of facilitating the play of the non-ambulatory golfer on that green or tee.

(vi) The Club shall designate one tee on each golf hole as a non-ambulatory tee and shall advise the non-ambulatory golfer of the location of each non-ambulatory tee before the golfer enters the golf course.

(vii) The driver of the Non-Ambulatory Red Flag Cart shall take appropriate care to enter and exit all tees and greens safely and to avoid damaging any tee or green.


THE CLUB RESERVES THE RIGHT TO RESTRICT ALL GOLF CART TRAFFIC, EVEN CARTS WITH RED FLAGS, IN THE EVENT WEATHER-RELATED OR MAINTENANCE-RELATED CONDITIONS HAVE CAUSED THE CLUB TO RESTRICT THE ACCESS OF MOWERS OR OTHER MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT OR VEHICLES TO THE COURSE. PLEASE CALL THE CLUB’S PRO SHOP AT (650) 755-2239 IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RED FLAG CONDITIONS FOR A PARTICULAR EVENT. FOR ALL OTHER QUESTIONS, THE CLUB’S ADA COORDINATOR IS DONNA OTIS WHO MAY BE REACHED AT (650) 755-2233, EXTENSION 301.

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