Golf always seems to be searching for that cool factor — and the GolfBoard is the latest attempt.
Part golf cart, part skateboard, part hoverboard and part electric scooter, the devices zip down fairways at up to 14 mph and give golfers an outlet to have a little fun while they’re headed to the next shot.
The Club at SpurWing became the first Idaho course to dive in with four GolfBoards. Blue Lakes Country Club in Twin Falls has joined in, too.
“People gravitate to it,” said Adam Martens, the director of golf at SpurWing. “Getting them on is the hardest part. ... Once they do, then it’s a home run. I have not had one person tell me, ‘I didn’t like it,’ or ‘Nah, I don’t want to do it again.’ It’s always, ‘That was awesome.’ ”
GolfBoard touts the fun factor, the benefits to the turf — the boards have such a low impact that they can be driven next to tees and greens — and the ability to speed up play.
SpurWing likes to be a little different and try to push the envelope, so Martens considered adding GolfBoards last year. Their popularity soared at the PGA Merchandise Show in January.
“It was what everybody was talking about,” Martens said.
SpurWing allows players to reserve the boards when they make their tee times. The rental cost is similar to a golf cart. A new board costs about the same as an upgraded golf cart to purchase, Martens said.
The SpurWing boards get used about every day, he said. Some members bring guests out specifically to try the boards.
The GolfBoards feature four solid tires, a wide, skateboard-like platform and a handle. The handle includes the controls — high, low, forward and reverse, with a throttle switch. The brakes engage automatically when the throttle is released. The golf bag is stored in front of the handle.
Steering is the trickiest part — you steer with your legs, shifting body weight, rather than with your arms.
Almost immediately, golfers start looking for slopes to zip across.
“It’s really so simple,” Martens said. “It’s just getting them to believe that. Within a minute or two, you’re like, ‘I can do this.’ ”