One of the most exciting new trends in the game of golf (that you’ve probably never heard of!) is golf boarding. Wondering what golf boarding is? The AtTheTee.com team was curious too, so we decided to do some digging and write a blog post to share our findings with the golf community. In short, golf boarding is a cross between the traditional golf cart and walking from hole to hole during your time on the links. Golf boarding is a great way for younger and in-shape middle-aged adults to get around the course, and we hope you’ll look a bit further into golf boarding before you hit the links in April. Happy golf boarding!
GolfBoard’s website describes their signature item as “the most innovative invention for golf since the graphite shaft [and] is forever changing the way golfers experience the game. Powered by an environmentally friendly lithium-ion battery, the GolfBoard is an easy-to-ride vehicle that adds a new level of fun and excitement for golfers of all ages, allowing golfers to ‘Surf the Earth’ in a way that feels similar to snowboarding, surfing, or skateboarding.” The GolfBoard was named Best New Product at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2014. One of its best features is that it “dramatically increases the pace-of-play [because] the average round [while using] the GolfBoard is 2 hours and 37 minutes, making it possible to play 36 holes in five hours.” GolfBoard “changes the golfing experience, without changing the spirit and traditions of the game.”
GolfBoards are manufactured by Sol Board LLC., and are available in two models (CourseBoard and SportBoard), and are available for both individual and commercial purchase/lease via an online application. The CourseBoard has a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, while the SportBoard can travel up to 14 miles per hour. The SportBoard is fully customizable, making it perfect for golf course to purchase and design. Coincidentally, the GolfBoard is used frequently at Royal Troon Golf Course in Scotland, the home of the 2016 Open Championship. To apply for a GolfBoard, “just complete and submit a purchase/lease request [online]. A GolfBoard rep will contact you to schedule an appointment to try a board, and then help you select the payment option or leasing terms that are best for you.
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Other benefits of using a GolfBoard is their role in “reduc[ing] wear and tear [on your course]. Weighing 115 lbs., the GolfBoard delivers 30% less impact on your turf than a standard golf cart. GolfBoard was designed with turf sustainability in mind. Incorporated with 4WD technology to evenly distribute power to the GolfBoard’s 11-inch turf tires, virtually eliminating ‘tire-spin’ and torn-up turf--even on dewy mornings or [in] damp conditions.” Finally, “the GolfBoard will require considerably less maintenance. Utilizing the latest in lithium-ion battery technology, the self-contained GolfBoard has fewer moving parts to break or wear out, resulting in more time carrying players on the course and increased revenue for courses.
To learn more about GolfBoards, SportTechie spoke with Paul Hodge, Executive Officer at Sol Board, LLC. According to Mr. Hodge, they “designed the boards to handle hills up and down with ease [and] built in many features such as an auto brake, [tire locking system, and] anti-rollback soft start.” Mr. Hodge also estimates that “about 400 courses in the U.S. [are on board and that they] have 15 international distributors all over the world [that they] are working through contracts and stocking orders with.” Additionally, Mr. Hodge stressed that GolfBoards can also serve as “a fun way to cruise down to the corner market to pick up some milk, or if you want to cover a large area of town rather than walking.”
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Courses Utilizing GolfBoard
According to Gabe Zaldivar of TravelPulse, two of Hawaii’s most popular golf courses are also utilizing GolfBoards. He explains that “both Mauna Kea Golf Course and Hapuna Golf Course offer patrons the option of boarding around 18 holes rather than bumping around in those suddenly archaic golf carts.”
Hampton Hills Golf and Country Club at the eastern end of Long Island, New York has also invested in GolfBoards, as reported by Esquire’s Ryan Bort. According to Mr. Bort, “the club is a bastion of a leisurely ideal that could have been plucked straight from golf’s heydey. [When] a member told them about the GolfBoard last year, they were wary at first, but quickly changed their tune when they saw one firsthand. In early July, [the course] added four GolfBoards to their fleet of electric carts, and couldn’t be happier.”
Scott Kramer of Forbes Lifestyle had the privilege of riding a GolfBoard at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show, and describes himself as being “instantly hooked.” He reports that “golfers are feeling the same way, from Hawaii to the mainland at select course that offer fleets of GolfBoards as rentals for their customers.” He adds that “if you have $6,500 lying around, you can own one [too].”
T.J. Auclair of PGA.com also reviewed the GolfBoard when he visited Black Rock Country Club in Hingham, Massachusetts. Mr. Auclair warns that “this isn’t your grandfather’s golf, or even your father’s golf [because the GolfBoard has helped golf go from] dull to bold and from nerdy to hip. [When] you’re looking for something with a little more flare and no doubt a whole lot more fun, you now have another option.” Mr. Auclair reports that GolfBoard weighs a mere 100 pounds and “is also markedly lighter than a traditional cart.” “It took [him] a little while to get the hang of turning, as well as how much pressure to apply to the throttle, but once you’ve got that down, it’s like participating in two sports at once.” Additionally, “traction-wise, the GolfBoard was remarkable [and was able] to make it through wet spots and rough without slipping.” All in all, Mr. Auclair gives the GolfBoard a resoundingly positive review.