ORLANDO – One of the crucial highlights of the PGA Products Display is seeing a brand new product that you’ll be able to’t wait to check out out. In 2014, that product used to be the GolfBoard, a cellular car impressed through a surfboard and skateboard however designed for golfing. It made waves through permitting customers to strap a golfing bag to the entrance, put a drink within the cup holder, thumb the throttle and surf the fairways.
Then, in 2018, the Phat Golfing Scooter joined the fray and in 2019, the Finn Scooter from Solar Mountain Sports activities turned into the primary single-rider choice cart from a big golfing corporate.
Golfing is a conventional sport and adoption of those motorized automobiles has been sluggish, however the single-rider revolution aimed toward dashing up the sport, making it extra a laugh and attracting a more youthful target audience turns out to have hit a tipping level.
“It’s now not ‘What’s that?’ ” mentioned Jeff Dowell, president of GolfBoard. “The acceptance has been rising annually.”
Rick Reimers has been a pioneer within the golfing business lengthy sufficient to have offered the primary stand bag in 1986 after which later the three-wheel pushcart. His corporate, Solar Mountain Motor Sports activities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solar Mountain Sports activities, which has been round since 1981, is attempting to innovate as soon as once more.
“Everybody talks about golfing being too sluggish, however nobody does the rest about it,” mentioned Reimers.
Reimers invented the Finn Scooter, a two-wheeled car powered through a lithium-ion battery (identical as used within the Tesla) that fees in 5 hours holds that price for 36 holes. The Scooter has a thumb accelerator and hand-grip brakes. The golfing bag lays between your legs within the body, offering simple get admission to to golf equipment.To journey one at any of 72 golfing classes in 28 states as a part of its beta checking out is exhilarating.
“Whilst you journey it at the golfing route, you in an instant get it,” he mentioned.
Bob Scott, PGA director at Meadowood Golfing Membership in Liberty, Washington, mentioned he had by no means noticed consumers smile such a lot. He assumed millennials will be the goal demographic, however the first 10 riders have been all 60-75 years previous.
At Eagle Creek in Norwalk, Ohio, the membership calculated it introduced 870 new golfers to its route and estimated that the won earnings from inexperienced charges, cart charges, and meals and beverage totaled $55,000.
One reason why for the sluggish adoption price throughout the business will have been because of fear over accidents and worry of legal responsibility. It’s confirmed to be the other.
“I’m no longer going to mention the Finn Scooter didn’t get into the occasional flower mattress, however it’s truly a secure, a laugh factor to do,” Reimers mentioned.
Golfers browsing the earth at the GolfBoard have performed greater than 1.2 million rounds of golfing with out an insurance coverage declare, mentioned GolfBoard president Dave Sowell.
The GolfBoard has advanced since its debut in 2014 – it’s quicker, extra strong, has advanced clearance over curbs and tough terrain and this 12 months added fashions with a bicycle-style seat and a cooler chair.
“What we truly didn’t need folks to do used to be sit down whilst they’re driving,” Sowell mentioned.
There are 3,500 forums at 325 classes and rising. Sowell mentioned that 43 % of customers went to the route for the primary time on account of the GolfBoard, and the common age of the rider is 63. Peter Johnson, founding father of Phat Golfing Scooters, says that the facility to play each day is the explanation that a lot of its consumers pattern old and young.
“The typical thread is an lively way of life,” Johnson mentioned.
Reimers jokes that he must have retired a very long time in the past, however he’d like to modify the sport yet another time.
“A two-person golfing cart is sort of a settee on wheels,” he mentioned. “They sit down down and that’s what they do for the remainder of the day. They sit down and wait.”