Surfboards for Golfers

golfingThere’s a new way to get around at Trysting Tree Golf Course, and general manager Sean Arey is happy to talk about it. GolfBoards are motorized, four-wheel-drive skateboards, controlled the way a skateboard is controlled, by body motions.

There’s a grab-bar in front, but it’s only for stability, and to hold the accelerator button and the brake. Oh, and it also holds your golf bag for you. It runs off a lithium-ion battery which powers all four wheels.

Since a golfer on a GolfBoard weighs much less than a golf cart, the four-inch-wide wheels are a lot easier on the turf. That not only reduces costs to the golf course, but also reduces the course’s environmental footprint.

Riding a GolfBoard takes a little training, but only a little. Even if you’ve never ridden a skateboard (or a snowboard, or a surfboard), you will probably find controlling it intuitive—and fun. You can shift between low (top speed 5 miles per hour) and high (top speed 12 miles per hour). Shock absorbers front and back keep the board level under your feet.

When you see a GolfBoard in use, you can see at once how it makes golfing a very different experience: it’s faster and more exhilarating, as you zip over the rolling links to catch up with your ball. You understand why Trysting Tree bought a dozen of them, and why there was only one at the clubhouse when I came by.

Corvallis residents are almost the first in the Pacific Northwest to have a chance to ride GolfBoards. After Trysting Tree, the nearest place to ride a GolfBoard is in Bend.

Some people still sneer at electric cars as “golf carts.” Not only does their ride probably not give as lively an experience as driving a modern electric car, but they can only dream of its giving them an experience like a GolfBoard.

 Sir Winston Churchill called golf “a good walk spoiled.” One wonders how he would feel cruising a GolfBoard.

 By John Burt