Is golf ready to become a board sport?


Is the Golf Board just another gimmick, or will it catch on? Image courtesy of Golf Board

Golfing has never been compared to surfing or snowboarding, but that might change if the Golf Board catches on.

And if it does the game, for some anyway, might become secondary to the fun they have scooting around the links.

The Oregon company that makes the Golf Board refers to its invention as “the newest and most innovative addition to golf since the graphite shaft.”

While that remains to be seen, the powerful electric vehicle, which is small enough to fit in the trunk, is certainly much cooler-looking than a traditional golf cart.

The company motto is “Surf the Earth,” and legendary big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton has been enlisted as a design consultant and spokesman.

Hamilton, who pioneered tow-in surfing with the use of personal watercraft, says the 4-wheel-drive conveyance enables golfers to “experience the course in a way that you wouldn’t normally.”

He adds that players can now enjoy the sensation of surfing or snowboarding on the “green canvas” of a golf layout.

But will this vehicle catch on?


Big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton is helping to make golf more like surfing. Photo is a screen grab

The golf universe is run by haughty types reluctant to accept radical change, and surfing or snowboarding on golf courses might seem ultra-radical to golf course owners or superintendents.

Certainly, Golf Boards will never be used on a pro level, as elite competitors are required to walk. But it’s fun to imagine Tiger and Phil cruising down the 18th fairway on these conveyances while in a tie match on a Sunday afternoon at Augusta.

Actually, though, makers of the Golf Board are using younger stars in their online pitch to golf course owners.

“The average age of golfers is lowering each year, and the rise of young superstar players such as Richie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, and Kevin Na is only accelerating this trend,” the company states.

The boards are powered by lithium batteries and piloted with hand-held controllers. They’re powerful enough, the company says, to handle any type of terrain, and they’re not harmful to fairways.

Golf clubs can be attached to the front of the boards, which are said to be safe and easy to operate. (It remains unclear where the beer is supposed to fit.)

The cost of the boards is not yet listed but the company is seeking backers, via online pledges, and says “the project will only be funded if at least $100,000 is pledged by Monday September 9, 10:56 a.m. EDT.”

As of Monday, nearly $28,000 had been raised so there’s hope. But Golf Board execs will need a late surge in order to begin the next phase of development and marketing.

Meanwhile, golfers will simply have to settle for riding around in those boring square carts.