Jim Shular said if someone hasn’t tried the GolfBoard, they haven’t lived.
Shular is the head professional at Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course in Osoyoos and said feedback on the electric standup scooter is amazing. The GolfBoard is controlled using thumb controls or a hand held remote that allows the person to smoothly accelerate or slow down and go in reverse.
“Every customer that has gone out on them, it has enhanced their experience so far beyond what a normal round of golf would be,” said Shular. “They have truly enjoyed the entire round. Now you are getting to enjoy the shots. You are enjoying your shot as you travel to your shot. That’s where the enhancement is.”
Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course is the first course in Western Canada to use them, starting on Canada Day, but Shular tried it nearly two years ago and was impressed. Because he ski’s and snowboards, it was easy for him to adjust to it, though he admitted to being skeptical at the time if it would be usable in the “golf world” and how people would take to them.
“They are pretty fantastic,” he said of the electric ride. “You scoot around and ride just like a surf board.”
The GolfBoard was the winner of the Best New Product at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show.
On it’s website, the company, using the slogan Surf the Earth, said golfing with the GolfBoard or ‘golf boarding’ as they call it, “changes the golfing experience, without changing the spirit and traditions of the game—we strongly feel the GolfBoard will help bring more interest to golf and as a result increase the number of passionate players to the sport.”
Shular said it is fortunate that Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course is leading the way with it. With word of mouth and various media, they are seeing an increase in business.
Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course has four boards and it’s not often the $6,500 U.S. toys are unused. The GolfBoard’s cost $25 to rent, $5 more than a regular cart.
“I think it’s the enhanced experience you are getting between shots,” said Shular of what the GolfBoard does. “I was riding around. I was riding on the hills. It’s an athletic endeavor. You are cruising around (max speed is 11 kilometres an hour) having fun.”
While reducing the amount of time it takes to play, the GolfBoards also have a smaller footprint on the course and are not as hard. The GolfBoard is also powered by an environmentally friendly lithium-ion battery.
Dave George, general manager of Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course, said they are a little bit short of amazing.
“They bring customers in that are riding the fence as far as what courses they want to get to,” he said. “We put it out and the curiosity brings them. Once they are in and have a look at the board, try it, they want to go on it all the time. It’s a really fun toy. A lot of them will say they don’t even want to take a cart anymore.”
George has played the course on a GolfBoard and loves it.
“It brings back the youth in you. It’s not all about golf anymore,” said George, who played nine holes in 43 minutes. “It’s the idea of having fun. From the time you hit the ball until you get there.”