Hovercraft Golf Cart from Bubba Watson
Golfers rejoice: The Hovercraft golf cart is happening.
Conceived of by pro-golfer Bubba Watson, who memorably tooled around an undisclosed course in a smash-hit YouTube video, the Neoteric Hovercraft’s BW1 golf cart will make its real-world debut on an Ohio golf course later this month.
The Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, Ohio, spent $116,000 for two BW1 hovercraft, a club spokesperson told SB Nation on Monday. The hovercrafts will be unveiled to club members at a July 27 “Hover Bash.” The club has yet to determine a rental rate.
“We wanted to be able to offer something no other course could,” managing director Pete Duffey said in a statement. “A way to further put Windy Knoll Golf Club on the map of public destination golf courses. It was an easy decision. When we saw them on YouTube, we said ‘We gotta have those!’ ”
Even though true golf purists will see the merits of the new device as it does significantly less damage to the course than a regular golf cart, Mr Duffey thinks that the machine will have to go through some further transformations before becoming a common sight.
They’re a lot larger than a regular cart. With maintenance too, I just don’t see it being used unless they make them a lot smaller and cost effective,’ he told ABC News.
All-terrain: The hovercraft can cross all manner of terrain on the course – and do it without damaging the green
No hazard: Water hazards are no problem to the BW1 hovercraft, which can glide effortlessly across the surface of any pond
In order to offset the $58,000 pricetag, the club charges players $230 to rent them for a single round.
The so-called BW1, named for the Master’s Champion’s initials, can cross the most daunting of water hazards and make harrowing sand traps look like a heavenly beach.
Boy’s toy: Bubba Watson, the winner of last year’s Masters Tournament, had the newfangled cart specially-designed for him
The golf hovercrafts are made by Neoteric Hovercraft in Terre Haute, Ind., which specializes in light hovercrafts for personal and commercial use. Its clients include government agencies and companies such as Disney World, according to its website.
Neoteric built a golf hovercraft for Oakley, which sponsors Watson and wanted it for corporate events.
Duffey said his first golf hovercraft is to arrive on July 18 and the other a week later. The club plans to launch its new “carts” during a promotional outing on July 27 that is to feature LPGA great Nancy Lopez.
He said the cost would be $230 for golf in the hovercraft. He declined to say how much it cost the club except that it was “10 times the cost of a standard cart.”
Why just two?
“We thought it made sense for a foursome to use,” he said.
Unlike the video, golfers in the hovercraft can go anywhere. Duffey said there would be a designated area on the front and back nine where the golfers can take it onto the lake. And the club has decided to make the putting green and bunkers off limits, even though Neoteric says it has a footprint pressure 33 times less than the human foot.
He said the club is working with an attorney and its insurance company on liability issues, and that golfers using the craft will have to go through a half-hour presentation on how to drive it. And how will this help pace of play at the club, one of the top issues in golf?
“It’s going to turn heads,” Duffey said. “I think other golfers on the course might find themselves so interested in looking at it that if it did slow play down, I don’t think it will be noticeable.”