HINGHAM (CBS) – The latest innovation in golf technology gives new meaning to the term “driving range.”
It’s the GolfBoard – an electric, all-wheel drive vehicle that takes 90-minutes to charge and can cut the time it takes to play a round in half.
Black Rock Country Club in Hingham is the first golf course in eastern Massachusetts to rent GolfBoards.
The course’s founder and president, George McGoldrick, says everyone who’s tried them has loved them.
“It’s easier on someone’s back than a golf cart. And it gets you around the course quicker,” he told WBZ-TV.
McGoldrick is quick to point out that because the GolfBoard is 90 percent lighter than a cart, it takes very little toll on the course itself.
Golfer John Beale saw the GolfBoard online after it was named 2014 PGA “Product of the Year.” He bought two the next day.
“It just makes golfing more fun,” Beale said.
But how easy is it to ride?
GolfBoard sales representative Scott Hinding promised a “one hole learning curve.”
McGoldrick insists it takes less than a minute to figure out how to use your body weight and angle to turn the board.
I decided to find out for myself if those claims were true.
Beale showed me how to use the thumb throttle and explained the simple controls.
There are two speeds—low and high. High tops out at 12 MPH.
I found out the golfers were true to their word. In less than a minute, I was surfing the fairway.
“We have kids who are 20 riding it and 65-year-olds riding it,” Hinding explained.
And he’s the first to admit, the game of golf—nationwide—is in trouble.
According to a leading industry group, golf has lost millions of players in the past decade.
How to win them back?
Hinding said make it faster and more fun.
“I think for courses to survive today, they’ve gotta be aggressive and innovative and they’ve gotta embrace new technology,” Hinding said.
GolfBoard’s technology may have applications beyond the golf course.
MIT is reportedly considering buying a few boards for its IT department so that employees can get around campus quickly and easily without ever worrying about finding a parking space.
The Golfboard is made in New Jersey. The company’s headquarters is in Bend, Oregon.
Whether the game’s “next big thing” will take off in New England is unclear.
Black Rock Country Club just began offering GolfBoards a few months ago. McGoldrick expects to buy more.
Oh, and just how much time will it take off your next round?
John Beale says he played nine holes in just 50 minutes.