Golf Vacation Gear

Are Any of these Good Alternatives to Golf Carts?

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Except for the revenue they generate for golf facilities, you won’t find too many nice things said about golf carts.

Some people blame them for hurting the spirit of the game, caddie programs, the turf, pace of play…the list goes on.

I’m friendly with some traditionalists who wish golf carts would simply go away altogether.

To that I can only say…be careful what you wish for.

Take a look at the alternatives below — some of which are starting to catch on at golf courses and resorts in North America and around the world.

GolfBoard

Named “Best New Product” at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show and developed in part by professional surfer-cum-golf-nut Laird Hamilton, GolfBoard’s company motto is, fittingly, “Surf the Earth.”

The GolfBoard accelerates and decelerates via a handle mounted at the front, similar to a motorcycle clutch. Steering is done by swiveling back and forth on the skateboard-shaped platform. Similar to your garden-variety cart, there’s a spot to strap in your golf bag, but on the front of the vehicle. Even though the maximum speed of the “Commercial Use” GolfBoard is 10 miles per hour (a full third slower than most golf carts), its makers assert that it speeds up rounds to an average of just over 2 1/2 hours. Also, the lighter weight (only 115 lbs) means the GolfBoard does 30% less damage to turf than a normal cart. Rental rates generally run about $10 more than normal golf cart rental rates at participating courses.

You can try it at… Dozens of courses in the United States and Europe. In the U.S., locations include Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona; Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, California; World Golf Village in St Augustine, Florida; Mauna Kea Golf Club in Waimea (Big Island), Hawaii; Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey; Tetherow in Bend, Oregon; and TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

(golfboard.com)

The Golf Bike

If you enjoy getting around on two wheels in your daily life, The Golf Bike might just be your solution if you’ve always wanted to take your cycling passion to the golf course.

It’s pretty much a green bicycle with a contraption that resembles two tall black saddle bags mounted onto the back of it. That’s where your clubs go; Golf Bikes do not accommodate your actual golf bag, so you’ll have to do some reorganizing and restocking before and after using it. Anything to cycle more, though…right? Rental costs, though, are modest – usually comparable to push cart rental prices, with up to a $5 or $10 premium.

You can try it at… Most popular in Colorado – at Sonnenalp Club and Vail Golf Club, for example – the Golf Bike is also available at Westin Kierland Resort (easy to compare with the GolfBoard!) in Scottsdale; Vinoy Club in St. Petersburg, Florida; Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey (again, also a GolfBoard-friendly property); and Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Other Alternatives

Having seen the likes of the GolfBoard and Golf Bike, you may be thinking, “Well now I’ve seen everything!” These other golf transport “solutions” haven’t achieved the buzz and popularity of the GolfBoard or Golf Bike, but they’re…something.

There’s the Turf Chopper:

There’s also the Mantys, which is available throughout Europe…

151103-mantys

And if you’re looking for a golf vehicle that will get you more in touch with your childhood, there’s the Golf Trike, which is made by an Australian company:

151103-golf-trike2

Segway has even gotten into the golf business:

(YouTube/Segway)

(YouTube/Segway)

Our Take

To put it lightly, we’re not really convinced that any of these products is going to immediately bring a significant number of new participants into the game. Is the ability to ride a GolfBoard or Golf Bike going to cause a recreational golfer to say, “Well, I wasn’t going to play golf today, but if I can play golf and tote around on a GolfBoard, let’s play 36!”?

We’re not so sure.

That being said, the courses and resorts that are making GolfBoards and Golf Bikes available to their clientele do have a sense of novelty in their favor, and that might capture some more players. But as far as people playing more golf because these new forms of transportation exist? We’re not sold, but golf does need creative thinkers, so we applaud the effort.

And, with celebrities and social media stars toting around on miniature Segway-like “hoverboards,” maybe we’ll start seeing the country club set following suit…

(YouTube/SlickRider)

What do you think about these new alternatives to walking and golf carts? Do any of them seem like actual viable alternatives? We can’t wait to hear your comments below!

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53 Comments

  1. Greg Railsback

    November 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I have had my Golfboard since October 2014. It has allowed me to play more golf because a group on Golfboard can play 18 holes in 2.5 hours or less. I have played 18 holes late in the day in an hour.

  2. Keith Ruehle

    November 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Golf carts are not killing the game. Golf course design is. When the next tee is 500+ yards from the last green up a mini Mt. Everest, walking is not an option. Golf courses built for the purpose of selling higher value real estate around have made golf carts mandatory. We tried to walk the other day on a parkland tract but a they had a “no walking before 10am” policy. The Golf boards are for a fringe audience, not weekly patrons.

    On another note, I believe slow play is a direct result of faster and more undulating greens along with more difficult green complexes. Add crazy transport devices and 5+ hour rounds will be the norm.

  3. John

    November 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    One advantage I see is that, by being a single-person vehicle, it will enable players to proceed directly to their ball without having to ride to their cart partners’. This should facilitate “ready golf” and help speed play. One concern is for injury liability resulting from golfers losing their balance and falling, after too many doses of “swing lubricant”.

  4. Grant

    November 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I rented a GolfBoard at Sudden Valley G & CC, here in Bellingham. It was summer time, and it was fun. No doubt about it, I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t be the least bit interested in the inclement weather. I was required to take a 20 minute class on it, before use – which was probably a good idea. Easy to operate though, and only had to jump off of it a couple times, it would brake automatically, at that point. Good fun!

  5. Manny P

    November 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Fantastic – when are they coming to the UK?

  6. kathy

    November 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    with a golf cart there are two people or one unsociable person in a cart. I really don’t like driving a cart, because the second person is always giving instructions as to where to go and what to do. I prefer being unsociable and going solo on a cart. With these new devices, I can safely drive by myself and be social when I feel like it. Right now I usually walk my 9 holes, because I don’t want to share a cart.

  7. Gary

    November 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I’m a member at TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas, and have used the Golfboard several times. It’s a lot of fun to use, and keeps one’s body engaged throughout the round (as opposed to riding in a cart).

  8. Steve

    November 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve redden both the Segway and the Golf Board on courses and the latter is an absolute blast. Love it. Adds another fun dimension to the game. Whether it serves to attract new people to the game remains to be seen, but it is fun for this 58yr. old.

  9. Doug

    November 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Walking is key to golf..if your body can’t handle walking, then a cart. Having people try to play through driving a cart and i’m walking? So long as the ridres don’t mess with my game. I’m not into a 2.5hour golf round. i walk.

  10. John Susko

    November 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I am 63 years old and have had a reoccurring “Plantar fasciitis” in my right foot. Whether I am walking or riding a cart, by about the 6th hole, I have bad pain and I am walking like an 85 year old. For the last 6 months, I have been using the GolfBike on my home course and I can play 18 holes without any discomfort. I play golf approximately twice per week and have lost 15 pounds and two inches off my waist. Using the GolfBike also speeds up the pace of play. My only regret is having the only GolfBike at my course it is a bit lonely as I cannot have an ongoing conversation with my walking buddies. I do feel that the GolfBike is a viable alternative and I look forward to the day that they become more widespread.

  11. David

    November 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    With riding carts providing up to 70 percent of a club’s revenue(after dues), it could lead to more golf course closures…

  12. Anonymous

    November 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Great for speed but is it safe for the over the hill gang?

  13. Rich A

    November 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Had the opportunity to use a golf board to play Tetherow in Bend, OR in July. Training session was 10 minutes at most, made easy if you’ve ever skied or snow boarded. Our foursome each had one, and we were finished in 3 hours, 15 minutes despite it being my first time there and not finding too many fairways. Sure wish I could get my club here in CA interested. Makes golf fun, fast and much less damage to the golf course. Five stars!

  14. Dennis Smith

    November 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I love Golf and I love anything with a motor on it. Bad round? Enjoy the ride!!!

  15. Mitch

    November 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I’m a Right Above the Knee Amputee. I like mechanical conveyances that don’t require a lot of balance. If I walked, I would start out at a good pace but slow down as the round progressed. I think pace of play is impacted more by duffers who refuse to pick up and move on when a particular hole is not going their way. I’m a duffer but I do pick up. And I don’t care for those purists who says things like, “If you can’t play, don’t.” which I have heard from an otherwise intelligent individual who does not like to see blue flags on the course. But this is just my opinion.

  16. Mike H

    November 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I want to second what John said above.

    I usually play in a foursome and we drive it to four different locations. This would speed up getting to our ball and ready to hit our second and third shots much faster. 5 minutes per hole equals 90 minutes right there!

    One advantage I see is that, by being a single-person vehicle, it will enable players to proceed directly to their ball without having to ride to their cart partners’. This should facilitate “ready golf” and help speed play

  17. Wayne T

    November 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I have used just about every form of golf transportation mentioned, and applaud any course that does anything that promotes play. I have not had the opportunity to try the Mantys but would love to give it a go…

  18. Greg

    November 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    The more the better. When I’m done my round I can watch all the riders falling and crashing into trees.

    Great Fun.

  19. Enda

    November 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    just WALK-HIT-WALK

    ‘transport’ is intimidating behind walkers… its a walking game

    if anyone here gets to go to Augusta – you bet there going walk…

    Walk or do something else

  20. jeff

    November 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I am 81 yrs old. I was able to walk the course until 3 years ago when a combination of back and hip injuries made walking impossible. I can just make it from greens to next T boxes, and similar short distances. I am usually the fastest in my foursome as I get to my ball faster than the walkers. So speed of play is not an issue. There is no way I coukd be able to safely use those two wheel contraptions shown in the article. If carts were banned, I would have to dtop playing (aldo all my 70+ buddies who run out of walking steam on the long uphill climb from fairway to geeen on our oth hole and share a ride in my cart to make it up that hilk then get theur own cart for the secobd nine.

  21. Ken

    November 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I walk. If the hotrods want to play through, I’m fine with that as long as they are polite about it. For me, golf is a day in a park, a beautiful day, with a constantly shifting challenge, where I compete with myself and (try) to leave daily stresses behind. I will love walking as long as I can keep my feet under me, and smile at those who want to fly on the fairway.

  22. JT

    November 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I’ve owned my GolfBoard since this spring and have used it at least weekly all season. It’s fun to ride and speeds up the game. I have frequently played 18 holes in under 2 hours if no one is in front of me (or they let me play thru). Everyone that I have let ride it, loved the experience. I believe the GolfBoard will revolutionize golf like the snowboard did to the ski industry.

  23. Rex

    November 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Golf boards cost about 6k and change. They are fun and I enjoyed the experience. It was less of a golf experience than golf board experience. Unless the boards drive more people to the golf course you will end up paying much more for your golf as golf cars per player are less than 1/2 the cost to the course and are likely to last much longer. The social aspect of the cart is also lost if that is an issue.

  24. Bob Stuart

    November 3, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    How sad. No wonder we have fat people. For those who have a affliction this is perfect but not for the lazy. Golf walking warms the muscles and is the healthy part of the sport. Cold muscles will cause many problems .

  25. Bob

    November 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I still would not trade my Kangaroo cart for any of them.

  26. Bob

    November 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I enjoy walking & my Kangaroo cart makes it possible, 4 1/2 hour rounds are norm.

  27. Carol

    November 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I agree, in many cases it’s the course layout that is the problem; climbing “Mt Everest” is hard! Also what about the senior or handicap players who have their limitations with balance, knees, hips, backs, breathing or other physical limitations? There are seniors who play several times every week..they have both the time and money to spend on their sport taking the cart away and that population will look elsewhere. Want more players of all ages, offer beautiful courses at a price that better fits the market and provide a variety of methods walk, cart, bike, etc.

  28. Glen

    November 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Interesting devices all, and they look like fun. However, now that I am in my 70s and my feet hurt after about nine holes, any device that forces me to stand up for the entire round will not be an option for me. Sorry, but I love golf carts, they enable me to keep playing. The Turf Chopper would be a good option and one I could use, but I don’t see many golf courses buying a whole fleet of them anytime soon!

  29. Rusty

    November 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    The great thing about is the walk, if you can walk – walk. So what if you can get a game in 2.5 hrs? What is wrong with 4 hrs. Great time out with friends and enjoy the view. The old cliche – it is not the destination but the journey. What are you going to do – rush home to do the washing? People are more busy these days. BS. You want to live in the 1920’s when most people would have got train and bus to get around, that took more time to do anything.

    If you cannot walk on a golf course get some sort of transport to enjoy the game.

  30. Rusty

    November 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    And yes comment above. Courses designers are killing the game with cart golf course designs because the course managers are saying they want cart golf to make more money. Well durrrrrrrrrr less people are playing golf….

  31. Rusty

    November 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    One other thing, you got me going here. Played golf a couple weeks ago on three course that we took carts. It was a group thing and arguing was harder…anyhow…many of the courses you could not go within 50 m of the green, one of them 100 m. My fit monitor told me I walked 6000 yards (I thought it was thinking I was walking in the cart, so I checked, it was not) .. I could not believe it. You do a lot more walking than you think.

    I think these golf boards are ok for people who need them. ie cannot walk, but that’s it.

  32. Robin Truax

    November 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Why is it so important to “speed up” the game? I learned golf etiquette before ever stepping on a course. I don’t play slow and do allow others through if necessary. Golfing for me is not only the exercise and love of the game, but also the social aspect. Riding in a cart allows for that.

  33. golfer299

    November 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Segway has pretty much shown that it’s really not that suitable for most golf courses and is too accident prone. I suspect that the GolfBoard has less issues than the Segway but, for many, just requires too much orientation and practice for the user to be fully confident and safe -this just won’t happen at public courses. Remember, lots of cart drivers aren’t all that safe. A key problem for all of them is uneven, rough, hilly terrain including edges of cart paths. The bicycle won’t work on most golf courses and would do more to tearing up the course and a regular cart. How can you expect the kickstand to work on soft turf? Someone espoused the benefits of Kangaroo powered push carts and I agree – just as many Europeans have found. But even a Kangaroo can be problematic for the truly mobility impaired. I don’t see the golf cart going away but I do see how many improvements could be made.

  34. Dwayne

    November 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I like the concept of the single rider because it would speed up play but there are some courses I’ve played on in Michigan whose cart paths would be way too “exciting” on a GolfBoard. Hair pin turns, steep drops, and tree-lined. I’d be pumping that brake for sure.

  35. Gerry

    November 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Banning carts would certainly be a mistake, I prefer walking for the exercise but have a partner with diabetes who cannot walk as it often causes blood sugar problems. Without carts she can’t play. As others have mentionned, there are many reasons why one cannot walk and who should not have to give up the game.

  36. Mark

    November 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    I can see lots of positives, Storage for one, speed of play by both travel speed and direct access to your ball, but also see some negatives such as hooning and distraction. lets hope golf doesn’t change to much as it has a lot to offer as it is.

  37. Peter Ebell

    November 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    The golf club I belong to in Perth, Western Australia (highly rated resort course) raises revenue by hiring its own drive carts to players who elect not to walk. The club owners would not permit members to use any of these new means of perambulation on its golf courses! Shame, as I would love to try some of them out!

  38. jack

    November 3, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Ugh to all of them!

  39. Tom (amputee golfer)

    November 3, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Started playing @ 8 yrs. old. Lost my leg in military @ 22. Now 74, and I play 3-4 times a week, with a cart. No way I could play without a cart. Those other devices appear to be unsafe for someone like me and many others I play with, generally an older group. Many older players have medical issues that require carts, but guess what? Without us old guys, most courses would go out of business. For those posting “walk or stop playing”,try to get a little class, because as of now, you have none. Many of us could beat you with one hand tied behind our back. Another thing: my 75-82 strokes takes less time than your 90-100. Stick it!!!

  40. Bruce

    November 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    OK if your young but not older. Sadly – they would be worse to people walking down the fairway and talking to one another. relationships take time to build and it means being with others, even down the fairway. I believe individualism or greed is generation the move.

  41. Ron

    November 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    You can only go as fast as the people in front of you…

  42. Tim

    November 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    In the UK, I need a buggy as we call them as I damaged my heel and can’t walk far. I actually have my own small individual machine rather like the Golf Trike shown above – overall cheaper than continually hiring and much better to be part of a walking group than a two seater.
    However I massively miss walking. Golf is a walking game played at walking speed. You can’t get a feel for the course or your next shot by charging up to your ball. In the old days, a Fourball would take no more than 31/2 hours and this should still be the case. Someone mentioned getting round in 2.5 hours if let through. This is a major problem. If you charge through others, they have to wait. This causes them to stop, they get caught up and we get the motorway gridlock that often occurs without any obvious cause. You on your buggy might enjoy yourself but those walking have their game ruined.
    Buggies should really only be for those unable to walk. They should have speed limiters so they can only move at walking pace. If you want to play for only 2 hours, just do 9 holes. If you can’t afford the time, don’t play. Would you only play on a football, soccer, rugby, cricket, baseball or basketball match only to walk off at half time because you can’t afford the time to play a full match.
    Alternatively, let’s have course purely for such fast play, leaving other courses to play the traditional way – don’t mix the two

  43. Bob C.

    November 3, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I simply cannot understand the “walk or get off the course” attitude displayed here. So harsh. Wait until some of you are older. It’s so easy to think, “Not me … I stay in shape.” That’s what I thought when I was young. Well guess what? Life happens. Now at 55 after 3 knee surgeries, I can’t walk the course, but I can still break 70. Are you all saying I should quit because I need to ride?

    I’m for anything that allows more people to play the game. Would love to try a board.

  44. Mike

    November 3, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Greg R. – You most definitely did not play 18 holes in less than an hour.

  45. Peter

    November 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Golf is for competition and exercise. Make courses more walkable (i.e. short distances between greens and tees) and 4 can walk and play in 3-31/2 hrs.

  46. Vic

    November 4, 2015 at 10:01 am

    My wife and I are both senior citizens and we walk golf courses using our Clubrunner battery powered golf carts and enjoy the round.

  47. Rick

    November 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Tuck your shirt tails in guys. You’ll hit the ball better.

  48. Bob

    November 4, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I have leg and heart issues and cannot walk, although I still try once in a while. I play two or three times a week, and at 72, it’s about all I can handle, even riding. I don’t think carts cause slow play. They can cause damage, especially after rain or if the course is over watered or drains poorly. This is made worse by golfers who drive carts where they should not go. OK, I admit it. I have been guilty of this, but I’m trying to do better. A major cause of slow play in my area at least is golfers looking for balls. I have noticed that the pros don’t have this problem very often. One reason is that they are more accurate, but the courses they play also tend to have fewer areas in which a ball can disappear than a lot of munis. Often when a tournament course does have a woodsy area, it is designated as a hazard. Even when this is not done, there are often galleries and/or officials in the landing areas to help to quickly find balls. A partial solution to this would be to designate woodsy areas, areas with deep grass, etc. as lateral hazards, allowing a drop at point of entry with a one stroke penalty. Obviously this won’t solve the problem, but it might help. Golf is really a wonderful game. It never gets boring (frustrating maybe, but not boring).

  49. Rick

    November 5, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I have never tried any of these new contraptions I ride in a golf cart and me and my buddies can play a round of golf in 3 and of half hours the problem with golf today is these weekend golfers out there like they playing for a million dollars and the lazy people who drives th cart to his ball and his partner sits in the cart till he hits then drives to his partners ball why not park the cart I the middle and both of you get out and walk to your balls or try to find them if you aren’t in the fairway

  50. Lew,,, If it will speed up the slowness of I slower players,, I see no reason why not to have them??!!

    November 5, 2015 at 9:38 am

    If the speed of play is improved over walking to play,, I think it would be a boon to Golf in general,, and more players could make the round more pleasurable for ALL!! Lew

  51. CRH

    November 7, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Great. Have used them. Wanted to buy one.
    For there to be any benefit time wise, everyone
    on the course would have to have them. You can’t
    do 2 1/2 hours with 4 hour walkers or cart riders
    in front of you. Advantage gone.

  52. Ian

    November 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Gary Player said decades ago that the reason that the US had lost the total world domination in golf that they once had was that their young players were not walking to develop power in leg muscles and stamina .. The medical evidence that walking several miles a week is cardio-protective and beneficial to general health is now overwhelming .The only excuses for riding are medical or physical disability , climatic as in Florida or other hot and humid places, and geographic on courses with excessive distances between green and tee ,I am over 80 and walk 2 rounds a week and that is one reason I am over 80.. When I see youngsters riding my inclination is to commiserate on their heart condition and to the response that they do not have one to reply that they soon will. Only misplaced politeness prevents me . Pity,it might save their lives . The pleasure and benefits of playing golf are not to be measured in a few minutes saved on a round and there are many other factors than transport that contribute to the slowness of rounds now compared with yesteryear

  53. Nicky

    November 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Hey John Susko, I am 85 yrs old and my walking is still OK, but my lungs are not. I’m grateful for buggies or handicarts as they are called in the Netherlands. Alas they are not in use at my “around the corner” par 3 golf course and one of the shown vehicles would be more than welcome! Thanks Rev Golf for the show! I am in total agreement with TIM! Nicky

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