Surfing the earth

Surfing the earth

By Greg Johnson

Bucks Run Golf Club has jumped on board as one of the first facilities offering GolfBoards in Michigan to members and guests.

At Bucks Run Golf Club in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, golfers now have an opportunity to experience the game in a whole new way as they Surf the Earth while their round—and for those who have tried it, the feedback has been positive.

“They have been very well received,” said Jon Conklin, manager and PGA professional. “We have had a lot of rain this year so the use has been somewhat limited. Like with a golf cart, there are conditions where we can’t have the GolfBoards out on the fairways, but when we have been able to let them out there has been an enthusiastic response.”

GolfBoard is a unique way to experience golf. Powered by an environmentally friendly lithium-ion battery, the GolfBoard is an easy-to-ride fully electric vehicle a golfer can stand on—much like a skate board or surf board. It allows players use the vehicle to move from shot-to-shot in place of walking or the traditional golf cart.

Conklin said they initially surmised the age group most likely to request them would be from 18-to-35 years of age, but surprisingly golfers aged 40-to-50 years have been interested in them and even some golfers in their early 70s have taken them out for rounds.

“They come back they have felt comfortable on them and that they felt they were stable on them,” Conklin said. “Out on the course you can kind of do your thing. We have some locals in our leagues and members who use them once or twice a week.”

Buck’s Run is one of more than 200 courses across the country changing the golfing experience—without its longstanding tradition or spirit—and word is spreading quickly about the four GolfBoards offered currently.

“You have to display them out front so people can see them as an option,” Conklin said. “We expect use to spread as more people realize they are an option and that they can be tried here.”

A GolfBoard fee is part of using one while playing, and the fee varies depending on time, the day and other circumstances. Conklin also noted golfers are sent out only after watching a brief training video and completed a hands-on GolfBoard New User Training Session from a staff member in the designated training area.

Conklin added the option does allow golfers to play quicker rounds of golf.

“We’ve had foursomes go an hour faster playing than normal when they went early in the morning and there were not a lot of people on the course,” he said. “Having them here has gone smoothly. Everything has been great – no issues mechanically or anything like that.”