|Don Wildman, inventor of the GolfBoard hopes the quirky vehicle will attract younger people to the sport and do for golf what 'snowboarding did for skiing.'|
Electric buggies might be popular on luxurious golf courses among older players, but a new invention is set to make the sport more appealing to the next generation of golfers.
Called GolfBoard, it is a cross between a skateboard and a buggy and is fitted with gearboxes similar to those found in cars.
Golfers can use the board to 'surf' over the varied terrain of a course at various speeds using a handheld controller, and its 80-year-old designer believes it could one day replace conventional buggies.
Inventor Don Wildman from Miami, told the Courier Mail: 'It's an old man's sport. I know if I had kids, they would really like to come out and play golf if they got to ride around on...an electric skateboard.'
He added he hopes the board does for golf what 'snowboarding did for skiing.'
VIDEO: Surf the Earth with the GolfBoard
The electric board claims to make ‘getting from one shot to the next just as fun as hitting a great drive or approach shot’ as well as speeding up the game.
The GolfBoard claims to be easy and intuitive to use and feels similar to snowboarding, surfing or skateboarding
It is controlled using a handheld device that controls its speed and braking, while the rider rocks back and forth to steer the board.
Riders can select a high or low speed, ranging from 7mph for new users up to the top speed of 11mph, which lets golfers travel at around the same speed as a conventional golf cart.
It is powered by a 48 volt lithium battery pack built into the base of the board and takes around one-and-a-half hours to charge to provide enough power to navigate 36 holes.
The electric board claims to be the first of its kind to be driven by a gearbox that is similar to ones in cars, instead of chains and belts, which can be unreliable and need frequent maintenance.
Gearboxes fitted on each end of the board provide power to all four wheels evenly and 'wheel positraction' means the board will not slip on the steepest hills and eliminates ‘spinouts’ on the golf course, which can mark the green, the company said.
The pressure on the turf is ‘substantially’ less than that of a golf cart so golfers can ride on fairways without damaging them in wet conditions thanks to tyres that are three-and-a-half inches wide and nine inches tall with specially-designed treads.
A flexible ‘spring deck’ works as a shock absorber for a smooth ride, while a ‘bi-directional steering damper’ stops the board from wobbling in transit.
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