Surf’s Up at Mauna Kea: Ride the GolfBoard to Increased Profits

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Ride Golfboard to higher customer revenue and increased customer satisfaction following the leadership of Josh Silliman, Director of Golf at the famed resort.

The safety video and waiver of liability, required for all 1st time riders, is extremely well done.  Click here to view. The GolfBoard is something every golfer is going to want to try.   Should you lease these carts?  Here is our analysis that you might find helpful.

GolfBoard (www.golfboard.com) is something every golfer should try.

The company’s website states, “Powered by an environmentally friendly lithium-ion battery, the GolfBoard is an easy-to-ride vehicle that adds a new level of fun and excitement for golfers of all ages, allowing golfers to ‘Surf the Earth’ in a way that feels similar to snowboarding, surfing, or skateboarding.”

Currently, the Golf Board is being utilized at 150+ golf courses. The average retail price is $7,000; thus, for Mauna Kea, the break-even is 170 rounds.  At the Troon-managed, Sewaillo in Tucson, the upcharge is $25.

Golf Boards are very attractive to the core golfer: well-to-do and 50 years old who are drawn to try it based on its novelty. Surprised?   I was when I interviewed the GolfBoard’s Washington-based sales representative, Brock Sabo.

He indicated that what usually happens is that one person in a foursome rents it and the foursome rotates trying it during the 18 hole round.

While it is not likely that GolfBoards will become as ubiquitous as golf carts shortly, I liked the gentle “core” workout.   My Fitbit indicated that I walked 8,243 steps playing Mauna Kea while riding the Golf Board.   That represents about 2/3 of walking the typical 18 hole golf course.

Fearful of falling initially, I had the cart operating at the slow speed at seven m.p.h. for the first few holes before revving it up to 11 m.p.h down the fairways.

The challenges I encountered were the turning radius is 18 feet; thus, the tight turns around tees was a challenge for both my playing partner from Montana and myself. We both lacked the ability to make a sharp U-turn.   I believe if the course doesn’t have curbs on the cart paths, it would be easier to operate. Initially, we tried to steer it with the handle and soon realized the GolfBoard changes direction by only leaning.

To ensure balanced reporting, there were some things we noted – had to replace your head covers rather than throwing them in the back of the cart bin. I stored the cover for my Scotty Cameron putter in the bag but would have preferred to have it covered.  There was only a holder for only one water bottle and no place to store trash. We noted someone was eating granola bars ahead of us and leaving the wrappers accidentally on the green which we would remove. Also, after holding the grip of the GolfBoard, the size of the grips on the golf clubs felt very small.

These items are trivial.  Brock Sabo mentioned that the Company is continuing to tweak the GolfBoard for a wider audience.  The GolfBoard is certainly convenient in that it allows you to go directly to your ball vs. the hassle of driving back and forth in a shared cart.

My conclusion, I would rent it again the next time I play especially if the golf course was gently rolling versus steeply hilled.  On a course like Brackenridge Park in San Antonio or Pebble Beach, it would be ideal.  On Bandon Trails 14th or Old MacDonald 7th, maybe not.  Though a frequent skier and having surfed, my ability to turn the GolfBoard sharply requires a lot more practice that I am looking forward to.   The next time I am at a course that offers this upscale amenity – sign me up.

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