When pro golfer Bubba Watson announced in April that he helped develop the world’s first hovercraft golf cart, there was hardly anyone in the golf community — from PGA aces on down to Sunday duffers — who didn’t want to take it for a spin. The only problem was that just one hovercraft existed.
Not anymore. The Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, Ohio, has purchased two of the vehicles for public use. In fact, the links-style course will debut the hovercraft on July 27, during the club’s first annual Hover Bash.
“We’re always looking for a way to set ourselves apart from the competition,” Pete Duffey, ironically named managing director of the public course, told the Associated Press. “We’ll be able to offer something that no one in the area, in the state and at this point in the country can offer.”
When Duffey first saw the viral YouTube video of Watson’s hovercraft golf cart skimming across water hazards, sand traps and fragile greens, he thought it was a hoax. But a quick call to manufacturer Neoteric Hovercraft in Terre Haute, Ind., confirmed it was real. Duffey knew he had to have a couple for his course, so he placed an order for two.
It’s easy to understand Duffey’s intrigue. Dubbed the BW1, the hovercraft places 33 times less pressure on the ground than the average human step, can travel at speeds up to 55 m.p.h. and can seat four people and hold two golf bags.
Duffey said a round of hovercraft golf would be $230, but declined to say how much the club spent on the new “carts.” However, a quick look on Neoteric Hovercraft’s website shows a $58,000 price tag — quite the monetary divot. But as long as golfers get to zip across water hazards, I’m sure they’ll feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.