LivAbility Magazine
Full size picture shows a golf course with a deep blue sky. In the foreground, two men, each with a lower leg amputation, use the golf board, a long surfboard looking piece of equipment with a handle and their golf club bags.

Who needs a cart when you can skate?

Story by Jack Lechich
Photos by Clinton McDaniel

The GolfBoard, a combination of a skateboard and a golf cart, is the newest way to cruise down the course in comfort and style. Invented by Don Wildman, its popularity is growing on the golf scene and catching the attention of adaptive golfers.

With the ability to reach a speed of 10 mph, the GolfBoard has sped up the game and attracted new users to the age-old sport.

The basics for operating the device are simple. 

There are two switches located on the left side of the board’s handle; one for speed and the other for direction. The speed switch enables the user to choose between high, medium and low. The direction switch has three options: forward, reverse and park.

To start the board, one holds down the throttle tab located at the center of the handle. Release the tab and the board stops immediately.

Steering the GolfBoard is similar to using a skateboard or snowboard, you shift your weight in the direction you want to turn.  Once you hop on and use it for a few holes you’ll have it down.    

“They really nailed it,” said David Banks, an avid golfer with an above the knee amputation. “It’s easy to drive, easy to maneuver. It has three different speed levels. It’s really easy to switch back and forth from high, medium and low.”  

People with disabilities, especially amputees, are able to use the board without struggling to push off while getting in and out of a golf cart.

“Being an amputee, it’s really hard for me to get in and out of a golf cart or even drive a golf cart,” said Nick Pryor, Ability360 Sports & Fitness Specialist. “With this, I can hop off, hop right back on and keep on playing.”

The GolfBoard is powered by a lithium battery which makes it light and capable of lasting far longer than the lead-acid batteries in standard golf carts. A single charge lasts through a round of thirty-six holes and it has a fast recharge time.

The GolfBoard’s tires are only four-by-eleven inches, significantly smaller than standard golf cart tires. There is less damage to the course itself and reportedly 30 percent less impact on turf than a golf cart.

The GolfBoard carries a starting price of $6,500. The average golf cart ranges from $2,000-$5,000. Luckily, more than 275 golf courses rent the GolfBoard alongside standard carts and do not charge a premium.

The GolfBoard is used at six courses in Maricopa County alone: Villa de Paz Golf Club in Phoenix; Western Skies Golf Club in Gilbert; Longbow Golf Club in Mesa; Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills; and Troon North Golf Club, and Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale. 

Before using the GolfBoard, most courses require that you watch a short training video and sign a waiver. This process takes about 15 minutes.    

The GolfBoard is growing in popularity and is here to stay. Whether speeding up the game, improving the course’s maintenance or helping people of all abilities get around the course at ease, the GolfBoard is a hole-in-one product.

“I would absolutely recommend trying this out,” said Pryor. “It’s a lot more fun playing the game. Golf is already fun, might as well spice it up a little bit by getting on the GolfBoard.”

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Jack Lechich

Jack Lechich

Jack Lechich is a Junior at Arizona State University. He is majoring in Sports Journalism while minoring in Communication. Born and raised in Stockton, CA, Jack enjoys hiking, theatre, playing sports and hanging out with his fraternity: Theta Delta Chi.