‘Surf the Earth’ with GolfBoards at Aspen Lakes

Surfing legend Laird Hamilton, a co-founder of GolfBoard, rides a GolfBoard in Central Oregon.  Courtesty of GolfBoard
Surfing legend Laird Hamilton, a co-founder of GolfBoard, rides a GolfBoard in Central Oregon. (Photo courtesy of GolfBoards)

Aspen Lakes Golf Course ready to expand its fleet of GolfBoards

The buzz about GolfBoards is not imagined. The motorized skateboard/golf cart hybrids that promise golfers the ability to “Surf the Earth” may be among the most exciting innovations to hit golf in years. And the golf industry is taking notice.

Aspen Lakes Golf Course has been proud to be among the pioneering golf facilities to offer GolfBoards, a product made by an imaginative Central Oregon company. In September 2014, Aspen Lakes received its first shipment of four GolfBoards, becoming one of the first golf courses in the nation to be able to offer GolfBoards to its players.

GolfBoards have proven to be a hit here. In fact, GolfBoards have been in so much demand that Aspen Lakes has decided to expand its fleet to 12. And the eight new GolfBoards should be here around June 11.

And there is no reason to suspect that the GolfBoards’s popularity will wane.

“Pretty much every day we tell people that they have to reserve them ahead of time,” says Rob Malone, Aspen Lakes’ director of golf. “With the 12 GolfBoards that will loosen up a little bit. But we are still going to be very proactive when we are making tee times to ask if you will want to use the GolfBoard.”

The popularity of GolfBoards

Just this week Aspen Lakes received a call from a group of golfers traveling to Central Oregon from the San Francisco Bay Area. The group was interested in playing just one type of course: those that rented GolfBoards.

‘I think we’re pretty darn confident that this is not a fad. This is a real thing and it has staying power. People want it.’

Jeff Dowell, president of GolfBoards

What makes the GolfBoards so popular?

The first reason, obviously, is the “wow” factor that comes from the first sight of the uniqueness of the product. To see a GolfBoard is to want to ride it.

Take a look to see how GolfBoards actually work:

Still, being an attention-grabbing machine is only enough to entice a golfer to try a GolfBoard. There are actually significant advantages to playing on a GolfBoard that will keep a golfer coming back.

For one, a round of golf on a GolfBoard is often quicker than either walking or riding a conventional golf cart. GolfBoards allow a player to travel directly to the ball and up closer to the green (so long as a golfer avoids the green surface and collars) just as a golfer would if he or she was walking. But with a high speed that reaches nearly 10 miles per hour, GolfBoards are as swift as a conventional golf cart.

“This is the best of both worlds,” Malone says. “You get the same experience as you would walking in that you are only traveling directly to your ball. But it’s less of a distraction than riding a cart and it is less physically demanding than walking, especially by the time you get to the 16th or 17th hole. So in general, I just think it is the way to play.”

Anyone can ride

Don’t assume that GolfBoards are just for the younger set, either. GolfBoards are remarkably stable and far easier to ride than some might expect.

In fact, at Aspen Lakes the majority of golfers who have used GolfBoards so far have been age 50 or older. Even a 91-year-old has taken a spin on the GolfBoards, Malone says.

“It isn’t an extreme sport,” Malone says. “It isn’t something that you have to have five years of experience skateboarding or snowboarding to ride them well. They did a fantastic job of keeping the center of gravity down and keeping enough weight in them that they’re really stable. Because of that GolfBoards are significantly less intimidating than most initially think.”

Give one a try on your next visit to Aspen Lakes and see for yourself.

The cost to rent a GolfBoard is $25 for 18 holes and $15 for nine holes, in addition to the regular green fee. Aspen Lakes recommends that every golfer who wants to ride a GolfBoard  reserve one when making a tee time in advance.

To book a tee time and reserve a GolfBoard, call 541-549-GOLF or book online at www.aspenlakes.com.

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