CHICAGO — Here's your chance to find your inner Laird Hamilton on a Chicago public golf course.
Seven city golf courses now have GolfBoards, an individual golf cart-ish device that combines skateboard, surfboard and snowboard dynamics. The four-wheeled, battery-powered device with a 12-mph maximum speed is offered in the city at Billy Caldwell Golf Course, Burnham Woods Golf Course, Edgebrook Golf Course, Indian Boundary Golf Course, Jackson Park Golf Course, Robert Black Golf Course and Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course.
Justin Breen on a new way to wreak havoc on the links.
“GolfBoards have provided a spark. It has become one of the golf world’s most-talked-about products and technologies, and is encouraging all types of players and interest levels to give golf a try,” said Bill Colgan, Regional Manager for Billy Casper Golf, which operates Chicago Park District courses.
Hamilton, arguably the most gnarly surfer ever, developed the product with businessman Don Wildman. Golf bags are fastened onto the front of the device, and standing golfers ride it across the course. They can power straight forward or easily twist and turn around the fairways by shifting their weight like they're using a snowboard. Like regular golf carts, GolfBoards aren't meant to be driven on greens or through bunkers.
GolfBoards include cup holders, but alcohol sales are prohibited to users at city public courses, according to Andy DeKeuster of Billy Casper Golf.
GolfBoard tee times at Jackson Park, Marovitz and Robert Black are booked on a first-come, first-served basis and can be reserved by calling 866-223-5564. There is a $10 charge in addition to regular green/cart fees for Chicago courses.
Those using the GolfBoards at those courses are required to sign a waiver and watch a safety video. Workers also will provide quick training tips before rounds.
"Guests are increasingly opting to ‘surf the earth’ atop the GolfBoard, and the thrill of riding it is changing the future of the game," Colgan said. "Golfers are enjoying them so much we can barely keep them on the chargers.”
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: