Let’s face it, Nike and Tiger Woods could only take us so far (including a *shudder* full-blown wardrobe revolution in the late 90s).
What we really need now is a reason to get back on the greens instead of just watching them on TV. We need on-course engagement, a little outdoor adventure, we need to find something that will put the excitement back in our swing.
Well, we found it.
Imagine that a golf cart made sweet, passionate love to a Segway whose ancestors were part wakeboard and part snowboard and that they had a love child together.
Well, that love child was named Golf Board and it’s your new favourite thing.
Trust us, we just played a round with them at Cherry Downs Golf Club in Pickering, Ontario.
As we watched the mandatory safety video in the clubhouse, we weren’t sure what to think. It looked a little weird; guys carving around fairways in khakis, 20-somethings emulating wakeboarders as they curled around pine trees on bumpy cart paths.
Then we got on them.
First reaction: laughter. At the first tee box. And not because we all shanked our drives like we were swinging with curling brooms. We were grown men, giggling, because two minutes into our round we were already having a type of fun we’d never experienced on a golf course.
We were getting to play golf and play with a straight-up toy for grown-ups.
After about 200 yards of feeling out the ride, we all cranked our speed settings to “High” (there is an option for “Low”, but you grow out of it after your first cruise down a hill) and opened up a whippy pace of 19km/hr.
We started testing the limits of how far the board could bend to each side and how quickly we could carve a turn. We were practicing pulling a club from our bags while at full-speed and then dismounting as the board slowed down next to our ball. We were taking videos of each other bombing doughnuts around the fairway while some sorry schmuck looked for his Pro V1 in the woods.
Simply put, we were loving it.
While the contraption first looked a little awkward in the psychological context of a relatively stuffy pastime, after a few holes with it under our feet, we were all raving about how much it was enhancing our experience of the game.
First and foremost, it almost entirely eliminated our between-shot anxiety. Instead of slumping into a cart and lamenting about our botched approaches, we were chuckling to ourselves as we cruised over fairway slopes. Instead of wondering what our chances were of a two-putt, we were wondering how much fun it was going to be to take an upcoming hairpin.
It was the perfect mental break between swings.
It was also the perfect physical upkeep. Rather than zoning out and having our bodies dip into low-energy lulls, our blood was constantly flowing and we remained physically alert and engaged. There’s no dozing off when you’re planning a tight one-handed deep crouch around a sand trap.
Then, at the fifth hole we all looked at each other and realized the same thing: none of us had checked our cell phones once.
On a Wednesday at 4pm, as much as we could have been scrolling through other matters, we were having too much fun to care.
It was the shortest four and a half hours of golf any of us had ever played. It was also the most fun.
A big thing Golf Boards have going for them is that they don’t take anything away from the purity of the experience. It doesn’t interfere with strategy or design and it doesn’t preclude any appreciation for the beauty and challenge of the game.
In our opinion, these boards have added a second cut of excitement, enthusiasm, and physical satisfaction that golf has needed for decades.