Four Hi-Tech Improvements for the Golf Cart of the future

Bubba Watson’s innovative new Hover Golf Cart (shown in the Youtube video below) may have drawn a few smiles and stares as he put it through testing recently.

While Bubba’s hovercraft dream may still be some years away from being realised and accepted across the globe (if it ever is, you know how golf likes its traditions), it seems that for the meantime, we are stuck with the humble golf cart.

 

But Gorilla Golf don’t think that’s good enough for the 21st century and beyond, so we’ve come up with a few ideas…

 

 

Of course, not every golf club is going to have the $58,000 required to buy one, let alone several, of Bubba’s newest invention, so for the time being at least we are left with the current golf cart.

 

The first golf carts were designed in the 1950s and surprisingly, the design of the cart has altered remarkably little since. Indeed, ever since the design changed from a three-wheel design, to four in the 60s and 70s, the battery powered golf vehicle design and function has remained the same.

 

Golf-Cart-on-a-golf-course

 

Of course, traditionalists will argue that is proof of the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but given the advances made in technology and the different way people approach and play the game, is it right that golf carts should merely carry us and our clubs around the course electrically, when they have the potential to be so much more?

 

We don’t think so and here’s our list of four Hi Tech improvements that we’d like to see added to golf carts in the future to bring them into the 21st century.

 

1. Incorporation of solar cells, particularly on the roof of the cart

When in use, golf cart batteries eat up power rather heavily. That is why overnight, they need to be charged. For many years, we have had the technology to use solar panels to harvest heat and light from the sun and turn it into electrical energy, so why not use this as a viable source of energy for golf carts?

 

 

This would mean golf carts could generate their own electricity during the daylight hours and would be charging themselves even while they are out on the course. This would be especially beneficial in hotter countries where a golf cart is a pre-requisite to play in summer months.

 

Having an additional source of electrical power also reduces the amount of electricity a golf course would use annually quite considerably as well as give the cart extra power, which will be useful when we look at our second improvement. There are companies already marketing this very technology (such as Suncatcher Golf), the question is, do golf courses have the desire to use it?

 

2. Incorporate one or more USB ports on the Cart

Some course may not allow phones or other portable devices to be used on course, but the fact is that increasingly phones, iPads and similar are being used more and more frequently on course for a variety of different reasons. Whether you are using them as a GPS range finder, scorecard, virtual caddy or even just to check up a ruling, golf and mobile technology is now inextricably linked.

 

 

Of course a real drawback of this is battery power on handheld devices, so providing a cart with a USB source to power handheld devices would be a real boon for golfers. As the video above shows, this technology is readily available today, it is again a question of whether golf clubs want to provide it.

 

3. Make more four seater carts available

This is a no-brainer. Why is it that the world of golf recognises that four golfers is the maximum number of golfers allowed in one grouping, yet for the past 50 years, we have made relatively few four-seater carts?  Bubba Watson’s Hover Cart has already realised that the way forward is for a cart that seats four people. This means for every group of 3 or 4 golfers, one less cart on the course, drawing less energy and impacting less on the surroundings.

 

 

If the power and technology is there to make a hover cart a four seater, surely it is not beyond our means to build more four seater vehicles to take larger groups around the course in one cart?  The cart outlined above is a great example of what can be done. This vehicle is not just a golf cart, but road legal and lets be honest, looks a lot more stylish than your average cart.

 

4. Affix a clock/timer to the cart which is reset at each hole.

One of the biggest problems affecting golf’s popularity at present is slow play. English Golfer Lee Westwood recently spoke of how golfers and fans are being turned off by the prospect of five and a half hour rounds of golf becoming the norm.

 

 

Slow play is a real scourge and by having a clock or timer affixed to the cart and clearly displayed, it would give the group a clear indication of how long they should be spending on a hole. Using GPS technology, you could even link this to software which will tell a group how long it should take them to finish a particular hole, how long their round has taken compared to how long it should take etc etc.

 

So what do you think? How would you like to see the Golf Cart of the future designed, or does Bubba Watson have the right idea?

 

Images courtesy of Suncatcher Golf, Sun City Golf Carts,  Rolex Golf

 

 

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Jeff October 25, 2013

I’m all for the solar panels and usb included in the cart. I also think the clock idea could be incorporated very easily into the existing cart gps systems. I’m not sure about the 4 seat cart though, in a group of 4 it could reduce pace of play. How about gps on the beverage/snack cart so you can stop wondering where it is?

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