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New kind of golf cart adds extreme element to the game

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A western Wisconsin golf course is the first in the upper Midwest to offer GolfBoards for players interested in a more extreme way to get down the fairway.

GolfBoards – an electric skateboard that lets you "surf" the course – are meant to supplement a traditional golf cart, and industry experts say they could help attract younger players to the sport as interest in golf continues to decline, WTSP reported.

These electric-powered boards are a hit at many golf clubs throughout the country, including Clifton Highlands Golf Club. The Prescott, Wisconsin, club – located about 30 miles from the Twin Cities – is the first course in the upper Midwest to offer this new way to play, FOX 9 reports.

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At Clifton Highlands, golfers can rent the GolfBoard for $15 for nine holes or $25 for 18, the course's website notes. Golfers who want to rent a GolfBoard must watch a safety video and sign a waiver in order to ride.

How it works

GolfBoards are a hybrid between a golf push cart and an electric skateboard, the Professional Golfer's Association noted.

People who tested it out earlier this year at a PGA demo day said it was fun and easier to control than they expected, PGA noted. The product won the PGA Merchandise Show award for best new product in 2014.

More than 100 courses across the United States offer GolfBoards for people to rent, according to the Oregon-based company's website.

Attracting younger players

The sport of golf has been on the decline in recent years, causing golf courses around Minnesota and the nation to close.

As a result, many courses have turned to innovative ways to attract more golfers to the game, like FootGolf, but these new games change the basic fundamental rules of the game.

That's not the case with GolfBoards. The company says GolfBoards bring a new element to the sport, but keep the traditions the same. GolfBoards boasts it speeds up the pace of play, reduces wear on the course and helps attract younger players.

“We expected it to attract surfers and more athletic golfers, but it’s spread to every generation,” Rodney Reifsnider, general manager of Dubsdread Golf Course in Orlando, Florida, told BBC News.

He noted senior players are also using GolfBoards for their rounds.

“These are guys that used to enjoy walking the course, but now they’ve got mobility problems,” Reifsnider told the publication. “On the boards, they can still get out there and enjoy the wind in their hair."

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