(PRWEB) January 30, 2005
How about taking a few swings on the links? Segway of Oakland stocks the latest accessories for the Segway HT, such as our specialty golf-bag carrier, while Segway LLC of New Hampshire is busy developing an exclusive golf model due out soon.
The easy-to-install specialty golf-bag carrier offered through Segway of Oakland converts the Segway into a more versatile, portable and rider-friendly golf cart. The carrier comes installed in-house by the Segway of Oakland staff for $250 and requires no modifications as it stabilizes your machine for easy rider dismount and simple access to your clubs. It also permits use of your own golf bag, so nothing else is required. This is a great way to convert your Segway HT into a one-person golf cart especially for a day on the course.
Check out the following review from Golf Digest:
Sneak preview: the future of golf carts?
Reprinted from Golf Digest, December 2002, by Ron Kaspriske
The mere mention of golf carts is enough to make the purist scowl. So it may take years before the Segway Human Transporter gains acceptance on the course. But after testing it, my prediction is that one day the machine will be as common as the golf cart and a thousand times more fun to use.
Using microchips, tilt sensors and gyroscopes, the transporter is self balancing (no kickstand) and moves up to 12.5 miles per hour forward or backward simply by leaning your body. To turn, use the dial on the left handlebar. Testing it at a hilly country club course, I found the machine will traverse steep hills, tree roots and even deep rough. Already 32 states treat a person using it as a pedestrian, and it is also being tested by some post offices as an alternative way of delivering the mail. (Copyright 2002 New York Times Co. Magazine Group, Inc., Copyright 2003 Gale Group)
Slide4less, long the champion of extreme sports machines, gadgets and get-togethers, has naturally gravitated toward the Segway rental and sales business with a walk-in shop and showroom at 212 International Blvd. in Oakland, California.
The Segway HT (Human Transporter) is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The high-tech machine is a self-balancing personal transportation device designed to go anywhere and do just about anything. It provides the user with the ability to move faster and carry along more weight, allowing you to commute to work, run errands and shop more efficiently while also making these otherwise mundane chores fun again! It is compact but powerful and fully rechargeable from an ordinary wall outlet, with a normal range of 8-12 miles on a single charge (*range varies by series). No other vehicle can claim ÂgreenÂ status like the Segway, which is in use by progressive cities like Seattle and Spokane and by numerous companies like Disney, Google and Remax Realty.
Each Segway HT model is rugged and capable, with inertial sensors constantly monitor the riderÂs position relative to gravity and adjusting accordingly to changes in terrain while keeping the rider upright. The SegwayÂs portability was key to its design, being light enough to handle and small enough to store in your trunk. ThereÂs nothing more fun, progressive or handier than using your Segway to cruise the golf course.
Get the golf-bag carrier offered through Segway of Oakland (http://www.segwayofoakland.com) installed for just $250 right now.
Take a look at an article on utilizing the Segway for golfing, which appeared January 25, 2005 in The Arizona Republic:
Golf club offers new ride, Kierland aims to stand out with Segways
By John Stearns The Arizona Republic, Jan. 25, 2005
Golf is going Jetsons at Kierland Golf Club. The Phoenix golf course in March plans to offer Segways to golfers in what could be the human transporters' first such application in the world.
"I just think that there is a whole group of golfers out there that this is going to really reinvigorate their appetite for the game," said Bruce Lange, general manager of the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, which owns the neighboring course.
Segway golf hooked Turk Pipkin, a freelance golf writer from Austin, who tested the device in a round with other golf writers on Friday.
"I absolutely loved it," he said. "It was one of the most memorable rounds of golf I ever had."
Whether Segways provide a shot in the arm for a game that's losing as many golfers nationally as it's gaining remains to be seen. The devices, as Friday's round proved, aren't for everybody. They require at least 15 minutes of training to get riders over the fear of crashing and to learn they turn, go forward, backward, speed up, slow down and stop.
But anything that might jump-start the game - a key component of the tourism industry that's valued at $1 billion-plus per year in Arizona - warrants attention. Even here, public-course golf rounds and revenue through October 2004, the most recent months for which data were available, were trending below the same period in 2003.
"Unless you can differentiate yourself, you're dead," said Lange, who already has found numerous practical uses for Segways in the hotel's engineering and security departments. The devices have captivated guests, he said, and he's hoping they create similar excitement and efficiencies at the golf course.
Kierland Golf Club will roll out eight Segways, specially equipped to hold golf bags, scorecards, balls, tees and drinks. Rental costs have not been determined. The devices self-balance with high-tech gyroscope technology. Lange and Segway dealers laud their low impact on turf, allowing players to speed along at up to 12.5 mph without using cart paths. They also cite the devices' quietness, emission-free battery power, hill-climbing ability and their fun.
Lange and others believe the devices could decrease playing time, earning courses more rounds and revenue. Scott Miller of Scottsdale, who designed the Kierland course and two other local facilities, was unfamiliar with Segways until Friday. He enjoyed it, played the back nine holes in 1 Â¾ hours with his partners, and scored well.
"You've got to have some balance and coordination and pay attention to what you're doing," he said. "If you're the least bit tentative, you're probably not going to enjoy it."
He prefers to walk courses, but given a riding choice of a Segway or traditional cart, he'd choose the two-wheeler.
"It speeds up play," Miller said. "You go straight to your ball, just like walking."
Pipkin said his group was "just cruisin' " the last nine holes after getting their Segway legs on the front nine, but he emphasized the need to pay attention. "I'm not sure it will mix well with alcohol," he said.
Ed Gowan, executive director of the Arizona Golf Association, is philosophically opposed to Segways, but understands their business application.
"If people can make money doing (the Segway), they're going to try it," Gowan said.
He likes the idea of one-person transit instead of two in a cart, but he says carts are stable platforms.
"I'd be really concerned about the safety," Gowan said. "If I were the resort operator, I'm not sure I'd try it."
Segway LLC of Bedford, N.H., unveiled its people mover in late 2001 and offered it for sale a year later. Retailing for about $5,000, the devices haven't taken the world by storm, but they are showing up more in commercial uses and do draw attention.
That was evident Friday as six golf writers from around the country tested the devices at Kierland.
"Looks a little strange," said Norm Assam of Kelowna, British Columbia, as he spotted the writers' rides.
Neither he nor playing partner John McAfee of Kelowna expressed interest in ever trying them, preferring the conversation and camaraderie of a cart, but McAfee acknowledged they're likely to appeal to some people.
"I think the golf industry has to be open to any new ideas," he said.
Bill Johnson, managing partner of Segway Experience LLC of Phoenix, Chicago and Kansas City, Mo., a Segway dealer, said Segways will make their initial impact through their curiosity factor. Long term, their practicality, including their ability to speed up play by perhaps 25 percent, could return some time-crunched players to the game, he said.
"I don't think the Segway is going to take over the golf world in the next year, but I believe in the next five years you'll see a Segway on the golf course" and it won't seem unusual, Johnson said.
He sees great potential for the devices in Europe, where he said traditional carts have not been embraced.
Segway, a private company that does not release sales, views golf as a "big opportunity," said company spokeswoman Carla Vallone.
Mike Ryan, vice president of operations for Troon Golf, which manages the Kierland course and others around the world, said it's too early to tell how well the Segway will be received or how widely it might be used in golf.
Scottsdale freelance golf and travel writer Cori Kenicer missed a Thursday night training session for the writers group and was uncomfortable in her first Segway golf venture Friday, quickly trading it for a cart.
"I would like to try it again," though, after more practice, she said.
But one thing's certain: They create curiosity.
"It's sort of surreal to see these little things buzzing around the golf course," she said. "People were just mesmerized by it."
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