Sierra Sage Golf Course is the first northern Nevada golf course to offer GolfBoards. The machines are an alternative to golf carts, designed to get younger people on the courses and speed up the pace of play.
"It's similar to skateboarding or snowboarding, only easier," Mike Mazzaferri, President of Cal Mazz Management said.
GolfBoards have two motors, powered by lithium-ion batteries. The all-wheel drive vehicles can go up to 10 miles per hour. Professional surfer, Laird Hamilton, helped design the machine, which has been on the market for two years. They have a handle in the front, which is also where the golf bag goes. You steer it by shifting your weight, like you would on a skateboard.
"People who have never been on any sort of board before are intrigued by it and they're already into golf and they're already athletic," Dave Norehad, GolfBoard Sales Representative said. "So, they're finding a very easy transition."
"The traditional golfers aren't so sure about it but everybody that's ridden one, to a person, has come back and said they'll do it again and they had a great time," Mazzaferri said.
Mazzaferri says he wants to get more millennials into golf. He says adding this type of transportation between shots adds an extra element of excitement.
"Golf is a very traditional sport and we need to get out of that, a little bit, and try some new things," Mazzaferri said. "This is something that's peaking a lot of people's interest."
You might expect that only younger people would use these, but almost anyone can ride them. Judy Dragoo is a 71-year-old avid golfer from Reno. Despite having two knee replacements, she took a spin on the GolfBoard.
"After I made one lap around, it was easy," Dragoo said. "I liked it, really. It goes fairly fast, I thought."
Dragoo says she would even consider taking it for a round of golf, especially since her clubs are in a convenient location.
"I have to see what my foursome wants, but yeah, I could do that," Dragoo said. "I like it. You're clubs are right there."
Norehad says the $6,500 vehicles speed up the pace of play because they are built for one person. That means fewer stops, along the course. They can also go places golf carts can't. GolfBoard.com says the average length for a round of golf is 2 hours and 37 minutes.
"You're going right to your ball," Steven Brandon, Sierra Sage Assistant Golf Pro said. "You're not worrying about what's going on with the other players. You don't have to wait for the guy, in your cart, to hit before you go over to your ball and hit your ball. If you've got a group going out on these, it's a lot quicker."
Brandon says it can also take your mind off of golf, as you ride. Rather than focusing on your next shot or dwelling on your last one, it shifts your focus.
"When you're on the board, your just thinking about riding on the course and having fun and enjoy that," Brandon said. "When you get to your shot, you step off and then you step into the focus bump."
GolfBoards are not intended to replace golf carts, but they give golfers options. Sierra Sage is leasing four GolfBoards, which many say increases physical activity because the rider has to use specific muscle groups to steer. Besides the health benefits, Norehad says surfing the earth is a fun alternative.
"Even if you're having a good day golfing, you're having a great day on the GolfBoard. That's for sure," Norehad said.
Helmets are not required but they are available, along with kneepads. Before anyone can use a GolfBoard for a round of golf, they have to register at sierrasagegolf.org by watching a safety video and signing a release form.