When the coronavirus hit in the U.S., GolfBoard President Jeff Dowell’s first thought was, “Uh oh, this could be ugly,” as he watched existing orders for his company’s single-rider boards canceled or put on hold.
A month later, many others in the Alternative Golf Vehicle industry had what he calls an “A-ha moment.”
When one-rider-per-cart mandates started becoming common safety practices in some parts of the country, course operators had to adjust.
“They discovered two things happened they don’t like,” says Dowell. “One, I’m out of carts and I can’t cycle them through the way I normally would and the way we’ve done for decades. And two, I look down my first fairway or 18th green coming in and I can see 12 carts on each hole. I’ve got four people on the tee box, four in the middle of the fairway, and four around the green, and I can’t imagine how much I’m tearing up my golf course. Suddenly, the phone started to ring.”
Several courses are now seeking smaller alternatives to power single riders around the course at the same pace as a golf cart, or faster.
“Single rider will absolutely be commonplace at courses within the next couple of years, but only if we and every other single-rider cart company do this right,” says Josh Heim from SoloGolf .
“We have to deliver results both financially for the courses, and experientially for the golfers,” adds Hein. “We’re finding that many of the people contacting us have seen or considered single rider carts in the past, but it just wasn’t a pressing enough issue for them to make a change, nor did they fully understand the value proposition of single-rider carts. We are taking this opportunity very seriously.”
This new niche Alternative Golf Vehicles/Micro-Mobility also brings a completely new revenue stream for golf cart dealers, who during the pandemic have witnessed a significant decrease in standard golf cart type vehicles available for them to sell. Thus needing to supplement their income many are now adding these alternative vehicles to their showroom floors.
Also, these Alternative Golf/Micro-Mobility vehicles have a positive impact on air pollution, for which cities across the world have been struggling with. Many of these start-ups offering emission-free two-or-three-wheel vehicles as an effective alternative to the current public and private transit mix – especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
The market demand for Alternative Gol/Mirco Mobility is poised for significant growth in the next 5-7 years. The market is expected to grow at a 20.3% CAGR from 2018, to reach $10.2 billion in 2025.
So, dealers what do you think? Will you be adding to your showroom floors? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org