A Segway for golf nuts
The human transporter has been slow to gain traction - but a new version will revolutionize your drive on the course.
(Fortune Magazine) -- I'll let you in on a troubling secret: Ever since I married into a golf family, I've struggled to hide my lack of enthusiasm for the game (it's impossible to hide my lack of talent). It's not the sport itself; it's the time it takes to play 18 holes. Granted, I'm a speed junkie, but after the first nine, I'm done. On a patient day. The poky carts only add to my pain.
While I've been sitting around dreaming about how to soup up a golf cart (easier than practicing my swing), the inventors at Segway did one better: Their latest model is the Segway X2 Golf.
Like its siblings, it's a personal mobility machine, but it sits on big, soft turf tires and offers a golf-bag carrier on one side and a handlebar-mounted scorecard holder.
I originally bought the X2 as a present for my husband, hoping the novelty of buzzing around the green on it would distract him from noticing my absence.
But then I tried it. Never in my life of adrenaline addiction has going 12.5 mph - the X2's top speed - been so exhilarating. It's also compellingly easy, unlike the game it serves.
Like the original Segway, the X2 moves intuitively with you as you shift your weight. Lean forward, you go forward; lean back, you reverse; lean sideways and you'll pirouette on a dime - or less, actually: The X2 has a zero-degree turning radius and seamlessly compensates for uneven terrain and hills.
A funny thing happened: Using the X2 sped up play by so much and was such a wildly fun distraction for me that I suddenly lost track of which hole I was playing - and my husband lost use of his X2. Fully charged, the machine has enough range to last 36 holes (or 14 miles), but that's one limit I need not find.
Let's go to the dark side for a moment. The novelty factor will involve you in a few too many tee-side conversations, and the urge to race the rest of your foursome may be impossible to withstand.
Worst of all, if you're playing by the book you'll have to don a helmet, which adds to the already high dork quotient of golf. But considering I have been nicked by an errant ball once before, I suppose it's a style glitch I can live with.
Segway inventor Dean Kamen originally envisioned his personal-transportation device effectively replacing the car for vast numbers of people. For many reasons - cost being a key factor - that now looks like a pipe dream. I don't imagine the $6,175 X2 (segway.com) will replace golf carts anytime soon either, but if you try one, you'll certainly wish they would.