A video that could have been taken on any golf course shows your run-of-the-mill golf cart winding down a paved pathway. But suddenly, a larger cart flashes across the screen. Never mind that the driver of this floating golf cart is none other than 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, who deadpans with a nonchalant stare back at a gawking golfer. The golfer looks like he’s seen something he can’t very well explain. Yes, that’s a hovercraft on the links. Welcome to the future.
What started as a clever marketing stunt earlier this year by Thinkmodo to drive interest to Bubba Watson’s promotional deal with Oakley has had another, truly astonishing, effect. Since being uploaded to YouTube, the video “Bubba’s Hover” has gone viral, receiving more than eight million views thus far and garnering worldwide media attention for Neoteric, the manufacturers of rescue, military and commercial hovercrafts—and now the first hovercraft golf cart on the planet, the BW1.“Since the viral video hit YouTube, we’ve been deluged with inquiries from all over the world,” says Filip Przybysz, an executive at Neoteric. The prototype bearing Watson’s initials has given rise to 100 limited-edition HoverGolf carts that are custom manufactured at the close of each sale. “At this point, we have shipped the first order and are in the process of shipping the second to customers in the US,” he says.
One of the recipients of the accommodating four-passenger, two-golf-bag, 65-horsepower vehicle is the Windy Knoll Golf Club, in Springfield, OH, which recently became the first golf course in the US to purchase two $58,000 hovercrafts with lift-up roofs and the latest noise-reducing fan technology. But why wait for your local golf course to follow suit with futuristic rides? You could be piloting a cushion of air across water hazards in no time with your very own personal hovercraft.
Finally, a reason to smile about spraying a shot: You get to drive in a BW1 to find the ball. The future has arrived. Score!