The idea to buy two hovercraft golf carts for Windy Knoll Golf Club has brought immeasurable national publicity to the public course. Video by Mike Hartsock

Rain doesn’t dampen hovercraft debut

I got a chance to go for a ride out at Windy Knoll Golf Club Saturday morning. The weather was less than perfect for the Hoverbash event, but it really didn’t dampen the debut of the Clark County course becoming the first in the world to make a hovercraft available for public use.

For a game that has never been big on noisy distractions, adding a hovercraft might take some getting used to. Windy Knoll’s hovercarts sound like a loud lawmower engine, but they can stop on a dime, and in seconds, the quiet golf course etiquette returns.

I was surprised how smooth the hovercraft rode. Transitioning from the tee to the lake and then back into the fairway was seamless, floating on a nine-inch cushion of air. A word of warning— you will get a little wet going across the water but that’s part of the adventure.

What started out as a joke has turned into a marketing blitz for Windy Knoll. Managing Director Pete Duffey said when he first saw the Bubba Watson video online, he thought it was an April Fool’s prank, but now it’s serious business.

“We see a saturation of golf courses these days in our community and across the country,” Duffey said. “We needed to think of a way to set Windy Knoll Golf Club apart.”

The Golf Channel was reporting live from the course and Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez was on hand to help the hype. “Everybody wants to go and do something different,” Lopez said. “You come here, you get to ride in it and play golf. It’s an experience you’ll talk about for a long time.”

The experience doesn’t come cheap. A round of golf with the hovercart will cost $175 per person when they get them up and running next month. That cost includes a trained “pilot” at the controls for a ride that will be much more than just up the fairway to the next shot.

I’ll admit that golf with a hovercraft isn’t the practical way to play the game, and it might tend to slow things down a bit, too. As we were cruising over the lake doing donuts yesterday, I forgot I was on a golf course. And if you play the game, you’ll agree — sometimes that can be a good thing.

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