Golf Course Participation Response
How do golf courses respond to golfers bringing their own ebike? This page discusses that, and a lot more.
COMING: A Searchable database of courses in your area that welcome ebikes
We are working on an alphabetical list of courses by state and area such as the following examples. When the numbers become large enough, we will go to a searchable data base. Please let us know the courses in your area that welcome ebikes.
California, Palm Springs Area
Iowa, Sioux City Area
Ohio, Dayton Area
North Carolina, Pinehurst Area
Tennessee, Knoxville/Tellico area
Ebikes are a new phenomenon...new technology. They are proliferating around the world and prices keep coming down. They open up a new opportunity for golf courses. This page will show how ebikes will ADD REVENUE to golf courses without requiring any expense or capital investment by the golf course. That is the holy grail of business...more profit without more expense. That is why many golf courses are already eagerly welcoming ebikes on their courses.
"We need to make sure that we're attracting and growing new fans. We are doubling down on our commitment to technology and innovation."
Joe Arcuri, PGA Tour CMO
Increased Revenue for Golf Courses
Ebikes will increase revenue a number of ways.
- They will attract new younger golfers who will not only pay green fees, they will get range balls, buy food, and spend money in the pro shop.
- Since ebikes also provide exercise, they will keep older golfers playing more years.
- As more golfers start using ebikes, it will speed up the rounds allowing golf courses to fill more tee times
- Some courses will want to get some ebikes to rent out which will accomplish all of the above...plus generate rental revenue. (see the Rental section at the bottom of this page)
Unlike other single-rider devices that require golf courses to purchase them, ebikes are affordable and golfers will buy them.
Think of it this way...
As it is now, we bring our own golf clubs. We don't pay an extra fee if we don't rent the course's clubs. If we walk, we pay the basic walking green fee. If we rent the course's carts, we expect to pay more.
Not that many years ago, golfers started to bring their own electric bag carts which made it easier to walk and get exercise. Golf courses embraced them and didn't charge any extra for golfers to use them...just the walking green fee.
Ebikes just take it one step farther...we can now bring our own single-rider device which will help speed up play...something the golf industry wants to do. And ebikes will attract NEW golfers to the game paying green fees, and will keep older golfers playing more years. Ebikes are a win-win for golfers and for courses.
"With creativity and innovation, golf courses can thrive. Welcome to the new world order of golf."
One golf course here in Ohio rents out a variety of single-rider devices. They estimate that it has brought 870 NEW golfers to its course and that the gained revenue from green fees, and food and beverage totaled $55,000 last year. As those kind of numbers become better known to the golf industry, it will generate wide-spread adoption of ebikes.
As reported on the Single-Rider Page, the golf industry is in a 20 year decline, has closed over 1200 courses, and lost 22% of its regular players. The industry knows it must speed up the game to survive, not to mention expand with new young players. Ebikes will do both without costing any capital outlay. They will generate new revenue...saving revenue.
Will there be resistance?
Sure. Because it will challenge tradition, and bring up questions. This next section will address those issues.
Some courses might mistakenly think that it will cut into their 4-wheel cart rental revenue. That would be true if the only golfers who wanted to bring their own ebikes would otherwise play just as much and always rent carts. But ebikes are not a zero-sum issue. They are an ADDITIONAL source of revenue. Consider this testimony of one of our customers noting especially the highlighted portion. This retired man now plays several times a week!
Pandora's Box? Some courses might initially worry that allowing ebikes will open up a Pandora's box of motorized machines on their golf course. But that isn't likely, and it is easy to limit it to devices that are turf-friendly, electric, quiet, and not distracting to other golfers. They won't have to worry about someone wanting to ride their noisy ATV or Harley Davidson on the golf course.
Liability? Another concern often mentioned is liability. What if someone has an accident on their ebike on the golf course? That is a logical question, but covered by the same liability rules that already govern any accident on the golf course. What if a golfer gets hit by a ball? What if a golfer sprains his ankle on the edge of the cart path? What if a golfer slips on a bridge? What if a golfer hits a ball through a homeowners window? What if someone drives a cart into the lake? The same liability rules would apply to someone on an ebike. And if requested, those of us with ebikes will gladly sign a liability waiver. In fact, we are developing a, "Liability Waiver Page" that ebike owners can hand to golf courses to reassure them.
Trail Fees? Many golf courses in retirement areas already allow golfers to bring their own carts. Sometimes they charge only a walking fee, and others charge a “trail fee” which is less than if you rent a cart from them. Logically, golf courses typically want to rent their own carts which adds to their revenue, so some initially see privately-owned riding devices as competing with that revenue. At the same time, golf courses need to attract more golfers so they will understand that ebikes fill a need and will increases overall revenue.
We will be developing on this website a searchable global database of courses that allow ebikes, and that will include if they charge a trail fee or just charge a walking fee. Our hope is that golf courses will “encourage” ebikes by not charging an extra fee which would be seen by ebikers as a penalty. After all, golf courses don't charge people who bring electric push carts, so it isn't a necessity to charge for an electric bicycle just because the person rides it rather than walks beside it. Both devices “use” the golf course trails, paths and grass. So it should be a simple matter of economics.
"The game needs modernization to bring in the next generation."
And of course, not allowing ebikes will push those golfers to courses that do. As our numbers increase, it won't take long before all golf courses recognize that encouraging golfers with ebikes is good for their revenue.
Tradition and ebikes - Golf is a game of traditions, and some courses may resist ebikes because of that. But to be sure, golf's traditions have changed over the years…always with initial resistance.
There was a time when golfers only used 3 clubs called the Mashie, Niblick, and Spoon. Hickory shafts gave way to steel shafts and now graphite. Drivers with persimmon heads are gone. Steel heads have been replaced by titanium. Today we have 14 different clubs.
There was a time when golfers only hit the ball off the bare ground. Then someone piled up a mound of sand and placed the ball on it so it would be easier to hit. Surely a competitor said, “You can't do that.” To which the sand-piler replied, “Well, if we all do it, then it will be fair.” Then one of the other guys probably said, “OK, but let's agree to do it only on the first shot of each hole.” And thus, the “tee” was born. Today, we all place our golf balls on a little stick of wood or plastic for the first shot of every hole. It is as arbitrary as many other "rules" of golf.
There was significant initial resistance to 2-person golf carts introduced in the 1930's. Tradition said it wasn't golf if you didn't use a caddy. But traditions change with new technology. It took 20 years before 2-person carts were accepted at elite courses, and another 20 years before they were common at public courses. Now they are the norm, and even considered tradition.
One of our local golf course pros said, "If ebikes had been available back when golf carts were introduced, it would have been easy to see their advantage in terms of pace of play." With 2-person carts, one of the golfers is just sitting there, waiting his or her turn. They don't know their yardage, they don't know which club they will use, they don't know what kind of swing they will need to make. They can't begin to plan their shot until after their riding partner hits his or her ball.
"The golf industry must reduce the amount of time to play a round of golf. Single rider devices can reduce the time more dramatically than any other element of the game, and ebikes are the most affordable single rider option."
Steve Divnick, Golf Inventor
Another example is the early models of cart-installed distance-measuring systems. GPS was not affordable for golfers to carry, so courses charged an additional fee to use their cart-equipped GPS. But as technology advanced and became affordable, golf courses now allow all of us to carry our own GPS or Lasers. I believe the same thing will happen with ebikes, and it will happen very quickly.
With an ebike, golfers can ride straight to their ball, evaluate the kind of shot they need to make, select their club, and visualize their shots while the others in their foursome are doing the same thing.. They can truly play “ready golf” and swing away…without long periods of waiting for others to go through the process of getting ready and finally executing their shot.
Single-rider devices make common sense. They will speed up the game and attract more golfers. And this new revenue stream will not require any capital outlay by golf courses because ebikes are affordable for private ownership.
I am optimistic that most, if not all golf courses will quickly accept and welcome ebikes and the many new golfers that will come with them.
Be a Good Golf Course Citizen
We want golf courses to know that we are good for golf. That includes using cart paths when available, 90-degrees onto the course, and not riding up next to the greens. We encourage all ebike golfers to carry a sand bottle to fix our divots and help keep the course in good shape. You can get your own sand bottle (many are available on Amazon and other sources) or use one supplied by the course. All courses will gladly provide a bottle and sand for you...just ask. Consider a wire basket such as the one shown in this next picture. You can either hook it over the right side of your rear rack, or over the handlebars. It can carry a sand bottle, water bottle, range-finder, clipboard, and other items you want readily available. Search for "wire bike baskets" which are available for less than $20 on Amazon.
How to Approach Golf Courses
Click here to see some suggested wording for how to approach your local golf course. This will continuously be updated as the market develops.
Golf Course ebike Rental Options
In addition to encouraging golf courses to allow golfers to bring their own ebikes, some golf courses will want to get ebikes to rent. This is revenue they are already familiar with, and ebikes will have the added advantage of having a much smaller impact on their budget than other single rider devices, along with the benefits of offering exercise which will attract more golfers, especially from the very important younger demographic. Remember, other single-rider options only offer faster golf. They do not offer exercise. ebikes offer faster golf AND as much exercise as the golfer desires.
Click here to see the general Bag Carrier information page
Instructions - Operating and Installing
Customer Reports and Gallery
Ideal Ebikes for Golf
Join the Movement
Single Rider Topics - Golf Industry Encouragement