UK & World News

  • 4 April 2013, 17:10

Bubba Watson Shows Off Hovercraft Golf Buggy

Most golfers spend their time trying to avoid water hazards - but not Bubba Watson.

The American, who won the 2012 Masters tournament, has given his backing to the latest way of getting around the green - a cross between a buggy and a hovercraft.

The prototype machine allows golfers to glide across grass and launch across lakes, and is fitted with a noise reduction rotor to avoid disturbing those who prefer more conventional modes of transport.

But 34-year-old Watson, who turned professional in 2001, admitted it still raises eyebrows among his competitors.

"You get a lot of stares and a lot of laughs - but then people realise how efficient it is," he said.

"I think it's going to get more people involved, although they're going to want to drive the hovercraft, not play golf.

"But that (driving a golf cart) is how I got started ... until golf got in the way."

The hovercraft, known as the BW1, features four seats and a roof from a typical golf buggy and has room for two golf caddies.

The machine is a joint project between Watson, sportswear company Oakley and Neoteric Hovercraft, the company which built it.

Chris Fitzgerald, President of Neoteric, said: "Bubba's idea was to see if we could incorporate a hovercraft principle - that is, riding on a bubble of air - into a golf cart.

"The big advantage is that it has a footprint pressure about 33 times less than the human foot, so when you hover across a green, you leave absolutely no trace."

Watson is currently ranked number 14 in the world, with career earnings of more than $18m (12m).

It is not known how much the BW1 cost to build, although Neoteric hovercraft sell for between $16,700 (11,000) and $65,860 (43,600) through the company's website.