“It’s just like with the equipment we use to maintain our golf course. If you don’t train properly, you pay the price for that in repairs.”
Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, Ohio was the first of the world’s 35,000+ golf courses to own Neoteric HoverGolf™ Carts, the official limited edition replicas of Bubba Watson’s BW1 hovercraft golf cart. Bubba and his sponsor, Oakley, selected Neoteric to design and build his BW1 - for the same reason HTC trains on Neoteric hovercraft: only the best for Bubba and HTC!
And who taught Windy Knoll personnel to fly their HoverGolf™ Carts? The same people who taught Bubba to hover – Hovercraft Training Centers!
Windy Knoll was built on the former site of a thoroughbred horse farm. After General Manager Dave Duffey and his son Pete Duffey, who is Managing Director, saw the explosive popularity of the Bubba’s Hover viral video, they decided to make golf history with a different kind of horsepower. “We wanted to offer something no other golf course had. When we saw them on YouTube, we said, ‘We gotta have those!’ It was an easy decision.”
The decision to have HTC train all Windy Knoll personnel was also an easy one. “It’s just like with the equipment we use to maintain our golf course,” says Dave. “If you don’t train properly, you pay the price for that in repairs.”
As the first step, Dave and Golf Course Superintendant Gary Price came to HTC headquarters to complete our Standard Training Course on their HoverGolf™ Carts. They both immediately realized that learning to operate this unique cart is a whole new game. “I’ve been a boater all my life and I’ve helped build golf courses everywhere, been on every piece of equipment.” Gary said, “But I’ve always wanted to learn to fly – and this is going to satisfy that!”
After a productive day at HTC, both agreed that training was “a very humbling experience. We can’t imagine owning any kind of hovercraft without this kind of training and the technical support that Neoteric offers.” And their training course also showed them the versatility of a hovercraft golf cart. It isn’t just good for the greens. It’s good for a fishing trip or river cruise after that round of golf, or for gliding over snow or ice fishing in winter when golf courses are closed.
As the next step, HTC instructors Chris Fitzgerald and Steve Stafford traveled to Windy Knoll to train the rest of the staff and then attend the debut of the HoverGolf™ Carts. The star-studded Windy Knoll Hover Bash featured hovercraft golf cart rides, a clinic with Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte, appearances by LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez and LPGA golfer Paige Mackenzie and a huge party with dinner, entertainment and fireworks.
Gary Price (left) and Dave Duffey (right) prepare for their first flight training session in one of their Neoteric HoverGolf™ Carts with HTC Senior Instructor Chris Fitzgerald (center).
Windy Knoll Golf Club’s Neoteric HoverGolf™ Carts created a media tsunami like Bubba’s Hover.
The debut of the HoverGolf™ Carts launched a media tsunami second only to the original Bubba’s Hover storm. Windy Knoll found itself soaring on a wave of national and international publicity, with golfers and media personalities alike wild about the idea of flying around a golf course on a cushion of air.
“They’ve already paid for themselves with the notoriety, this is a fun opportunity to promote our town and, of course, Windy Knoll Golf Club, and we’ve already started to reap the benefits.”
And there’s no doubt the benefits will continue for the long term. A well-designed hovercraft with a properly trained pilot will always arouse more interest that just about any other vehicle in existence!