I’m negotiating the downhill first fairway at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s Champions Course on Tuesday, and it’s a thrill ride. No, I’m not talking about my tee shot. Leaked that out to the right. I’m sitting on one of the resort’s new Phat Scooters. It’s a pedal-free, throttle-powered electric bicycle. Super easy to operate. Smooth ride. And whisper-quiet. There’s no group ahead, which is the perfect way for our group to test out how fast these can speed up a round.
One of several new single-rider transportation modes sweeping many golf courses around America – along with the likes of GolfBoard, Rover remote-operated caddie, and Segway PT x2 Golf – I support anything that speeds up the game. I’m beelining directly to my ball and parking greenside. I actually believe it helps me focus tighter on my game. We wind up playing the course in 3.5 hours – one hour quicker than normal. Phat Scooter is simply exhilarating. Its three speeds top off at 8, 12 and 20 miles per hour. After taking one hole to acclimate, I kept it at the fastest mode. Turning tight corners, it was easy to slow down and brake. “Those look dangerous,” one older golfer warned me on the front nine. Perhaps, I thought. But they’re a blast.