By John Strege
ORLANDO -- The PGA Merchandise Show features a section called Inventors' Spotlight, where new ideas, good or bad, bizarre and interesting, are introduced. A product that seemed to be garnering more attention than others was the Golf Bike, a bicycle designed to carry clubs and be used as an alternative to walking the course or using a cart.
"We're a bike company, but we also do golf swing aids and we're also golfers," Roger Hawkes of Higher Ground Bicycle Company, said. " We combined what we do for a living in the cycling world along with our passion for golf.
"It's low impact to the course. Obviously, it's going to add fitness and speed of play. When we use it it's about an hour for nine holes."
The Golf Bike has been used on a testing basis at Killearn Country Club in Tallahassee, Fla. The Higher Ground Bicycle Company manufactures the bikes.
"To ride a bike it has to be functional, it has to be balanced," Hawkes said. "It's based on a format that we've used as an offroad bike. The wheels are designed to be low impact on the course. The gearing has been designed to be functional on varied terrain. The balalnce of how the bike rides, how the rack is set up, all that works together.
"It would be ideal for somebody who lives on the course and ideal for the courses themselves to have a fleet for people to use. We've gotten a lot of good response from courses here today looking at the product. Our goal maybe is to be at the show next year with a model that will retail between $700 and $800, very similar to where an off road bike should be."