Some mobility impairments have come with age, some with disease and many from accident or injury. Individuals who have lost limbs or had their movement restricted to the use of a wheelchair or a walker face a myriad of issues to overcome. It can be frustrating to avoid activities and limit social interaction with others.
Needless to say, somebody who has lost mobility is highly unlikely to consider golf as a recreational activity, even if they played before their circumstances changed. That is changing with the evolution of a specially designed single-player golf cart created by SoloRider.
SoloRider is a Plano, Texas based firm that has developed patented designs that allow seniors, injured veterans or anyone facing a disability to get back in the game of golf. It looks deceptively simple, but the thought and ingenuity that has created the innovative electric vehicle is monumental and game-changing. Let’s take a quick overview at the design.
There are two major factors that impact the success of SoloRider. First is the patented seat design that swivels and tilts to accommodate the player. For example, a double amputee can tilt the seat to access the cart and safely belt in. The seat then can be moved upright for driving and tilted again and swung to the side to the precise angle to address and hit the golf ball effectively. The settings are unlimited and controlled by the touch of a button. The same adjustments can be made for someone who has lost the ability to stand over the ball because of arthritis or some other chronic condition. The seat design works well because the bag position has also been modified so that all clubs can be easily accessed by the rider from the seat.
The second critical element is the inclusion of ergonomically designed hand controls that are bilateral and control the movement, direction and speed of the cart. The need for a steering wheel or pedals has been eliminated. Operation is simple and meets ANSI standards for safety comparable to a regular cart thanks to field testing in cooperation with Club Car. SoloRider is one of the safest carts in the marketplace.
Golf Courses also find the SoloRider cart user friendly. It is fitted with special turf tires that can travel over both tees and greens with no turf damage, allowing limited mobility players to drive anywhere they could have walked. Additionally, the use of a single player cart can actually improve pace of play because the player can go directly to the ball without driving to a second shot hit by a passenger. Courses are also discovering that they can be ADA compatible by adding SoloRider carts to their fleet.
Any disability comes with challenges, both physical and psychological. For someone who has enjoyed playing golf and has now had a major change in health or function, SoloRider gives that individual a way to get back in the game. SoloRider utilizes standard golf cart colors and normal looking tires to give the appearance of a regular cart.
Given the statistics that the average golfer plays about 50 rounds a year and the “golfaholic” about 150 rounds a year, getting players back into the game means a new lease on life for the disabled player and a new profit opportunity for the golf course operator.
SoloRider is clearly providing an answer for a wide range of disabled golfers by creating a cart that can go from tee to trap to fairway to green easily. Also, the cart provides mobility for other uses, like shopping trips, drives to the clubhouse and the many other uses people find for their golf carts.
Residents of senior golf course communities, like The Villages in Florida where over 40,000 carts are in use, will find SoloRider can literally change their lives. True healing and psychological health can be accelerated by the return to an activity that was once thought to be lost forever.
To learn more about the SoloRider you can visit their site here.