Technology

Golf star Bubba Watson Wants to Use $250,000 Jetpack to Get Around the Course

August 1, 2016 | Reece Alvarez

jetpack golf course
Photo credit: Martin Aircraft Company

Why drive a golf cart when you can fly a jetpack?

Professional golf superstar and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has teamed up with the Oakley Inc. sports equipment maker and the Martin Aircraft Company to showcase BW-Air, also referred to as Bubba’s Jetpack — an actual working jetpack for golfers to fly across the golf course.

The BW-Air is reported by Reuters to fly for up to 30 minutes with a top speed of 46 mph, and it can reach a maximum altitude of more than 3,200 feet.

Being capable of flying at such high speeds and altitudes, the jetpack comes equipped with a ballistic parachute that can deploy from as low as 20 feet above the ground, according to Martin Aircraft.

At a weight of 440 pounds, it weighs surprisingly less than the average golf cart of 500 to 600 pounds, but at a cost of approximately $250,000, it is not nearly as accessible.

 

According to the company, Watson has not actually flown the jetpack golf cart, but he is third on a waiting list that requires a $5,000 deposit in addition to pilot training and certification before customers can purchase the jetpack. BW-Air is expected to hit the markets in 2017 after the aircraft receives the necessary regulatory approvals.

This is not Watson’s first partnership with Martin Aircraft. In 2013, he teamed up with the company to spotlight the BW1, or Bubba’s Hover, a hovercraft capable of traversing the entire golf course — even over sand and water.

 

The BW-Air is only the latest iteration in a series of jetpack designs by Martin Aircraft. According to Martin Aircraft, the company has been working on its jetpack technology since 1981. The company has received a lot of media attention over the decades as it has continually advanced its technology, particularly following an announcement last year that a government agency of the mega-city of Dubai signed a deal to purchase 20 jetpacks to assist firefighters in their duties.

In a media release statement, Martin Aircraft CEO and Managing Director Peter Coker refers to the jetpack as a disruptive technology that will give golfers a competitive edge with a bird's eye view of the course.

However, Bubba’s Hover has yet to become a regular sight on golf courses, and whether or not Bubba’s Jetpack will catch on remains to be seen. For now, the Martin jetpack seems to be more of a semi-ridiculous luxury toy and novelty, but perhaps 2017 will be the year jetpacks become commonplace on the course.

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