In 2013, Bubba Watson and Oakley made international news with the unveiling of Watson’s new hovercraft golf cart.
However, that was not the only innovative collaboration they did. Bubba Watson and Oakley also teamed up to make a “jetpack” golf cart!
This “golf cart”, if you could even call it that, would allow golfers to fly high above each hole. You could even watch your buddies hit their shots.
The device could also greatly cut down on time with a top speed of 46 miles per hour. Unfortunately, Bubba Watson’s newest toy did not seem to catch on.
Behind the scenes, this unbelievable product is actually a modified version of the Martin Jetback. The manufacturer is Martin Aircraft Company, based out of New Zealand. This jetpack took over 30 years to develop and cost $250,000 at release.
The jetpack actually doesn’t use jet engines at all. The design utilizes a 200 horsepower V4 gasoline engine to power two ducted fans. These fans enable VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) to be possible.
The device has a maximum flight ceiling of 3,000 feet, a range of 20.9 miles, and a weight capacity of 265 pounds. The unique twin fan design makes the device torque neutral. A single fan would produce a torque, which would need to be counteracted (similar to the tail rotor of a helicopter).
While initially targeted towards first responders and militaries, Martin widened their potential markets. Supposedly, up to 25 units were sold to Dubai.
Other markets were explored, which explain the Oakley and Bubba Watson golf cart collaboration. The company faced issues though getting certain aircraft certifications, delaying the launch of the product.
Sadly, Martin Aircraft Company shut down in 2019 and all of their assets were sold off. Perhaps flying golf carts are not the future, or maybe it will just take another innovator to bring this incredible concept to the masses!