Segway and Golf Car Wear on Bermudagrass Fairway Turf.
John C. Sorochan1, Douglas Karcher2, John Parham1, and Michael Richardson3. (1) University of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive, 252 Ellington Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561, (2) 308 PTSC, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, United States of America, (3) 316 Plant Sci Bldg, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas, Department of Horticulture, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Golf cars have contributed significant revenue to the golf industry; however, their traffic adversely affects turfgrass systems through wear injury and soil compaction. The Segway GT® is a new personal golfer transportation unit that is a possible replacement, or partner, to traditional golf cars. The objective of the following research was to compare the wear of a bermudagrass fairway turf as affected by a traditional golf car and a Segway. Studies were conducted on simulated bermudagrass fairways in Arkansas and Tennessee to compare the effects of vehicle (Segway vs. golf car) and traffic type (stop/start vs. turning) on turf quality, turf coverage, and surface hardness. At each site, an equivalent number of weekly traffic passes were made on replicate plots with each vehicle from 10 August to 9 September in 2005. Segway traffic did not reduce turf quality, percent turf cover, or increase surface hardness compared to golf car traffic. Furthermore, turning traffic with a golf car resulted in a greater reduction in turf quality and turf coverage than with a Segway. In addition, golf car traffic resulted in a harder turf surface than Segway traffic. These results demonstrate that the Segway has less impact on turfgrass performance than traditional golf cars and could have a positive, long-term impact on golf course operations.