Company Introduces New Device for Golfers

February 7, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. glide /glaɪd/ (v.) – to move smoothly and steadily
Example: The ice skater glided gracefully in the arena.

2. steep /stip/ (adj.) – has a very high and vertical slope, usually in landforms
Example: The driver found it difficult to drive along the steep road.

3. traverse /ˈtrævərs, trəˈvɜrs/ (v.) – to go through different directions
Example: The truck traversed throughout the city.

4. terrain /təˈreɪn/ (n.) – a particular type of land
Example: Big-wheeled vehicles can pass through rough terrains.

5. game changer /geɪm ˈtʃeɪndʒər/ (n.) – anything that can cause great and significant changes
Example: Unique ideas can be a game changer in business.


Read the text below.
Playing golf may become more appealing with the arrival of a new device that lets players glide along the field.

Eighty-year-old Don Wildman [WAYLD-muh n] designed the GolfBoard hoping to modernize the sport. Often called as an old man’s game, golf is often viewed by most teenagers as a boring activity. But with Wildman’s invention, golfers can enjoy the sport with an added fun as they can go through steep golf courses by standing on a board, just like in skateboarding.

The GolfBoard contains gearboxes [GEER-bok-ses] similar to what golf carts use to smoothly traverse through varied terrains. Riders can drive the board by using a handheld, gun-like tool to control the speed. They can also switch directions by adjusting their balance.

A 48-volt lithium [LITH-ee-uh m] battery pack powers the device and needs 90 minutes to be fully recharged. The GolfBoard can travel with a speed of up to 19 kilometers per hour and pass through an entire 36-hole golf course. The electronic board measures similar to a skateboard. Its other components prevent the user from getting out of balance or slipping from a high hill.

During an event, professional golfer Chris van der Velde said he enjoyed using the GolfBoard. However, he doubts the invention to be a game changer as many traditional golf players might not like it.

Paul Hodge, president of the device’s manufacturer SolBoard, said breaking traditions is necessary for the sport to grow, to make it more fun, and to attract more players. To date, the company has already received about 2,000 orders for the product. People can buy this device for $3,500.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If given the chance, would you buy a GolfBoard? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think traditional golfers won’t like the GolfBoard?

Discussion B

·         How does technology affect sports?
·         Should inventors continue to create new sports equipment? Kindly explain.


February 7, 2014