Years ago, as a guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” two-time Masters champion golfer Bubba Watson revealed that KITT from “Knight Rider” was his childhood dream car. Maybe that dream is what inspired his recent attempts to revolutionize the golf cart.
On this week’s episode of CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage,” Watson takes a ride with Leno in the famous Firebird and reveals that he has partnered with Oakley to conceive technologies that are, if not quite as advanced as KITT, still fit for science fiction.
“Every year we try to come up with a better way to make a [motorized] vehicle,” he says. The latest attempt is the BW-Air, also dubbed “Bubba’s Jetpack,” made in collaboration with Martin Aircraft. It can fly, reaching heights of 3,000 feet and speeds of just under 50 mph.
The idea is that, between holes, golfers can simply throw their clubs in the back, strap in and take off.
“The biggest advantage I see is the bird’s eye view,” Watson said in a promotional video when the product was announced in 2016. “It’s going to give you perspective that you’ve been missing.”
A few years before the jetpack, Watson and Oakley produced “Bubba’s Hover,” a golf cart hovercraft, equipped to ride over grass, water and sand without damaging the course. “It’s quite scary when you’re trying to go through a bunker or over water,” Watson tells Leno.
It occurs to Leno that both technologies could really speed up the game. “You could do 18 holes in about 20 minutes,” he jokes.
Though Watson made no mention of when his jetpack might hit the market, the Boston Globe estimated that the technology would cost $200,000 once it did, while Science Explorer reported that the price tag could be closer to $250,000.
“Not sure what Bubba will come up with next,” says Leno in an aside to viewers. “But I have a feeling you might see a KITT golf cart on the horizon somewhere — with the … flame throwers and, of course, you got to have turbo boost.”
CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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Video by Richard Washington