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Kensler: Indian Tree tries out Segways

There’s a lot of head-turning going on at Indian Tree Golf Course these days. Was that a Segway tooling down the fairway?

As the first golf course in Colorado to rent Segway personal transporters to golfers, Indian Tree has become the guinea pig. Golf-fitted Segways are specially equipped with a bracket to hold a golf bag and wide tires that will not harm fairways.

“It’s hard to say if it will catch on,” Indian Tree assistant pro Rudy Castaneda said Wednesday while demonstrating a Segway. “It could be the future, we don’t know. Other courses are waiting on us to see if it works out. I hope it does. It’s so much fun.”

Renting a Segway for a round of golf takes some effort and a bit more cash. Riders must first complete a 30-minute certification class that includes a written exam, on-course instruction regarding the vehicle’s controls and operating procedures, and a solo check drive over a short practice route.

Cost of the Segway certification class is $15. Rental for 18 holes is $21. That compares with $14 for a golf cart.

“It’s easy to learn,” Castaneda said. “You just have to get your balance and then pay attention to what you’re doing. There’s a reason for not having cup holders for beer.”

Rather than make a huge initial investment by purchasing a fleet of Segways, Indian Tree has committed to renting four of the vehicles for the next three months. First-time Segway riders should contact the Indian Tree pro shop in advance to reserve a spot in a certification class.

“I’d consider using one. It’s cool,” said Lesley Davis, a 30-year-old bartender from Keystone who shared a cart for her Wednesday round at Indian Tree. “It definitely looks like fun.”

Gary Garrison, the distributor for Segways in Colorado, said Segways are being used at some resort courses around the country, but Indian Tree may be just the second public facility to offer them.

Mike Miles, executive director of

the Apex Park and Recreation District that operates Indian Tree, said pace of play could eventually improve at golf courses because Segways can go faster than carts and each player can drive directly to their own ball.

Pioneers seeded sixth in regional.

Last spring, the University of Denver women’s golf team entered the NCAA regionals as a No. 3 seed. Today, the Pioneers begin play at the Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ind., as a sixth seed.

“It’s kind of been an up-and-down year for us,” coach Sammie Chergo said. “But we’re playing our best golf of the year right now, and we love the golf course. We’re excited.”

The 16th-ranked Pioneers feature Sun Belt Conference freshman of the year Kimberly Kim and returning All-American Stephanie Sherlock, a senior.

Colorado State, the only other area team in the Division I tournament, is seeded No. 20 in the West Regional, which begins today at the Stanford University course. The top eight finishers in each regional will advance to the championship tournament.

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