|Company||SoloRider, Division of Regal Research and Mfg.
1200 East Plano Pkwy.
Plano, TX. 75074
|History||Established in 1991 by Roger Pretekin; purchased in 2004 by Monroe Berkman.
August 15, 2009 Solorider LLC selected Regal Research and Manufacturing Co. (www.RegalResearch.com) to manufacture, sell and support its complete line of golf carts for people with disabilities
|Management||Mike Powell, Executive Vice President. Regal Research
Deryck Jernigan, Sales/Service
Eric Hatch, Sales/Service
|Mission||To improve accessibility and the enjoyment of golf for seniors and mobility-impaired players while growing the game and creating value for golf courses.|
|Product Line||SoloRider single-rider golf car featuring patented stand-up seat in white, beige and hunter green. Optional accessories: canopy, turbine wheel covers, tow bar and towing hitch, mirrors, street lighting kit, sand bottle kit and dual bag holders.|
|• Patented, stand-up seat with swivel capability
• Ergonomically designed controls
• Automotive suspension
• Strong hill-climbing ability
• All-course access; does not damage turf - including tees and greens
• Durable and rugged for easy maintenance
• Top speed of 13 mph - same as standard golf car
• Meets or exceeds all applicable ANSI safety standards
|Distribution||Direct sales, dealers and sales representatives.|
SoloRider Enhancements for 2008 Model Year Improve Performance, Enjoyment for Golfers
CENTENNIAL, COLO. (Jan. 17, 2008) - Changes to the 2008 model year SoloRider make the industry's leading single-rider golf car more comfortable and simpler to operate for golfers and easier to maintain for course owners and operators.
The SoloRider's electric seat gives the golfer the ability to position themselves in the desired hitting position and then to return more easily to the seating and driving position after they've played their shot.
For players who have limited motion and strength in their hands and shoulders, the electric seat is going to make playing a round of golf far more enjoyable. It also will help reduce fatigue over an 18-hole round.
In addition to the electric seat, other changes to the 2008 SoloRider include:
Light-touch hand braking allows golfers to operate both rear brakes with either their left or right hand to produce straight forward stopping within ANSI braking standards.
Quick release canopy allows users to remove and replace the car's canopy quickly and without tools.
Quick-release battery watering caps simplifies battery maintenance by making it easier and faster to fill the car's batteries.
Bag rack clips mounted directly to the rack allow a user to strap down his or her golf bag down with only one hand.
Removable transfer bars (optional) allow a user to move the transfer bar out of the way to transfer into the car more comfortably.
Triple-Amputee Bozik Impresses Crowd At RE/MAX Long Drive Championship
CENTENNIAL, COLO. (Nov. 20, 2007) - To the list of names of long drivers who have wowed the crowds at the annual RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship - including Evan "Big Cat" Williams, Sean Fister and Jason Zuback - you can now add Sgt. Joey Bozik. A triple amputee after being wounded in Iraq in 2004, Bozik hit the ceremonial first drive to open the Military Long Drive portion of the 2007 Championship and twice brought the crowd to its feet.
Hitting from a SoloRider golf car, which allows golfers to play their shots from the comfort and stability of the car's seat, Bozik hit his first drive down the left side of the Palms Golf Club fairway in Mesquite, Nev. The plan was for him to drive away at that point and turn the festivities over to the five military finalists. But the crowd wanted more. So Art Sellinger, CEO of the Long Drive Championship and a former long drive champ, teed up another ball, which Bozik hit approximately 200 yards, this time down the middle.
"Pure inspiration," said Sellinger. "You could just see the determination in his eyes."
Coast Guard Airman Ryan Hixson became the first Military Long Drive Champion and was awarded the $10,000 first prize with a drive of 367 yards. Hixson was also impressed by Bozik, who was wounded when his humvee rolled over an IED while patrolling in Baghdad.
"He got the recognition he deserved from the crowd, and the support. I was looking around at a couple of the guys and they were a little teary-eyed. I was, too. It was a very touching moment," Hixson said.
Mike Dobbyn of Las Vegas won the open division and the $50,000 first prize with a drive of 385 yards.
When he's home in Danville, Calif., Bozik plays golf at a club where his membership is sponsored by the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation, a program that helps wounded troops readjust to civilian life.
The SoloRider golf car, which has a rotating stand-up seat, hand controls for accelerating and braking and goes on tees and greens without hurting the turf, helps Bozik get around the course.
"You have to have a lot of passion to go out and play on a regular basis because it's not easy," Bozik says. "The SoloRider gets me on the golf course and allows me to do what I love to do."
SoloRider's New Swing System Turning Patients into Golfers
Manufacturer of Leading Single-Rider Golf Car
Now Offers Innovative Rehab Tool to Clinics, VA Hospitals
CENTENNIAL, COLO. (Sept. 21, 2007) - Before most rehab patients are ready to return to a normal activity such as golf, they need a confidence builder, something that "puts the sparkle back in their eyes," says Jena Munson, CTRS, of the Alegent Health rehabilitation center in Omaha, Neb.
The SoloRider Swing System is doing just that for several of Munson's patients, and in the process, moving them one step closer to the game they love.
The Swing System is a fixed-location chair that can be used indoors in a gym or recreation area or outside at a golf driving range. From a seated position, patients can raise and angle the seat electronically to an infinite number of positions. After finding a comfortable hitting position, they can safely practice their golf swings and prepare for the time when they can move back onto the course.
"When you tell a lot of patients - especially those that have been recently injured - that they will be able to play golf again, they don't believe you," said Munson. "But when they get in this chair and swing the club a few times, they get that sparkle back in their eyes and they say, 'You're right; I can do this.'"
The Swing System is manufactured by the same company that makes the SoloRider golf car and utilizes the same technology used in the car's patented stand-up seat. The car, which gives disabled players access to the entire golf course, is in use at courses around the country, including such high profile locations as Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Walt Disney Resort and the PGA Tour's network of Tournament Players Clubs.
"As individuals become comfortable swinging and hitting balls from the Swing System, they can make a comfortable transition from the rehab center to the driving range and then to our golf car and a golf course," said Roger Pretekin, president of SoloRider. "It's a way to turn patients into golfers."
SoloRider has donated several Swing Systems to veterans' hospitals, rehabilitation centers and adaptive golf programs to get feedback from therapists and their patients who have suffered spinal cord injuries, strokes, brain injuries and blindness.
Recreational therapists at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver are using the Swing System in combination with SoloRider golf carts to introduce patients to golf.
"The emotional impact of the Swing System is extremely positive because it helps patients participate in an activity they love," said Claire Cahow, a CTRS at Craig.
At the VA San Diego Health Care System, Kelli Kaliszewki, CTRS, says, "Our higher functioning patients are having great success with the Swing System. The system provides patients with trunk balance, which enables them to stand with their feet on the ground and enjoy a fluid swing."
Association of Private Clubs and Directors Names SoloRider 'New Product of the Year'
ANAHEIM, CALIF. (March 5, 2007) - SoloRider, which is helping seniors and players with disabilities get back in the game through the use of its innovative single-rider golf cars, was presented the 2006 Excellence in Achievement Award - New Product of the Year by the Association of Private Clubs and Directors. The company was recognized at the 80th Annual World Conference on Club Management, which was held here in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show.
"The SoloRider single-rider golf car is an excellent example of technological innovation intersecting with the desire of disabled players to enjoy golf and get in the game," said John Fornaro, editor and publisher of The Boardroom magazine, the official publication of the Association of Private Clubs and Directors. "It's also proven to be an effective way to grow the game and bring incremental revenue to clubs."
The SoloRider golf car gives disabled players full access to the golf course through a number of design and engineering innovations. Its precise weight distribution makes the car safe to go on tees and greens without damaging turf. SoloRider's swing-arm suspension allows each wheel to move in response to the terrain, improving control and comfort for the driver. An electronic seat that lifts and turns nearly 360 degrees helps golfers with limited mobility play their shots from the comfort and safety of the car.
"We're very appreciative of the recognition and the confidence expressed by the association and The Boardroom in the SoloRider product and our efforts to make golf more accessible to millions of Americans," said Roger Pretekin, president of SoloRider.
Awards were presented in 47 categories. SoloRider was recognized as the New Product of the Year.
Is Golf Missing $80 Million Opportunity?
SoloRider Urges Industry to Welcome Disabled Players
CENTENNIAL, COLO. - Golf could capitalize on an $80 million opportunity by further embracing the disabled golf community, according to SoloRider.
"The potential golf market of mobility-impaired players represents significant incremental rounds and revenues at a time when the industry needs the help on the tee sheet and at the cash register," said Roger Pretekin, founder and president of SoloRider, which manufactures single-rider golf cars designed for disabled players and seniors with limited mobility.
SoloRider projected the economic impact of the disabled community by assuming 1 percent of approximately 20 million disabled Americans would play one to five times a year, bring at least one playing companion each time they played and spend a per-round average of $40 on green fees, golf car rentals and related expenses. "At the most conservative end, that translates to 400,000 rounds and $16 million in revenues. Playing five rounds a year, which is also conservative based on our experience, disabled players and their playing companions would add 2 million rounds and $80 million in revenues," Pretekin said.
If the economic model included seniors with limited mobility - many of whom are leaving the game because of physical or medical reasons - the potential impact would be far greater. "In 2002 retired seniors played 4 million fewer rounds than they did in 2001," Pretekin said, noting that seniors are golf's "best customers." The reason more than half of seniors give for playing less golf is a physical condition that limits their stamina and mobility, he said.
The key to making these projections a reality is for golf to hang out a welcome sign that disabled players can see more clearly.
"Golf is an activity in which many of these men, women and children would love to participate," Pretekin said. "It would be therapeutic and a source of tremendous fun. But they need a small amount of accommodation from the game to feel welcome at the course."
While part of that accommodation might include single-rider golf cars like those his company manufactures, Pretekin said the industry also needs to view disabled players as a demographic group similar to juniors, women, minorities and beginners. "Golf is waking up to the fact that not all of its customers look alike, swing the same or dress in the traditional way they once did. Players with a disability have distinct needs, but their money is just as green," he said.
Golf Car from SoloRider Helps Boomers, Seniors,
Players with Limited Mobility Get Back in the Game
CENTENNIAL, COLO. - Seniors 60 years or older represent nearly 17 percent of the U.S. golf population of more than 27 million players. Many of these 4.5 million golfers are some of the sport's most avid players and best customers, accounting for approximately 250 million rounds a year and millions of dollars in spending.
Although seniors represent a large, growing and lucrative market, health concerns and injuries are driving many off the course. Officials at SoloRider, however, say their innovative single-passenger golf car could extend the golfing life for millions of players who lack the physical endurance or mobility to stay active in the game.
The SoloRider single-passenger golf car features a turf-friendly design that makes it safe to go on tees and greens, reducing the amount of walking required and giving players total access to the course. The car's patented electronic seat lifts and turns to help players find a comfortable and safe position from which to play their shots without having leaving the car.
"SoloRider gives golfers with limited mobility a new lease on life," said Roger Pretekin, founder and president of the Centennial, Colo.-based company.
Making single-rider cars available to seniors and players with limited mobility is a service that also helps golf courses maintain the loyalty of their senior customers.
"Golf course owners and operators are realizing that it's less expensive to keep an existing golfer coming back to the course than it is to bring new players into the game," Pretekin said.
Golf 20/20, which represents a consortium of the golf industry's leading organizations, estimates that keeping golfers from leaving the game would reduce player churn by a half million golfers a year. The economic translation: if 1 percent of seniors leave the game each year, golf loses at least 45,000 golfers and two million rounds, an annual $60 million to $80 million drain on revenues.
With baby boomers turning 60 and older at a dramatic pace, millions of golfers are reaching retirement age and now have the opportunity to play more golf. For the next five years or so, the senior golfer population will grow by at least a half million annually, which represents a potential gain of millions of golf rounds annually. This makes seniors golf's most significant market in terms of rounds and revenue.
Questions and Answers Regarding Single-rider Golf Cars and Accessibility
What are single-rider or adaptive golf cars?
Single-rider or adaptive golf cars are designed to help those with limited mobility, including seniors and the physically disabled, travel on any part of the golf course, including tees and greens, giving them full access to the course and helping them enjoy the game. Hand controls, seat harnesses and specially designed stand-up seats, which raise and turn to allow golfers to swing from a seated or standing position, add to golfers' comfort and safety.
How big is this market?
The potential market of seniors and those with mobility impairments is significant. Seventy-eight million baby boomers started turning 60 in the latter part of 2005. Many of these men and women are golfers who will want to stay active in their senior years. In addition, nearly 20 million Americans have a mobility impairment. Currently only a small percentage of this group plays golf. But there is a strong belief that many would be interested in returning to a game they loved or starting to play if they had complete access to golf courses and felt comfortable playing the game. It is also important to recognize that mobility-impaired golfers, like able-bodied golfers, bring friends with them to the course. Thus, the potential for incremental rounds is not just from the user of the single-rider golf car, but also from those playing with him or her.
Why should golf courses provide single-rider golf cars?
The golf industry needs to increase rounds played in order to increase profits for golf course owners and operators. The most effective way for the golf industry to increase the number of rounds played is to turn baby boomers into avid golfers upon their retirement and extend the playing days of seniors currently in the game. However, every year many seniors leave the game due to physical conditions. Many seniors could continue to play if a single-rider car were available. This would not only extend their golfing life, but also significantly increase the number of golf rounds played each year. There are also 12 million mobility-impaired Americans who use assistive devices. These people also represent hundreds of thousands of golfers who would like to play the game.
How does the ADA affect golf courses and single-rider golf cars?
On Sept. 30, 2004, the Department of Justice issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to clarify regulations regarding the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. In the ANPRM, the DOJ said it was considering "requiring each golf course that provides golf cars to make at least one, and possibly two, specialized golf cars available for the use of persons with disabilities, with no greater advance notice to be required from the disabled golfer than from other golfers." Many who follow the issue feel the wording of DOJ regulations already requires single-rider golf cars and the ANPRM is simply clarifying what is already in the regulations. They point out that whenever there has been a lawsuit, settlement with DOJ or mediation involving single-rider golf cars, the ruling in each case has supported the single-rider requirement. The DOJ is expected to conclude the ANPRM process in the near future, and is expected to require single-rider golf cars at all public access golf courses. Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act was the foundation of ADA. Recently, the Department of Defense determined that this Act requires single-rider golf cars at all military golf courses; subsequently, DOD has begun acquiring single-rider cars.