Ben Outhwaite runs through the pros and cons of splashing out on an electric trolley

Are electric golf trolleys really worth it? Is it going to help your game? Or is it going to be more hassle than it’s worth?

There are lots of factors to consider before making what is inevitably going to be a substantial financial investment.

Odds are you probably own either an electric or manual trolley already – the latter also being known as a push trolley.

But more often than not I’ll find myself out on the course just with a stand bag as I like to keep fuss to a minimum.

I can wander off freely to find my ball in the trees without leaving anything behind. I can play a bunker shot without the worry my trolley has rolled back down towards the tee. Or into a lake.

But maybe I’m expending necessary energy lugging my bag, 14 clubs, two dozen balls, a set of waterproofs, water bottle, tees, pitchmark repairers and a laser rangefinder on my back?

So in this article I’ll discuss the reasons why you may, or may not want to purchase an electric golf trolley as well as running through the best electric golf trolleys and the best manual golf trolleys out there.

So what’s better: an electric or manual golf trolley?

Top gear

There’s some really fantastic models out there which are intuitive, easy to use and run really smoothly out on the course.

Powakaddy and Motocaddy are the market leaders and both have a range of models to cater for all types of golfer.

PowaKaddy 2021

They both have entry-level models in the FX3s and S1 respectively and then they work up into models which have more bells and whistles.

Motocaddy S1 trolley review

And the more technology they have, the more they will cost.

Both have models with GPS yardages displayed on their screens.

And they both have compact models for those who have less boot and storage space.

Powacaddy have the Compact CT6 which folds to the size of a rucksack.

There are other brands such as Powerbug and Golfstream who offer some great products at competitive prices and also sell a wide range of accessories.

Save your energy

Electric golf trolleys are a godsend on really hilly courses.

Plenty of golf courses around the world, especially in the UK, have quite severe elevation changes.

When using a push trolley on these courses it can sometimes feel like a bit too much hard work.

I often think it would be easier to carry than push a trolley up a hill.

Why not save your energy for making decent golf swings?

Electric golf trolleys can sometimes be easier to park on a hanging lie – especially if they have an electric parking brake.

Welshpool

In fact, if you were a member on a hilly course I think it’s essential to find an electric golf trolley with a parking brake.

Another cool bit of technology which Motocaddy and Powerbug offer is downhill control (DHC).

I’d be seriously considering the Motocaddy S1 DHC for something like this.

The technology means the trolley will automatically apply the brakes when you are going downhill to stop you yanking the handle back to slow it down.

Brands tell us that brake systems are one of the main things which can cause mechanical problems.

More fun

Once you’re out on the course, there’s no doubt that electric trolleys can add enjoyment to your round.

And if you love a bit of technology then there’s all kinds of things like shot measurements, round timers, calorie counters and electronic scoring to keep you satisfied.

Powakaddy trolleys 2021

They can be a bit tricky to get used to but once you get to grips with the speed dials it’s like driving a car. You just do it without having to think about it too much.

Go lithium

Lithium batteries are really good and it’s no surprise lead acid has almost been phased out completely now.

Some brands do still offer lead but I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy an electric golf trolley without a lithium battery.

Motocaddy

They are smaller lighter, have great battery life and are less likely to let you down.

I really like the plug n’ play batteries on Powakaddy models which clip in easily and can be left in when the trolley is folded away.

Here are a few reasons why you may not be ready buy an electric golf trolley…

Push it

There are some fantastic push trolleys out there which can do a great job on flatter golf courses.

If you play on a flat links course for example, then I think you’ll be fine with a good push trolley.

Models such as the Motocaddy P1 and Powakaddy DLX-Lite fold away really small and can be left in your boot.

Flat battery?

You don’t have to worry about charging the battery.

I’m sure once you are in the habit of doing so, this won’t be a problem.

But there is nothing more annoying than forgetting to charge up the battery for your electric golf trolley.

If you carry or have a push trolley you know you are good to go at the drop of a hat.

Hassle

They are heavy and take up a lot of room.

Ok, so there are some models which fold away small but your average electric golf trolley is still quite cumbersome.

Getting them to and from the course is a bit of a hassle. They aren’t the sort of thing you would leave in your boot permanently.

If you play all your golf at the same course then you might be able to keep it there which does take a lot of that hassle away.

But if, like me, you play all over the place you need to have everything you need in your boot at all times.

Expensive

If you are young enough and fit enough maybe spending £500 on a custom-fitted driver and series of golf lessons might add more enjoyment to your game?


Best electric golf trolleys

With all that in mind, what are the best electric golf trolleys on the market this year? Find our top picks right here.


Motocaddy M5 GPS Electric Golf Trolley

Compact and easy-to-fold, the M5 GPS is the world’s first trolley to offer fully‑integrated GPS built into a super-responsive 3.5” touchscreen display. Easily viewable no matter the weather, the screen can be easily controlled in all conditions – even while wearing a glove. Boasting 40,000 pre-loaded courses with distances to the front, middle and back of the green, plus hazards, the M5 GPS offers the ability to move the flag position for more accurate shot preparation. Packed with features, the high resolution touchscreen display also includes a Clock, Round timer and Score tracking, plus the par and stroke index of each hole, shot distance measurement, automatic hole advancement and a battery meter.

Pros:

  • Folds down compactly and quickly 
  • Distances displayed on a crystal clear touch screen
  • Ability to move the pin position enhances strategy

Cons:

  • Folding latches are quite stiff

Powakaddy FX7 GPS Electric Golf Trolley

The Powakaddy 2022 FX7 is the tenth iteration of this iconic trolley and whilst it retains its overall simplicity it does so with a design that is packed full of technology. An important aspect for many people when choosing an electric trolley, is the ease it can be folded up and down. To that end, the Powakaddy FX7 has their simplest ever 1-click folding system and folds down an impressive 20% smaller than the previous model. This superb trolley now also features a bright 3.5″ full colour widescreen display that clearly shows the digital power gauge and battery fuel indicator and allows you to use the ADF (Automatic Distance Function) which lets you send the trolley 15, 30 or 45 yards on its before automatically stopping. This is an extremely useful and time saving feature that allows you to send the trolley off to the next tee whilst you walk on to the green. The FX7 trolley also has a handy smartphone/GPS device charging point, ensuring your important devices don’t run out of juice mid-round.

Pros:

  • Folds up and down with incredible ease
  • Impressive display that is easy to navigate
  • Whisper quiet powerful 30v 230w motor

Cons:

  • Adjusting the handle height is a fiddly process

PowaKaddy CT8 GPS Electric Golf Trolley

The all-new CT8 is now the smallest and most intelligent compact folding cart in its class with an intuitive Simple-2-Fold system that can be folded in seconds. Complete with a fully-integrated GPS system to take your game to the next level.

Pros:

  • Superb, responsive touchscreen GPS
  • Compact folding, lightweight and easy to carry
  • High quality finish 

Cons:

  • Handle height takes a lot of effort to adjust

Motocaddy S1 Electric Golf Trolley

The 2020 S1 trolley has been upgraded with revised graphics for this season. Featuring a new anti-glare LCD screen, adjustable distance control, and USB charging port to help you around the golf course.

Pros:

  • Quick 1-step folding system
  • Whisper quiet motor
  • Sporty design

Cons:

  • Folds well, but not super-compact like the M1 

Powakaddy FX3 Electric Golf Trolley

The Powakaddy 2022 FX3 is the tenth iteration of this iconic trolley and whilst it retains its overall simplicity it does so with a design that is packed full of technology. An important aspect for many people when choosing an electric trolley, is the ease it can be folded up and down. To that end, the Powakaddy FX3 has their simplest ever 1-click folding system and folds down an impressive 20% smaller than the previous model. This superb trolley now also features a 2.3″ full colour widescreen display that clearly shows the digital power gauge and battery fuel indicator.

Pros:

  • Excellent, simple folding system
  • Clear, bright display
  • Thin and lightweight battery easy to use

Cons:

  • Front wheel doesn’t fold in 

Motocaddy M-Tech GPS Electric Golf Trolley

M‑TECH combines unrivalled functionality with luxury finishes and striking design to produce the ultimate in golf club transportation. Developed to a high-end specification, exclusive luxury finishes include polished chrome, hand-stitched genuine leather handle grips, and stealthy black & carbon fibre styling.

Pros:

  • Super-premium styling
  • Full-colour LCD screen now with GPS distances
  • Slimline all-terrain wheels

Cons:

  • Premium price will put some off

Powakaddy FX5 Electric Golf Trolley

The Powakaddy 2022 FX5 is the tenth iteration of this iconic trolley and whilst it retains its overall simplicity it does so with a design that is packed full of technology. An important aspect for many people when choosing an electric trolley, is the ease it can be folded up and down. To that end, the Powakaddy FX3 has their simplest ever 1-click folding system and folds down an impressive 20% smaller than the previous model. This superb trolley now also features a bright 2.8″ full colour widescreen display that clearly shows the digital power gauge and battery fuel indicator and allows you to use the ADF (Automatic Distance Function) which lets you send the trolley 15, 30 or 45 yards on its before automatically stopping. This is an extremely useful and time saving feature that allows you to send the trolley off to the next tee whilst you walk on to the green. The FX5 trolley also has a handy smartphone/GPS device charging point, ensuring your important devices don’t run out of juice mid-round.

Pros:

  • Cutting-edge frame design and functionality
  • Offers good value for money 
  • Stealth Wheels

Cons:

  • Not too dissimilar from FX3

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