Do you need an electric golf trolley?April 24, 2018 Golf Equipment
In his latest tech talk, equipment editor James Savage runs through the pros and cons of splashing out on an electric trolley
Do you need an electric golf trolley? 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.
On a personal level, I own (have kindly been given) a couple of electric trolleys and a push trolley.
But more often than not I’ll find myself out on the course just with a standbag as I like to keep fuss to a minimum.
I also like the idea of just grabbing my bag and getting out there.
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?
Here are some reasons why you may, or may not want to purchase an electric golf trolley.
1. 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.
And the more technology they have, the more they will cost.
And they both have compact models for those who have less boot and storage space.
Powacaddy have the Compact C2i and Motocaddy have their M range which all fold 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.
2. Save your energy
Electric golf trolleys are a godsend on really hilly courses.
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.
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).
Again, I’d be seriously considering the Motocaddy S1 DHC, Motocaddy S5 Connect DHC or Powerbug GT DHC.
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 this is one of the main things which can cause mechanical problems.
3. More fun
Once you’re out on the course, there’s no doubt that a good electric golf trolley 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.
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.
4. Go lithium
Some brands do still offer lead but I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy an electric golf trolley without a lithium battery.
They are smaller lighter, last longer, 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.
The Powerbug lithium batteries are also superb for how small and light they are.
Here are a few reasons why you may not be ready buy an electric golf trolley..
1. 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 Big Max Blade Quattro and Blade IP fold away really small and can be left in your boot.
Motocaddy have introduced GPS into their Cube Connect push trolley so it folds away to nothing and still has the same technology in the screen as the S5 Connect electric golf trolley.
2. 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.
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.
Everyone else’s car boot looks like this, right? pic.twitter.com/973lPVAhEt
— James Savage (@JamesSavageNCG) April 12, 2018
That’s my excuse for having a messy boot anyway.
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?