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The GolfWRX Guide to Purchasing a Push Cart

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This story is part of our new “GolfWRX Guides,” a how-to series created by our Featured Writers and Contributors — passionate golfers and golf professionals in search of answers to golf’s most-asked questions.

At one time or another, every golfer who considers himself a foot warrior has an epiphany.

“Why am I carrying this heavy bag when push carts were invented years ago?”

Mine came in the summer of 2014. I had inquired among a number of top junior golfers at an AJGA event about the push carts they used. It was simple, they explained: a golf bag puts so much strain on the shoulders, and so much wear on the back lifting and lowering it. How obvious!

I gazed across the fleet of myriad cart styles and knew that my next big purchase would not be a driver or wedge, but something that would allow me to continue to hit those clubs for years to come. With that in mind, I set out to explore the offerings from the major producers of golf push carts. I expected to find a variety of options, but was not quite prepared for all the accoutrements and perquisites that accentuate today’s carts.

In this guide to purchasing a push cart, I will examine available features and their value. Some of them might seem nuanced, even esoteric, but trust me, they all matter. I had the opportunity to play rounds with seven different carts from four companies. If you want to know more about each push cart I tested, you can see Pros and Cons at the bottom of this story.

Let’s dig in.

Wheels and Parking Brake

The TriSwivel II push cart from BagBoy ($269.95).

The flexibilitator! If you’re in a tight corner, BagBoy’s TriSwivel II will get you out.

What’s your pleasure, three or four wheels? From my perspective, it’s about aesthetics and not practicality. There is no loss of stability, since you’re most likely not playing speed golf and jogging around the course.

Most three-wheeled carts come with a fairly stable front wheel. There is a benefit to having a front-rotational wheel on three-wheeled carts. It is nice for negotiating tight turns or backing up (you just turn around!). Since you have no reverse lights nor video camera to navigate what’s behind you on the cart path, this feature might be desirable. In my situation, I found that leaning any cart back on its rear wheels will allow you to spin in place 180 degrees and reverse direction.

Check the side of your push panel. You have your own parking brake, designed to lock up one or both wheels on those occasions when the terrain is sloped. During my testing, I found that some brake levers are hair-trigger sensitive, and that you might be walking along and suddenly encounter the stab of a stalled cart in your torso. You didn’t intend to stop the cart, but a brush of your hand against the mechanism brought about engagement. Take a close look at the lever and how easily it engages.

Remember what was written earlier about jogging? Some golfers do indeed get out early and play speed golf. Today’s golf carts make that piece viable. It’s not sprint golf, so you don’t need to worry about performance above 10 mph. Take a tour of your course while jogging with both three- and four-wheeled carts to determine which has a better feel for your golfing and jogging gait.

From my perspective, the three-wheeled cart is noticeably better for maneuverability. Each of this type of cart from Sun Mountain and BagBoy, the industry names with greatest recognition, shine forth in the tightest of areas.

The top model for uber maneuverability is the TriSwivel II from BagBoy. The free-spinning front wheel does what no anchored wheel can: move sideways with no forward motion. Three-wheel carts also excel when pace accelerates.

Pouch, Post and Pocket

The Mighty Mite! At first blush, there’s not much to BagBoy’s C3, but it’s all you need.

Standard operating procedure these days is the 3 P’s: a mesh pouch for quick storage and access of items, a post for your umbrella and a pocket for valuables.

You might place a bottle of water, rangefinder, cell phone or money clip in that mesh pocket. Be sure it’s durable, with small gaps in the mesh. It’s intended for easy access and removal, but it still needs to be secure!

Every cart has a post hole for umbrella positioning, should the rains come or a fierce sun beat down too forcefully. You screw the holder into the post hole and insert your umbrella handle into the cone. The only problem that arises is that you have to remove the holder when you break down the cart. If you forget, you’ll hear the crack of stressed plastic.

Each push cart also offers a plastic storage pocket on the top of the cart, just below the handle. Scorecard and valuables might be better off there on windy and rainy days (most pockets have a clip on top for easy scorecard access during calmer weather). If you’re on the progressive side of the cell-phones-on-the-golf-course debate, that plastic storage pocket serves to muffle your ring tone. You’ll hear it and decide whether to answer it, but it won’t blast out across the fairway, causing your partners to muff their shots and throw side-eye your way.

The margin for error in this section is razor-thin, but the left-side location of the umbrella post by the BagBoy genius team gets top marks for Pouch, Post and Pocket.

Pack, Strap and Go

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The very durable Model 3.5+ from ClicGear, a new player in the game. This one is worth a look when shopping.

This is the area in which push carts have made the greatest strides. Carts collapse to the size of a dancer in a child’s crouch. Arms and legs reduce like a praying mantis, wheels move inward and the entire assembly lifts lightly and fits snug in a minor section of your car trunk. Here’s the rub: they don’t all collapse in the same fashion and the key is to find the button or handle that puts the dynamo into action, then determine if you have the mental acuity to remember how to do it each time. It’s not always as easy as the marketing materials make it seem. Break down and build up any candidates for purchase to ensure that you’re comfortable with the sequence of steps.

When it comes to securing your bag to the cart, alternatives vary among companies. Some bags come with arms that extend farther around your bag, but no straps to secure your clubs in place. The supposition here is that you don’t intend to move at a rapid pace, so a complete lock-down isn’t necessary. The majority of bags do come with straps at the top and bottom of the cart. They wrap around the bag and connect with velcro, ensuring a secure connection with the push cart.

Among the new breed of carts, there is little measurable difference when it comes to securing the bag to the cart. What discrepancy exists, is related to a crossing strap.

The ClicGear and BagBoy carts come equipped with a strap or flexible plastic band that latches the golf bag to the cart.

The Sun Mountain models utilize a plastic claw that cradles, but does not strap. Both are viable options for keeping the bag on the cart but in the case of that curvy, downhill trek we often encounter between holes, the strap/band wins the day. If you have not a minute to waste, however, the Sun Mountain plastic claw eliminates any foozling with a strap and garners the top prize for Pack, (don’t) Strap and Go!

The All-Inclusive

Alphard's Duo-Evolution sells for $399.99.

Alphard’s Duo-Evolution. The BOGO: Buy One and Get One! A bag of endless pockets and a cart, all in one.

And then there’s Alphard, an industry name you may not know. It seems that their angle is: why worry about attaching your bag at all? Alphard’s Duo Cart Evolution offers a cart-bag combo and it’s attractive. The unit comes with three top-side pockets for balls, tees, gloves and other items; three right-side pockets; two left-side pockets and one external umbrella barrel for storage of your favorite parasol. The entire unit fits comfortably in the trunk of your car, or stores easily in your club bag room. For sure, you’ll never hear “We can’t find your push cart, Mr. Haverkamp,” or “Rats, I left my cart in the garage.”

If you have your clubs, then you have your bag and cart. When it comes to packing for a trip, though, you’ll have some trouble unless you’ve purchased an extra-wide travel bag.

There are negatives to the Alphard cart. One is in the design of the front wheels. They are much smaller than other carts and don’t rotate from side to side. As a result, maneuverability is restricted. The main shaft of the handle is also not as strong as it might be. There was a noticeable give to it during long, uphill slogs.
[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.alphardgolf.com/shop/duoevo/” oemtext=”Buy it from Alphard” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IJDP93I/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IJDP93I&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=CHMMJN5CIFX3VYGG”]

Here are the Pros/Cons of the models I tested below. Listed prices are MAP. 

BagBoy C3 ($219.95)

BagBoy's C3 ($219.95).

  • Pros: Secure straps. Handle adjusts to variety of heights/angles. Plenty of storage for tees, scorecard, phone. Light overall weight.
  • Cons: Bottle/cup holder somewhat tough to reach.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://bagboycompany.com/c3-push-cart-three-wheel-push-cart-bag-boy-push-cart.html” oemtext=”Buy it from BagBoy” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EUZIE72/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00EUZIE72&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=EFZFFZWIJYMX7IPG”]

BagBoy TriSwivel II ($269.95)

The TriSwivel II push cart from BagBoy ($269.95).

Head for the S-Curves. TriSwivel will take them like a pro.

  • Pros: Reliable straps. Pivoting front wheel is great for maneuverability. Handle adjusts to variety of heights/angles. Deep storage for tees, scorecard, and phone. Easy to lift and push.
  • Cons: Inaccessible bottle/cup holder when pushing.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://bagboycompany.com/triswivel-ii-push-cart-bag-boy-push-cart.html” oemtext=”Buy it from BagBoy” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EUZO1YW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00EUZO1YW&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=FV7W26GCORNWED7Z”]

BagBoy Quad Plus ($239.95)

bag-boy-quad-plus-golf-push-cart-red-2

Four on the floor! This one folds up so small, you might lose it in your trunk.

  • Pros: Efficient upper/lower straps. Easy-release handle tiny when stored. Healthy amount of storage for tees, scorecard, phone. Lighter than air.
  • Cons: Four wheels mean less maneuverability. Storage space for drinks is not easy to reach.

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Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1 Sport ($209.99)

SMV1-GUNRED-2

If you absolutely need to play speed golf, this the answer to your prayers.

  • Pros: Cup/bottle holder well-placed below steering handle. Handle moves up and down with ease. Light overall weight. Adjustable angles for umbrella holder. The sealed bearings gave the smoothest and quickest wheel rotation of all tested trolleys.
  • Cons: No upper/lower straps. Umbrella holder places barrel in front of face.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”https://shop.sunmountain.com/v1-sport-2708-detail.html” oemtext=”Buy it from Sun Mountain” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FULRMEG/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FULRMEG&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=SBTCBQ3ZQEUELE3T”]

Sun Mountain MC3 Micro-Cart ($199.99)

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Another tiny tower of power. Folds up small but rolls big, all day long.

  • Pros: Cup/bottle holder offers easy access beneath handle bars. Tiny when stored. Handle adjusts to variety of heights/angles. Light overall weight. Adjustable angles for umbrella holder.
  • Cons: No upper/lower straps. Four wheels mean less maneuverability. Umbrella holder places barrel in front of face. Small amount of storage for tees, balls, phone.

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ClicGear Model 3.5+ ($220)

30084552_im_CHAR~BLK_________0_gsi

  • Pros: Upper/lower straps. Light overall weight.
  • Cons: A bit difficult to break down. Umbrella holder places barrel in front of face. Bag straps a bit difficult to adjust and secure.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.clicgear.com/pushcarts/model-3.5/” oemtext=”Buy it from Clicgear” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B0NSU4O/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00B0NSU4O&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=3ONYYMQS4QRXKOZE”]

Alphard Duo Cart Evolution ($399.99)

Alphard's Duo-Evolution sells for $399.99.

  • Pros: One unit instead of two. Changeable external skin. Massive amounts of storage in bag.
  • Cons: Tiny wheels mean limited maneuverability. Heavy and not as durable a product other products (snapped handle barrel in first round). Weight-forward technology is balanced less than other configurations.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. N. D. Boondocks

    Jun 26, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I have a Clicgear 3.5+, after having a Caddytek 3 wheeler. Folding and unfolding the Caddytek was blindingly fast, but the rear wheels couldn’t be adjusted to remain parallel. It never could be adjusted to run dead straight, especially on a sidehill. Hence, the Clicgear.
    It took me a few rounds to get used to the unfold / fold process, but now, it’s pretty darn quick. The rear wheels have never budged from parallel. The front wheel needed a bit of adjustment to make it track straight, but the last adjustment I needed to make for that was years ago.
    I once played in a strong following wind, gave my bag on the cg a bit of a push on a flat trimmed fairway, and the thing rolled almost all the way to my ball. No complaints from this corner

  2. Pingback: The Best Golf Push Cart (2016) | The Smart Consumer

  3. Joe C

    Mar 29, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I’ve used my old bagboy express for almost 10 years and it probably has at least 700 rounds on it. It has just now started to make noises from the wheels so I’m in the market for a new one. I play most of the NJSGA and MGA tournaments and the majority of them don’t allow push carts. Most of the private clubs the qualifiers are played at don’t allow them. I can tell you that on a 90 degree humid summer day in New Jersey, there is no comparison between carrying and pushing. Pushing is definitely easier. A few years ago I played in the USGA Publinks qualifier at Neshanic Valley in western NJ. It is quite hilly and it was 90 degrees and it was a 36 hole qualifier. There is NO WAY I could’ve carried 36 there that day. My point is, pushing is easier and better for my game. Lifting a 20-30 pound bag 50+ times a round takes a toll on your body. I highly recommend using a push cart. I keep an ultralight carry bag for the events that don’t allow push carts.

  4. Neige

    Jul 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I find carrying my bag is better for my game and health. It saves tons of time so I almost never feel rushed. I pushed a cart a few times, and found it a bit annoying. If I am mindful of how I am lifting and lowering the bag i.e. need to use legs for this, I don’t think it hurts my shoulders and or back. Maybe someday I will change my mind though.

  5. Lindsay Morrison

    May 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I have a 4 year old Sun Mountain V.1 that is great. I had a friend drive over it by accident. They had all the parts to repair it at a local shop. I like the umbrella holder. The net is nice to. It is well made and folds quickly and easily. It’s a bit big folded, not a problem if I’m driving to the course alone. I would buy another the same.

  6. Bert

    Apr 25, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Hill Billy – why push?

  7. Double Mocha Man

    Apr 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Shovability. You know, when you like to shove your push cart over toward the next tee when you’re headed to the current putting green (preferably after extracting your putter). There should be a rating/pro/con for this important feature. Guessing non-rotating front wheels would win here.

  8. Double Mocha Man

    Apr 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I’ve seen guys in the parking lot constructing their push cart (I won’t name any brands) for what seems like an eternity, thus precluding a pre-round breakfast, range warm-up and putting practice. Same guys, after the round, have to leave the bar early so they have time to deconstruct their carts. My cart shrinks/collapses to gym bag size with the push of one button in less than half a second. Equals more bar time.

  9. Dave

    Apr 20, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I bought a 2 wheeled Bag Boy pull cart for $45 from Sports Authority about 12 years ago. I tell myself that I’ll replace it with a new 3-wheeler when it breaks, but it never does. 40 rounds a year. It’s fun to window shop though, and I’m leaning towards ClicGear after reading this article.

    • Jim Y

      Apr 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      Dave, get the Clicgear. You won’t be disappointed……

    • TMTC

      May 12, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      I got both the ClicGear & the SunMountain.
      Both are great.
      The sun mountain is the Better of the two.
      1. Rolls much easier.
      2. Folds down & up easier & quicker.

  10. Thomas

    Apr 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    thanks gang for the insight on push carts .I had a Linksman cart that I purchased on Ebay for a few years (90.00 shipping include ) and it did it’s job but I could not pass up a deal about 6 months ago that was on Amazon for a Bag boy Tri swivel ($200.00 includes shipping ) and I’m totally happy with my purchase . It’s a quality cart and the swivel makes it so easy to use .Only problem I see with it is if you play on a hilly course this cart might not be for you because the swivel can be hard to control but there is the option to turnoff the swivel other than that I am very satisfied. Folds easily and fits in my trunk no problem

  11. Matt

    Apr 20, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I have a BagBoy Quad. I have had it for over a year and used it about 20 times. I like the stability of four wheels. The brake works great! And when I jog to keep up with golf carts it is no issue. The front wheels widen for my staff bag which is key. Set up and break down take seconds. I store my clubs on the cart in my garage now.

  12. David Smith

    Apr 20, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I have the bag boy C3 and I love it. If I’m playing a couple of holes after work I will carry. But if I’m planning to play a full round I use my push cart. Sometimes it is difficult on the terrain of my home course which is extremely up and down, but it certainly helps my back and shoulders feel better. Besides, it the “smart” guys from Stanford used them for NCAA Nationals, then there must be some benefit.
    David

  13. michael p

    Apr 19, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I bought a push cart about 7yrs ago and used it for about a year then sold it started walking & carrying again but over the years I have had knee surgery and fell on my lower back winter of 2013 so as of yesterday I bought a used bag boy sc 500 and it worked great yesterday. The previous one was a bag boy too had no problems with it either. I might look at a cart bag later I use a ping 4 under bag right now and I have to figure out how to adjust where to put it on the cart so I can access my pockets. I am glad I went back to push cart.

  14. Rich

    Apr 19, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Nice article. Lots more push cart options in Australia than those that you’ve listed but the Clicgear is the most popular here as well. Mine is great. Just one thing though. Disappointed that you eluded to the fact that anyone would want/need to answer their phone during a round. At my club they are banned during club competitions and I know some clubs that don’t allow them to be used at all anywhere except the car park. Switch the phone off. You never know, you might enjoy yourself without it for a few hours.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      I understand both sides of the phone issue. I’m thinking more along the lines of checking texts and emails. Like it or don’t, life intrudes on recreation time, be it time at the gym or on the golf course. HOWEVER, if you anticipate that life’s intrusions will ruin your mojo, by all means, switch off the phone. If you have small children, older parents, or other important concerns, you have to have your phone at the ready.

      Thanks for the comments, Rich. Stop back often!

      Ron M.

      • Brian

        Apr 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

        Hard to grow the game when you expect everyone to hide from the world for 4 hours at a stretch. My wife almost killed me one time when I didn’t see her text for an hour. She was 6 months pregnant. 😉

      • TR1PTIK

        Apr 23, 2015 at 7:44 am

        I always have my phone on me when I play – I usually keep it in my front right or back right pocket – but I keep it on SILENT and I only text when I have a moment to do so. Usually, while I’m walking or riding to my ball. I never take calls unless I’m playing by myself and it’s not going to affect someone else. My dad on the other hand, always has his volume cranked up, and he rarely ignores calls so I usually have to block out his phone conversation during my swing or something. He tries to keep it short most of the time, but I really wish he’d turn the dumb thing off or put it on silent like I do! Please guys, if you have to have a phone with you keep it on silent and be respectful of other people on the course – including your playing partners.

  15. tony

    Apr 19, 2015 at 2:13 am

    It’s funny. I feel like I’m suppose to carry my bag of clubs but don’t feel that way at all about my toddlers. And if you know anything about buying strollers, these push carts are CHEAP!

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 19, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Probably because your clubs don’t scream at you, drool on you or twist around when you carry them! If you want to keep carrying those kids, start pushing your clubs. You will save much wear and tear on the bod.

      Thanks, Tony. Frequent our site with your comments.

      Ron M.

    • Nick Smart

      Feb 25, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Yeah a Bob is $600 the dual is even more. Same with shotgun carts they are stupid expensive.

  16. Billy Handsomeface

    Apr 18, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I used to use a carry bag, but I got tired of switching back and forth between cart and carry bag so I bought my friend’s old clic gear. It is awesome.

  17. Brandon

    Apr 18, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Did a lot of research before deciding on a push cart, read a ton of reviews, looked at different models in stores, etc., etc. Ended up ordering a Caddytek 15.5 about a year ago from TGW for under $100 bucks. Very, very pleased in the quality of these, just as solid as a ClicGear, but for way less money. Build quality of the Caddytek is just as good as the ClicGear I was able to check out hands on. Well worth the price to buy a Caddytek.

    • Brandon

      Apr 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Sorry, the model I chose was the 15.3, still can be found on Amazon

    • John

      Mar 2, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Brandon,

      Had my Caddytek for just over two years (NOTE “HAD”). Last week the bar connecting the left rear wheel to the frame popped out of the frame socket. Attempts to repair/return the connecting bar were completely futile. Left rear wheel flops around like a just caught perch.

      I’m now buying the ClicGear. I figure for the extra $ 100.00 I should expect 5 – 6 years of service instead of just over 2 years.

      Everybody will hear if the ClicGear fails before 2020.

      John P

    • N. D. Boondocks

      Jun 26, 2017 at 11:30 am

      I had that model, but sold it in favour of a Clicgear 3.5+. I didn’t like the foot brake, although it did work properly. The rear wheels could never be made parallel, so no matter how I adjusted the front wheel, when coasting it would always pull to the uphill side of any sort of terrain. Didn’t like the ribbed foam on the handle, that was an irritant. Unfold & fold was blistermitten fast, though, and folding flat like it did took up surprisingly little space. A bit better engineering on the basic design and I would say this cart could easily be the standard to beat.

  18. Chris C.

    Apr 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I am 61 years old and have been golfing for 55 years. I view push carts as a necessary evil to assist those with a disability. When my back gave out during the same round that I blew out my MCL, it was extremely difficult to finish the round. I acquired a Clicgear and was able to continue golfing without interruption during the months it took to get my back in shape. I found the Clicgear to be extremely stable and served as a great assistive devise. If one does not have a medical reason for using a push cart, I see no reason for their use. I play on a course that has a creek meandering through it. Often the shortest route to my ball is to simply jump the creek or walk over boulders. I often play in rain which necessitates jumping over standing water. If I duck into the woods for an errent shot I do so with my clubs. If I march into a field of fescue, I do so with my clubs. If I wish to walk between a bunker and green to get to my over cooked approach, I do so with my bag of clubs. None of these things can be conveniently accomplished with a push cart. I use a single strap Jones bag and, God willing, I can avoid health issues which might necessistate putting my Clicgear back in the trunk of my car.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 19, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      Chris,

      If I may ask, why such an extremist view? Do you feel that push carts alter the game or the playing ground in some fashion? I’m baffled by your take and want to better understand it. Here’s hoping you see my reply and feel fit to answer it. Thanks very much for your thoughts.

      Ron M.

      • Joe Duffer

        Apr 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm

        Nothing extreme at all… he simply prefers to carry.
        What’s so hard to understand?

        • Mac

          Apr 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm

          I’d say it was this comment: “If one does not have a medical reason for using a push cart, I see no reason for their use. ”

          This is a macho point of view. Next, you’ll hear someone question your manhood for using a pull cart. It’s silly and pointless, IMO.

          • Double Mocha Man

            Apr 24, 2015 at 11:14 am

            Real men carry. Real men with back and knee problems from carrying, roll.

  19. Golfraven

    Apr 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Clearly missing the BIG MAX trolleys here. Those are big sellers in Europe and good quality. I have the SMART and this one is very good and durable although on the heavier side. You may consider the IQ or the BLADE if you have Porsch (non SUV). I am a fan of 3 wheeler. Don’t think the cruiser 4 wheel are good to manoeuvre. What about the Titan versions like TiCAD or JuCAD? Very sleek and lightweight but rather pricey $$$

  20. headymonster

    Apr 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I’ve found that if a course is relatively flat a cart is great. But if it is hilly a push cart makes life more difficult.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 18, 2015 at 9:17 am

      It’s all about your shoulders and back, isn’t it? If it is hilly, serpentine! Thanks for your comment. Keep on offering opinions hereabouts.

      Ron M.

  21. JDMonly

    Apr 18, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I had a Bagboy Quadra prior to my Clicgear 3.5. The Bagboy has a retarded brake line location that actually got caught on my size 13 foot and line snapped. Poor design! Overall the unit just seemed poor quality compared to the Clicgear…from tubing to wheels. Clicgear has my business on my next cart should it fall apart in about 25 years!!

  22. Henrik

    Apr 18, 2015 at 12:03 am

    I have a Sun Mountain MicroCart and like the folded size of it, and the included accessories. It is a lot harder to push though than my old Speedcart. Perhaps is the smaller wheels, perhaps the 4 wheel but very noticable to the point where I would look elsewhere

  23. Mike J

    Apr 17, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    I bought last years Bagboy Quad on sale for $170 at the local Dicks Sporting Goods. My son used it for his entire high school season and I have used it several times and we both love it. Maneuverability is not really all that big of an issue if you just lift the front wheels and turn ,as others have said. The only con, As Ron pointed out is the umbrella holder, not well thought out, but that doesn’t take away from the ease of use at all, overall a great piece.

  24. Martin

    Apr 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    My wife and I have used the sun Mountain speedcart for several years and it works great, see alot of clicgear’s at our course.

  25. Ken

    Apr 17, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    I’ve got an older Clic Gear, and it’s great, but I also bought an UPRIGHT CADDIE, and love the thing. My bag sits straight up as if it was standing on the ground. It just seems a little easier to get the clubs out. I’m not even sure they are still being made.

  26. RH

    Apr 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Just use the Riksha at my local course. Its a no frills cart that works for me.

  27. Brian DeBlis

    Apr 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I started using a push cart last year after years of carrying my bag. I found out that you burn roughly the same amount of calories pushing your bag than you do carrying your bag, so to me it was a no-brainer. http://www.thewalkinggolfer.com/benefits_of_walking/physical.html

    • birly-shirly

      Apr 17, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      I carry, but I was surprised to see those figures – I thought that a trolley would save you energy. If it doesn’t, and in the absence of back or shoulder pain, is there really any benefit over carrying your bag?

      • ChristopherKee

        Apr 17, 2015 at 5:48 pm

        Yes, you can bring more stuff with you. I pack my lunch, two bottles water, extra shoes, 12 balls, GPS, Rangefinder, and Orange Whip training aid. If I was carrying the bag would be way to heavy, plus since I’m pushing I can use a larger cart bag that manages my clubs better.

        • Golfraven

          Apr 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm

          Agree. I struggle to carry my cart bag couple of yards from the locker to driving range – same setup. I would rather not play at all on the course if I had to take this bag without trolley

      • Ronald Montesano

        Apr 18, 2015 at 9:20 am

        You’re wearing down the back and shoulder by carrying, birly-shirly. By using the push cart, you’ll limit those back and shoulder injuries down the road. If we were to tell athletes to only drink water when they are thirsty, they would all dehydrate. So, from my vantage point, use the cart now and you’ll live a better middle and/or older age.

        • birly-shirly

          Apr 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm

          I’m open to persuasion, but I’d like to see independent evidence that carrying a sub 20lbs bag, rather than technique, overuse, fitness or lifestyle issues is what leads to injuries.

    • TR1PTIK

      Apr 20, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Very interesting. I currently have a Titleist Ultra-lightweight stand bag and carry after my $20 pull cart broke last season. I was in desperate need of a new bag after Christmas and figured I’d be better off to go this route until I can afford a decent push cart. With both straps, the bag doesn’t seem too burdensome, but I definitely try to keep it minimal. Hopefully, in another month or so I’ll be able to find a decent cart I can afford.

  28. Brian

    Apr 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I came in expecting a bunch of hate on people who use pushcarts. Probably why there are so many shank votes. But as a 33 year old disabled Marine with a bad back I just can’t carry a bag for 9-18 holes without paying the price.

    Having said that, my country club membership doesn’t include carts so instead of paying $12 a round I bought a ClicGear 3.5+ on Amazon and couldn’t be happier. It’s easy to push, has plenty of storage and looks like a solid piece of gear. Used it all last season and been very happy. Worth the price. I think I got it on sale for around $200. Paid for itself in cart fees.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Thank you for your service and sacrifice, first and foremost. As someone who has not served, I cannot imagine the dedication it took to keep this country safe. This article was conceived, researched and written for golfers like you, Brian. People need to anticipate future injuries and staying out of motorized carts enhances the benefits of walking. Keeping the bag off the shoulders helps the shoulders and back today and into the future. Keep your thoughts and experiences coming and nice buy on the ClicGear!

      Ron M.

  29. Eric Cockerill

    Apr 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    As far as quality and stability, clicgear and bagboy can’t be beat, but clicgear does have one weakness…it does not handle stand bags well. The bag rotates within the strap due to the stand leg hinges. Clubs become more difficult to access and whole cart becomes unstable. Huge problem. Most of the competitors have some method of locking in the hinges to prevent the rotation, including many of the lower price point models. Not sure why Clicgear continues to ignore this flaw.

    • Joey5Picks

      Apr 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      My Clicgear 2.0 handles my Sun Mountain stand bag just fine. The foot of the cart rests against the bottom of the bag and the “foot” of the golfbag doesn’t come in contact with anything, so the bag’s legs don’t extend. I’ve never had a problem with my bag rotating while strapped to the cart, either.

      • Eric Cockerill

        Apr 17, 2015 at 8:23 pm

        Mine is the Clicgear 3.0…perhaps a bigger problem with that model or my specific stand bag.

    • Brian

      Apr 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Clicgear actually has something called a Bag Cozy that addresses this. It’s $25 though. Seems like a lot of $$ for what it is but does seem to solve this issue.
      http://www.clicgearusa.com/Bag_Cozy_p/cgbc02.htm

      • Eric Cockerill

        Apr 17, 2015 at 8:26 pm

        Thanks for the direction. I probably will buy this…with the exception this problem, I consider the Clicgear an outstanding product. I do feel somewhat vindicated though, clearly this is an issue or they wouldn’t have to sell a separate solution.

        • Brian Z

          Apr 17, 2015 at 10:38 pm

          I pushed the Clicgear Model 8 all last season with a Titleist 14-way stand bag… bought the Bag Cozy before this season and it’s been well worth it. It ought to have been included to begin with or somehow discounted for registered owners, but of all the add on options this has been far and away my best investment.

    • Duane

      Apr 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      I recently purchased a Caddytek 3 wheel push cart. I have the model with a small cooler and storage bag integrated underneath between the two wheels. The top bracket is made to fit between a stand bags legs to keep it from rotating and so far it has worked like a charm. I have discovered the great health benefits walking the course as I am down 23 pounds and my golf scores have dropped too. One of the best investments of golf equipment I have ever purchased.

  30. Bianca

    Apr 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    As a golfer who grew up walking and playing golf in Europe, I think it’s a shame more people in the US don’t use push carts. Just a note that I think it would have been great to have BIG MAX push carts included in this guide too.

    • TR1PTIK

      Apr 20, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Agreed. I also think it’s shameful that more people don’t use bicycles for transportation. It’s a waste of resources and a waste of life when you consider how much healthier Americans would be if they did such things.

  31. AJ

    Apr 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I have an older model clic-gear and it’s lasted 6 years now without a single issue. I use it 4x a week. Not one complaint ever.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 17, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      This is turning into a ClicGear love fest! Thanks for the personal story. Those are the ones that matter most.

      Ron M.

  32. triumph.man

    Apr 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Just picked up a refurbished 3.5+ through clicgear @ $160. Can’t wait!

  33. Jim

    Apr 17, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Start with the Clicgear model and you’ll be very happy. It’s very simple to set up and break down (at least after watching their video) and is very small which is great for storage. It’s also very easy to push on the course and very stable as well. There is no comparison to ones the other guys in my group use and it seems to be very solidly built for the long haul too. They’re all pretty expensive but I guess because it lasts so long it’s not the worst investment and it sure beats carrying the bag.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Jim,
      That is a very comprehensive post and I appreciate your commentary. If I may ask, which are the “other ones” that your brood uses? It’s always nice to get a comparison from the fairways. Thanks for your time and effort. Come back often.

      Ron M.

      • Jim

        Apr 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        Bag Boy is the only other one I can remember. And his fell apart during the first round and needed to be repaired. Just not as solid as the Clicgear.

  34. TF

    Apr 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Actually, the ClicGear 3.5+ handle can be adjusted to different heights/angles. Having said that, I’d still list it as a con since it’s not intuitive – I was using mine for months before I figured it out.

    Great purchase no matter which make and model you go with, though.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

      TF, Thank you for that. I’ll take a look at it and figure out where I went wrong. I appreciate your commentary. Come back often with more insight!

      Ron M.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Apr 17, 2015 at 11:31 am

      We have corrected the language, TF.

  35. dr bloor

    Apr 17, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I bought a Tour Trek on discount for about $80.00 five years ago. The strap system isn’t perfect and it’s a little bit ugly, but it’s got wheels and brakes, it holds my bag, and it folds down into a size about as compact as most anything else out there. I await the article that makes a convincing argument to go over $125 when purchasing a push cart.

    • TR1PTIK

      Apr 17, 2015 at 11:13 am

      No joke. Why do pushcarts have to be so expensive? I’d like to see more sub-$150 offerings.

      • Ronald Montesano

        Apr 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

        Fellows, your comments might be the lead in to my next piece, on what aspects of R&D and parts jack the prices up to the point where consumers take notice. Thank you for your questions and opinions.

        Ron M.

        • TR1PTIK

          Apr 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

          That would be great. I understand you get what you pay for, but I sure would like to know how much of that $200+ is just markup because of the brand name and reputation.
          I think a cost analysis of the carts in this article compared to “lesser” brands like Caddytek would be very interesting.

          • LF

            Apr 19, 2015 at 11:16 am

            Agreed. I purchased a CaddyTek 13.5 for a 100 bucks at Costco…it’s stable, durable and has most all the features of a Clicgear, absolutely no complaints. After 3 years of ownership it’s hard to imagine anything over a 150.00 bucks not being beyond the point of diminishing returns.

            • Egor

              May 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm

              Hi LF. I have the CaddyTek SuperLite Deluxe and the Clicgear. The CaddyTek 13.5 was not available when I purchased the SuperLite but I looked at the pics and reviews online and it looks like a solid cart.

              I bought the Clicgear because it folded down and stays in the trunk all the time (The CT13.5 looks small enough too) whereas the CaddyTek SuperLite is not something I can leave in my car.

              The Clicgear also has the sand and water/coke bottle attachments so I have everything I need when I’m on the course.

              I wish the CaddyTek 13.5 was available when I bought my first one, but weather you have a sub $100 cart or $200+ cart, the important part is – you have a push cart and all the benefits that go along with walking the course.

    • Ben

      Apr 17, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      I have a Tour Trek as well, I think it’s well designed EXCEPT for the joint that connects the two rear wheels to the main frame. It’s not as sturdy as it should be (to allow the cart to fold up smaller) and as a result the rear wheels sometimes become misaligned, causing the cart to want to veer to the left or right. It’s not a major problem but it’s annoying having my cart always tugging to the right a little. For this reason, I wish I had shelled out the extra $100 bucks to get a Clicgear.

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: The QOD Electric Caddy

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If you want an electric golf caddy that doesn’t require that you wear a sensor or carry a remote — one that will be reliable and allow you to focus on your game, and not your cart — then the Australian-manufactured QOD is worth checking out.

The QOD (an acronym for Quality of Design and a nod to its four wheels) is powered by a 14.4-volt lithium battery, good for 36 holes or more on a single charge. It has nine different speeds (with the fastest settings moving closer to jogging velocity) so the QOD can handle your ideal pace, whether that be a casual stroll or a more rapid clip around the course.

The QOD is also built to last. Its injection-molded, aircraft-grade aluminum frame has no welded joints. Steel bolts and locking teeth take care of the hinging points. The battery and frame are both guaranteed for three full years. If you need a new battery after the three-year window, the folks at QOD will replace it at cost.

Its front-wheel suspension gives the QOD a smooth ride down the fairway, and the trolley is easy to navigate with a gentle nudge here and there. The QOD is always in free-wheel mode, so it is smooth and easy to maneuver manually in tight spaces and around the green.

The caddy also features three timed interval modes for situations where you might wish to send it up ahead on its own: when helping a friend find a lost ball or when you will be exiting on the far side of the green after putting, for example. The clip below includes a look at the caddy in timed mode.

When folded, the QOD measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall.

Another area where the QOD excels is in its small size and portability. When folded, it measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall, making it the smallest electric caddy on the market.

Folks Down Under have been enjoying the QOD for some time, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when Malachi McGlone was looking for a way to continue walking the course without putting undue strain on an injured wrist that the QOD found U.S. fairways. After first becoming a satisfied customer, McGlone convinced CEO Collin Hiss, who developed the product and oversees its production in Australia, to allow him to distribute and service the QOD here in the states.

The QOD has no self-balancing gyroscope, bluetooth sensor or remote control. Bells and whistles just aren’t its thing — though it does have a USB port for cell phone charging that can come in handy. However, if you are looking for a no-fuss workhorse to move your bag down the fairway, the QOD should be on your radar.

The 2018 model has begun shipping and will be on sale at $1,299 for a limited time. It normally retails at $1,499.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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