In April of 2015, a definitive guide to purchasing a Push Cart was published by GolfWRX. Soon after its release, readers began to wonder why we hadn’t included Big Max and its line of push carts. Wonder no longer, good readers! Big Max now has its day in the sun.
Big Max trolleys have a wide following in Europe, given the company’s base in Vienna, Austria. The majority of its models are three-wheeled, although the Wheeler model has an added fourth tire. Since I wrote the initial guide, I’ve convinced myself that four wheels are no better than three, unless it’s a question of aesthetics.
Big Max debuted three new models in 2015. The Blade+ stores flat and opens quickly for a prompt getaway to the first tee. The TI-1000 Autofold collapses and stores with a solitary hand motion. The Z360 offers a rotational front wheel that allows 360-degree turn capability in the tightest of quarters.
In addition to the three new lines, eight other full-size trolleys appear on the Big Max website, along with five pull trolleys and three junior models. The Austrian enterprise appears to have the field covered and is deserving of this extended coverage for our guide.
Wheels and Parking Brake
Big Max equips its push carts with wide, silent wheels and bearings. Whether you are a walker or a jogger, your wheels will serve you well. The on-handle, cabled parking break assembly that comes standard on Big Max carts is precise, secure and reliable. Try to push the cart ahead with the brake engaged, and you’ll get a stomach-full of handle: the cart won’t budge. The release action is simple and the departure, quite smooth. In order to keep the Blade + model trimmed down, the cable system was replaced by two foot breaks.
Pouch, Post and Pocket
There’s a bit of variety from Big Max in the storage-compartment offerings. The Blade+ has a narrow, plastic unit that will fit a phone, keys, scorecard and pencil. You bought the blade for its compact nature, so don’t expect double-wide. The Z360 has a similar compartment, with greater width. The IQ+ has even more room for gadgets, thanks to a mesh pouch that drops down from the handle. You’ll fit all of the above plus a water bottle and snacks in there. If your bag’s pockets don’t offer enough storage for your supplies and you need the cart compartment to break the deal, do your research. No one wants a yard sale of sundries trailing behind down the fairway.
Pack, Strap and Go
One of the newer tendencies in push-cart technology is the use of bungee rope to hold golf bags in place. It’s too early to say that the traditional strap has been replaced across the industry by the flexible cord, but perhaps that day is not far off. Big Max has embraced the use of the bungee on its models and a little practice makes the thin yet powerful device a snap to secure.
Dual bungees at the top and the base of the bag ensure that there is no movement during transportation. The ropes are soft enough, and the connection, stable enough, that no wearing-down of the golf bag itself takes place, due to friction.
The simplest, in-and-out method is the one employed by Sun Mountain, the no-strap. Plastic retaining arms bend open to form a cradle for the golf bag. If the terrain inclines steeply, or the speed and bumps combine for a rough ride, there’s a chance that the bag might bounce around or even spill out. When the round is completed, the security of the strap (found on BagBoy carts) or the bungee (here and on ClicGear models) adds a handful of seconds to the start time, and peace of mind to the round.
Big Max should be considered when purchasing a cart. As a European company, its list of distributors in the U.S. is not long. When I searched near my home, in a large metropolitan area of the mid-northeast, the closest handlers were 67 and 188 miles away.
What makes Big Max a big plus is its list of accessories. The showcase add-on is the I-Dry Raincover, a full-body rain suit for your bag and clubs. The two-piece system employs velcro and zippers to shield your clubs from the elements. The frame anchors solidly in two holes on the retaining arm assembly and affords easy access to clubs.
Big Max should score above its competitors in the accessory area, for the fact that it had the forethought to add two Quick Lok post holes to the handle. A standard add-on is the umbrella holder, but there is only one other accessory (the flexible PDA holder) that would utilize the second post hole. A series of accessories that connect in other ways include hand warmers, range-finder case, and a cooler bag.
Big Max Models
Pros: Most lightweight cart tested. Easy storage in a wide, flat space. Smooth ride for an economy model.
Cons: Base where bag rests is less sturdy than other models. Foot brakes on each wheel might prove slightly cumbersome to some golfers.
Pros: 360-degree rotation of front wheel is found on very few models, eliminating awkward “stuck” moments.
Cons: Absence of a mesh under-pouch for storage limits storage to golf bag pockets and the medium-sized, plastic container on the handle.
Pros: We’re down to milimeters here, but something about this cart and the way it not only collapses, but carries in a collapsed state, stands out. Great ride around the course, with the awesome under-storage pouch.
Cons: Across the board, the absence of a beverage holder. Perhaps the next accessory, to occupy post hole two, might be a state-of-the-art receptacle for cans and bottles.