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Review: Sun Mountain Sync Cart Bag and Speed Cart GT

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The symbiotic, bag-cart relationship of the Sun Mountain Sync and the Speed Cart GT push cart should be helpful to golfers, if they think at all like I do. Since I gave up carrying my bag to spare my shoulders, hips and back, I alternate between a push cart for a healthy walk and a riding cart for more social occasions. Golfers typically purchase a bag from one company, a cart from another, and wonder why they don’t mesh perfectly.

Sun Mountain offers a simplified alternative to this frustrating conundrum. The opportunity to review this combined strapless bag and two-step push cart was enticing. Let’s have a look.

Pros: Eight pockets and 15 club slots in the Sync provide storage for everything you need, from valuables to golf balls, tees and markers to your clubs. The lightweight and easy-to-stow Speed Cart GT unfolds in two steps with two simple latches to unclasp-clasp. Both pieces offer the same color accents, creating a balanced and attractive aesthetic (if that’s your thing.)

Cons: The Sync bag retails for $220, while the Speed Cart GT lists for $210. It’s a serious commitment to a system, but isn’t commitment to a system what usually defines success? Hold off on a new one for a year or two on buying that new driver, and shift that expense to this cart-bag partnership.

Who’re They For: This combo appeals to the golfer who flexes between a good walk, unspoiled, and a ride around the course. Carrying golfers need not apply, until their shoulders and back begin to ache and they need a solution.

Overview

Over the years, cart-only bags have earned a reputation as unwieldy (think Al Czervik in Caddyshack) and bulky. The 2017 version from Sun Mountain has the sturdiness one needs in a cart bag, but none of the girth. Ample storage means that you can bring all the swag you need, and stash it in a secure space.

Recent experience with push cart reviews often left me confused as to which latch should unhitch first, and which direction a component must rotate, in order to open or close the cart. The Speed Cart GT reduces the latches to a pair. One releases the front wheel, while the other separates the handle from the body.

The Sync Bag

Sync Gunmetal Black Flash

Make a quick checklist for what you need in a cart bag, and you’ll likely stop at two elements: storage and balance.

In what will come to be known as The Tale of the Eight Pockets, I’ll break down my suggested uses for the ocho espacios of storage found in the Sync bag:

  1. Low center pocket: Golf balls. Massive space for the orbs.
  2. Middle center pocket: Golf tees. How many times have you been stabbed by a tee over the years, while searching for a ball marker or some other item? Just the stake, so you know what’s in there.
  3. Upper center pocket: Valuables. Pocket made from a soft material, so secrete your watch, rings, money clip, wallet, whatever with complete security.
  4. Long right side pocket: Rain gear. Spans the height of the bag, plenty of room for jacket and pants;
  5. Right side slot: Scorecard goes here, the official one. Get yourself a scorecard holder and slide the entire apparatus here. Guaranteed to protect it from folding, the elements, and other enemies.
  6. Upper left side pocket: Gloves. As with tees, they deserve their own closet. No dirt, pebbles or other grime to speed up their demise.
  7. Lower left side pocket: The cooler. Literally made of that slick, plastic material that keeps beverages chilled for a time.
  8. Left side slot: Framed picture of your family. I’ve run out of ideas (or possessions). Let’s call it the land of miscellanity (a word of my invention) and allow you to put a hat, hand towel, or whatever security item you tote that allows you to do you.

Remember those 15 club slots mentioned above? One is not for Ian Woosnam’s extra driver, although it could be. The top slot, wider than the rest, is ideal for a closed umbrella. No more hanging it here, looping it there. Like a dedicated wall plug, the umbrella finally receives the respect it is due. All slot openings are lined, to ensure that no scraping of shaft paint occurs. Come to think of it, that umbrella space is so wide, you can still fit that extra driver.

Related: The GolfWRX Guide to Purchasing a Push Cart

Regarding balance, all roads lead to this: Handles, handles everywhere! Two at the top, made from molded rubber around plastic, make loading and unloading the bag a cinch. Under the bottom pocket is a flap, commonly found in modern bags, that allows you to grasp at that end and balance your lift. The main bag handle is sturdy, for the golfer who opts for the one-arm lift.

The bottom of the Sync bag was molded to fit snugly in the lower rest of the Sun Mountain Speed and Micro-Cart series. Knowing that a change in terrain or pace will cause zero movement in your bag is a comforting thought. As for motorized carts, a strap slot in the fabric, running beneath the main handle, adds a layer of secure attachment not found in other bags I’ve seen.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”https://shop.sunmountain.com/Sync-Bag-20264-detail.html?related_id=20269″ oemtext=”Learn more from Sun Mountain” amazonlink=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K30Q3VG/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=golfwrxcom-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01K30Q3VG&linkId=815b22027e1f6bedfa5da8d6d4346b3c”]

The Speed Cart GT

SPEED_CART_GT_gunmetal_flash

In previous push cart reviews for GolfWRX, I’ve come away equal parts impressed and uncertain. I’ve been impressed by the number of attributes that companies can weave into their chariots. I’ve also been uncertain that all of the features are necessary. The Speed Cart GT is a three-wheel affair, with a front wheel that tucks under for storage, dropping down and forward for use. This movement is seamless, one that a child with enough strength to unfasten and fasten the latch can pull off.

The main body of the cart is streamlined. The top handle is resolute, encouraging proper and efficient steering and control. Below it is a covered storage unit for scorecard, pencil, smart phone, you get the idea. It is deep enough for those items, but not so spacious that it impacts other elements. A mesh net hangs down for other items, should you wish to have them closer to hand than the golf bag pockets.

The trio of wheels, with bearings locked away and nearly noiseless, move the push cart comfortably at your chosen speed. Going for a jog? Break away with no concern. Uphill or downhill? Got you covered. A handle hand brake secures the entire cart on any incline. If you like the cart but have a carry bag with stand, you’ve no doubt fought to settle your stand legs on other push carts. The upper rest of the Speed Cart GT has been restructured to accommodate the stand apparatus. A knob is provided for add-ons, like an umbrella or cup holder, but there is little need. Between the bag and the cart, standard features get all jobs done.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”https://shop.sunmountain.com/Speed-Cart-GT-20119-detail.html” oemtext=”Learn more from Sun Mountain” amazonlink=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071DV3SXS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=golfwrxcom-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B071DV3SXS&linkId=7ba537902ed22be5030b1f347d2df743″]

The Takeaway

SPEED_CART_GT_folded_side

There is a Yin Yang relationship at work between a good push cart-bag combination. The former should be as simple and sensible as the latter is complex and sensible. All boxes for this synchronicity are checked with the Speed Cart GT and the Sync golf bag.

If you pay between $400-500 for a bag-cart combo, you expect superior quality and seamless collaboration. The Sun Mountain Sync bag and Speed Cart GT push cart exceed those requirements. The foresight to mold the bag bottom to the precise shape of the lower rest on the cart is so simple, yet pure genius. You won’t think about it after the first round, but it will enhance the ease of each walking round.

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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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dave R

    Jun 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Is the bag is water proof . My titleist one is the stay dry and I mean it stays dry in the wettest of conditions. Paid about the same for the bag . If it’s water proof I would likely try their combo as I like to walk but right now I use a battery operated one and takes up lots of space , and its heavy.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue review

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TaylorMade on the tech features of the TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue

  • V Steel Sole design

    The v-shaped sole allows for clean turf interaction and provides additional versatility when playing from tight or difficult lies

  • Twist Face

    Uses corrective face angles designed to overcome inherent golfer tendencies on mis-hits and to produce straighter shots

  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket

    Our breakthrough Thru-Slot Speed Pocket technology delivers enhanced sole flexibility to create additional ball speed as well as improved forgiveness on low-face mis-hits

  • C300 Ultra-Strong Steel Face

    High-strength C300 steel allows for a stronger, faster face engineered for explosive speed performance *Only SIM Max Fairway and Rescue

How it looks: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue

I’ll be honest here: I hate hybrids. They look goofy and I hit em high and left 101 percent of the time. However, every once in a while I’ll find one that I can warm up to. It’s happened twice in the last five years: PXG Gen 2 and SIM Max. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but this hybrid looks like it’s gonna get into the turf and I’m actually gonna hit a good shot. The color scheme is clean and simple. The lines are sleek and not boxy, which is always a bonus. Sometimes hybrids look like a brick on a stick to me. This one does not.

How it feels: TaylorMade SIM Max hybrid

This is where I got really intrigued: the feel. It’s solid. Really solid. Now, I must say that TM didn’t reinvent the wheel with this thing, but the SIM Max is just a simple solid hybrid that is easy to hit and gets through the turf. The V Steel helps that I reckon. It has a nice heavy hit which is good since this is supposed to transition from woods to irons.

Overall: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue

It’s a winner. Not hybrid of the century or anything, but a club that could stay in the bag for a while and produce solid results. Look, we have 14 slots to play and they all have a job to do. You cannot go wrong by giving this one a slot in the starting lineup!

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers have spent more money on – Drivers vs Putters

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In our forums, WRXer ‘2down’ has got our members talking about their purchase history and whether drivers or putters have taken more of their money. For ‘2down’ the answer is putters, who has a respectable seven flat-sticks sitting around his home, and our members divulge their history with drivers slightly edging it so far.

  • getitdaily: “Putters, but I change drivers more frequently…how does that make sense? When I change putters I will go through 7-10 of them until I find my bride. Then I stick with my bride for a while. I’ve had 2 brides…an old scotty newport beach studio stainless. Took about 10 putters to find it and then played it for like 12 years. Current bride is a spider tour plumbers neck. It’s been in the bag for 1.5 years now. Took about 8 putters to get to it, including a somewhat long term relationship with a 2ball fang. Since 1996 I think I’ve had 10 drivers total. 4 in the last 4 years.”
  • platgof: “I would say 24 drivers and 12 putters thereabouts. Took a long time to find what I wanted. I am still looking all the time though, it’s a disease, totally incurable. Now it is the wedges, and the SM7’s have my eye for now!”
  • CDLgolf: “Thats a really good question. At the moment I have 4 putters and 2 drivers. Over the last 25 years I’d have to say I’ve bought more drivers.”
  • Ray Jackson: “Definitely drivers as have used the same putter for at least the last 5 years. In that time frame I’ve probably had 4 drivers.”
  • dekez: “Drivers for sure. I go 6 – 7 years before even thinking about a putter switch.”

Entire Thread: “Your history – Drivers vs Putters”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Phil Mickelson WITB, 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open

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  • Equipment is accurate as of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (2016).

Driver: Callaway XR 16 Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki J 60 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.5 inches)

3-wood: Callaway X Hot 3 Deep (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki J 70 X (tipped 1.5 inches)

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S Hybrid 100 TX

Utility iron: Callaway Apex UT (21 degrees)
Shaft: KBS Tour-V 125

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro ’16 (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind Wedge (56-13, 60-10, 64-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125

Putter: Odyssey “Phil Mickelson” Blade
Grip: Odyssey by SuperStroke JP40

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft (2016)

Grip: Golf Pride MCC Black/White

WITB Notes: Mickelson uses the rearward weight setting in his XR 16 Sub Zero driver.

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