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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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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm WITB 2020

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  • Equipment accurate as of the WGC-Mexico Championship

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees @ 16.5)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 degrees @ 20.5)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8 X

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe (52 degrees), TaylorMade MG2 (56-12, 60-TW-11)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X (36 inches)

Ball: TaylorMade TP 5 (#10)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Red/Black Midsize (1 wrap of tape)

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Equipment

Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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