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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

Forum Thread of the Day: “Anti-hook hybrid?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from kgeisler13 who is looking to replace his current 3-iron with an anti-hook hybrid. Our members give their thoughts on the subject to kgeisler13, with Ping’s G410, as well as Callaway’s ’19 Apex proving to be popular suggestions.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Joelsim: “Ping G410. I’ve hit about 60 shots with my new one and not a single hook. I sold the G400 as it was prone to hooking.”
  • Banker: “G410 flat setting, KBS hybrid 95x. Swing as hard as you want.”
  • Golfingguru11: “Callaway apex has the highest toe and most open face of any I’ve seen since the original idea pro.”
  • eaglestan66: “Titleist 818 H1 can be very fade biased if weight and lie angles are set correctly. This is one of the reasons I purchased the 3 and 4-hybrid version.”
  • phil75079: “The Callaway ’19 Apex hybrid. Everyone who has hit it agrees it is neutral to fade biased.”

Entire Thread: “Anti-hook hybrid?”

 

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Whats in the Bag

Shane Lowry’s winning WITB: 2019 Open Championship

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Driver: Srixon Z 585 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70X (45.25″, tipped .75″, D3 swing weight)

3-wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8X

Irons: Srixon Z U85 (2 [18 degrees], 3 [20 degrees bent to 21]), Srixon Z 585 (4 [23 degrees], 5 [26 degrees]), Srixon Z 785 (6-PW)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White TX Hybrid (2), KBS Tour 130X (3-PW)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (50 [bent to 51, 35.75″, D5], 58 degrees [35.25″, D7.5)
Shafts: KBS Tour Wedge X

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Exo 2-Ball (Lowry’s putter has an all-black finish, and he switched into it earlier this year at the RBC; 34″)
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0 (custom shamrock)

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV Pure White

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (logo down)

Image c/o Srixon (obviously, Lowry does not have all wedges pictured in play)

Additional Shane Lowry WITB notes, via Johnny Wunder

2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry, compared to Tommy Fleetwood, is on the other side of the spectrum in regards to brand loyalty. He is Cleveland/Srixon in 12 clubs including the ball with the only two exceptions being the TaylorMade M4 3-wood and his Odyssey Putter. In this case, that makes sense, those clubs seem to be a challenge to swap, especially the 3-wood, and Cleveland/Srixon isn’t really known for putters on the PGA Tour.

I got some interesting intel on his driver Switch from the TaylorMade M2 into the Srixon Z585.

According to Rodney McDonald, VP of Tour Operations for Cleveland/Srixon, Shane is a dedicated staff member that is always willing to get all Cleveland/Srixon in the bag.

On Lowry switching into the Z585 Driver McDonald had this to say

“The switch was very easy. Even though he had won early in the year with another driver, he was not driving it good at all. He is very loyal to our team and our products that he came to us to find a new driver. He instantly loved the look of the Z 585 and once we started testing the numbers were exactly what he was looking for. His main comment about the driver is how his misses are minimal and he can hit all the shots he wants to.”

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Equipment

Tommy Fleetwood’s bag is as awesome as he is (Tommy Fleetwood WITB)

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I’m obsessed with this guy. If there was a movie about his life, Aaron Taylor Johnson would play him…can we make that happen?

His bag has taken over for my past obsession with Charles Howell III, David Toms, and Rocco Mediate. I’m drawn to players that tweak a bit, it keeps it fun for me on Getty Images at 3 a.m.

Much like a Bernhard Langer, there is no telling what OEM sticks will land in Fleetwood’s bag. It’s awesome and a sign of the non-contract “eat what you kill” mentality shared by some of the biggest names out there (BK and Patrick Reed to name a couple).

Tommy has messed around quite a bit in the past two years with his bag and the fun part is, he’s not afraid to shake it up.

Here is a partial list of clubs that were previously in the bag since ’17 leading up to his current setup

  • TaylorMade M3 driver (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70X shaft)
  • Titleist 917 D2 driver (@ 8.5 degrees) (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70X shaft)
  • Nike Vapor Fly 3-wood (13 degrees) (UST Mamiya VTS ProForce Red 7X shaft)
  • Nike Vapor Fly 5-wood (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 80TX shaft)
  • Titleist 917 3-wood (14 degrees) (UST Mamiya VTS ProForce Red 7X shaft)
  • Titleist TS3 3-wood (12.75 degrees) (UST Mamiya ProForce Black 7X shaft)
  • Nike VR Pro Blades
  • Callaway MD4 wedges
  • Ping G410 3-wood (14 degrees) (UST Mamiya ProForce Black 7X shaft)
  • Ping G410 7-wood (18 degrees) (Mitsubishi Diamana BF 80T shaft)
  • Odyssey 2-Ball (plumbers neck)

His grips are also a fun one, he goes Blue Golf Pride TVC in his woods, Iomic Sticky in his irons, and black Golf Pride TVC in his wedges. God, I love this guy!

Tommy Fleetwood WITB @The Open

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees @7.5)
*has lofted up a bit, his driver has been down to 6.5 I’ve heard.
Shaft: Mitsubishi DF 70X (45 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees @14)
Shaft: Mitsubishi DF 70X (42.5 inches)
*was in a Ping G410 until the Scottish Open where he switched into the M6.

Irons: TaylorMade GAPR Lo (@18.75), Srixon Z785 (4-iron, 23 degrees), TaylorMade P7TW (5-9)
Shafts: GAPR: Project X 6.5 (39.5 inches), 4-iron: Project X 6.5 (38.5 inches), 5-9: Project X 6.5 (38 inches @ 5-iron, minus 1/2 inch from there) (26, 30, 34, 38, 42 degrees)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (47, 52, 55, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedge notes: 48.10F (bent to 47) Tour chrome finish
52.08F raw
56.10 (bent 55) raw
60.08 raw

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #3
Grip: Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0


Quick thought: I do see a specific trend when it comes to free agents, and it’s mildly telling. Keep in mind I understand that it’s not 100 percent, but the trends are there.

In woods and wedges specifically, TaylorMade seems to be a popular choice in the overall woods category for non-signed players and Vokey is hands down the wedge of choice. Makes sense in my opinion, I’m not a big “best company” guy, but I do understand the choice. Both companies make and have made extremely high-performing sticks for many years. Consistency in anything is a hard opponent to beat. When Nike bounced out of clubs Rory, BK, Casey, and a few others put Vokeys straight in, and a BK and Casey put TM woods in the bag. (Just an example for context)

Anyway, Tommy Fleetwood is four back going into the final round. I have a weird feeling if it blows he could be holding a trophy.

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