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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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Peter Schmitt does not profess to be a PGA professional or to be certified at...well...anything much in golf. Just another lifelong golfer with a passion for the game trying to get better every day, the definition of which changes relatively frequently. Peter is a former Marine and a full-time mechanical engineer (outside of the golf industry). He lives in Lexington, KY with his wife and two young kids.

38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Don

    Mar 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Was FlightScope engaged before doing this trial? I’ve heard using two Doppler radar systems in parallel could throw off each others’ readings. Appreciate the effort to show the same strike on both machines simultaneously, but wonder if the SW and other oddities would resolve if one radar was used at a time. This introduces variability in reproducing the same strike, but well within bounds of the average golfer hitting that 90 yard SW, etc.

    Thanks, good read

  2. MT

    Mar 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    They lost me at metallic stickers on every ball fir best accuracy.

    What is the cost of those sticker again?

  3. GolfCodeWeekly.com

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Sorry, i cannot get past the line

    The day of our outdoor testing was 22f

    WHO plays golf in 22f!!!!!!

    I am in Italy and 65f means a wearing a sweater

    • Peter Schmitt

      Feb 26, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Haha. Virtually no one plays golf in 22 deg F temps except people with a product to review. I had to take what mother nature gave me, unfortunately.

  4. alanp

    Feb 24, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    thanks for the review, definitely wont be picking one of these guys up but fun to see the numbers

  5. Peter Schmitt

    Feb 23, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Just FYI. If y’all are so inclined, I’ve been posting some video responses to questions about the Mevo on my Instagram account. Click the icon right next to my ugly mug in the bio and join in! Open to any and all questions.

  6. Trevor

    Feb 23, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Peter,
    Thank you for your thorough testing. I am interested in this device, but what troubles me as a mid handicapper is your following statement:

    “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.”

    As a mid handicapper, more than half of my shots are not going to be good, so Mevo would probably misread them. Would you recommend this device to better players only then?

    • Peter Schmitt

      Feb 23, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Good question Trevor. I think, ultimately, if you’re a mid handicapper who is getting some instruction and has recently been custom fit for clubs and you still have $500 to spare, the Mevo is a great choice as opposed to buying yet another new driver. Having that instant feedback, even if it isn’t completely perfect, is going to help you improve. You just need to go into it with an understanding of how the Mevo is going to “miss”, if you will, so that you’ll be able to translate it to what’s going to happen when you go to a real golf course.

  7. Craig Green

    Feb 23, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Curious if anyone has any experience using the App with Android?
    Interested in purchasing one but would like to use my phone, not Ipad.

    • Andrew

      Mar 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      I have used it with Android and apple. When I first got it 12 months ago, the android app was brutal, and kept disonnecting and crashing.
      12 months later, its about as flawless as the apple version.
      Hope this helps.

  8. Radim Pavlicek

    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I have a Mevo since September and the product is awesome. Now and then it show some shots way off, but overall it’s a great product. Gapping, optimizing smash factor or simply trying swing changes – the Mevo gives you enough information for it. What I am missing right now is some gamification, and improve the web version. E.g. there is no possibility to search the last session when I tested 3 wood. I have to go through all of my sessions and look at it.

    • PJS

      Feb 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      I also have the product (1.4 index) and love it. Agree with everything in the column and have done some similar testing with the trackman and found similar results. Radim, your sessions should be listed on the website by date, so I don’t understand the trouble you are having. Maybe I don’t understand what you mean by “searching”.

      • Radim Pavlicek

        Feb 26, 2018 at 1:02 am

        Well I have roughly 100 sessions, so is it possible to get only those sessions where I hit 3 wood? No, you have to first select the session and then see the shots. You can’t list all shots from all sessions and group them by club.

  9. Toby

    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I think any launch monitor that does not show sidespin or at least how far offline you are is not worth its money.

    • barry barns

      Feb 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      My thoughts exactly if side spin and backspin measured separately I would have bought one already…back to deciding whether to invest $2k on a skytrak I guess.

  10. Stuart Keen

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:57 am

    I have one, and I agree with the summaries given in this review. I primarily bought it to measure for gap testing and launch data. Strike does really effect the readings. Good strikes are pretty accurate, poor ones are exaggerated by the Mevo. All in all, for the price point it’s a great device. Being able to video your swing and get the performance data for that swing is great for working on the range. Also, for the on course vloggers out there, the video capture saves a lot of editing!!

  11. HDTVMAN

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I do like this, but the club speed differences are questionable. I’d like to see it compared to another system, possibly Trackman, just to compare the numbers.

  12. Peter Schmitt

    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Lots of comments directed at the validity of the X3, so I’ll do my best to address them all at once. Ultimately, that’s Brad’s X3, so I can’t comment to when it was last calibrated, updated, etc. He uses it daily for lessons and club fitting and he’s a respected professional in that area, so ultimately, I have to trust it and him. Yes, outdoor sand wedge spin rates looked incorrect. Yes, there was a weird shot or two elsewhere. Brad and I both noticed them. Instead of getting lost in the minutiae, though, I chose to use what was in front of me to arrive at an overall point. Ultimately, Brad was kind enough to donate his time and his X3 for the test and I need to be respectful of that. I can’t tie him and his equipment up for days just so the data looks impeccable. Golf isn’t impeccable anyway ;-). Sure, I’d love to have my own X3/GC Quad/Trackman and control my own destiny, but that’s just not in the cards I’m afraid. Thanks for reading, folks!

  13. 3 putt

    Feb 22, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    I find it odd there were differences in club head speed accuracy between stickers/no stickers and range ball/prov 1. The stickers or ball would have no effect at all on club head speed, so I would expect them to be off by the same amount.

    • Peter Schmitt

      Feb 23, 2018 at 6:06 am

      I think what you’re seeing there was related to quality of strike. Mevo really deviates when you don’t strike the ball well. If we had days to collect data and had hundreds of data points where all of that normalized out, it probably would’ve looked a little more clean.

  14. TV

    Feb 22, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I’d be worried that the X3, a $15K machine, is so totally off on some readings – and not the other way around.

  15. Peter Schmitt

    Feb 22, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Thanks for the comments, folks, and I hope you enjoyed the review. Let me know your thoughts on the content, format, etc. and if there’s a push for more or less of something (data, on course validation, etc.), I’ll definitely keep that in mind going forward. Cheers!

    • Jack

      Feb 22, 2018 at 10:10 am

      You don’t think it’s weird that for second sw shot indoor for the x3 the club head speed is way low yet the ball speed is still 82? Some basic due diligence would show that maybe the x3 needs some calibrating too, especially the outdoor wedge spin rates.

      • Peter Schmitt

        Feb 22, 2018 at 11:02 am

        Sure, there are always peculiarities in any data set. Ultimately, though, I can’t get stuck in the weeds in overanalyzing every single data point when the overall trend is already there. I don’t like the sand wedge results and I personally wouldn’t use the Mevo for sand wedges. FWIW, I would argue the vast majority of golfers in the market for this device are not going to be analyzing their club head speed with a sand wedge.

  16. jack

    Feb 22, 2018 at 1:06 am

    104.6 club head speed will equal 250 carry max….not 270 …

    • Peter Schmitt

      Feb 23, 2018 at 8:27 am

      FWIW, since that shot was on the golf course, I had the ability to measure it. I used that feature on a Golf Buddy GPS and that shot was 258 yds to the pitch mark (it was very wet that day). Again, I’d plan on Mevo overestimating drives by roughly 5%.

      • PJS

        Feb 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        I have never had luck measuring Drivers or wedges. Everything in the middle seems to be picked up well though.

  17. Danny

    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    I believe it was actually 99 words.

  18. The dude

    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    It’s not for me…I’m way to good …

  19. MIKEYP

    Feb 21, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Is it just me or was anyone else surprised and concerned about the discrepancies between the two launch monitors? In some cases on some hits, the difference was 6-8 yards and 2k spin revolutions. It also seemed like there where a lot of variable that affected the results.

    • AndLab403

      Feb 21, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Surprised and Concerned? Considering the price gap, I’m surprised and concerned that you obviously expected the differences to be minute. With the Mevo coming in at $500 and the X3 being 30x more expensive, one could assume the differences would be exponentially different. Taking in to account the % differences being averaged out around 10% across ALL categories (when using the stickers, as recommended by Flightscope) if this review were comparing the performance of a $500k super car and a $16k family sedan and you were surprised and concerned over the discrepancies seen on performance, you would be laughed off of this forum. With price comes greater performance and accuracy.

      “All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting”

      • James

        Feb 22, 2018 at 8:17 am

        I don’t think that is a fair comparison. I expect the Speedo and other instruments on the cheap car to be just as accurate as the expensive one…

      • MWolverine1969

        Mar 26, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Well said!

    • Peter Schmitt

      Feb 22, 2018 at 9:35 am

      I’ll chime in and submit that, overall, one should expect some discrepancy between values. The only one that genuinely had me puzzled was sand wedges (spin rate in particular, but really all sand wedge data). Apart from that, the data goes to show the tradeoff you make when you go from X3 to Mevo. X3 is $15,000 and is the weapon of choice for Bryson DeChambeau, who is likely the most analytical person in golf. Mevo is $500 and is aimed at the weekend golfer whose club distances are probably educated guesses in a lot of cases. Two different classes of machines for two different classes of golfers.

    • john flavia

      Feb 22, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Just curious, but one of the comments was something to the effect that although the two launch monitors were ‘close’, the more expensive one was much more accurate. Uhm, is that just an assumption, or did someone actually go out and measure the golf ball distances? (yea, I know, “do you think the $15k one will be less accurate than the $0.5k model?, but just saying….it wasn’t measured, just assumed?).

  20. Rich

    Feb 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Cost is out of the avg golfer..

  21. dat

    Feb 21, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Mevo is an awesome product, but I can’t help from wondering when the Mevo 2.0 will be out. Surely they can address some of the more pressing issues with a new release. That said, this thing is a game changer for sure. (no pun intended GCQuad owners)

    • Peter Schmitt

      Feb 22, 2018 at 9:41 am

      True, but personally, I think there’s a lot of improvements to be had through software/firmware updates with the existing hardware. It’s a very promising platform for amateurs.

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Accessory Reviews

Top-3 men’s golf polos at the 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Vegas

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GolfWRX’s fashion expert Jordan Madley picks her top-3 favorite men’s polo shirts from the recent 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Las Vegas. Enjoy the video below!

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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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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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