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Review: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian Travel Bag

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Pros: Sun Mountain’s ClubGlider Meridian is the only golf travel bag that comes equipped with four wheels — one pair with retractable legs — that hold 100 percent of the weight. That provides stability and convenience while transporting clubs through airports, hotels and parking lots.

Cons: With an MSRP of $289, it resides in the higher price range of travel bags.

Bottom Line: The ClubGlider travel bag from Sun Mountain makes traveling easier with a set of added wheels and retractable legs, keeps clubs safe with thick foam padding on the interior and protects against wear with reinforced vinyl on the bottom of the bag. There’s plenty of value here.

The Review

My previous foray into a golf travel bag was a hard-side model reminiscent of X-Cargo pods you see on the roofs of cars. It was clunky, difficult to transport and store, but it did keep the clubs a bit safer (after I wrapped the club heads in towels and cushioned the entire shell with soft goods, that is).

Soft-sided, durable and maneuverable are the way to go these days and for this, I took a look at a recent offering from Sun Mountain, the Club Glider Meridian. The travel bag is lightweight, attractive and trim. Measurements are 52 inches long by 14 inches tall by 12 inches wide. This is spacious without reaching cumbersome. Internal and external straps secure clubs, two external pockets provide light storage and two sets of wheels (one set on retractable legs) unite to belay all weight from the shoulders and arms of the user.

SunMountain3

The top of the club case (where the club heads go) is surrounded with thick foam padding, ensuring that the business end of the clubs enjoy pillowy comfort during the journey and loading/unloading phases. If you’ve seen the bag men at airports toss around your luggage, you know why this matters. The bottom of the bag, where the majority of the wear area occurs, is reinforced with vinyl for extended protection against wear.

For carry and pull, the Meridian comes equipped with a series of handles. One attaches to the padded, club head end of the bag, allowing its owner to tug or lift with greater leverage. A second handle is formed when two, mid-bag, duffle-style straps snap together over the zipper.

SunMountain2

The four wheels of the transportation apparatus work in tandem in pairs. The larger, rear wheels provide stability while the extendable, forward caster wheels rotate 360 degrees and allow the traveler to maneuver through airports, parking lots or hotels. The Meridian comes in three color variations: black and red, black and royal blue and solid black.

One drawback of the ClubGlider is its necessary length from top to bottom, which provides complete protection for our tools of the trade. It doesn’t fit easily into the trunk of a sedan (at least, my sedan), but it does negotiate the width of the back seat. Larger vehicles offer enough trunk or hatch space to situate a full ClubGlider Meridian.

In addition to this model, Sun Mountain also offers three separate models: the Journey, the Pro and the Tour Series. Each offers unique amenities so taking a tour through all four models would be a smart idea before you make a decision to purchase.

Bottom Line

The Sun Mountain ClubGlider travel bags are sure to make golf vacations easier with four sets of wheels that hold all the weight of your golf bag. Added protection, vinyl reinforcement to protect against wear and three color options make this an effective and stylish bag to keep your clubs safe in your travels.

At $289, ClubGlider still provides great value and takes the hassle out of lugging around your golf clubs.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.sunmountain.com/2015-clubglider-meridian-17729-detail.html” oemtext=”Learn more from Sun Mountain” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NK1NQ1G/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00NK1NQ1G&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=NX3BR7FABNWU6YA6″]

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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.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Sun Mountain Clubglider Journey

  2. Pingback: Travel Reviews | Travelguide

  3. dot dot

    Jul 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    4 1/2 stars again. Really. Just like every product review on GWX

    • Ronald Montesano

      Jul 31, 2014 at 6:42 am

      “some people call me the space cowboy, some people call me the gangster of love…”

      Some readers respond to words, others crunch numbers. We provide both.

      dot dot, it’s not easy being perfect. Just ask the companies with equipment, apparel and gear we have up for review. Ask them if the investments of time, money and resources in research and development allowed them to produce the exact product they envisioned, or if some things had to be sacrificed, altered or discarded along the way.

      As I recall, this bag received a 4.6 for storage, the lowest of the three categories. Why is that? The bag is sleek. If it were bulkier, it would have more room for storage. Is it a suitcase? Shouldn’t be. Could the side pockets be larger and fit more? Perhaps. Then it would be bulkier. See where I’m going?

      In the flexibility of use category, in order to build a flexible base, they had to make it a bit longer, a wee bit clumsy in the loading. That’s meta-storage. Would I have liked a few more tweaks? Yes. That’s where the other .2 came off.

      Protection is the most important attribute of a bag and this one protects. The flexibility needed for storage of the unit causes the unit a bit of weakness in the midsection, but not anywhere near the amount that would place bag or clubs at risk.

      You can’t have it all. Not even God can hit a one-iron. If you have the need for a new travel bag, you can rest at night after purchasing this one. Could you design and build a better one? Perhaps. Maybe a 4.8.

      • dot dot

        Jul 31, 2014 at 8:18 am

        Ya missed the point Ronnie. There is rarely a review less than 4.5 stars. Are these reviews or adds.

        • Ronald Montesano

          Jul 31, 2014 at 11:28 am

          Bear with me, dot dot.

          When I was a younger reviewer, I remember a couple of products that flat-out sucked. I wasn’t with golfwrx at the time. I emailed the manufacturer and told him that I couldn’t in good faith review his product, because it had no market value. I could do that because it was my own, small, no-advertiser site.

          What comes with a site that is not my own, is larger and has advertisers and a large following, is the need to be totally transparent and to evaluate fairly all of the products assigned to me. I’m attempting to do that here, so I don’t mind answering your questions.

          It has been ten years since I have seen a bad product. While every product may not be for everyone, if I give it a 4.7, then it’s a 4.7.

          Believe it or not, I’m tempted to give nearly every product a 5.0. I begin with the assumption that it is perfect, be it a ball, shirt, DVD set, or travel bag. From that tape, I begin to chip away at the perfection until I reach my evaluation point.

          • dot dot

            Jul 31, 2014 at 11:52 am

            As long as that explanation allows you to live with your rational I certainly accept it. You don’t owe me or anyone else an explanation. I have elected at this point not to give any weight to the reviews on this site due to their overwhelming tendency to be far to generous. It just makes sense to me that any pack of dogs will have a runt somewhere. I haven’t seen that “runt” review yet on this website. The news can’t always be good, Suspicious mind? Yep. Advertisements masquerading as reviews, seems like it to me. No offense intended you are a prolific and gifted writer, I wish you only the best in your writing career. That’s my totally transparent opinion.

  4. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    MJ,

    Feel you! Lightweight and flexible. Hard to find anything substantial to complain about. Thanks for writing. Keep it up!

    RM

  5. MJ

    Jul 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve got one. It is well worth the money!

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Motocaddy M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC electric cart review

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I have been thinking about electric golf push carts, or trollies, ever since I started playing in my league seven years ago.

Motocaddy has been making high-quality electric, and non-electric, carts since 2004 and has a couple of great options for the golfer who loves to walk. Motocaddy was nice enough to get their M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC in my hands to try out on the course for a few weeks.

I have had a lot of people stop me to ask about the carts, and the one thing I keep telling them is that these carts are just flat out fun to use on the course.

Motocaddy M7 Remote

The M7 Remote was very easy to get set up right out of the box. All you have to do is charge the battery, install the wheels, and you are pretty much ready to go. The M7 folds up pretty small, just a little larger than the 3-wheel pushcart that I had been using for years. Getting it to the course should be no problem with just about any trunk space. Now, the one downside to an electric cart is the weight when moving it around, and both carts come in at around 35 pounds each. Even with that extra weight, I didn’t have much trouble lifting them in and out of the back of a pickup.

The M7 unfolds quickly with the flick of two levers and extends the front wheels automatically. Once unfolded, you drop in the battery, plug it in, and secure your bag. If you own a Motocaddy bag, they have developed a really nice system called EasiLock that involves two metal studs that fit into the bottom of the cart. This system also includes a molded base that prevents the bag from rotating at all, even on the roughest terrain. You can still use the M7 with almost any other golf bag as it includes elastic straps that wrap around the top and bottom of the bag.

As soon as you plug in the battery the LCD screen comes to life and you are ready to go. You can use the M7 without the remote by using the dial on the handle to control the starting, stopping, and speed. But the M7 has a remote that is activated by a simple press of the power button to get going. The remote is very simple with just five buttons to control where the M7 goes.

Getting a feel for the M7 takes no time at all and by the time you drive it from your car to the 1st tee you will be in complete, and confident, control of the cart. You simply press the “+” button to start moving forward and the cart takes off gently without any rattling of your clubs, and you can press that same button again to increase the speed. The cart will go from a slow crawl, for bumpy or tight areas, too, as fast as I could run with just a few presses of the button. The big red “stop” button in the center stops the cart immediately, and when stopped it is locked in place, even on steep hills. You don’t have to worry about remembering to set the brakes or anything because it is done automatically.

Steering is just as easy: simply press the right or left button to turn the cart. Small, quick presses will just slightly adjust the cart as it moves down the fairway while a long hold of the button can make it turn on a dime to the right or left.

Almost everyone asked me how stable the cart was and if it would tip over. I can proudly say that it has stayed upright even on some unseen bumps at maximum speed. Side hills, ruts, and even curbs are handled with ease with the help of the small rear wheel.

I really enjoy strolling down the fairway with nothing but the M7’s remote in my hand — it just makes golfing more fun!

Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC

After using the M7 and its fancy remote, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like not having it. But to be honest the M5 was just as fun to use, but for a different reason.

As the name suggests, the M5 has a built-in GPS with 40,000 courses preloaded into it. The screen is a good size, pretty responsive to the touch, and easy to read in direct sunlight. Having the GPS directly on the cart is great, you drive up to your ball and immediately have yardage to the front, back, and center of the green as well as bunkers and hazards. You can easily toggle between screens on the GPS and it offers a couple of different views to help navigate the hole. The M5 can also keep score and let you know shot distances right on the screen. Motocaddy even includes nice little touches like a screen protecter kit to ensure durability.

Driving the M5 is just as easy as the M7 with using the dial on the handle. And speaking of the handle, the grips have a great tacky rubber that grips well even in hot and humid conditions. To start the M5 you just press the dial down and the cart will gently start down the fairway. You can turn the dial to increase or decrease the speed — I found between 5-6 to be the most comfortable for me. But the speed can go up to a very fast pace if you are looking to set a record for fastest round of the day.

As you walk down the fairway, or rough, stopping the cart is as simple as pressing he dial again. When stopped the M5 engages a parking brake automatically so you don’t have to worry about it running down a hill without your approval. The M5 has tons of power to go up just about any hill and the Down Hill Control (DHC) keeps the speed consistent even when going down a steep decent.

Since the M5 has so much power, and it is a little heavy, I thought steering would be a little bit of a challenge. It wasn’t, at all. Guiding the M5 took very little effort and slight adjustments going down the fairway were very easy. Really tight turns took a slight bit more effort as the torque can want to go forward a little more than turn. Again, once you get the M5 from the car to the first tee, you will be a master at driving it.

Overall, Motocaddy has created two great carts that provide additional enjoyment to walking your favorite 9 or 18. Having the ability to walk without carrying or pushing your bag, clubs, and whatever else goes with you. I like them so much that it is going to be hard to get the M7’s remote out of my hands when I go play!

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.

So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.

These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.

Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims

The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. Custom comfort that lasts all day

These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.

Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.

On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.

After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.

Verdict

I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.

 

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