The fact that I get regularly beaten by people nearly twice my age is neither here nor there: buying powered golf trolleys is surely pure laziness?
My local course is Trent Park which is pretty hilly, the 18th in particular, is quite a steep uphill fairway.
After miss-hitting, yet another approach shot while panting like a 60-a-day man on a treadmill I decided I’d at least start looking at Golf Trolleys…
I emailed two companies asking if there was a course where I could hire their trolleys to try them out before buying them.
Golf Trolleys – Gokart (www.gokart.co.uk) responded within 30 minutes to say that they didn’t know of any for hire but would send a demo to a local pro for me to try out. Three days later I was out on the course with the automatic handle version.
Golf Trolleys – Stewart Golf (www.stewartgolf.co.uk) said they did not have any hire trolleys but if I bought one and didn’t like it I could send it back. I pointed out that their returns policy says that if I use it on a golf course the money-back guarantee is void.
They responded quite curtly that the returns policy does not apply to trolleys, only to other products. The returns policy does not actually say this so I decided to give Stewart Golf a swerve.
The cheapest model is £999 and that’s quite a lot of money to risk on the wording of a web page.
Meanwhile out at Pedham Place golf course with the Gokart I was having a whale of a time.
The automatic handle is really terrific. One of the problems I have found with electric trolleys in the past is finding a speed that matches my walking pace.
This is not a problem with the Gokart – a light hand on the handle and start walking, the trolley matches your speed perfectly.
You can let go until you want to steer it or stop it (another light hand on the tiller, stop walking). If you change pace so does the Gokart.
It powers easily up very steep slopes and when no power is applied freewheels with no resistance.
The fold-down is very quick and it gets really small – much smaller (and quicker) than my current Clickgear. The battery clips in and out with no wires.
It’s pretty basic: there are no consoles, screens, timers, set distances or battery metres which is absolutely fine by me. It’s also missing a brake which given the freewheeling nature did catch me out a couple of times.
It’s also very reasonably priced starting at £269 (£299 for the automatic version I used).
The only reason I didn’t buy one on the spot is that the centre of mass is quite high (the battery sits about halfway up instead of on a tray at axle level) and the wheelbase is narrow.
As a result, I struggled once or twice to keep it upright on paths which sloped left/right or right/left of which there are quite a few at Pedham Place. If I’d tested it at all course I might not even have noticed this.
A few days later a Stewart Golf X5 Remote trolley came up on eBay. I put in what I thought was a derisory bid whilst slightly drunk and won it by mistake. (I once did this with a Toyota Landcruiser so I have some form in this regard.)
I have to say I am a total convert to Stewart Golf Trolleys, if not to their customer service.
The battery in the remote control unit was almost dead which caused some amusing failures to stop before hitting fences and small children while testing in my back garden, but replacing it sorted that out.
Controlling it is a breeze, the range is much more than the 50 metres they advertise, it’s very stable, and frankly, it’s fun. (Kabir, to whom it took a shine on the 12th fairway last Saturday before being brought back under control may take a dim view of what I regard as fun.)
It looks a bit plastic, and as it moves there’s a squeaky plasticky sound I’m not fond of. It folds down but it’s much larger than my Clickgear. I drive a large car so this is no problem for me but getting it into the boot of my wife’s Toyota Yaris, while just possible, does not leave any room for anything else (like golf clubs).
It folds down but it’s much larger than my Clickgear.
I drive a large car so this is no problem for me to get golf trolleys in and out but getting it into the boot of my wife’s car, a Toyota Yaris, while just possible, does not leave any room for anything else (like golf clubs).
The X5 is identical to the current X7 model except that the battery is not lithium.
Stewart Golf has just announced the X9 which has a “follow me” mode, available from June 2014.
Stewart Golf does not have a great reputation for dealing with faults – only time will tell whether this is deserved.
In the meantime, after each shot, I can call it over, walk alongside it put my club back in the bag, and feel like I’m Tiger Woods.