From the outside, golf may seem like a relaxed and languid sport. The reality – as all we golfing fanatics know – is that golf is very demanding on mind and body with miles of walking and plenty of shots in between. If you are really serious about getting the most out of the sport and your game, you need to ensure that you maintain a good posture and don’t put unnecessary stress on your body. Unfortunately, one of the major culprits of straining golfing muscles is your golf bag. The repetitive motion of bending down and carrying the bag around has a detrimental effect on areas such as the back, shoulders, rib cage, and hamstrings. It is also very draining, particularly when you are out on the green for hours at a time.
So, how exactly does a golf trolley help you on the course?
- Helps you to conserve energy when travelling between shots, giving you more stamina for your swings
- Takes the weight and strain off the back, shoulders, and knees, helping to prevent injury
- Allows you to carry more snacks and fluids so that you can stay hydrated and top up your energy levels as you go
Pro Rider Leisure has put together this handy guide to review what options are available for transporting your golf bag and to discuss some of the important things that you should know before deciding which golf trolley is best for you.
Manual Push/Pull Golf Trolley
Manual golf trolleys are the traditional solution to taking the weight off your shoulders – quite literally – and helping you to carry your golf clubs around the course. Originally designed with two wheels and requiring a pulling motion to manoeuvre, later versions introduced a third and fourth wheel which then allowed users to push the trolley instead.
Electric Golf Trolley
Electric golf trolleys take the principles of a push/pull trolley but offer an additional helping hand in the form of a mechanical boost. This electrical assistance does most of the hard work for you so that you can put in less physical effort and simply steer the trolley around the course. Most electric golf trolleys can also be used without any power input, known as ‘freewheel mode’.
Remote Control Golf Trolley
Remote control golf trolleys are often the most expensive option available – but many would argue that this is for a good reason. As suggested by the name, this type of trolley is operated via remote control, meaning that you can go completely hands-free when moving your golf bag across the green. You also still have the option of using the manual controls on the tiller, giving you the best of both worlds.
Manual golf trolleys are favoured for their simplicity; you simply clip in your bag and then pull or push the trolley along to drive it, turning the handle to alter direction. Pull trolleys may feel a little more awkward and uncomfortable as they drag along behind you, whereas push carts travel ahead of you and so make it easier to plan your path.
If you are used to using a manual trolley and are looking to upgrade to an electric version, you may be a little confused at first by its different options and settings. If you are considering a remote controlled version, you may also require some time and practice getting used to using the controller.
Most electric golf trolleys will include the following functions:
- Speed – go at a gentle walk or pick up the pace, you can decide between differ speeds depending on what is comfortable for you
- Distance – set your trolley to move a specified distance independently, normally a range in yards
- Performance – measuring the distance and time of your round
- Battery – helping you keep track of your power usage, the battery indicator displays your remaining battery level
- Gear – shifting between the appropriate gears allows you to tackle different terrains and inclines more easily
- Freewheel mode – if you don’t want to use the motorized assistance or you run out of battery, you can also just push the trolley around like a manual version
Many remote controlled trolleys have controllers which work to a generous range, meaning that you can be stood a fair distance from your trolley and it will still respond to your commands. Each model has its own individual remote range so be sure to check this when reviewing which golf trolley is best for your needs.
You will also need to get a good feel for the handlebar of your potential new golf trolley when testing the controls. Not only should it be sturdy enough that you feel completely in control when steering, it should also be comfortable to grip. The key words here are sturdiness, manoeuvrability, and ergonomics.
When electric golf trolleys were first introduced to the market they were powered by rechargeable lead acid batteries. As technology has developed, however, more and more manufacturers have turned to lithium ion batteries as their battery of choice for new models.
Sealed lead acid – Also known ‘SLA’ or just simply lead acid, these batteries are the traditional power source for electric golf trolleys with numerous types available. The average sealed lead acid battery has around 400 to 500 cycles with cycle life significantly affected by greater levels of discharge. SLA batteries are discharged 80% though it is recommended not to drop below a depth of 50%. Electric golf trolleys which use SLA batteries are often the more popular choice over lithium ion versions because they have a cheaper upfront cost.
Pro Rider Leisure uses absorbed glass mat (AGM) lead acid batteries for a number of our electric golf trolleys. Containing fiberglass mesh to hold the electrolyte between its plates instead of freely flowing, our AGM batteries have a slower response to degrading than other types of lead acid batteries – such as wet cell batteries – and are fully sealed to prevent leakage.
Lithium ion – The new kid on the block, lithium ion batteries are proving to be a real contender in the golf trolley world. With 100% discharge, thousands of charge cycles, and nearly 100% efficiency in charge and discharge, it’s clear to see why interest is rising in this new technology. More lightweight and with greater longevity, lithium ion batteries are pricier than lead acid batteries. Many people, however, see the advantages of lithium ion as more cost-effective in the long term. Pro Rider Leisure offers numerous electric golf trolley models with lithium ion batteries, including a remote control version.
Pushing or pulling your trolley around the course still requires some physical exertion and the heavier the trolley, the more work you’ll have to put into it, particularly on steep hills and inclines. Fortunately, most push and pull golf trolleys are made from lightweight materials to make them easier to transport from car to course, though these fare best on flatter fairways. Both manual and electric golf trolleys often have aluminium frames which make them both agile and strong.
It’s important to remember that the inclusion of a battery makes remote controlled and standard electric golf trolleys heavier than manual versions. As previously mentioned, the type of battery used by the trolley will also have an impact on how heavy it is, with a lead acid battery adding on more weight than a lithium ion battery.
If you have a small boot or limited storage space at home, preferably you’ll need a golf trolley which collapses down to a compact size. There are foldable options for both manually powered and electric golf trolleys and from a logistical point of view they are very practical and convenient. When browsing around, be sure to measure each golf trolley in its folded state to ensure that it is not too long or bulky to fit into your car. Most of the golf trolleys available on the market today are foldable and are a far cry from the cumbersome and clunky models of the past.
You know what they say – it’s the added touches and small luxuries which make your game that little bit more special. Your trolley should come with a carry case as standard to keep it as pristine as possible between visits, however if you’re a creature of comfort and like to get more for your money, you’ll want to keep an eagle eye out for the different accessories that are thrown in for free with your golf trolley.
Some of the accessories that often come as part of the trolley package include:
- Umbrella holder
- Tee and ball holder
- Cup holder
- Scorecard holder
- GPS/phone cradle
Though not essential to its functionality, these little additions do make a difference to your overall experience on the green. The umbrella holder is especially useful when you’re walking round for hours in the rain! Keep in mind that the more features the golf trolley has, the bulkier it will be to store and manoeuvre.
Can your potential new golf trolley handle all terrains and weather? Will you need to switch to a secondary pair of wheels in bad weather and therefore need a trolley with easy-change wheels? These are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself before settling on which golf trolley is best. Pro Rider Leisure is proud to have collaborated with the Hedgehog Golf Company on specially designed winter wheels for our electric golf trolley range. These exclusive wheels boast the latest parabolic studs to reduce impressions on the ground and help the trolley glide over the grass during the wet and muddy months.
Wheel size will make a difference to how well your trolley responds to the fairway. Although most wheels are designed to effectively carry your trolley across the fairway, some may struggle when it comes to trickier landscapes. Wheels with a larger radius take away some of the effort and make for smoother driving over the bumpier parts of the course. Wheels with a smaller radius are useful for more precise navigation, for example maneuvering thinner trails. On an electric golf trolley, the rear wheels are usually bigger than the front wheels.
Brakes can help to keep your trolley stationary and help to slow them down when moving downhill. Models can vary from having manual brakes placed at the wheels to more advanced electronic systems with progressive braking. Anti-tip wheels are a useful addition for travelling over hilly courses as they bring stability on inclines and help to prevent backward tipping when going uphill.
As you shop around you will quickly notice that manual trolleys are much cheaper than electric golf trolleys. Unfortunately, all of the electric components don’t come cheap, particularly if you are looking at models with lithium batteries as opposed to sealed lead acid batteries. Try not to be immediately swayed by price when looking at your options, as although the trolley may have a cheaper immediate cost, it may not necessarily serve your needs in the long term. Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to factor in the costs of replacement parts as well as the price of regular servicing and potential repairs if investing in an electric trolley.
Maintenance & Care
Establishing a thorough and consistent maintenance routine from the outset will help to keep your new golf trolley in top condition. Electric golf trolleys are arguably more demanding on your schedule than manual versions due to their electrical parts; however it is important that you look after your trolley as effectively as possible to ensure long term use and optimum performance. Some of the key aspects of golf trolley care include:
- Checking for wear and tear – including corrosion, rotting, loose cables, or disconnected parts on the main frame as well as the battery
- Cleaning off mud, grass, and debris – this should be done with brush or a damp cloth as high pressure hoses can cause damage by forcing water into electric components
- Wiping away moisture if damp or wet – don’t forget that it doesn’t have to have been raining for your trolley to get wet, it can also kick up moisture from the grass
- Keeping the battery charged – if you are not planning on using the trolley for a while, fully charge it every couple of weeks and then take it off charge in-between
- Booking regular servicing – a specialised team can optimize your trolley by repairing or completely replacing any run down components
Time to Invest
We hope that this guide has given you a useful insight into the world of golf trolleys and their many benefits for amateurs and professionals alike. If you’re just itching to add a shiny new golf trolley to your gear, why not head on over to the Pro Rider Leisure website? Our electric and remote control golf trolleys are superb value for money and perform like an absolute dream on the golf course. If you have any more questions about the wonderful world of golf trolleys or simply want some knowledgeable advice, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly Pro Rider Leisure team who will be happy to help. Have fun out there!