By John Strege
Golf's color revolution, launched to a large degree by Rickie Fowler and his Sunday Oklahoma State orange wardrobes, has seeped into other products, including clubs (Cobra Golf woods and irons and Nike woods), balls (Volvik) and gloves (G/Fore).
So why not push carts? Bag Boy is offering three limited-edition colors of its popular Quad push cart -- pink (shown here), orange and lime green.
"By adding a few of this year's trendy colors to the line, we feel it gives our customer a broader selection," Craig Ramsbottom, president of Bag Boy parent company Dynamic Brands, said in a news release.
The Quad was introduced in 2011 and has a four-wheel platform to improve stability on hills. It has a simple two-step folding process that makes it compact to assist in handling and storing in a trunk. Its retail price is $219.95.
By John Strege
Is there anything this push cart-golf bag combination cannot do? Maybe, but we're hard-pressed to find it.
The Duo Cart from Alphard Golf is made for walking, but on those occasions the walker is required to ride, the wheels can be removed, allowing the Duo Cart to be strapped on the back of an electric or gas cart.
Then there's this: "The outer layer of the fabric, or we call it the 'skin,' is interchangeable so that one can prolong the lifetime of the product when the fabric wears out," Alex Tse, designer of the Duo Cart, wrote in an email.
For storage purposes, the Duo Cart easily folds down to a size not much bigger than a typical cart bag. It weighs 20 pounds.
The Duo Cart LT retails for $299, while the Duo Cart DX with upgraded fabric and an insulated cooler pocket, retails for $329.
By John Strege
Sun Mountain Sports is preparing, for the first time, to introduce a combination golf bag and push cart and had it on display (shown above) at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
"It's been on the drawing board in some fashion or another for years," Steve Snyders, a public relations spokesman for Sun Mountain said. "But this is the first time we've done this. We put a lot of thought into these designs."
The cart/bag combination weighs 18 pounds. To put this into context, Sun Mountain's lightest cart weights 14 pounds and when combined with a six-pound bag weighs a combined two pounds more than the cart/bag combo. It also folds down into a space "not much bigger than our C130 [cart bag]," Snyders said.
The combo cart/bag will be available in July and will have a retail price of $399.
Far more often than not, golf is not the good walk spoiled that Mark Twain suggested it was. Most people ride. Lamentably, the cart is the preferred mode of golf course transportation these days.
BagBoy, in its perpetual quest -- as a push or pull cart specialist -- to reverse the trend, has introduced a compromise to the driven cart, a "healthier alternative," it calls it. It is the Navigator Elite, an electric walking cart.
It features a lightweight (seven pounds) lithium ion 24-volt battery, a gyroscopic navigation system that keeps the cart moving in a straight line, regardless of the slope of the terrain, and a directional remote control (forward, left, right and reverse) with nine speeds. It also comes with a padded seat that can be removed.
The cart folds up quickly and easily to a compact, 35-inch by 24-inch by 14-inch package. Some will deem it cost-prohibitive at $2,295.95, but avoiding cart fees will help defray the cost, while the health benefits are incalcuable.
-- John Strege
It isn't often that a new product comes along that is both unique and practical and, rarer still, is not something to which the tour player has access.
Precision Glove has introduced such a product -- custom fit golf gloves, "the only custom-made glove in the universe," it claims. Though tour pros receive their gloves gratis from the companies, they're standard-issue gloves, sized for the masses.
Precision Glove uses what it calls its 3D Immersion Simulator Hand Scanner that "captures 45 geometric data points from the surface area of an individual's hand, including measurements of the palm and fingers length, width and girth to create a three-dimensional digital model."
Shown here is an image of a scanned hand and some its data points
Premium Pittards lambskin is cut to the precise measurements by an automated laser cutting system. The gloves are then individually sewn and finished. Among options available are color and monogram or name. The cost is $30, in line with other high-end gloves, and the turnaround time is three weeks.
The company has recently hired 27 sales reps, according to Oliver Ahn, co-founder of the company. He said that big box and chain stores as well as pro shops will be equipped with their hand scanners.
"This is an exclusive market for us right now," Ahn said. "There is no technology out there that is able to capture the geometric data points we can with our technology with a combination of software and hardware. And with our glove, when you grab the club it's like grabbing the club in your hand. We hope we're going to be revolutionary."
-- John Strege
Sun Mountain continues to improve its products in important, if incremental, ways, as it has done again with its MicroCart push cart.
Already an attractive accoutrement for walkers, given its weight (13 pounds) and storage size (52 cubic inches), the MicroCart now comes with what Sun Mountain calls its E-Z Latch (shown here), which simplifies handle height adjustment. The change was in response to consumer recommendations. Originally, the MicroCart handle allowed for two height adjustments and was replaced by a threaded system that permitted more variation, but was somewhat troublesome to manipulate.
The MicroCart remains exceptionally easy to fold and store in a trunk, even with four wheels. It has an MSRP of $219.
-- John Strege
It is a sun sport, at least in theory, so why not let the sun work for you? Next week, SolarCarts, a Florida-based concern, will introduce Sun Eagle, a system that retrofits an electric golf cart to one that keeps the battery charged via solar power.
"We pop off the plastic roof, mount the Sun Eagle and wire it to the existing battery bank on the cart," said Jon LoBello, executive vice president of SolarCarts. "As it drives or when it's stopped it's contstantly recharging."
The Sun Eagle is compatible with EZGO, Club Car and Tomberlin carts and the company said that it would custom make one for any other brand at no additional cost.
With the Sun Eagle, golf cart owners virtually would never have to plug the cart in again to recharge the battery. "What we will suggest if you drive it long distances, it's probably best to plug it in at night," LoBello said. "Batteries like to be topped off -- we say nourished -- just to protect the batteries. One of the benefits of the solar is that it extends to life of the battery."
Solar Carts is targeting private users and golf courses, though the company acknowledges that to retrofit a fleet of carts at a course would entail a sizeable capital investment. Eventually, it would like to work directly with golf cart manufacturers.
The company is offering a summer special, $999 during a six-week period for the first 100 orders, with the stipulation that the installation must take place in Florida.
-- John Strege