Second only to the regular tee time, the golf cart is probably the most reliable part of the game. But transporting your clubs now is far more than a choice between electric or gas. Those wishing to ride want goodies such as USB ports to power up their phones, quality speakers to play music, and GPS systems to help with yardages. This is in addition to the expected standard-issue elements that make up a good golf cart, namely a suspension system that doesn't make you feel like you're riding over moguls, a steering wheel you don't have to wrestle, and comfy seats. We also want well-positioned holders for divot mix and a windshield that's easy to put up or take down. For gas carts, a quiet ride with no noisy, smelly backfires is a must.
Our choices in Club Transport check all those boxes and a few others. For electric carts, we choose Club Car's new Tempo Connect model with "Shark Experience." Although the cart has self-compensating double-reduction helical rack-and-pinion steering and dual hydraulic shocks, what drew us to this model was the Shark Experience that includes hole flyovers, swing tips, streaming music and the ability to watch or keep track of your favorite sporting event. Better, the speakers are angled so you can hear clearly while in the cart but hear nothing as close as six or seven feet away.
For the second year in a row, our selection in gas carts is Yamaha's Drive2 QuieTech EFI, which has the lowest decibel level of any gas cart. Along with a quiet ride comes the industry's first independent rear suspension on a golf cart, and it's environmentally friendly for a gas cart, with fewer hydrocarbon emissions than other gas carts while producing 45 miles to the gallon.
For those looking to be styling with their cart, Streetrod's Vintage model is fully customizable. Customers select the model and body style (anything from a luxury vehicle to a 1950s-like hot rod). After body style, choose your paint, upholstery and other optional equipment and customizations.
In recent years the GolfBoard has given rise to an alternative means of getting around the golf course. Our choice is the Phat Scooter, an Arizona-based startup. Launched at this year's PGA Merchandise Show, the Phatty HD and Sport HD ($2,999) come equipped with a rack on the rear to hold your bag and can cruise at 13 miles per hour—in golf mode. The scooter, which is like riding a moped around a golf course, has six inches of ground clearance and features front- and rear-wheel suspension. The scooter also comes equipped with removable, rechargeable electric batteries that last approximately 36 holes.
Electric: Club Car Tempo Connect with Shark Experience
Gas: Yamaha Drive2 QuieTech EFI
Luxury: Streetrod Vintage/Lux
Alternative: Phat Scooter Phatty HD/Sport HD
If you're unfamiliar with the Big Max brand, it's likely because you didn't grow up playing golf in Europe. The popular European company continues to integrate its pushcarts and bags into the American golf market. The Blade IP, its newest pushchart, features the fourth generation of Big Max's flatfold technology. Aptly named, because you'll see that these pushcarts really do fold down flat. The Blade IP folds flatter than any of Big Max's previous versions, down to a slim five inches high. This, coupled with the fact that it weighs less than 15 pounds, makes it easier to transport and store. The new three-step folding system makes folding and unfolding a smooth, simple effort. The Blade IP has three wheels and adjustable straps to secure your bag, no matter what size it is. The minimalist frame also has storage space and the ability to attach an umbrella. It's available in five colors.
Sun Mountain's newest pushcart was built for ease of use: The opening and closing of just one latch is required to fold and unfold the Pathfinder 3. Bungee cords are positioned to secure your bag to the cart, and the supports that the bungees are attached to are adjustable so you can fit a wide range of different size bags on the pushcart. With the new design, your golf bag sits more upright, making it easier to put clubs in and pull them out. At 16 pounds, this pushcart is also lighter than other Sun Mountain models. The Pathfinder 3 will be available in June, in eight colors. The line of accessories that can be attached to Sun Mountain pushcarts also continues to grow. You can attach anything to the cart that you might need, from a cooler to a cigar holder.
Big Max Blade IP, $350
Sun Mountain Pathfinder 3, $200