My Usual GameSeptember 13, 2015

New pushcart turns reluctant rider back into walker

Almost everybody in the Sunday Morning Group walks. Some of the guys -- like Slade, who’s in his eighties -- prefer to carry their bag, but a growing number use pushcarts.

Until recently, Stanley -- who is 77 and, by this point, consists almost entirely of spare parts -- used an electric-powered pushcart called a Club Runner.

Stanley paid $50 for it at a silent auction 20 years ago, when it was already an antique. He replaced the battery once, but replacing it again would have cost double what he paid for the whole thing, so he decided to retire it. The Club Runner originally belonged to a member of our club named Art, a local farmer, who died in 2003. Recently, Stanley told me:

"Art used to play with a few other 20-handicap guys. They were pretty social, but they didn't spend much on golf. The pro in those days sold tees, so finding one on the course was a rarity. Nelson, one of Art's friends, played with a weighted metal tee with a chain attached, so he wouldn't lose it. I remember reading about a golfer spearing himself in the back of the neck with one of those, but, luckily, Nelson never injured himself for anyone else."

Art wore the same pair of golf shoes for what must have been almost the entire second half of his golf career. By the time I joined the club, the spikes were just shiny metal disks, and they were so slippery that Art had to walk carefully on the clubhouse porch. His old Club Runner is now for sale on Craigslist (for $50), if you're interested.

Stanley had to ride briefly, both just before and just after his most recent knee replacement, but he's back to walking now, and with an unpowered pushcart, a BagBoy Quad Plus:

Here's what it looks like folded up:

And here's Stanley's review:

"The BagBoy is easy to open and close, and my bag rides without shifting. I like the hand brake better than foot-operated ones. I have yet to try the umbrella holder but it does appear it will keep club grips dry. I find the BagBoy much easier to handle going downhill that anything else I've used, and while pushing it up one of the four big hills on our course I realized that part of my weight was resting on the cart and saving me some effort. I like it a lot, and I believe that it will allow me to continue walking for the foreseeable future. I especially like the ease of folding and unfolding. And when it's folded it's very compact -- certainly more so than the Clicgear."

Stanley is probably the Sunday Morning Group's principal innovator when it comes to golf-club transport. During rounds very early and very late in the season, he has often used an aluminum club carrier, which has a spear-like metal point that enables it to stand up by itself:

Stanley told me:

"Some people used those in the 1960s. It holds eight clubs, and when I started playing I had a seven-club set of Wilson Sam Sneads, which I think I bought at Caldor. The problem with the club carrier is that the aluminum clips which hold the clubs are riveted on and are prone to break. I wrote to the manufacturer, who told me they no longer made the carriers, but when I explained my problem they sent me a jiffy bag of clips, gratis. I drilled out the rivets and replaced them with stainless-steel bolts, and they haven't broken since."

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