2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart
Buyer's Guides

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart

By Dave Wolfe

Who makes the best push cart?  Which one has the features I want? Which one is the lightest? Will a cart work with my cart and my carry bag? How many steps does it take to fold and unfold? Are there differences in the brakes? Is one cart more stable than another? Which is the easiest cart to push?

That’s a whole bunch of questions.  

With that many questions, deciding which cart to buy can be a difficult task. But we have the answer:  The most comprehensive head-to-head test ever (seriously) done on push carts has been completed. We have done the testing. We’ve collected the data. We’ve compiled the values, and we know which cart is the #MostWanted.  

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart: The Contestants

Most Wanted Group Unfolded

 

Notable Push Cart Features

CartFeatureTable

 

How We Tested

Comparative scoring was calculated based upon ten measured characteristics that fall under two general headings: Portability and Playability. Totals for each cart were then determined and the carts ranked on an overall 100 point scale to determine the Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart. Here are the details of how each category was assessed and scored.

Portability Scoring

portability-scoring

Most Wanted Cart Group Folded

32

For a push cart to be an effective tool for the golfer, it must meet the golfer’s needs going to and from the course as well as on the course. While some may have the option of leaving their bag, and cart in a locker at their club, many golfers must transport the cart along with their bag. As such, Portability, is a key push cart component. To measure portability, we assessed the following three features.

The weight of each cart was measured directly using a digital spring scale. Carts were then ranked, and scored on a ten point scale from lightest to heaviest.

The folded volume was calculated for each cart. Measurements were taken to the furthest protrusion in length, width, and height directions. Carts were then sorted by volume, and scored on a ten-point scale based upon their relationship to the smallest volume cart.

The steps to unfold a cart to “play-ready” configuration were identified for each cart. Carts were then ranked from fewest to most steps, and that ranking was then translated into the ten-point scale for the category.

Playability Scoring

playability-scoring

Cart Consoles

Cart Testing Photos-3Cart Testing Photos-7

For a push cart to be Golf’s Most Wanted, it must perform on the golf course. Golfers want a cart that is easy to push, holds their bag securely, stays put when the brake is on, and has enough storage to hold their gear during play. We tested these features and more. Here is how we scored the various Playability components.

Features for each cart’s console were tallied and ranked based upon abundance and access. We recorded the number of ball holders, tee holders, cup holders, scorecard holders, and yes, pencil holders. Consoles were also scored for storage volume and ease of access. If a cart had additional storage, like a cargo net or additional cargo bag, those features were also part of the console score. Carts were ranked, and then the ranking converted to the ten-point scoring system.

Both cart and carry bags were used to assess the fit of golf bags into the different carts. For the cart bag, we used the Wilson Staff Ionix cart bag. The carry bag used was the PING Hoofer. Carts were scored based upon how secure the bag remained while traveling the terrain one would encounter during play. Points were deducted if the bag twisted, or slipped from the straps.

Straps were assessed based upon ease of adjustment and range of adjustment. How well the straps secured the bad was also assessed using the digital spring scale.

To assess the force needed to get the cart rolling, the carts were outfitted with the PING Hoofer bag, again with a full complement of golf gear and clubs. Once the bag was secure, the pounds of force needed to get the cart moving was measured. Five measurements were taken for each cart, with the average pounds of force for those measurements used as the final score for the cart.

Front wheels of the carts were positioned at the same spot on a level concrete surface for each cart and each repetition. Concrete was used for the roll tests to minimize the effect of changing grass and underlying dirt conditions as the test progressed from cart to cart.

The force to overcome the brake was assessed in the same way as the force to start rolling. The difference was that this time the force was measured with the brake engaged. If necessary, carts were rolled until the brake engaged prior to measurements being taken.

The stability score is based upon two measured components. For these measurements, carts were again equipped with the fully loaded Wilson Staff Ionix cart bag. Lateral stability was measured by recording the force needed to tip the cart sideways such that the rear wheel would lift off of the ground. The spring scale was anchored to the bag at the same position each time, with the force then applied at 90° to the bag.

The second stability measurement was recorded by hooking the digital scale to the handle and pulling straight down. Each cart was assessed for how much force was needed to lift the front wheel off the ground.

Cart maneuverability was scored based upon how well the cart performed over our test course. For this test, the carts were fitted with the Wilson Staff Ionix bag, containing a full set of fourteen clubs, a rangefinder, a dozen balls, two gloves, a towel, and a bag of tees and markers. Push handles were adjusted to the same height relative to the tester (i.e. navel height). Carts were assessed for ease of roll over various terrains and topographies. Points were deducted when a cart had difficulties turning, lost traction, or started to tip on slopes.

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart: The Results

Cart-Data-Table2

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart Winner

Bagboy Tri-Swivel 2

mwpc-1st-place-final

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart Runner-Up

Clicgear 3.5+

mwpc-2nd-place-final

Bagboy C3

lightest-cart-final

Big Max Blade

small-trunk-final

 

For You

For You

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Dave Wolfe

Dave Wolfe

Dave Wolfe

A putter-obsessed recreational golfer, constantly striving to improve his game while not getting too hung up about it. Golf should be fun, always.

Dave Wolfe

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Dave Wolfe

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      john

      9 years ago

      Hi Great review
      just a note for anyone buying a new buggy and you have tour bag make sure the distance in between the straps is big enough, I am having to sell my Clic gear 3.5 after I bough anew Titleist staff bag, even with the conversion set at $40AUS it doesn’t work.
      It looks to me the Bagboy Triswivel or Quad might be the best I will be taking my bag with when I buy the new one. I love my Clicgear but looking at the videos on line it still looks like the Clicgear 8 won’t be too good for my bag as the unlocking handle seems to stick up were the lower pockets would be
      Has anyone had the same problem?

      Reply

      Dave

      9 years ago

      What do you mean, waiting “moderation”(?) My question is very straight forward……

      Reply

      Dave

      9 years ago

      The only 3 wheeler I can find which will let you leave your bag on when folded, seems to be the Clicgear Rovic F. I wish I could locate another choice. Can you recommend any? Thanks

      Reply

      LMR

      9 years ago

      Is there any information on the ease of umbrella mounting and stability while umbrella is in place?

      Reply

      Susan

      9 years ago

      I would love to see someone make a 4 wheel swivel golf cart. Baby strollers have had this feature forever. Not sure why it is taking the golf world so long to get there too. I would gladly pay extra for one of these.

      Reply

      Roger

      9 years ago

      Good reviews, I know this is an old article but helped me make my decision when my first generation Microcart died on me (started breaking down in multiple spots).

      I ended up going with the Bag Boy Triswivel over the Clicgear 3.5, but think I would have been happy with either. The Big Max blade was very intriguing for someone who has a small car, but the price point and the fact that it doesn’t have a hand break made me drop that one pretty quick.

      So far the Triswivel has been great, but only had it for a couple weeks.

      Thanks again for the breakdowns.

      Reply

      David

      10 years ago

      I haven’t tried any of these but have had many BB carts and there has always been one problem with the BB’s I’ve had. The strut down to the wheel has a hole drilled into it for the support rod from the main body. Everyone has failed at that hole, making the bag useless and it usually happened at the furthest point from the clubhouse.

      The design looks different than my BB’s but it looks like they still drill a hole in the strut.

      Reply

      Justin

      10 years ago

      Great Review as always guys, a job well done! Personally I went with the Ogio X4 Synergy This cart to me was amazing and I love the fact I do not have to take the bag off of the cart; but when I do have to take it off of the cart for some reason it does take up more space than these options. I also have the Ogio cart bag so the fit is superb not sure how the fit would go with another brands bag’s either. Thanks guys

      Reply

      qwagmire

      10 years ago

      Go push them around with bags on them for 6 months and 2 of your top 3 will fall apart.

      I veered away from Clic Gear to BB once, 3 months later I was back because the BB I had just felt apart.

      Got a Clic 3 when it first debuted, still got it 5 years later? I forget cause I don’t have to worry about it, and I push minimum of 36 a week with a loaded staff bag.

      Reply

      Dave Wolfe

      10 years ago

      I too have experienced the longevity and durability of the Clicgear (2.0, 3.0, 3.5+). It’s a great cart.

      FWIW, All BagBoy carts come with a one year warranty for defects and also a “No Fault” warranty where they will work with the customer, at a reduced cost, to fix a cart that was not defective (i.e. you broke something).

      Reply

      Qwagmire

      10 years ago

      BB did help out for the first 2 or 3 wheels, then started becoming hesistant on the later repairs and didn’t want to play anymore. I was accused of purposely abusing it, but my Clic has had no problems since I owned it.

      david fuller

      10 years ago

      If one can afford it , buy a Stewart Golf Trolly X7 with Lithium electric .
      Use one for two years and great for those up and down hills in the hot Hill country in Texas .

      Reply

      Joe

      10 years ago

      As the proud owner of a tri swivel, I can say you are correct in picking it as the best all around push cart. I have a clicgear, and a sun mountain, as well as a bagboy quad cart and the tri swivel is the best without question.

      Reply

      barry murphy

      10 years ago

      The most important feature of a buggy is the seat,which you do not appear to have considered.

      Reply

      Dave Wolfe

      10 years ago

      There are some optional seat accessories out there, but not one cart comes with one as a standard feature so featuring a seat was not scored.

      Reply

      Patrick

      10 years ago

      How about a review of electric hand carts. The ones I see on Amazon have poor reviews. I’m hoping you can find a gem out there.

      Reply

      Dave Wolfe

      10 years ago

      I’m working on it. There is one called the Turf Chopper that I really want to check out.

      Reply

      Ed

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the review, I am surprised a 3 wheel cart took the top three spots.
      After using a 4 wheel Sun Mountain Micro Cart, i would never go back to 3 wheels!
      In 15 seconds flat my cart and clubs are in the trunk.
      While my buddies are un-strapping and dismounting their three wheelers I am halfway through my first beer!

      Reply

      Chris C

      10 years ago

      Common core math issues aside, I appreciate the opportunity to be introduced to the extensive selection of carts. I really, really want to see the Blade in person. I am amazed at its size.

      Reply

      Peter ciambrone

      10 years ago

      Well done guys, I have the click gear but have stopped using it since I purchased a Jones carry bag, light and a lot easier thank all the setting up in and out of the trunk

      Reply

      Bob

      10 years ago

      Like the reviews but would really like to see actual data from which the rating numbers were derived. Interested to see the difference in weight between your 1 and 10 for example. Could be there are big differences or maybe we’re just splitting hairs.

      Reply

      markb

      10 years ago

      I love the MGS surveys and tests, but often I question their metrics. Once again I’m going to question how these scores were tallied.

      On the surface seems there are two component divisions that carry equal weight, portability and playability. I get that many factors went into giving a score in each division and I don’t need to know them all. But if the two divisions have equal weight why don’t the overall all scores for the five winners jive?

      Bag Boy Tri-Swivel 87 & 93, for a combined score of 90. Makes sense.
      Clic Gear 3.5 scores of 83 and 91 for a combined of 89? Should be 87.
      Bag Boy C3 scores of 90 and 81 for a combined of 84? Should be 84.5 unless you are giving more weight to the playability division, in which case tell us so.
      Big Max Blade scores of 90 and 86 for a combined of only 86? Now you’re really not making sense and I can’t figure out how you are weighting things. Should be an 88, putting it ahead of the Clic Gear.

      Awaiting your clarifications.

      Reply

      Joe Golfer

      10 years ago

      @markb
      I think you are misunderstanding how they scored things.
      They are not simply averaging those two numbers listed.
      They gave a rating (1 to 10) in ten different categories.
      A 10 would be the best. So if a cart got a 10 in all categories, it would then have had a score of 100. If it got a 7 in each category, its score would then be a 70.
      Right above the picture of the “overall winner”, there is a chart with the title
      “Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart: The Results”
      That chart is where the scores are listed for each category.
      They add up the scores from each of the ten categories to reach the total sum/score.
      The chart has a blue horizontal line at the top, and then orange and white alternating horizontal lines below that blue line to make reading it easier.

      Reply

      markb

      10 years ago

      Okay, I see that table from which the “Overall” results are tabulated to produce an overall score. And upon closer reading I see that “Playability” scores come from 7 metrics while “Portability” sub-scores come from only 3 — the Volume, Weight, and Ease of Folding components. It looks like there is a mistake in the Bag Boy C3’s portability subscore, which should be 93, not 90, but the other three match up I’m not going to cross-check the subtotal averages further because I’m sure no one cares.

      I do wonder why do all the carts get a sub-score of either 9 or 10 in the “ease of folding” category, a category in which most push carts (including the two I own) notoriously don’t do well. I love my SM Micro and Clic Gear, but neither can be folded by a layman the first time in a self-evident jiffy. A 9 or 10 score is more a Jetsons-like, push-button ease of folding, but most push carts I’ve butted heads with score in the 5 – 6 range for their finger pinching difficulty.

      Dave Wolfe

      10 years ago

      Hi Mark
      Ease of folding was scored by the number of steps to fold and unfold. The cart with the fewest steps was scored as “10” and then the others were scored from that standard. That’s how the scores /10 were established for most categories.

      Perhaps “Ease” was not the correct term to use for this category. It’s a bit subjective. I went with number of steps because it’s less subjective. I’ve personally used a Clicgear for years and so I find it’s folding very easy at this point. Rarely a pinched finger :)

      Most of the carts received similar scores in this particular category because they have similar required steps to fold.

      markb

      10 years ago

      An excellent review that provides very useful information. I’d like to see bigger pictures of all the models. Anyway you can put them in a to be continued forum thread?

      I play the Sun Mountain Microcart while my brother chose the Clic Gear 3.0, so naturally, as brothers, we argue their merits and defects all the time. The Clic Gear is more rugged and stable, when we let them go down hills the Clic tracks straighter and faster and is less likely to tip over. However, the Sun Mountain is smaller in the trunk and faster to set up and fold down. I will confess that the biggest plus of my Sun Mountain is that it mates to my specific Sun Mountain bag. If you don’t get the matching bag, it’s less nifty. Both have a wide collection of doo-dad accessories, but it appears neither has as many as Big Max offers. Hand warmers, rangefinder pouches, etc. It’s a long list.

      I had never seen or heard of Big Max as a brand before this review and the Blade is now the model that has my attention. You cannot over emphasis a small trunk footprint enough, IMO, because these things tend to stay in the trunk all the time. Not only that, when I walk, I’ll often meet up with a friend who has rented a cart and they’ll invite me to join. Having a push cart that I can fold and drop in the cart basket conveniently would be a plus

      Reply

      Bob

      10 years ago

      I understand these studies have some amount of subjectivity to them and I do appreciate you trying to quantifiably measure a functionality.When you assign a rating number to an actual measured value the differences are lost. For example, the difference between the heaviest cart and the lightest card might be only 1lb. or it may be 20 lbs. That is a big deal for me. I can’t tell that from your rating scale of 0 -10. I would really like to see all the actual values in a table somewhere. Do you have that in an appendix?

      Reply

      Dave Wolfe

      10 years ago

      We will be posting more info and photos in a forum thread in the next day or so. Until then, most of the manufacturers list weights on their sites if there is a specific one you are looking for.

      For this project, it was all about comparing the carts to each other, but I do see your point about actual values.

      Reply

      jim

      10 years ago

      Good review, but I’ll be honest and say that the Clicgear model is my overall choice. The durability and ease of use outweigh the other models and the geometry of the BB model just looks odd and difficult to push up hills, etc. I’d recommend the Clicgear model overall all others, but that’s just my opinion.

      Reply

      David W

      10 years ago

      I completely agree, the carts that hold the bag more upright just don’t feel as balanced to me. Even if they actually are, the feel makes a difference in playability.

      Reply

      Steven

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the review. I have been looking at getting a push cart next season because of back issues. This makes my decision much easier.

      Reply

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    Tyrrell Hatton Tyrrell Hatton
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