From The PGA Show Fringe: The Transrover All-In-One Cart
Golf Bag Carts

From The PGA Show Fringe: The Transrover All-In-One Cart

From The PGA Show Fringe: The Transrover All-In-One Cart

Why hasn’t someone made a…

I bet most us have had a “million dollar idea” at some point. That moment when we think “someone needs to make THIS.”  In the moment, we are certain that we have just thought of the best new product ever, and we immediately slip into fantasy daydreams about the sweet vacation home that will be purchased with all of the profits the product will reap.

Unfortunately, most of these ideas never pass that daydream design phase, and even if they do progress a bit, something probably stalls the process before the product ever reaches the consumer.

For example, at one point, I sketched out a bunch of functional novelty putters, fully convinced that the proceeds from my high-MOI fairy princess putter would be paying for my kids’ college tuitions. Such was not the case, as the sketches represented the end of the design road for me, and tuition is now coming from my mundane, low MOI day job.

But there are those who make it further along the design path than I did, taking that initial inspirational idea and nurturing it all the way to completion. Not to be a suck-up, but Adam Beach has done that, not only here with MyGolfSpy, but also with his new TrueGolfFit venture. He had the ideas, and the endurance to get those ideas to the consumer. High-five boss!

The PGA Show Periphery

Every year, lots of other individuals try to bring their amazing innovations to the golf marketplace. Golf is a powerful crucible for inspiration because it is so damn difficult to play! Golf’s inherent difficulty creates the incredible innovation impetus for products that will make the game if not easier, at least more enjoyable to play.

If you check the outlying areas of the annual PGA Show, you will see tens, if not hundreds of folks who have bet their life savings that their new product is the best thing to ever happen to the game of golf. Some products do become massive successes like SuperStroke grips, but most of these dream products will end up relegated to the realm of camouflaged golf balls, the Golf Elevator, and the golf club urinal. Even against these long odd though, every year the dreamers and their dream products return to Orlando.

Today, I have for you the story of one such dreamer and his innovative golf product. Will this one have the legs (wheels?) to become a staple in a golf shop near you. Will 2019 be the year when the Transrover all-in-one golf cart breaks through into the golf market? Let’s take a look at the dreamer and his dream.

Thinh Tran: The man behind Transrover

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Thinh Tran, the creator of the Transrover cart. Not only was it very cool to check out the prototype cart, but it was also quite enlightening to meet and talk with Thinh. The word passionate definitely describes Mr. Tran’s relationship with the cart that he as designed, but I think that I’d also describe the relationship as objective.

Thinh believes that he has a revolutionary product on his hands, but he is also dedicated to making the design as perfect as possible. The design processes started in his backyard, with Thinh literally hacking out conceptual prototypes from used stroller parts, broken toys, and random hardware from around the house. While we chatted, Thinh explained how parts of the Transrover have changed since the initial incarnation, with each updated element improving the overall design and playability. He wants this to be the ultimate system for transporting your clubs on the course, and for enjoying your round of golf as well. That’s why there is an insulated six-pack holder in the top of the unit, and when I jokingly mentioned that it was missing a bottle opener, he took the idea seriously as a potential feature. All of the innovations and endless improvements do come with a cost though. At the top of his graphic design career, Thinh decided to give it all up and go all in on his dream. With his savings dwindling, he emptied his 401K and later refinanced his house to keep things moving.

Execution is Key

In the simplest of descriptions, the Transrover is a combination of a golf bag and push cart, and yes, I know that this is not a new concept. I’ve run a few of these through the review paces over the years. I’ve reviewed the Duo combo cart from Alphard, and Sun Mountain Combo cart as well. Those prior experiences lay the foundations for my excitement about the Transrover. I know what’s been out there before, and that knowledge allows me to comfortably proclaim that this Transrover cart is better than previous combo units I’ve tested.

Looking at the prototype, I could tell that Thinh was on to something unique with his design. From the way that the outer wheels folded flat to the body, to the way that the front wheel disappears completely inside the bag, the Transrover takes combo in a different direction. This difference in form allows the Transrover to function in ways that weren’t possible with previous combo systems.

Loyal readers know that here at MyGolfSpy we do not just arbitrarily lump praise on products. Praise without evidence doesn’t help much when one is deciding to buy something. With that in mind, here are the reasons that I think that the Transrover has the potential to make it in the golf arena.

Key Element: Simple Folding and Unfolding

Take a look at these two short videos showing how to unfold and refold the Transrover cart. The design is such that you pull one handle to release the wheels, lift the bag to lock the wheels in place, secure the console and the stabilizer bars, and you are off and running. It’s intuitive and easy and should take you less time than unfolding your traditional push cart and attaching your golf bag. It will probably take you more time to change into your golf shoes than it will to open up the Transrover and get rolling toward the first tee.

Key Element: Power Cart Versatility

At its core, the Transrover is a push cart, but we all know that there are courses that we play where riding carts are mandatory. Previous combo carts had no hope of lashing to the riding cart’s bag compartment. They were just too big and bulky.

With the Transrover design, you can fit two Transrover carts on the back of the riding cart with room to spare.

With the wheels up, the Transrover has a narrow enough profile to fit in the back of the power cart, and it even has design features to facilitate snug strapping once it’s there. It’s an impressive feat of engineering, especially since the cart didn’t seem small to me at all when it was in its unfolded, rolling configuration.

Riding cart usage was not an afterthought with the Transrover. It’s designed to be a functional golf bag when driven around. You can access the pockets, including the cooler, and the club holding system keeps your clubs from knocking around as you drive. Now you can finally toss out those unsexy iron covers.

Key Element: Ergonomics

When it comes to bags and carts, I view the concept of ergonomics simply as things being where they should be, and the ability to easily access those things with ease. Fighting with a cart, or struggling to get into a bag’s pocket is a sure fire way to add a little stress to a round, probably hurting your scoring potential that day.

The most important positive from my ergonomic experiences with the Transrover was its stability and maneuverability when pushing the clubs around the grass. It is very stable, and yet turns easily when you need it to. Based upon my experiences with the prototype, you will not be fighting this cart for directional dominance.

The small stuff is all ergonomically sound as well. Though not huge, the console has enough storage for the stuff you use during play, and the combination of pockets and webbing systems should handle most of your other gear storage needs. Some of the lower pockets are not quite as easy to access, and you won’t find the giant pocket that runs the length of most golf bags, but I’d still say that the storage is sufficient for standard needs.

The hideaway front wheel necessitated arranging the clubs around the perimeter of the cart. While this looks a bit unusual, this design challenge actually opened the door for innovation as well. First, you’ll see that the clubs are locked in place with a rubber gasket-like holder. This prevents your clubs from clanking during usage. This is a necessary feature. Without it, you’d have a ton of iron on iron action. The design also left a big empty space at the top. It was in this space that Thinh incorporated the ever-welcome cooler. A sixer will slide right into that gap.

The Transrover folds and unfolds very quickly, and with minimal effort. Lift the bag up, and pull a couple of rings, and all of the wheels pop down and lock into place. Reverse that process, and you are wheels up and ready for transport. It is so fast and easy. Unfolding a standard push cart, and strapping a bag to it will take you way longer. You will go from the trunk to the tee in seconds, not minutes.

Key Element: Weight Appropriateness

One of the killers for the other combo cart systems was excessive weight. Once you load the bag with gear and clubs, those combo units become quite heavy. The Transrover is much lighter than the other combo cart systems, and it’s more compact profile makes for easy trunk in and outs. For me, awkward loading was the ultimate deal breaker with the other combo carts. Golf can be stressful enough without the blood pressure going up because of a heavy, bulky-stuck-in-trunk club carrying system.

Key Element: Increasing Golf Access

Golf has a whole bunch of amateur rules officials who want to tell other people how to play the game. Not play the game in terms of the rules, or how to actually hit the ball, but rather they enforce the other important things like only scratch players can wear white belts, or real golfers carry their clubs on their backs. That second one kills me. The most elite golfers in the world don’t carry their clubs on their backs!

The truth of the matter is that many people would need to stop playing golf if they couldn’t push their clubs in a cart, or strap them to the back of a power cart. Most of us even play better when the clubs come off the back. I know that my scores are lower when I push rather than carry, and that’s the ultimate goal for me. It’s not just for older golfers either as many college programs are having their players push rather than carry for the same lower-scores reason.

Like any push cart, the Transrover will help golfers walk a round of golf rather than ride, with the design helping in other situations too. It is so easy to unload from the trunk and get rolling that it will help people get their clubs to the driving range for practice sessions, or even walking from their cars to the cart barn to pick up the power cart. Older golfers, or those nurturing injuries, know that just carrying a golf bag across the parking lot can be an ordeal. The Transrover makes club transport so much easier in all situations.

New Gear Giddiness

I own my tendency to get a touch over excited about golf gear. I think that it comes from visualizing the possibilities that come with playing new gear. Maybe that new driver will help me to hit the ball longer and straighter; the new putter will definitely sink more putts. With the Transrover, the entire playing golf experience can potentially be improved, and I find that exciting.

If you share my excitement, head over to the Transrover Kickstarter page and get in the queue for one of these carts. Early bird pricing is $395, with the price increasing to $445 after the initial 48-Hours of the launch. Your pre-orders will directly help get Transrover into production.

If you are a rider, you’ll likely offset the costs with healthcare savings over time. If you carry, you’ll appreciate getting the bag off of your back. If you push already, good for you, but you’ll still want to check out the Transrover. Thinh’s innovative combination of bag and cart could simplify, and likely improve your club pushing experience.

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      L. Brown

      5 years ago

      I saw him on Golf Channel at last year’s PGA Show and wondered what happened with this bag. Good to see it is getting some interest.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      We are running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. As of yesterday 1/25, we are fully funded. Making final preparations for production. There’s still time to get one before 2/08.

      Reply

      Mike McKay

      5 years ago

      Just saw it at the show and bough one. Can’t wait til the snow melted and take this out.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Thank you Mike. It was a pleasure meeting you at the Show.

      Reply

      Frank Jensen

      5 years ago

      Just saw this thing at the PGA show. Bad @ss!!!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      LOL!

      Reply

      Bobarino

      5 years ago

      Looks great. Maybe a little pricey, but I’d be in on it if I wasn’t happy with my standbag and BagBoy.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Transrover will be standing by when you’re ready for a change.

      Reply

      Cresencio

      5 years ago

      I’ll never carry again! Killer engineering. Very well thought out features. And an awesome entrepreneurial story. I just reserved mine and can’t wait to get this baby out on the course!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Wise choice Cresencio!!! Got you down. Can’t wait.

      Reply

      Mick Close

      5 years ago

      Hi, this looks like a fantastic idea, what is the chance of getting them here in Australia? I can see myself using this.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Mick, I do have it available for delivery in Australia. Just pick your pledge and choose Australia for shipping destination. Please message me if you need assistant.

      Reply

      Robert Pooler

      5 years ago

      I’m 67 years old and I’m looking forward to the dual function of this golf bag/cart. Being able to unload the bag, convert to a walking cart and roll into the loading area and then lock it on the back of a golf cart is my primary interest. The other features of the bag are exciting also. I’ve been interested in this venture since it was introduced at last years PGA Show. I can’t wait to get my bag.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Robert. Thank you for your support. We’re on the same page my friend.

      Reply

      Mike Vassar

      5 years ago

      Just signed up for 2 carts. Good luck!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Got you down Mike. Thank you very much!

      Reply

      Dan Garcia

      5 years ago

      I had considered buying a cart to pull/push my bag around the course, but didn’t like how much space they take up while in truck of the car. So glad to have found your Transrover, it takes up the same room as my bag! Your design is well thought out and I hope that you get the support needed to get this going.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Dan. Hang in there my friend. Transrover will come for the rescue soon!!!

      Reply

      Brian Shuman

      5 years ago

      I signed up for one just to honor your effort and no quit attitude. You are a role model for many others showing hard work pays off.
      I have grown fond of the Frogger attachment system. Is that attachable to the cart?
      Congratz!
      Brian

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Brian, thank you for your kind words and support. The cart’s bag comes with a series of utility hooks and clips for you to attach various accessories such as club brushes, towels, electronic devices, shoe bags, etc.

      Reply

      Steve Caz

      5 years ago

      We have been waiting a long time for this golf bag! Can’t wait to get out on the course with it! Nice job Thinh……

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      I can’t wait myself. Let’s do this!!!

      Reply

      Vinh Tran

      5 years ago

      My preference is to walk, especially on new courses, so I can take in the views and course design. But my Cardiologist tells me I need to walk more often. This product is what all golfers been wishing for. We all have more golf bags than we need, and at least one pull/push golf cart. We all know that most car trunks cannot fit both bag and cart. This is the perfect solution.. Thank you for fulfilling my dream. Good luck, and congratulations. Hope you’ll be successful so I can get my bag..

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Hang in there Vinh. Transrover will come for the rescue. Sounds like I might have a future Transrover brand ambassador here. :)

      Reply

      William Courtney

      5 years ago

      Have been through 4 bags in the last 6 years!!! Just can’t find one that adequately protects my clubs and assures ease of use in taking them out and putting them in the bag. Also, the bags have not been well adapted to my walk/ride/practice and travel regime. The Transrover bag checks a bunch of boxes for me – can’t wait to try it out!!

      The only potential negative for me is that this is a new product that is essentially self funded at present. So, service, durability and follow up are untested.

      Still, pretty exciting – I’m gettin’ one!!!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Dear Bill, thank you for your support. I got you down. Can’t wait to kick off production. I’ve given this project everything I’ve got the last 8+ years. I will not rest until every cart produced will stand up to the test so you can show it off for years to come.

      Reply

      Jim Ghrist

      5 years ago

      I just signed up. I use a pushcart now and look forward to not having to mess with loading and unloading a separate golf bag and cart from my car. Being able to put it on the back of a golf cart will greatly simplify things. Now I will be able to walk on those courses that have long distances from green to tee (assuming my playing partner will drive the whole way).

      I signed up for the initial launch, but Thinh didn’t get enough backers. I hope that the relaunch is successful.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Got you down Jim. It’s going to be an upstream battle for us trying to convince golfers these things. I can use more fans like you who share the same vision.

      Reply

      Jon

      5 years ago

      Just bought into the Kickstarter early bird! Can’t wait now!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Got you down Jon. Thank you for your support.

      Reply

      Steven Smith

      5 years ago

      I’ve been on-board since the very beginning.
      My trunk will not allow two pull carts and two golf bags to fit. Now I will have the best solution, two bag/cart combos that will fit!
      EXCELLENT !!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Yes Steven. I can attest to this. You have been one of Transrover’s most devoted fan. I may have to hand deliver this thing to you and crack open that 6 pack together.

      Reply

      Paul Anderson

      5 years ago

      Love the idea. I checked it out after last years show…. thought it would be out a few months later. Are you actually going to be able to start producing these this time?

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Hi Paul, we are all set. The only obstacle in the way is getting this funded. We’re almost half way there. Can’t wait!!!

      Reply

      Noel Lawrence

      5 years ago

      The Transrover website shows a slightly different model than the one pictured here on mygolfspy. The one pictured here and in the open/close video shows 2 rods from the wheels up to where the console and bag meet. Which model is going to production? I definitely like the model shown on transrover.com and the open / close videos posted there are much easier and quicker.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Hi Noel. The two rods you mentioned were recently added. That is the version for production. Although it does take a few seconds longer to fold and unfold, it will give Transrover more load capacity and stability overall.

      Reply

      JB

      5 years ago

      Great design! This may be a bit of an engineering challenge, but it would be like magic if the action of raising the push bar could extend the side wheels and you could some how avoid the three clips on each of those wheel supports. Well done!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      We actually prototyped variations of those concepts. Ultimately, I wanted a simpler design that is rigid and cost effective to produce. I like your thinking. :)

      Reply

      Terry Bailey

      5 years ago

      The deciding factor on my becoming a backer was the ability to quickly fold up the Transrover to fit on the back of a power cart, more than once a round. My club has 36 holes. The distance between green to tee on a couple of holes is over 1/4 mile and in one case 5 minute power cart ride. Routinely those of us who walk will catch a ride, dragging our push cart behind a power cart rather than taking the time to disassemble it and load it on. Push carts are not engineered for dragging and multiple times we get tipped over and the cart gets broken from pulling and hitting potholes, roots etc. So the ability to so quickly collapse Transrover and load it on a cart is both convenient, speeds pace-of-play and saves cart repair or replacement money.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Thank you Terry for your sincere feedback. Glad we share the same vision.

      Reply

      Andrew Han

      5 years ago

      Damn, that’s a sweet design!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Thank you Andrew for your honest opinion.

      Reply

      Davis

      5 years ago

      As a mid-20s player, I love walking the course. I kept renting the push carts from my local course and finally was able to get a good deal on my own cart recently. It’s too bad because if I’d known this was coming out I would have held onto my money. I love the idea of the all-in-one especially since storing both my cart and bag is a pain in a small apartment. I know exactly what I’m saving up for now.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Davis, thank you for sharing my vision of the product. I hope you can get your hands on it sooner than later. Cheers.

      Reply

      Johnny N

      5 years ago

      Great gamble Thinh. He’s going to be rich. I’ll be buying one. Can’t wait to see what future versions evolve into.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Thanks Johnny. Will wait and see. lol.

      Reply

      ChipNRun

      5 years ago

      My wife is only 4-foot-9 tall. To allow her easier access to clubs, could the Transrover core be configured, when at rest, to lean forward at a 45* angle?

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Hi there, that is an interesting thought. May work well for the junior golfers as well. Unfortunately we don’t have that feature at the moment. Will bank it for the future. Thank you for your input.

      Reply

      Gary Benchich

      5 years ago

      How does one take the bag on a trip ? Is there a travel cover ? What is the total weight with shoes, balls & rain suit? Useless if it exceeds the airlines 50 lbs. weight restriction.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Gary, Transrover will fit most oversized third party travel cases. We recommend the TourTrek Premium Hardcase Travel Cover. The cart is about 20lbs with bag attached. With golf clubs, balls, and accessories, you can tag on an extra 15-20 lbs. Add in a pair of shoes and some clothing, you’ll be well over 50lbs. As for the 50lbs airline weight restriction, that is not entirely correct. I’ve flown with it multiple times and had it checked in as much as 27kg(58lb) with no issues since it is a sports equipment.
      For more questions, be sure to check out https://transrover.com/faqs

      Reply

      SV

      5 years ago

      Once I read about the ability to fold and use this on a power cart, one of my initial questions was answered. My other concern is the gasket club-holding. I understand the concept, but I wonder about the functionality.
      Overall, it seems like a great, albeit expensive, alternative.

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      The club cradling system is thoroughly tested for durability and performance. You’re gonna love this thing.

      Reply

      O2BGolfn

      5 years ago

      Now if he can just get a motor in it !!

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      Not yet. We get this question a lot from our subscribers. Could be something we will look into down the road. Keep in mind, with Transrover’s all-in-one design, it is extremely light and responsive compared to anything out there. Maneuvering it around the golf course is a breeze

      Reply

      O2BGolfn

      5 years ago

      Just became a backer. Best of Luck !

      Mike

      5 years ago

      Sweet. When I get older I’m happy I know that these are around and offer a lot of great features. This will likely be what my retirement will look like ?

      Reply

      Thinh Tran

      5 years ago

      LOL

      Reply

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