Alphard eWheels is a David, pure and simple.

In golf’s David versus Goliath battles, it’s usually a bad idea to bet on David. He may notch a few early wins but Goliath has the deeper pockets. And that never bodes well for ol’ Davey.

But if you’ve been following some of our business stories, you know that every once in a while there’s a David that doesn’t know when to quit. You’ve read about Karsten Solheim and the PING Anser as well as the Lamkin family story: both Davids that beat the odds. Alphard eWheels is also a family business and its unique Club Booster V2 is definitely making some noise.

The good news is that Alphard is a David in an emerging segment of the golf business. That means there are no Goliaths. Not yet.

But what Alphard does have is a unique niche, a clever product and a young owner intent on seeing his vision through.

Alphard eWheels

Alphard eWheels and the Electric Trolley Revolution

We’ve written extensively on the electric trolley revolution in North America. The last two years have turbocharged that revolution to the point where an electric trolley, also called an electric pushcart, is no longer an oddity.

A curiosity, maybe. But not an oddity anymore.

Market leaders such as Motocaddy, PowaKaddy, MGI and Stewart provide you with the full experience with all the extras you could want, from a remote control and built-in GPS to follow-along capabilities or regular power-assist.

Alphard founder Alex Tse, however, sees the market a little differently.

“We don’t want to add anything unnecessary to the golfer’s experience,” he says. “We’re going to keep it simple.”

Tse and Alphard have carved out an interesting niche in this new revolution. Instead of offering the full electric monty, Alphard gives you just the rear wheels. Alphard’s Club Booster V2 is a set of battery-powered wheels that turn your old-fashioned pushcart into a modern remote-controlled electric caddie.

In retrospect, eWheels is one of those stunningly simple ideas that makes you wonder why nobody thought of it before. And if you trace it back, the idea probably goes all the way back to Back To The Future.

Alphard and the Hoverboard

Alphard, eWheels and the Club Booster are very much Tse’s baby. But his family actually got started in golf back in the late ‘90s.

“My father was an engineer and owned a manufacturing plant that had nothing to do with golf,” says Tse. “He made highway signs and some consumer products.”

Tse was still a kid when his father was approached by Sun Mountain Sports.

Alphard eWheels“We made the original Speed Cart for Sun Mountain Sports,” he says. “It was the first three-wheeled cart at the time. It was a Sun Mountain design, and my dad took it on as an OEM project. We’ve manufactured over a million pushcarts since 1999.”

By 2013, Tse was ready to tackle some projects on his own. His first pushcart design, however, really didn’t take off.

“We barely sold any,” he says. “We lost a lot of money on that project.”

But by 2017 he was ready to try again, thanks to a craze inspired by Michael J. Fox back in the ‘80s: the hoverboard.

“Hoverboard helped us in many ways, with the motors and the battery,” he says. “It was perfect for our product with the hub motor instead of a right-angle gear motor like the others have. The hub motor is ideal for an electric golf pushcart.”

One Kickstarter campaign later, the original Alphard eWheels Club Booster came out. Tse admits the first unit left plenty of room for improvement—to put it kindly.

“We introduced V2 in 2019 with an Indiegogo campaign,” he says. “We did a lot better.”

Second-Generation Upgrades

While the original eWheels Club Booster was value-priced, it was underpowered. And it was prone to tipping backward going up even modest hills as well as tipping sideways on sidehills. The V2 includes wheelie bars as standard equipment now, as well as a gyroscope.

“It has a lot more power and the gyroscope helps it track straight,” says Tse. “It also has a parking brake, a keypad lock and a Tether Follow Sensor.”

In virtually every article we’ve written about electric trolleys, the one feature readers keep mentioning in the Comments section is a follow-along function. Remotes are nice but it would seem some golfers would prefer a unit that simply follows them around. The Tether Follow Sensor, or TFS, does that but with an actual cord that connects magnetically to a metal clip on your belt. It’ll follow you but you are tethered to your cart.

Alphard eWheels

“We will be introducing a wireless follow-feature this summer called the V2 Sidekick,” says Tse. “But the difference is the cart doesn’t have to follow you from behind. It’s designed to follow you from the side, like a real caddie that walks beside you.”

As much as someone might like a follow-along feature, I’d imagine it would suck if you got a few hundred yards down the fairway only to find your cart stopped following you back by the tee box. Tze says the new feature keeps the cart in sight without having to mess with a remote control.

“A lot of people want a hands-free experience,” he says. “If the cart is right beside you, you can look over your shoulder and it’s there.”

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A Few Limitations

Tse says his Alphard eWheels Club Booster V2 fits on roughly 80 percent of the pushcarts out there. Specifically, it fits all Clicgear three-wheeled carts as well as the Clicgear Model 8.0. It also fits the Sun Mountain Speed Cart, Micro Cart and Pathfinder, along with the BagBoy Quad XL, Tri-Swivel and Nitron models. The V2 can also adapt to selected carts from Rovic, Caddytek, Tour Trek and Big Max.

There is some work involved in adapting your cart to an Alphard unit but you don’t need the Binford thousand-piece tool kit to git ‘er done. All you’ll need is a Phillips screwdriver, an adjustable wrench or a set of nut drivers and, depending on your cart, an Allen wrench. There are plenty of videos on YouTube and on the Alphard website.

“You have to take the original back wheels off the pushcart and install the brackets to hold the eWheels unit,” says Tse. “Depending on the person, that should take 15 minutes or so.”

The battery is another potential limitation. The large lithium-ion batteries used by Motocaddy and others are typically good for 36 holes per charge. The V2 battery is good for 27 holes—maybe more, maybe less—depending on the course and the cart.

“Hills, muddy conditions can drain the battery,” says Tse. “Also, if you have a fixed front wheel, it drains a little faster. A swivel-type front wheel turns easier and the battery will last longer.”

The unit does have a freewheel mode. If the battery does run out, you can disable the motor and use it like a regular, albeit heavy, pushcart.

Alphard eWheels

Is the Alphard eWheels Right For You?

As always, it depends. If you already have a compatible pushcart, the Club Booster V2 might be an easy way to go electric on a budget. That is if you’re handy enough to connect the brackets. It’s not difficult but it’s also good to know your limitations.

The original eWheels Club Booster was in the $500 range and can still be found online. The current V2 unit runs anywhere from $740 to $800. A spare battery will run you $170 and the TFS kit goes for another $150. There’s no word yet on pricing for the new V2 Sidekick.

That puts you in the same general range as some of the lower-end traditional units and even a model or two with remote control. Some feature lithium-ion batteries but most have old-school lead-acid batteries.

While there is plenty to be said for the full-function, fully electric trolley, Tze seems to have carved out an interesting niche for his David-sized company. And the price seems to be in the sweet spot for golfers who want to go electric without extensive negotiations with their House Ways and Means Committee.

“It’s a sweet-spot price,” says Tse. “We don’t have to worry about maintenance things like brake cables or an umbrella holder or an accessory tray that’s breaking. We just focus on the motor, the battery and the electronics.”

It’s a market that’s not looking for bells, whistles or video screens. “Just make my cart go” is good enough.

“We want to help people enjoy their walking experience,” says Tse. “That’s all.”

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