The Motocaddy British Invasion Update

Key Takeaways

We’re 10 full months into the Motocaddy British Invasion. The UK’s premier electric trolley maker let the world know last August its plans to establish a foothold in the U.S. Up to now, however, it’s been more toehold than foothold. Despite copping MyGolfSpy’s Best Electric Cart honors two years running, Motocaddy still hasn’t had its Beatles-Ed Sullivan Show moment.

But there is compelling evidence suggesting the fuse has been lit and the summer of ’21 might just rival February of 1964, with M7, M5 and M1 standing in for John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Motocaddy

Help, I Need Somebody

“It’s crazy right now,” says Motocaddy USA chief Roger Teat. “We’d been waiting for the firehose to hit and now we’re drinking out of it.”

Motocaddy hired Teat, a former COBRA-PUMA exec, last September to build a U.S. operation from the ground up. By its very definition, that’s a slow, arduous task.  In the past 10 months, Teat has hired a sales rep network covering 17 states, staffed an inside sales and support team and established a national service center. In addition, he’s opened an 11,000 square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Carlsbad, Calif.

The only thing he didn’t have was inventory.

Motocaddy

“We were supposed to have product shipped to us in January,” he says. “But it took two months to even get containers to put all the product in. And once the product was loaded, what used to be a three-week journey took an extra four to five weeks. Boats were just sitting offshore waiting to offload.”

Eight 44-foot containers holding roughly 2,200 electric carts finally showed up in Carlsbad in late April, loading the warehouse from stem to stern.

“Once the inventory hit that last week of April, we’ve been shipping everything as fast as we can.”

Motocaddy: All My Lovin’

While Motocaddy offers 10 electric trolley models in the UK, it’s starting small here in the US with only three: The M7 Remote, the M5 GPS and the M1. Despite being the highest priced of the three, the M7 Remote has been the company’s best seller.

“People love having the remote and it frees you up to walk down the fairway,” says Teat. “The $1,500 price tag may be a bit of an obstacle for those who are going electric for the first time. But we feel, with the brand and the quality, $1,500 for a remote unit is right in the market’s sweet spot.”

Motocaddy

At $1,050, the M1 DHC is Motocaddy’s entry-level electric offering for the U.S. DHC stands for Down Hill Control. Its job is to maintain a constant speed when going downhill, making it easier to keep the trolley under control. The M1 (as well as the M5) has an automatic electric parking brake if you have to park on a slope. Both units also feature an Automatic Distance Control. You can set the unit to travel in a straight line unattended for anywhere from 5 to 45 yards (the M5 goes up to 60 yards) before coming to a full stop.

While the M7 Remote is the flagship and the M1 is entry-level, Motocaddy believes the M5 GPS may very well be the key to its US success.

Can’t Buy Me Love

“The M5 GPS DHC is our rental fleet model,” says Teat. “Resorts and private courses like the idea of having the integrated GPS. It’s an added benefit for members and resort guests.”

The M5 GPS has over 40,000 preloaded courses and gives you all the basic functionality you’d want from a GPS. You can also connect it to your phone via Bluetooth to stay connected if that’s your cup of tea.

Motocaddy electric cart

Teat says Motocaddy has M5 rental fleets at maybe a dozen courses right now, mostly in Michigan and the Northeast.

“We’ve only had product for a little over a month, so we’re pretty happy with that,” he says. “The resort part is particularly exciting since most golfers might be visiting for the first time. Having an electric cart with a GPS for a course they don’t know makes the experience that much more enjoyable.”

Bigger resorts have as many as 40 or 50 units available to rent while private clubs are starting with as few as eight to cover two foursomes.

“The good news is, with our lithium batteries, they can easily go for more than 36 holes,” Teat adds. “You can get a cart out multiple times a day.”

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I Saw You Standing There

Teat says to get the rental fleets rolling, Motocaddy is offering courses a pretty sweet deal.

“We’re not charging upfront for the carts,” he explains. “It’s a revenue share model where they’re only paying us for usage.”

Under the arrangement, courses have the carts for 18 months but don’t really own them. Motocaddy charges a flat fee per usage and the courses can charge as they see fit.

Motocaddy electric cart

“We want to be an easy partner to do business with,” says Teat. “They don’t spend money unless they make money. It works for us if the carts get used but it certainly doesn’t if they just sit there collecting dust.”

One advantage Motocaddy sees is the relative lack of rental fleet competition. Some resorts may have scooters or GolfBoards to go along with regular pushcarts. But when it comes to rentals, Motocaddy is the only electric trolley game in town. It’s a value-add for courses and it’s a new experience for golfers who’ve never used one before.”

And therein lies Motocaddy’s ultimate opportunity. There’s nothing like an on-course taste to whet a golfer’s appetite.

“Not many golfers are going to buy an E-Z-GO, scooter or GolfBoard but they can buy a Motocaddy,” says Teat. “We’re going to encourage people to buy through their pro shop and provide a revenue stream. Our U.S. website is live, however, and we are selling plenty via e-commerce.”

I Want To Hold Your Motocaddy

For the past several weeks, four MyGolfSpy Forum members have been testing Motocaddy units and writing about their experiences. Thomas Poole is reviewing the M5 GPS DHC model.

“I can unfold the cart, have the GPS find my course and be ready to go in just a couple of minutes,” he says. “Having a picture of the entire green and being able to move the flag around is really handy, along with being able to see hazards.”

Bill Sandefur, a 70-year-old retiree, is testing the M7 Remote and is having a ball with it so far.

“Love the ability to send it down the fairway to wait for you,” he says. “And if you hit the green, just grab your putter and send it to the next tee box. There’s also a safety function that keeps you from tapping the forward button by mistake and sending your cart into a pond.”

Tester Brian Park says set-up is so intuitive you don’t even need the instructions. Each tester says their unit fits easily into car trunks, and each reports impressive battery life. Park, in fact, went 50 holes on a single charge with plenty of juice leftover. Although it hasn’t happened, the testers did wonder what would happen if the battery died mid-round. Turns out a simple wheel adjustment converts the unit into a free-wheeling, albeit heavy, standard pushcart.

Our M7 Remote testers report a very short learning curve. Both are red-blooded South Carolina NASCAR fans and we are hearing stories of Earnhardt-level bump-drafting on the fairways.

After several weeks of testing, Park used his M5 to walk his hilly home course for the very first time.

“The Motocaddy makes walking easier, and it helps me carry four liters of water with no effort so I can stay hydrated,” he says. “Am I walking more rounds because of the Motocaddy? Absolutely.”

Hard Day’s Night

As mentioned earlier, Motocaddy has hired a dozen sales reps to cover 17 states. Teat plans to hire as many as 25 more.

“Twelve is the right number for Year One,” says Teat. “It’s what we can support internally with product and service. But if we find the right person in the right market, we’ll add.

And while the electric trolleys are the hit singles, Motocaddy does have some B-sides worth a listen. The Pro-Series and Dry-Series are generous-sized cart bags with 14 full-length dividers, an insulated beverage compartment and Motocaddy’s unique EASILOCKTM system that secures the bag to a Motocaddy without using a lower strap. The Pro-Series features two dry pockets while the Dry-Series is completely waterproof and was named MyGolfSpy’s Best Waterproof Cart Bag for 2021.

If stand bags are more your thing, the HydroFLEX is fully waterproof and is also designed to fit perfectly onto a Motocaddy.

And if you’re not quite there yet with an electric cart, Teat does say Motocaddy is fully stocked with its two pushcart models. The Z1 sells for $179 and is your basic no-frills model. The Cube is more feature-laden and more compact. It sells on Motocaddy’s website for $259.

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