There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
The Sun Mountain Sync golf bag. This new golf bag was “purpose-built” to be used on push carts.
Dave Wolfe – Though most of you know me from the putter corral, I am also a dedicated push cart user, preferring to walk with a cart whenever possible.
The Need For the Sync
The new Sun Mountain Sync golf bag was designed to meet the needs of the walking golfer who uses a push cart. Historically, the push cart user either needed to strap a carry or cart bag to the push cart. Neither of those bags was designed to be pushed and, as such, neither is perfect when latched to the push cart. Traditional cart bags tend to be too large and carry bags are often too small.
What Makes It For Push Carts?
The Sun Mountain Sync has many of the desired features in both carry and cart bags, though it leans more toward the typical cart bag design. The 14-way top, separate putter well, full-length dividers, single shoulder strap, nine forward facing pockets and approximately six pounds of weight are features the Sun Mountain Sync shares with Sun Mountain cart bags. This makes sense as these are features the pushing golfer would want as well.
So what makes the Sun Mountain Sync uniquely suited for pushing?
It really comes down to a few small but clever elements. First, the top design of the Sync is different from its cart bag kin. Second, the base has an oval shape compared to the more traditional round cart bag bottom. Third, the strap pass-through was redesigned to work better with a push cart.
Can these three additions make the Sun Mountain Sync a standout?
Putting the Sun Mountain Sync to the Test
Obviously, the only way to see if these design elements make a difference was to strap the Sun Mountain Sync to a Pathfinder 3 push cart and head out to the course. Here is what I discovered.
General Usage Observations
Overall, the Sun Mountain Sync is a golfer-friendly bag. The pockets all face forward for easy access and the storage is ample. The insulated cooler pocket is quite large, taking up half of one of the side compartments. There is a tradeoff here as the cooler pocket location means that the Sync will only have one full-length pocket for storage.
The Sun Mountain Sync’s strap design could be better. Like a traditional cart bag, the Sync’s carry strap lives on the underside of the bag. What I don’t like about this design is that when you carry the bag with the strap, it puts the bag and your clubs in the opposite orientation compared to how it sits in the push cart. This means all of the pockets point down, as do your clubs. This usually means that your irons are now clanking against each other as well as with your wood shafts and putter. Putting the strap on the pocket side like Sun Mountain does with its C-130S seems like a better way to go. I’d actually welcome the legs of the C-130S as well.
Strap critique aside, the Sun Mountain Sync was great on the course (on the cart).
Let’s take a look at those unique features that Sun Mountain included to improve the pushing experience.
14-Way Top Design
The top design of the Sun Mountain Sync is unique. The iron-containing edge compartments all slant down. The putter has its own well and the woods reside down the center of the bag, between the irons.
The irons surrounding the woods seemed like a bad idea when I was loading the bag but once on the course, I could see that my fears were unfounded.
Though the irons all end up resting on each other, they really don’t move when you are on the course. The slanted design of the outer pockets does keep your irons away from your wood shafts as well. The top design also works really well for club access.
Unfortunately, I need to mention the shoulder strap position again. As well as this top works on the push cart, as soon as you carry this from the shoulder strap, all of the clubs slide toward the center of the bag. Attach the shoulder strap to the other side and everything would stay in this secure arrangement on the push cart or on your shoulder.
Making the base more oval-shaped seems like a simple thing but it represents a huge improvement for pushing. Traditional round cart bag bottoms are prone to turning on a push cart. “Sideways Bag Syndrome” is a real issue for many push cart users.
The oval base of the Sun Mountain Sync promotes a more secure fit at the bottom of the cart. The Sync also features plastic bumpers on the underside of the upper body that help that end of the bag to remain secure as well. These two design elements allow the Sun Mountain Sync to stay secured to the cart better than a traditional cart or carry bag.
For those of you who also ride sometimes, the base of the Sync still fits just fine in the back of a power cart.
Flip-Up Strap Pass-Through
Designing the top pocket to flip up may not seem innovative but it may be the best example of how the Sun Mountain engineers developed the Sync with a push-focused mentality. Most cart bags these days have a pass-through for the lashing strap on the power cart. The problem with that design on a push cart is that the attachment point for the upper straps is in the middle of the bag rather than on the edge as it is in a power cart. This means you would need to attach your straps under the pocket on the cart bag. That’s not easy to do. Designing the rangefinder pocket to flip up eliminates this strap issue with the Sync. Flip up the pocket, secure the straps, flip down the pocket. Easy-peasy.
Overall Impression of the Sun Mountain Sync
The Sun Mountain Sync is an excellent bag for the push cart user. Hopefully, this bag is just the first in a new category of push cart bags that Sun Mountain and other companies will continue to develop. With the massive numbers of push carts sold this year, the golf market is primed for this new category.
Find out more about the Sync at sunmountain.com.