THE Motocaddy golf equipment company has been around for almost a decade and a half and has become a well-known and respected brand in some 40 countries internationally.
Motocaddy is perhaps best known for their electric golf buggies – they call them golf “trolleys” in an attempt I guess to get over the sometimes confusing “golf buggy” label (and a bit of UK thing) – but these days also have quite a range including push buggies/trolleys, golf bags and other accessories.
We admittedly hadn’t had much to do with the brand in the past but recently had the opportunity to try out one of the new Motocaddy S series buggies.
In the interest of full disclosure we should point out this story/review wasn’t a Motocaddy company promoted idea (though there is nothing intrinsically wrong with such happenings). We just happened to be in the Byron Bay Golf Club pro shop when they were unwrapping a brand new Motocaddy S series trolley (There! We finally used that “trolley” word).
The BB pro shop weren’t looking to sell the unit but had the intention of making it available as a rental – and that intention gives voice to at least one pro shop’s vote on Motocaddy reliability.
The buggy … I mean trolley, was a Motocaddy S1, the company’s basic entry level electric model designed for those who want simple, reliable performance (or maybe to rent some out of a golf shop).
The new revamped Motocaddy S series features a number of models with the price increasing as the level of specs increases, including the S3, S5 Connect (which features GPS and smartphone notifications) right up to the “you beaut” S7 with full remote control. (There are also some “M” labelled models that are more compact folding.)
Though it is the “entry level” model (and will set you back around a grand and a half) the S1 still has many desirable features.
Motocaddy says the S1 includes several features “designed to maximise enjoyment on the golf course, including a soft-touch ergonomic handle; low-profile, quick-release wheels; a streamlined battery tray to accommodate the full range of batteries; the innovative EASILOCK™ bag-to-trolley connection system; and the exclusive super-fast QUIKFOLD mechanism.”
The EASILOCK™ thing means if you buy a compatible Motocaddy golf bag the two products have a simple docking mechanism that locks bag and buggy into place.
The “QUIKFOLD mechanism”, which we did try, means with a couple of levers it’s simple to unfold and fold the buggy (he’s obviously given up on the “trolley” thing already) into a quite convenient package.
When we finally got funding approval to spend the $10 hiring the buggy at Byron Bay local golf pro Greg Stewart helpfully took the time to explain the operation of the unit.
Pointing to the main button/knob on the handle he said – and demonstrated – “Stop. Go!”
And that was it. We tried to think of a great question, but “stop” and “go” seemed to cover the majority of what is needed in operating a golf buggy.
It was an obvious and simple procedure to attach our non “EASILOCK™” compliant golf bag, we activated “Go” … and we were off!
The S1 has 9 speeds, with each and every one indicated on the handle display, and it probably only took several paces to find one that handily matched our walking pace.
It was probably more like a couple of minutes before man and machine were more fully in sync, but it certainly wasn’t long before we stopped obsessing about the buggy and remembered to fully concentrate on worrying about our golfing prowess.
The Byron Bay course is a good test of a golf buggy, with the front nine featuring a number of steady inclines. There are also a number of very severe slopes leading up to some elevated tees and if you wanted to be really perverse you could take the whole buggy up to admire the view … and not just your driver.
We did that of course and the S1 handled it all with reasonable ease.
After several holes we were fully immersed in the golfing experience; and only every now and then remembered to reflect on Stewart’s golf buggy Zen advice: “Stop. Go.”
We had a second round with the Motocaddy S1 just to make sure but are happy to report that this trolley of a buggy is all that it is cracked up to be: a simple, very reliable electric golf bag carrier that lets you concentrate on your golf. In our two rounds with it the S1 didn’t miss a beat. It was easy to fold down, easy to remove the wheels once you have grocked the mechanism, and easy to attach and detach your bag. There’s also a handy side seat/storage area, sandbucket holder and other additions that come as accessories if you want including umbrella holders, gps/smartphone holders etc. The LED screen has a battery indicator (the recommended lithium batteries come in 18 hole/36 hole plus versions) and speed indicator.
If you want things like an on board GPS, smartphone notifications, remote control and other advanced technologies you have to shell out extra dollars and look further up the range.
Motocaddy boast about their award winning designs, their strong reputation for the depth of consumer research, the extent of investment in product development and their customer service.
With the non-nonsense S1, it all seems to be working.
More info at http://www.motocaddy.com.au/
Motocaddy S1 Features
- Nine speed settings
- Speed indicator
- Battery indicator
- Streamlined battery tray
- On board charging – no need to remove battery
- QUIKFOLD mechanism
- Soft-touch ergonomic handle
- Low-profile wheels
- Anti-clog front wheel housing
- EASILOCK™ compatible