One of my coolest new toys is my GoKart. The GoKart is a battery powered, light weight, three wheeled “electric trolley” as the manufacturers call it in the UK. Here in the USA we call them push carts.
The first thing I noticed about the GoKart was how light it was. Weighing in at 7.6Kg (without the battery), this unit is easy to pick up and move around. Rather than steel or aluminum bar framing, the GoKart uses reinforced thermoplastic polymers for its structure. I’ve had a couple of carts get dinged up because the metal or aluminum bars which make up the frame have bent, scratched or dented. This simply won’t be the case with a GoKart.
The cart’s motor drives the unit in one direction, forward. A rotary dial on the handle allows the speed to be set of the cart, to match your walking or running pace. Yes, if you really want to punish yourself, just set the cart on full speed and try to catch it. It is fast. Once you have the proper speed for your cadence, an on/off switch is much more convenient for starting and stopping without fine tuning the speed every time.
Despite the framing being thicker than those metal based trolleys/carts, the unit folds (left) into a very convenient size for throwing in the trunk of the car or storing in the garage.
The geeks at GoKart had a contest and found that the quickest amount of time to to unfold a unit is 2.8 seconds.
Battery And Charger
There are two battery options for the GoKart, an 18 hole and 36 hole model. I have the 36 hole model, so it is a bit heavier. But I wanted that model since I often play 27 or more holes in the summer. The 36 hole battery lasts well past 36 holes on my home course, which has a few hills. It certainly isn’t as hilly as Augusta National but it does tell me that there’s plenty of life in the battery past 36 holes.
With the included charger, it takes about eight hours to fully charge the battery.
On The Course
I really like to walk the golf course but I do have a bad back. Slinging my golf bag on my back, as light as my bags can be, can be a bad idea. So I’ve enjoyed push carts to take some of the pressure off and allow me to walk. But standard push carts can be equally as troublesome with a bad back, as there’s a constant pushing (or pulling), turning of the torso, and effort required to move the thing around. Play a hilly course and that effort is magnified.
With the GoKart’s motor drive taking up all the real effort to transport the bag, I can enjoy walking the course without worrying about any back tweaks. The Kart’s very strong motor can easily trudge up the steepest of hills without any problems.
I put together a fun little video of the GoKart in action. The video shows a couple of varying speeds and terrains. Be sure to watch the final scene where it is coming at me and I have to get out of the way before it runs me over!
I do have a few critiques about the GoKart.
First is the scorecard holder (pictured right). My course’s scorecards are what I’d call the “standard” size. I have to fold my scorecard into 3rds to get the card to fit on the holder to the point that it is usable for writing scores down.
My second critique lies with unfolding the cart and putting the bigger battery on. The battery assembly and snapping the battery into place is how the cart’s frame is locked down and ready for use. It takes quite an effort to get the battery to completely snap into place. It shouldn’t be that hard.
Critique three also lies with the battery. On very bumpy sections of cart path, gravel or grass, the battery connection can be intermittent. So the cart will stop and start. This has happened on a few occasions and may be related to the previous critique and how solid the battery snaps into place.
My final and most troubling critique lies with the bag mount. If the bag is heavy to one side or the other, the Kart will go in that direction. The bag needs to be perfectly centered, which is fine unless the bag shifts.
I typically use small golf bags. The mount on the GoKart can accommodate up to very large bags. But with my small bag mounted, the bag can shift positions or rotate in place. For instance, if my irons are all on the right side of the bag, the bag will rotate toward that side. Then the clubs are hard to get out of the bag. Once the bag has rotated to one side or the other, the cart will steer in that direction. Then you are fussing with the bag so the cart goes straight, rather than focusing on your next shot. I figure this is less of an issue if you have a bigger bag which won’t rotate, and keeps the weighting of the bag equal.
Trolley 7.6Kg, 18 hole battery 6.5Kg, 36 hole battery 9.2Kg
Rechargeable lead/acid. Sealed and non-spillable, valve regulated and maintenance free. 18 hole battery 22Ah, 36 hole battery 28Ah (3 hour rate). Exempt from hazardous goods regulations relating to transportation by any means, including by air.
Three stage timer charger. Input voltage AC100-240V/50/60Hz, Output voltage 14.5V in charge mode, 13.5V in standby mode, output current max 3A.
Motor and motor controller:
12V permanent magnet DC motor, 230W output. Controlled via hand operated switch and potentiometer and a microprocessor driven engine management system.
Drive is transmitted to both main wheels through our patented, high efficiency gearbox, incorporating an integrated differential and clutch mechanism.
Various thermoplastic polymers with glass reinforcement in parts critical to strength.
The GoKart is a very cool electric trolley with plenty of power for even the most hilly golf courses. The unit is light and folds for easy storage and transport. The unit is elegant and simply designed, and very sharp looking. The GoKart will never dent or rust.
The drawbacks to the unit spelled out in my critiques above could be easily resolved, and when they are resolved I’d give this unit a 100% favorable rating. As is, I still enjoy using the unit but do run into the occasional irritation with the battery and bag shifting/steering issues.