What is the best golf push cart on the market today? In this article we have reviewed a selection that are based on personal use of various makes and models, observation of which golf push carts juniors are using in regional and national tournaments, and on feedback from buyers.
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Why use a golf push cart and what makes the best golf push cart? Bryson DeChambeau has been called the 'most interesting man in American golf'. He is a physics major with some radical ideas about honing his craft (probably best known for having 37 1/2 inch shafts on every iron in his bag) and is the 5th player in history to win both the NCAA Division 1 Championship and the US Amateur in the same year (2015).
DeChambeau sees himself as a 'journey-man': "for me I never try to set goals. I'm more of a journey-man; I like focusing on the journey process." And as high pressure, high stakes and physically rigorous as the game of golf is, he believes in keeping the journey as unnecessarily demanding on the body as possible and through his college years always used a push cart.
Studies have been done by Dr. Neil Wolkodoff of the Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science on the physical benefits of using a push cart versus carrying a golf bag. Dr. Wolkodoff's conclusion was that: "People who push carts have a lot fewer health issues and a lot less potential for issues. The golf swing is tough on the back no matter how you look at it. If you can use a push cart and keep one more stress away from the back that's a great thing".
In 2009 the American Junior Golf Association changed its policy to allow push carts noting : "After studying the issue in depth, the AJGA found that carrying heavy golf bags on the back, especially among younger players, could potentially contribute to back injuries and fatigue."
Junior golfers are often, by their very natures, not conformists and more and more find little reason to conform to an outdated 'macho' carry mindset. As junior golfers seek competitive advantages where they can, push golf carts become more and more popular.
The Benefits of a Golf Push Cart for a Junior Golfer
A round of golf takes about 4 to 5 hours and covers almost 5 miles. A junior golfer's bag can weight 20 pounds or even more. Most energy is expended just carrying the bag and walking between shots. By using a push cart the junior will have more energy to concentrate on the shot at hand and execute their best possible swing.
Prevents Fatigue and Injury
Repeated bending over to pick up a golf bag can stress the low back and lead to a muscle strain. Josh Salzmann, fitness coach to Ernie Els, says he's dismayed when he sees thousands of golfers arrive on the first tee carrying their golf bags. He believes that carrying a golf bag encourages poor body alignment. Dr. Wolkodoff's findings confirm these ideas to the extent that people who push carts have a lot fewer health issues and a lot less potential for injury. Many junior golfers have very rigorous tournament and practice schedules - if a push cart can help alleviate the toll that takes on their bodies it's worth it.
The best golf push cart should have all these:
Golf push carts must be durable. You do not want a cart that you worry will give up the ghost during a golf round. Your junior has more important things to worry about than whether the cart is robust enough to get from the first tee to the 18th green. The frame must be sturdy to handle all terrains with maintenance free tires. A cart also needs to be sturdy enough to stand up to a lot of folding, dropping and possibly air travel. The best golf push cart should last your junior for many happy seasons.
Being organized is very helpful on the golf course for a junior golfer. The best golf push carts will have good storage facilities that are quickly and easily accessible.
The golf push cart should be light enough to not strain pushing it, but not be flimsy and liable to tilt over if it hits a rock or hole. It must be sturdy enough to carry a bag of clubs with ease over all terrains. Most of the best golf push carts have large wheels that make navigation easier and a strong, rugged handle that makes pushing more efficient.
Ease of Folding
Folding some golf push carts can be a bit intimidating and unnecessarily complicated, others can be a breeze. The best golf push carts will fold easily and fit easily into your car's trunk or in a air travel bag.
A golf push cart that comes with a seat is nice to have in the hot summer months, but adds weight and is less compact even though the seat removes for folding. An umbrella holder is highly recommended (for both rainy days and hot sunny days) and the best golf push carts all have them.
A cup holder is also helpful for easy access to water bottles and sports drinks. A good braking system is essential - your junior doesn't want his or her clubs disappearing down a slope while trying to execute a difficult downhill lie shot. Or any time for that matter.
A great tip for junior bags that are too small for a regular size push cart is to place a light-weight plastic ball or foam block under the bag to make it fit like an adult size bag would. Plastic balls can be purchased at any toy shop, Target, Walmart, Dollar Store etc. for just a few dollars. Foam blocks can often be found in big box packaging or something like a yoga block also works well. A bungee cord will help secure the ball/block to the bag.