I firmly believe golf was intended to be played while walking. Certain topographies simply are not conducive to hoofing it, however, and there are plenty of brilliant courses built in these areas. But I would not want to play these courses every day.
I enjoy walking, despite the fact that, at 50 years old, 18 holes up and down the modest hills of my home course wears me out a bit. It's great exercise, and, frankly, my compadres and I play faster walking than 90 percent of golfers who drive motorized carts.
Nevertheless, my balky lower back doesn't allow me to carry my clubs anymore, especially when my bag is laden with the dozens of contraptions I test each year. So a good push-cart is critical to my enjoyment of the game, and as important to my play as any club in my bag.
The BIG MAX Autofold FF cart ($300) is the newest offering from the largest golf cart (trolley) company in Europe, and it is one clever and classy push-cart. It folds up flatter, and unfolds more spaciously, than any push-cart I have ever used.
Playing with the BIG MAX Autofold FF push-cart
The FF in the BIG MAX Autofold FF name stands for "fold flat," and it is ideal for golfers who don't like fiddling with a bunch of levers and buttons to get their carts folded and unfolded. There's one lever for the handle, and one simple tug with the hand, and all three large wheels fold out and into position. At the end of your round, put the handle down and lift the front of the cart, and all three wheels fold up flat automatically.
Aside from the engineering marvel that is the folding mechanism, the Autofold FF features two clips for the drink holder, one on each side, as well as two spots for the umbrella/GPS. So you can arrange your various accouterments to suit your handedness preferences. Best of all, the console in the well-padded handle has an expanding mesh bottom with plenty of room for valuables, extra balls, gum, snacks, cigars, etc. This is a huge improvement on the relatively narrow and shallow console in the company's Z360 push-cart.
BIG MAX Autofold FF: The verdict
The Autofold FF is a brilliantly designed and luxurious push-cart. The handle extends far away from the top of your bag, and your clubs, so that you have full access to all your sticks with plenty of room to get to your scorecard and the contents of that great console compartment.
The FF is perhaps a bit heavy, but it pushes and maneuvers very easily on its big wheels. And of course, it folds so flat that it fits easily into just about any trunk or back seat.
The price point is high -- several of my walking playing partners said they'd give one serious consideration if it were less than $200, but not at $300. On the other hand, if you play often at a course with cart fees of $10 or more, and walk instead of ride, the FF would pay for itself by the end of the season -- not counting the physical and mental health benefits of all those miles walked.
For more information, visit: www.bigmaxusa.com.