The other day I was out at the muni, squeezing in a quick nine holes at lunch, and was paired with two other singles.
Two of us had push carts and the third decided to rent a golf cart. Due to heavy overnight rain the course was cart path-only, and by the time we were in the first fairway my fellow pusher and I already felt sorry for the poor sap. We chatted it up a little as we waited for him to park and scurry across the fairway to his ball and scurry back (a recurring theme during the day). I mentioned I was writing a review of this new push cart and wondering if my days of carrying my clubs were coming to an end.
"I decided to get my push cart when I turned 40," he replies, adding he began to notice more back fatigue. I'm not quite to 40 yet, but why wait? There's a lot to love about Push Cart Life.
I got my hands on the new Bag Boy Auto-Open Nitron just in time for the spring golf season. I've always been a hoofer, taking pride in the schlep like many other young males in golf. Women don't seem to have such an aversion to push carts. I continue to learn as I age they're the smarter sex for a reason.
What appealed to me about the Nitron specifically is that it's extremely easy to open up and collapse into a small area. How it opens is quite slick: it uses a nitrogen-powered auto-assist function that expands and locks into place in seconds. Collapsing it is just as easy. (Idiot alert: the first time I tried to collapse it, I was looking for some sort of release button that would trigger the movement. For like 20 minutes. There is in fact no button, just grab the bottom handle and pull it together to collapse. Done.)
It takes up surprisingly little space when collapsed and tucked away (19" x 13.5" x 22"). That's nifty because with two small children filling up the house nowadays, closet supply is a hot commodity.
The other thing about small children: They wear you out, man. Physically and mentally. Suffice to say, I don't need to be the tough guy anymore with 15-20 pounds slung over my shoulders. Been there.
Back to the round. My fellow pusher and I chatted it up the whole time walking up and down the fairways. We were almost never in the vicinity to chat it up with our third over on the cart path. It also made me realize that you can speak a little easier while walking without a 15-pound-or-so bag slung over your shoulders. It's just a more civilized and congenial way to get around a golf course.
Here are some other qualities I particularly enjoy about the push cart experience:
Hydration: When you're carrying, you have to have a water bottle with a sealable top. Not so with the Nitron, which has a cupholder. My 32 oz. Yeti mug fits perfectly in it. It's ideal for coffee or a bluetooth speaker. There are two storage areas up by the handle as well, which is where can put keys or snacks or a rangefinder.
Cooler: Come summer time, carrying will make your back sweat a lot more. With a push cart you can stay cooler and drier.
Fresher: Your body does feel fresher after 18 holes compared to carrying, not just in your back and shoulders but your feet, too. Personally, I have a tendency to have bad posture in my golf swing, and back fatigue is a culprit of that.
Negatives about push carts?
I am so used to walking wherever I want. Over ropes, through high grasses, across greens, that I do find myself momentarily annoyed when I have to take even the smallest detour. It's a slightly different rhythm to the round.
On hillier courses, you may find you prefer carry bags up and down slopes instead of pushing (or braking down steep slopes).
Not all courses allow walking and some that do don't allow pull or push carts. It is one of the more mind-boggling rules in a sport full of them.
Make sure you put the parking brake on. I didn't once, and a gust of wind caused it to take my leashed up dog for a walk straight towards a pond.
If you play a wet course, you'll probably want to clean the wheels off a little bit before putting it in your car.
Should I become a Push Cart Guy? Swept some dew over nine holes this AM while trying out the new Bag Boy Nitron.— Brandon Tucker (@BrandonTucker) April 9, 2019
Some things are better with a push cart over hoofing. Like a coffee holder, for example.
Carrying might be a little faster. pic.twitter.com/G6JALGHE2a
The Nitron's MSRP is $249.99 (Global Golf currently has it for $229), so it's about the cost of a new fairway metal. But not only will you save on cart fees at the course, you'll still get in all your steps. I can get about 15,000 steps over 18 holes at my 6,000-yard muni. And the Nitron is a simple design that should hold up for quite some time.
For 2019, I'm all in on Push Cart Life, and look forward to joining my fellow pushers out there.