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|The Sun Mountain Micro Cart extends to fit golfers of any height. (Courtesy of Sun Mountain)|
For those golfers who like to walk but are starting to find the weight of their fully-laden golf bags to be increasingly burdensome (due to age or the lengthening of courses or both), consider checking out the Sun Mountain Micro Cart ($200).
This little beauty is possibly the smallest, most feature-packed push/pull cart on the market today. Best of all, it is so well designed that it makes the use of a "trolley" (as the Brits call them) feel almost cool, and certainly more practical than lugging a 40-pound bag around on your shoulders for 18 holes.
If you've ever seen the Transformers movies or cartoons, you'll be able to picture the way the Sun Mountain Micro Cart folds and unfolds. It's really quite an engineering feat.
When folded, the Micro measures just 24.5" x 16" x 12" and weighs just 13lbs. In just two simple steps, it unfolds into a four-wheel cart with an adjustable-height handle. Your bag is held in place by a bottom brace and two side-brackets, all of which also fold out. And your competitors are vaporized by lasers that shoot out of the aluminum frame.
Just kidding. (But wouldn't that be awesome?)
It is in the adjustable handle that the true genius resides. First, there's a padded valuables compartment with a magnetic latch. It's water-tight and large enough for a number of cigars, cutter and lighter, with lots of room to spare. (Some of you might even store a cell phone in there ... and you deserve to be vaporized.) On top of this compartment is a seriously powerful magnetic score card holder, which is surrounded by pencil/tee holes.
Also on the handle is a drink holder and what I found to be a very clever gizmo: a screw-in umbrella holder. On the side of the handle is a snap-out tube with grooves on the bottom that fits into the top-center of the handle. As long as it's not too windy, the grip of your golf umbrella just sits inside this tube, and as long as you're shorter than, say, 6'2" or 6'3", you can just walk along underneath the umbrella while pushing your cart without having to hunch over.
This is an incredibly easy to use, easy to store push cart. I've never been a fan of those tippy-little 3-wheel carts, but the Micro Cart is completely stable. In testing over 36 holes on the relatively hilly Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet, Illinois, it never even came close to toppling over.
The only aspect that could be improved, as far as I can see, is the umbrella holder. There could be some sort of locking mechanism to ensure that the umbrella doesn't blow out on a breezy day. However, if your "brolly" has a string or strap on it, you can rig an anchor pretty easily.
Stand bags are sometimes shaped and/or balanced differently than cart bags, often resulting in their shifting or rotating while bouncing around on push carts. To solve this minor irritation, there's the brand new Sun Mountain MCB bag ($180), an ideal match for the Micro Cart whether you walk with a cart or ride for most of your rounds.
The MCB features more specialized pockets and accouterments than any bag in recent memory. There's a range-finder pocket, two pen holders, a fleece-lined valuables pocket, an insulated cooler pocket, two large clothing pockets with ergonomic curved zippers, a clip-on ball-marker device for drawing straight putting lines on your balls, full-length dividers to protect club grips, and handles molded right into the top of the bag to make lifting on and off carts (both the push and motorized varieties) as easy as possible.
In short, the Micro Cart and the MCB bag is a winning combination. For those of us who love to walk but are less and less keen on carrying our bags for 18 holes, Sun Mountain has provided a stylish, functional and, yes, even cool alternative.
For more information, visit www.sunmountain.com.
November 24, 2009
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.
One writer who travels more than nearly anyone I know said his Sun Mountain's Club Glider Meridian Golf Travel Bag was a "game changer." He said he'd never travel again without it. After this jaunt to Northern Ireland, I have to agree.
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