REVIEW: Alphard Golf's Club Booster eWheels
Playing golf and walking 18 holes is a great feeling. While I know not every golfer’s health allows them to do this it really is the best way to play the game. If you have the resources having a caddie is a great option, but for most of us we either need to lug the bag around on our back or use a push cart. I’m a huge fan of a push cart for walking. The 3-wheel push cart was one of the greatest inventions for an enjoyable walk. Alphard Golf’s Club Booster eWheels just took that to another level. It truly is the next the greatest thing invented for the walking golfer.
When I lived in MN, I walked 95% of my rounds and used a power cart for 5%. Here in AZ it is kind of reversed, 5% walking and 95% power cart. I wish I could change that percentage, but between the course layouts and the heat, I probably can’t even reach a 50/50 mark anytime soon. I was still able to get a couple rounds in with the Club Booster eWheels on a couple courses that are walkable. If you use a push cart, these eWheels are one of the most enjoyable investments you can make in your golf game.
My demo unit from Alphard Golf was the Club Booster eWheels and a Rovic RV1S. This way I didn’t need to take my Clicgear cart apart for the review. One of the nice things about the Rovic RV1S is that the front wheel swivels which makes steering easier and more responsive than with a fixed front wheel. One of the features that makes the Club Booster eWheels so great is that they can fit on virtually any push cart. When you purchase them, they ask for the cart you plan on using that way they send you the appropriate brackets for the back wheels. If you decide to change push carts at a later date, you can order different brackets from Alphard. (You can also reinstall your old wheels back on the cart anytime you want) This “universal” fit system makes them usable for just about anyone that has a push cart. The brackets look easy to install and the eWheels have a sliding rear axle for the appropriate width on any cart. The Club Booster attached very easily to the cart with 2 latches that have a “D” shape to make sure it aligns properly every time.
The Club Booster eWheels have a simple on/off push button with an LED light ring so you know the battery level. Mine came fully charged right out of the box, so I was able to test it and take it to the course the same day. The unit weighs 23lbs so the carry strap handles the weight easily from trunk to ground. It’s actually less than my bag with clubs and accessories in it. The folding cart, golf bag and eWheel take up a chunk of your trunk, about an extra 1/3 of the space you had before. The Club Booster is controlled by a fairly straight forward remote. There is a magnetic clamp to attach it on the handlebar of your push cart or a belt clip holder to wear the remote. While all of this is very simple and straight forward, the learning curve on driving the cart takes a little time.
I assembled the Club Booster eWheels onto the Rovic RV1S cart at home to test it out and found the basic controls easy enough to figure out, but learning ideal speed, steering and stopping takes a little time. When you hit the “Go” button it goes and doesn’t Stop until you tell it to. It also has a back button which will slow it down, even to the point of going in reverse. This makes sense for walking and playing, but sometimes you forget that it just keeps going all by itself so it takes a watchful eye not to crash into someone or something. Steering is basically a “skid-steering” style as one wheel turns faster or slower than the other to change directions. You can actually just make it spin in place, which also takes some learning, but is super useful in tight spaces. It also has cruise control for the pace you set, or you can just keep pushing the Go button to make it go faster. It will outpace your fastest walk. If you feel uncomfortable steering it over a bridge or near people, you can just push it like a normal push cart if you put it in neutral. It “automatically” brakes when it stops so that you don’t have to worry about it running away.
After the first few holes with the Club Booster eWheels I felt comfortable driving it all over the course from shot to shot. I started to forget about the novelty of it and started enjoying my round with less effort to push my clubs around. It’s like having a caddie, except this one you use a remote control. I got 18 holes easily out of a full charge. The battery was at about 1/2 power when I was done. It isn’t rated to do a full 36 on one charge. I would probably plug it in quick between rounds if I was attempting 36 in one day. I was impressed by the consistent power and function for all 18 holes. The remote obviously has much longer battery life and worked from a solid 50-75 yards away. I could drive the cart ahead or bring it up from behind with ease. I didn’t run into any connection problems during my rounds. It also has 3 distance buttons for 15, 30 or 60 yards auto distance. This can be used to track the distance you hit your shots.
The Club Booster eWheels have some pretty good torque at take off. I never had a wheelie problem while driving my cart normally, but I did have a hill that caused my bag to fall backwards. To be fair I was testing its ability to know what the cart and eWheels could and couldn’t do. I did see that Alphard sells wheelie bars that can be attached so that your cart won’t flip over backwards. While it only happened once to me and it was purely my fault, I might still consider this investment for the safety of my clubs.
The Club Booster eWheels are one of my favorite products I’ve ever reviewed. If I walked more I would buy them in a heartbeat. Since I rarely walk while golfing in AZ, they’d sit around too much without use, but if I was back in MN I’d snatch these up at their retail price of $599 immediately. It really makes the walk even better. I know some purists believe in carrying your clubs only, but if I want a work out, I go to the gym. I want to play the best golf I can on the course and using Club Booster eWheels will help me do that. Be prepared that potentially your first round or two you might be distracted by the eWheels, but once it becomes second nature, they will really make your rounds even more enjoyable and less strenuous on your body. These really are the greatest golf invention for walking since the 3-wheel push cart.
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