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Archive for March, 2012

Bag Boy Navigator Elite

The top-of-the-line electronic golf cart from Bag Boy, the Navigator Elite features a color interactive screen that displays battery charge status, distance traveled, time, service and maintenance sensors. The Navigator Elite has a full directional remote (forward, left, right, reverse, and speed controls), padded seat with storage compartment (take a load off!), adjustable handle, and a 360 degree swiveling front wheel, with suspension, no less. There is a 4th wheel to added stability, and a gyroscope navigation system to maintain a straight path on rough terrain, so go ahead…head off-road to look for your ball.

Bag Boy Navigator Elite

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The Navigator Elite’s 24 volt battery powers twin 200 watt motors, and the cart utilizes a two-step fold process to collapse the aluminum frame to 35″ x 24″ x 14″. Additional features include an adjustable handle to accommodate different player heights, a new lower profile and wider wheels versus the Navigator 2, and holders for sand/seed, refreshments (your call what kind), and an umbrella.

Retail price: $2,295.95 Check price now

FTR CaddyTrek CT2000BA

The CaddyTrek CT200BA (also simply known as the FTR CaddyTrek to some) is an automated electric golf cart from FTR Systems that faithfully follows 2-3 yards behind you as you walk in “follow” mode. While the frame is waterproof, the control box is rain and sprinkler proof only. So while the CaddyTrek will work fine in light rain or drizzles, make sure not to lead it into the nearest pond (while you might want to throw the transceiver and clubs into the nearest pond in a fit of rage, the CaddyTrek will follow it right in, and that will be the end of that). If that is a concern, you can can also operate the cart in “remote” mode, where you can send the unit up to a range of 150 yards at a top speed of 4mph.

If you’re spouse claims you haven’t been hitting the gym enough, you’ll be able to reply that you have been doing 39 pound squats (with the lithium ion battery), or on off days, 33 pounds (if you take the battery and cart out of your vehicle separately. The 24 volt lithium ion battery lasts up to 27 holes, charges in 6 hours, and should be good for approximately 2 years (500 charges).

The cart is powered by 250 watt dual motors, with an adjustable push handle. There is a real-time battery charge indicator on both the battery and the handset. The aluminum frame collapses into a reasonable 23″ x 18″ x 12″, unfolded is 36″ x 34″ x 23″ and can support 44 pounds, which will be able to handle all but the most Rodney Dangerfieldesque golf bags. The cart is available in two colors for the shell – Black and Candy Apple Red. There is a 1 year warranty on parts and labor.

For more details, check out the variety of CaddyTrek videos.

FTR CaddyTrek Electric Golf Cart

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Retail price: $1,495.00 Check price now

Irons Get Longer and Longer

We’ve referenced the change in iron lofts over time as one reason you can’t head to the mat to test prospective new clubs for your bag without having a bit more information. Nike provides a great example of this with their latest line of irons, the VR_S Forged.

The Nike VR_S Forged 7-iron has a loft of 31 degrees. Doesn’t mean anything to you? To most players, it won’t (who has the lofts of their clubs memorized?). Let’s compare the this to the Nike VR Pro Blades 7-iron, which has 35 degrees of loft. To get 31 degrees of loft in the VR Pro, pull the 6-iron. You can see where we are going with this…

Two different models (from the same manufacturer even) with a full club of difference in loft. What this means is that you shouldn’t be blindly smitten when you stack up the two head to head and find that the VR_S 7-iron has an additional 15 yards on other 7-irons you’re testing (we aren’t just comparing these two Nike models, we are talking generally here). Given the relative lofts, that can make sense.

So before you pick your next set of irons based on which set you hit the furthest (we aren’t saying that is how you are supposed to decide, we leave that one up to you), make sure to check the club specs to ensure you are comparing apples to apples as best you can. There are a number of factors that will impact distances, and a 4 degree difference in loft is absolutely one of them. For those that are willing to spend a bit to get professionally fit, any decent custom golf club fitter should have all clubs specs at hand.

To highlight the change in decreasing loft over time, check out this table from Tom Wishon‘s book, The NEW Search for the Perfect Golf Club.

Table 1. The Dreaded Vanishing Loft Disease

Club 1960s-70s 1980s 1990s-00s 2010+
1-iron 17 17 16 NA
2-iron 20 20 18 NA
3-iron 24 23 21 18-21
4-iron 28 26 24 22-24
5-iron 32 30 27 24-27
6-iron 36 34 31 27-31
7-iron 40 38 35 31-35
8-iron 44 42 39 35-40
9-iron 48 46 43 40-44
PW 52 50 48 44-48
GW N/A N/A 52 48-52
SW 56 56 56 54-56

Anyone else in favor of simply getting rid of club numbers and putting lofts on them, ala Ryan Moore’s Scratch irons from years ago?