Comparative scoring for push carts is calculated based on ten measured characteristics that fall under two general headings: Portability and Playability. Totals for each cart were then determined and the carts ranked on an overall 100 point scale to determine the Golf's Most Wanted Push Cart.
Here are the details of how each category is assessed and scored.
For a push cart to be an effective tool for the golfer, it must meet the golfer's needs going to and from the course as well as on the course. While some may have the option of leaving their bag, and cart in a locker at their club, many golfers must transport the cart along with their bag. As such, Portability, is a key push cart component. To measure portability, we assessed the following three features.
Weight: The weight of each cart was measured directly using a digital spring scale. Carts were then ranked, and scored on a ten point scale from lightest to heaviest.
Folded Volume: Measurements were taken to the furthest protrusion in length, width, and height directions. Carts were then sorted by volume, and scored on a ten-point scale based upon their relationship to the smallest volume cart.
Folding Ease: The steps to unfold a cart to "play-ready" configuration were identified for each cart. Carts were then ranked from fewest to most steps, and that ranking was then translated into the ten-point scale for the category.
For a push cart to be Golf's Most Wanted, it must perform on the golf course. Golfers want a cart that is easy to push, holds their bag securely, stays put when the brake is on, and has enough storage to hold their gear during play. We tested these features and more. Here is how we scored the various Playability components.
Console: Features for each cart's console were tallied and ranked based upon abundance and access. We recorded the number of ball holders, tee holders, cup holders, scorecard holders, and yes, pencil holders. Consoles were also scored for storage volume and ease of access. If a cart had additional storage, like a cargo net or additional cargo bag, those features were also part of the console score. Carts were ranked, and then the ranking converted to the ten-point scoring system.
Bag Fit: Both cart and carry bags were used to assess the fit of golf bags into the different carts. For the cart bag, we used the Wilson Staff Ionix cart bag. The carry bag used was the PING Hoofer. Carts were scored based upon how secure the bag remained while traveling the terrain one would encounter during play. Points were deducted if the bag twisted, or slipped from the straps.
Straps: Straps were assessed based upon ease of adjustment and range of adjustment. How well the straps secured the bad was also assessed using the digital spring scale.
Adjustability: The various carts were assessed for their levels of adjustability. Typical adjustable features included console position/height, front wheel alignment (tracking adjustment), axle width, and handle position. Carts were ranked from the most adjustable to the least adjustable, and then the ranking converted to the ten-point scoring system.
Brake Strength: The force to overcome the brake was assessed in the same way as the force to start rolling. The difference was that this time the force was measured with the brake engaged. If necessary, carts were rolled until the brake engaged prior to measurements being taken.
Stability: The stability score is based upon two measured components. For these measurements, carts were again equipped with the fully loaded Wilson Staff Ionix cart bag. Lateral stability was measured by recording the force needed to tip the cart sideways such that the rear wheel would lift off of the ground. The spring scale was anchored to the bag at the same position each time, with the force then applied at 90° to the bag.
The second stability measurement was recorded by hooking the digital scale to the handle and pulling straight down. Each cart was assessed for how much force was needed to lift the front wheel off the ground.
Maneuverability: Cart maneuverability was scored based upon how well the cart performed over our test course. For this test, the carts were fitted with the Wilson Staff Ionix bag, containing a full set of fourteen clubs, a rangefinder, a dozen balls, two gloves, a towel, and a bag of tees and markers. Push handles were adjusted to the same height relative to the tester (i.e. navel height). Carts were assessed for ease of roll over various terrains and topographies. Points were deducted when a cart had difficulties turning, lost traction, or started to tip on slopes.