One of the many side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the golfing community has been the huge increase in demand for golf trolleys in countries where most golfers previously relied on a buggy to transport themselves and their clubs around the course.
The new era of social distancing, with buggies no longer being able to be shared by non-family members, has led to a significant increase in sales of push trolleys across the United States as golfers are forced to move from four wheels to two feet and find ways of avoiding having to carry a heavy cart bag around the course.
Golf trolley brand Big Max, which is one of the most popular push trolley brands in Europe, has been overwhelmed by the increase in demand for its products in the US, including its award-winning Blade IP and Ti1000 three-wheeled model, with sales targets for the entire year reached in just a matter of weeks.
Rick Oldach, chief executive of BIG MAX USA, said: “As golf courses have re-opened across the US, we’ve implemented all of the same safety precautions as our European counterparts. We’ve got raised cups, no rakes, no touching the flag, online bookings, all of the sensible procedures designed to minimise the risk of passing infection. But while these are significant changes, the biggest culture shock for many Americans is having to walk the course.
“It’s been such a counterintuitive situation to be in. We’ve watched the entire golf industry grind to a halt around us, while we’ve been caught in this frenzy of demand. BIG MAX USA saw our year-on-year sales go up by over 1200% in April, with visits to our website increasing 800% from March. We reached our entire 2020 target for push carts in six weeks.
“It’s reached the stage where there isn’t any push cart inventory for sale in the US. We are very lucky that because of our global presence, we have a solid manufacturing supply chain that has enabled us to increase production. We have shipments of push carts arriving each week over the next several weeks to help us satisfy the demand we are seeing. In our view, golfers will be walking and distancing for the foreseeable future, so we are grateful for the opportunity to help golfers get back in the game as quickly as possible.”
Whether it’s a change that will have a lasting effect on the landscape of the US game is yet to be seen, but from some quarters, this is an opportunity to be grasped with both hands.
Oldach added: “Studies have shown that on average, you walk 69% further than the scorecard yardage in a single round of golf and that you burn the same calories using a push cart as you do carrying your bag, so new walkers will certainly feel the immediate health benefits. But more than that, golfers that typically ride in a buggy will experience the joy and camaraderie and wonderful pace of play that walking alongside your playing partners brings to the game – keeping proper social distancing of course. I think this new experience will take many by surprise and hope that it will continue long after we’re through this period.”