Welcome to my latest blog instalment for your reading delight. I am really excited about this as it's my first product review on the new and revamped Three Off The Tee site. I hope you have enjoyed my offerings to date and make sure you take the time to read a few of them. I particularly recommend The Generation Game (link here) Why I Need My Golf - And I Need It Now (link here) Touching The Zeitgeist - And A Massive Thank You (read it here) - We're Back..And It Feels So Good (read it here) and finally, A Conundrum And I Need Your Advice (link here). I'd also be grateful if you care share the blog link (https://www.three-off-the-tee.com/blog) with all your golfing friends. The more people following the site and reading the posts, the more different and interesting things I will be getting involved in and potentially the more opportunities I can start to offer you.
RIght then, with all that said, lets get on to the meat of review. If you have read my previous blog incarnation (https://threeoffthetee.blogspot.com/) and especially if you have seen my Youtube channel reviews (all of the product review videos here) you'll know there have been a fair few over the years.
Let me start this one with the boring stuff that needs saying. I am not affiliated to Go Kart. I have not received payment or any other form of remuneration for this review. Go Kart have had no input into my thoughts or ratings and it is a totally independent and unbiased review (as all of my product reviews are). Right then lets crack on.
Go Kart Golf are an English company based in Kent who have manufacturing golf trolleys for over thirty years. They have a reputation some of the best customer service in golf and offer two main golf trolleys as well as a range of accessories and spare parts. The original (or Mark I) has a neat roller ball device on the handle that controls speed and comes with lead acid or lithium battery options for eighteen or thirty six holes. It also comes in three colour options (black, green, red).
It is however the newer model, or Mark II that I am interested in and the one that I have been using. So what is different. Like the original version it is made with strong thermoplastic polymers with glass reinforcements in part to add critical strength. The Mark II has refined styling from the original but has remained traditional to the company's original blueprint and values. It definitely doesn't look like any other trolley. The design can split opinion and it probably won't win any beauty prizes (in my humble opinion) but it is sturdy, functional and does the job it was designed to do. The Mark II retains the synchronised folding frame but now has a new auto lock. The new lithium battery simply slots into the frame and it can be transported in situ. The lithium battery now has an in built charge indicator.
The weight distribution has been redesigned. This is a big improvement. I had a Mark I and there were issues on hilly courses and travelling on side slopes. The new design is much more stable on hilly ground and uneven surfaces and with a cart bag in place definitely feels more robust and balanced. There is also a new motor and transmission which Go Kart claim make it one of the quietest trolleys out there.
Arguable the most innovative feature has to be the unique, patented control system. There are no buttons, rollers or knobs to manually adjust the speed. You simply hold the handle and walk. As you push or pull on the hand grip, the trolley will automatically adjust the motor speed to match your pace. You can let go of the handle while you’re walking and the Go Kart will continue running at the same speed.
If you are familiar with my previous product reviews you'll know that my reviews conclude with the product being marked (out of ten) in a number of different categories. Why change what works so lets give the Go Kart Mark II some consideration.
Looks: As I touched upon earlier the look of both models of the Go Kart is capable of splitting opinion regarding its looks. Go Kart are fiercely proud of the design (rightly so). The frame is actually dark grey, although many think its black. In my opinion there are better looking golf trolleys out there (right I've said it!!) and it won't win any beauty contests but the changes to the shape have made a difference. It is there to move your clubs around so you can argue you want functionality over style. You have the option to order your battery in three colour options and the wheels will have the same colouring to their trims to complement the battery which is a nice touch. 7.5 out of 10
Size (Boot Test): Let me start by giving you the dimensions and spec taken from Go Kart website:
Weight: Trolley 9.8Kg, 18 hole lead/acid battery 6.5Kg, 18 hole lithium battery 2.1Kg, 36 hole lithium battery 2.8Kg
Dimensions: Folded size; 66 x 60 x 29 cms Unfolded size; 99 x 60 cms (handle height x width across the drive wheels)
Lead/acid Battery: Rechargeable 12V lead/acid. Sealed and non-spillable, valve regulated and maintenance free. 18 hole battery 20Ah. Exempt from hazardous goods regulations relating to transportation by any means, including by air.
Lithium battery: Rechargeable 12V LiFePO4 lithium. 18 hole; 14Ah, 36 hole 22Ah. Integrated microprocessor controlled cell management and safety system.
Charger: Three stage timer charger. Input voltage AC100-240V/50/60Hz, Output voltage 14.5V in charge mode, 13.5V in standby mode, output current max 3A
Motor and motor controller: 12V permanent magnet DC motor, 230W output. Microprocessor driven engine management system, with integrated overload and safety cut out.
While the Go Kart Mark II may not be the smallest, and there a lighter models out there (Motocaddy S1 comes in at 9kg) it is not overly bulky. I have a Ford Eco Sport and while the Go Kart fits in nicely it is a tight squeeze so I tend to remove a wheel to get the boot door shut safely without damaging it or the trolley. That said, I had to do the same with Motocaddy M1 so it isn't necessarily a game changer. The wheel slides on and off easily. It is also very simple to put up and down. 8 out of 10
Price: So for many we're getting down to the nitty gritty and one where Go Kart come out favourably against many of the other recognised main brands in this competitive market. The Mark II with an eighteen hole lithium battery (and charger) comes in at an impressive £429. Compare that to a Motocaddy S1 at £549 and M1 at £599 (from the Motocaddy website). The Go Kart Mark II comes with a two year warranty (although check the website for full details). 9 out of 10
Durability: I have to come out and say I have owned Go Karts previously, both a Mark I and a Mark II with a lead acid battery option. In both cases I had no issues regarding durability (although the Mark II did have a problem with the battery connection after tipping sideways off a side hill at Chigwell Golf Club). I now have a new Mark II again and it is still relatively new (only a handful of rounds in) and so there haven't been any issues. I had no problems charging the old battery (lead acid) and the new lithium version is very quick and simple to get back to a full load. I am certain the new shape of the Mark II and the changes to improve stability will add to the durability. 8.5 out of 10
Automatic Speed Control: Arguably the main selling point of the Go Kart Mark II does the new speed control deliver? This is what Go Kart say on their website:
Automatic speed control. With our unique system, the Go Kart will automatically adjust the speed of the trolley to match your walking pace. To operate this, you just have to hold the handle and walk. As you push or pull on the handgrip, the trolley will detect your movement and operate the motor automatically. Once the trolley is moving at your speed, you can let go of the handle and the Go Kart will continue running at the same speed, until you hold the handle again to stop or change speed.
So is it hype and marketing spiel or is it an effective piece of design and technology. If I am being honest a little from column A and a little from column B. It definitely a clever piece of design and from my time out on the course with the Mark II it definitely works. Turn the power switch on (Go Kart recommend turning it off when the trolley is at a standstill) hold the handle and walk. If will fall in line with your pace. Now does that make it nay better than simply turning a speed dial on another model? Probably not but it is noticeable how much easier it is to control the pace when going uphill or down an incline so from that perspective I like it. 8 out of 10
Customer Service: Nobody likes things to go wrong but sometimes they do. I had issues with a damaged battery connection (as a result of my Chigwell incident). Go Kart were brilliant and arrange collection, took it away, rectified the issue and gave me a clear price for the work. It was out of warranty but they were excellent. I know Go Kart have always prided themselves on their customer service and I think it has always been exemplary. They even offer a 28 day money back guarantee should you buy a Mark II and decide it isn't the trolley for you. 9 out of 10
Overall: So now we come to the final judgement. As I said at the start this is a completely impartial review with no input from Go Kart and no payment or remuneration taking place. So what do I think? I am going to say that despite the looks, I really like the design changes and also the fact it is made from thermoplastic polymers. Simple, efficient and effective. Qualities that definitely tick a lot of boxes for me as does the price.
There are some negatives. The look (you can't get away from the unique look but it is a real marmite design) and perhaps the size and weight could be better. That said for something that simply moves clubs around the course once it is up and doing its job it isn't a problem. Whether the new speed control does much more than adjusting the speed via the original roller will inevitably be a customer driven choice.
I think when you add in an efficient customer service, including a reasonable delivery time then there is a lot going for the Mark II. Given the myriad of choices in a really competitive market I think Go Kart have been brave in their concepts and branding and it has paid off. The trolley is definitely quiet on the course, very simple to put up and down and does the job it was designed for. Overall mark 8.5 out of 10
Thank you for joining me for this product review. Hopefully the first of many. I have tried to be impartial and give an honest and accurate assessment so if you are in the market for a new trolley you can definitely do a lot worse than look at the Mark II. As always I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts and I'd be grateful if you could share this blog as much as you can. If you have an opinion on this review and the Go Kart Mark II leave a comment on here or on my social media (links on the home page).
The more views these blogs get (the same with the Youtube channel views and particularly subscribers) the more opportunities I will have to test new and different products and hopefully can cascade some of this gear to you to reward your loyalty in reading the blogs and watching the videos.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and that you are out and about and playing some good golf. A little frustrating that for a few more weeks in the UK restrictions remain in place but at least we are out playing. I'll see you for another blog soon. Thanks for reading