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I try to keep up with trends in the golf industry to see which products interest me and rate them for the site. Over the past 5+ years, I've noticed the technological advancements in the electric cart (aka electric caddies) space. Years ago, I saw the early adopters driving huge tanks around the golf course that cost thousands of dollars, had poor battery life and were an eyesore. Elegantly designed carts now have much better features, longer battery life and do not cost exorbitant amounts.
The promise of electric caddies
As golf course walking is more popular in regions such as the UK and Australia, manufacturers such as Motocaddy, MGI and Stewart have had many successes in those markets. But you rarely saw them in the United States. However, I noticed that in 2020, and even more so in 2021, these products are appearing everywhere I go.
I feel we are at a turning point and demand is starting to increase. There's no doubt that the restrictions placed on golf courses last year during the onset of the Covid outbreak boosted demand, but I think in addition, walking habits are starting to change.
I'm all for it because I believe every golfer should walk the course if they can. I believe it is a much better experience, and the practice is hugely beneficial. For many golfers, the assistance of motorized carts can make that experience smoother and less physically demanding (especially for courses with more challenging terrains).
Perhaps my best litmus test for any product category is that I really wanted to try out some of the models. For years I've used normal handcarts and wondered how much better it would be to walk the trail if I had a completely hands-free experience, akin to taking a caddy.
So for the past two months I've been testing what many believe to be the industry-leading electric caddy, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE. I quickly fell in love with this product and the hands-free experience it gave me on the golf course. Not sure if I can ever go back! Interestingly enough, I got a lot of questions from golfers who saw me on the course with it. It seemed as if many of them had thought of electric caddies and done some research of their own.
In this review, I'll go over the key features of the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE and try to help you decide if it's worth your significant investment – $1,499. In the past seven years I have tested many products; this is really one of my favorites.
Setting up the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE
One thing people should know is that the Motocaddy M7 isn't exactly light. It weighs over 30 pounds with the battery attached, so it's something to watch out for when getting it in and out of your car. It's also on the larger side, so depending on your case, you may or may not have enough room for your golf bag and the M7. It has a feature that allows the larger wheels to be folded to make it more compact.
Opening and closing the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a piece of cake. You need to lock and unlock two handles, but it takes less than 30 seconds to get it ready for your golf bag.
I appreciated the large base at the bottom for different types of bags. I have a Jones Sports Utility bag and had no trouble attaching it to the base and the two adjustable bag supports. I've found that with other pushcarts and electric caddies, especially with stand bags, they don't fit well, and they're tricky to secure. Certainly not the case (at least for my bag).
Motocaddy has its own modular bag system called EASILOCK™. It locks the lower part of their own bag into the base unit and only requires securing the top support strap. I wouldn't say it's necessary to have their bag, but it's a nice feature.
Other than unfolding the M7, securing your bag and connecting the battery, you don't need to do much else to get started. It's a seamless process and was even faster for me than my Clicgear 3.5 pushcart.
In a tournament I played, I found out that the weight distribution in your bag can affect performance. Rain was imminent, so I tucked all kinds of rain gear and extra gloves into one side of my bag. Because the weight was so skewed, it steered the M7 slightly in one direction, which they warn about in the manual. So if you plan on packing tons of water, snacks, and other items, try to make sure it's evenly distributed on both sides as much as possible.
The only feature I missed in my Clicgear 3.5 pushcart was extra storage space. The Motocaddy M7 REMOTE does not come with storage pockets or nets. It has the ability to attach cup holders and a few other accessories, but I imagine someone could get creative by clipping on a mesh bag or similar for quick access. But for the most part it wasn't too difficult to access my golf bag storage.
Operate with remote control
I would say I was controlling the Motocaddy M7 via remote control about 90% of the time. Although it took some getting used to, I found it became a "passive" part of my lap and took advantage of the freedom of walking I was looking for. It was great!
The remote is quite easy to use and quite responsive to the steering directions you give it. The range is also exceptional. On certain holes on my course I chose to leave the cart between the holes and could easily move it up to 100 yards away without any problems.
Here are some videos I shot of the M7 in action, showing how nimble it is when using the remote:
At first I was a little extra careful about how long I would watch the caddy drive as I steered it toward the next tee box as I approached the green. Tightening up to a suitable speed took some trial and error (usually I set it to a 4 or 5). There are nine speeds, so no matter how fast or slow you go on the track, you'll be able to find a track that works for you. Plus, I tested it on different hills and slopes and started learning what it could and couldn't handle. However, I found that even if I went downhill a little too fast, the M7 automatically adjusted its speed to ensure it wouldn't tip over.
After a few rounds I built the remote control into my routine. For example, on approach shots, I had a habit of snapping the remote onto the cart (very easy to do) as I approached my bag. As I walked toward the green, I used the remote to park it in a convenient spot, hit the lock button, and clip it into my back pocket.
The only minor complaint I have is that the lock button could be a little bigger; sometimes I wasn't sure if I had it on or not and had to check the color of the light (red or green) to see if the M7 was locked, which would prevent accidental driving.
In general, after about four to five laps, I almost always felt comfortable using the remote. Walking around the track hands-free was great and allowed me to participate in my lap with a little more freedom.
More importantly, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a bit of a tank. One of the concerns I had on my trail, which is extremely hilly, is that it would tip over. Whether riding uphill, downhill or sideways on a slope, I never felt like I was out of control with the M7. The anti-tip wheel on the back will prevent the M7 from falling backwards, but to be honest I've never been in a situation where it was once very busy.
This does take some skill to know what speeds it can handle, but I'd say its greatest strength is its sturdiness compared to another model I've tested.
Working with manual control
One of the great features of the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is that you can switch seamlessly from using the remote to manual mode. There is a small dial on the top of the cart that you can press to start or stop the cart and turn it to change your speed. Once you engage the manual controls, you can steer the cart as you would a normal pushcart, but without using any force to keep it moving.
Some golfers may use manual mode more than I do, but I found that I would only use it when working on more extreme terrains or navigating a curb or other obstacle. Either way, you'll quickly get used to switching between the remote and manual mode, as the design is very intuitive.
The battery is exceptional
The Motocaddy M7 requires charging a lithium battery (as well as the remote control). The battery itself is easy to connect, neatly designed and shuts down quite quickly when not in use. When you take it out of your car, plug it in and remove it once your round is over. Another nice feature is that the battery has an IP66 rating, so it can withstand heavier rain.
What worried me most was that I would be on the track and the battery would run out. Moving the M7 without the engine running is a bit tedious. The remaining battery life is clearly displayed on the LCD screen. There is also an additional USB port that can charge the remote control or other devices such as a phone.
During my testing, I ran three rounds of 18 holes that were about 4 hours each, and the battery was still 50% charged. I didn't want to test my luck any further, so I decided to charge at that point. Over time, you can probably expect the battery to lose its charge, like all lithium batteries. Still, Motocaddy recommends charging at the end of each lap to protect its longevity. You can charge or remove it quite easily with the battery connected to the cart (perhaps in your garage).
I chose to leave the M7 in my trunk and take the battery out to charge. Remembering to recharge the battery after your rounds is the only added downside to using a product like this, but like anything else, building it into your routine will be worth it.
Motocaddy M7 vs. MGI Zip Navigator
If you've done your research on electric caddies, you're probably hesitating between the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE and MGI Zip Navigator. That should come as no surprise, as both are priced the same ($1499) and have almost the exact same features.
Having used each model extensively, I can tell you that they are both exceptional products, and golfers will be happy with both. However, if I'm nitpicking, I'd prefer the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE over the MGI Zip Navigator for two main reasons:
The Motocaddy M7 is sturdier : I never tipped the MGI Zip Navigator over in my testing, but I noticed it was a bit more unstable on uneven terrain at higher speeds. The M7 appears to have a stronger base that is more resistant to tipping.
My bag is easier to attach: this may vary depending on the bag you use, but the base of the M7 was more suitable for my stand bag. I found that I had to readjust my bag several times per lap with the MGI Zip Navigator.
Should you buy an electric caddy?
As you can see, I am a complete convert at this point. I really feel that having an "electric caddy" makes walking the golf course more enjoyable. Walking without carrying a bag or pushing a cart is great. In addition, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE seems to be the best all-round product in the category for the price and features.
So I can wholeheartedly recommend this product, but the question is, of course, "Is it worth spending $1499?"
That's a little harder for me to answer. You can easily buy a regular pushcart for as little as $150-$200 and get all the benefits of walking the golf course without having to carry your bag. And for many, this is probably the best option. A product like the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a luxury, not a necessity.
For those who struggle a bit physically, even with a pushcart, I'd tell you that an electric caddy has saved me a lot of energy. My golf course is physically demanding with tons of hills, and although I am in good physical shape I prefer to save that energy for my swing. It was nice not having to push my regular cart up a hill. Especially in the summer months when I have to deal with extreme heat and humidity.
So I'd say if you have the budget, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a great long-term investment. It will improve your experience on the golf course, and more importantly, I think you will run more of it. People don't realize how beneficial walking the course is to your health, and for someone who's a little obsessed with exercise and general wellness, I really think this product category can really do some good for people's lives. Walking on the golf course is the right choice!
If you are interested in purchasing the Motocaddy M7, here we have a special bundle for practical golf readers for $1499.