|Grasshopper Junior 30 Single-seat buggy|
|Technology:||Battery driven (sealed LCD) for upto 54-holes. Three 6.5 inch tyres and handlebar acceleration and steering with automatic release cut out. Green or white colour options, back-mounted bag port with mudguards and spring-loaded seat.|
It seems not so long ago, the electric powered golf trolley was introduced. Now, particularly among the growing senior element of many golf clubs, barely 10 per-cent are without them and even youngsters are being encouraged to use them in competition to save energy and keep them fresh down the stretch.
Recently, however, due my age and all other ailments that go with it, I have found it necessary to pursue the possibility of buying a sit-on style of transportation around my local golf course at Rye Hill near Banbury.
I'm 80 years old and still play a mean game to a 15 handicap but I was finding one game a week, even pushing an electric trolley, was more than enough for my tired limbs even though my enthusiasm is more than capable of coping with the distances involved and the competition.
Initially I thought there was only a limited availability in style, type and cost for a single seat product - not so. It's a minefield, with retailers realising that with an ageing population and more retirees taking up the game, this is the next step forward for the electric golf trolley as we know it.
My final selection followed a detailed search through the internet, with cost analysis obviously of prime importance.
After several demonstrations, I finally settled on the Grasshopper Junior 30 - which is 30-inches wide, has 6.5-inch knobbly tyres for extra grip and fits into most 4-door hatchbacks without the need for lifting batteries or parts. I even accepted an invitation to call in at their factory in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, to examine the build quality.
No dismantling, re-assembling, heavy batteries to handle. None of that 'what comes off first?...What goes on last?' business. Provided you have a hatch-back or estate car of a moderate size, you can drive it up inside your car by using ramps provided as an extra. Alternatively you make your own. Only the seat needs to be removed and placed in the car separately.
The joining plate, between front assembly and rear assembly is of rectangular shape, rather than circular which avoids a rolling action on uneven ground and therefore feels more stable. The seat is spring-loaded with four springs on a seat support plate, rather than a single, centre-mounted spring found on one of its competitors' model, which was rather too bouncy.
The golf bag is mounted at the back and forms part of the body structure and not another detachable bracket for which to find a place in the car, while steering is by motorbike-style controls. A handy, safety function is automatic-breaking when releasing throttle.
My new Grasshopper has a nice 'British Racing green' gloss finish in a limited colour option and doesn't look like it was made for those with a disability. At around £2,000 for me it represents value for money.
|The Golfmagic Verdict|
|Summary:||I'm absolutely delighted with my Grasshopper. It zooms along at upto 8mph, has extended my golf from one to at least three rounds per week and will do 40 holes at a stretch on one battery charge. Despite the special insurance I have had to take out, I reckon that with golf cart hire at current levels, it will pay for itself within a year. With my own energy-saving alone, I'm looking to get back down to single-figures by then, too!|