Back to the future

Scott Kirkpatrick

19 June 2023

Isn’t the pace of technology truly fascinating? With so many products being released year after year, it can be fun to look back and consider what we used to play with and all the recent features that we now have access to.

Take the electric trolley for example. Can’t you remember your jaw dropping when you laid eyes on an electric trolley for the first time? We were really taken by the innovation, but modern trolleys by comparison are even more decked out with all kinds of fancy functionalities.

When you think back to these previous models, it just goes to show how easy it is to take the current technology for granted. We now have GPS and remote-control capabilities, but it also begs the question, where will it go next? What kinds of fascinating functionalities will we have at our fingertips in the future?

To fully appreciate the impact the electric trolley has on the modern game of golf, we’re going to go back over the centuries and consider how caddying has evolved over time.


History of the caddie


Golf has certainly come a long way, but what would a golfer be without his caddie? Being a caddie is a role integral to golf, and one that has its own rich history. The name caddie dates back to 17th century old Scottish language, and would refer to ‘young gentlemen serving in the army’.

The term was adapted to extend to freelance odd-job men and boy messengers available for hire in urban areas such as Edinburgh. As the game grew, the term would become synonymous with lads that would be paid for carrying clubs in bundles under their arms on the golf course.

The 20th century brought revolutionary technological advancements to many aspects of daily life, and the approach to caddying was no exception. By the mid-50s, golf cart brands such as E-Z-Go were growing and expanding in the Americas. English golfer Sir Henry Cotton was pictured in the 1960s using what’s believed to be the first electric trolley – the Tractor Caddy, made by Watson-Oswin Electric.

Essentially, with the advancement of technology it became popular and accessible for golfers to play with motorized assistance as well as input and advice from human caddies. The 1980s onwards is when the electric trolley really came into its own as a commercial product.


The iconic shape


The original electric trolleys were true innovations of their time, but as the year’s progressed, it became clear there was all sorts of room for improvement.

The consumer demand was there, and the manufacturers set to work. The subsequent releases were much less bulky.

The wheels were smaller and more maneuverable, and the handles felt better to hold. At the turn of the century, folding trolleys were introduced to the market. Now trolleys were even easier to take to and from the course.

Now we’re in 2023, trolleys are more compact and feature-rich than ever before.


Multiple functionalities


The latest trolleys on the market are incredibly ergonomic, both in terms of how easy they are to interact with, and the extensive functions they have on offer.

Thanks to built-in GPS systems, you can get accurate readings of how far away the hole is when you can’t quite decide on which club to pick. A lot of premium trolleys have touchscreen interfaces that let you get really hands-on when you’re scanning the virtual green. In some models you can even drag and drop the flag stick where you want to so you get a better view of the green.

Modern trolleys also have electronic braking capabilities. This quality means the trolley can maintain a selected speed for downhill descents, which is much preferable to it flying off to crash into a nearby bush or tree.


Compact and convenient


There’s a lot to unpack under the hood with these trolleys, and having all this tech at your fingertips will totally change how you approach the course. You’ll feel so much more confident and prepared for any hidden dangers.

As we’ve mentioned, trolleys are also super easy to set up and pack away again before and after each round. The widely implemented modern folding design allows the trolley to neatly fit inside car boots, which makes it ideal for storage and transportation.

You’ll be up and ready to hit the course in no time too, some electric trolleys have thousands of pre-loaded courses, and with features like score tracking and automatic hole advancement, you’ll have the peace of mind to fully focus on your game.

When there are so many kinds of golf trolley available, it can be hard to settle on which one would best suit you. Should you settle for a push cart or go for an electric trolley? We’re available in the pro shop so if you’d like to consult us, we’d be more than happy to offer our expert advice. Simply contact us or pop by the next time you’re at the club.

Contact us today