Here's my Motocaddy M-Tech Electric GPS Trolley review in a sentence: part Dalek, part golf bag, this is one of the most purely desirable golfing 'accessories' – if I can call it that – I have ever used. This goes beyond being merely one of the best golf bags; it's a full-on motorised caddy on wheels, with a few elements of the best golf watch thrown in for good measure. It would make one of the best gifts for golfers imaginable, if you are really keen to impress the golfer in your life.
To play your best golf you need to be fresh and not hampered by fatigue, especially late in the round. The Motocaddy M-Tech GPS trolley will ensure you're still feeling energised all the way up the 18th while also offering a whole lot more besides.
Carrying a golf bag around for 18 holes may be good exercise but it is quite probably adding shots to your score. It’s only when you use a trolley that you realise just how draining carrying a bag actually is.
The tour pros don’t have caddies just to provide yardages and moral support; there are also obvious physical benefits to not lugging a bag of clubs around on your back for four hours. Being fresh has obvious benefits to your golf game but unlike the pros we can’t all have our own personal caddy. The rest of us need to find other solutions.
A trolley is the next best thing and the M-Tech from Motocaddy comes with the added bonus of GPS capability to ensure you always have the yardages you need.
Motocaddy M-Tech GPS Electric Trolley: price and availability
The M-Tech is widely available from most major online golf retailers and will set you back somewhere in the region of £1200. Motocaddy also sells in America but you don't seem to be able to get the M-Tech there as yet.
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Motocaddy M-Tech GPS Electric Trolley: features
A trolley takes some of the physical strain out of a round of golf but an electric one removes virtually all of it. Whereas a regular trolley still needs to be pushed up hills and held onto when going down them, the M-Tech electric trolley is powerful enough to climb the steepest of slopes and also has a downhill control system (DHC) to prevent it running away on its own when it gets to to the other side.
It comes fitted with a touchscreen GPS system as well as a number of other nifty features, including nine different speed settings to suit whatever pace you are walking at and a parking brake to ensure it doesn’t roll off down the side of a tee box or green when you are about to take a shot.
Competition mode allows you to switch off GPS if necessary and you can receive notifications to the M-Tech by pairing it with your smartphone using bluetooth.
You can also program the M-Tech to go on ahead to a pre-determined distance of up to 60 metres. This Adjustable Distance Control (ADC) feature is ideal when you’re approaching the green and want to send the trolley over to the next tee or even if you’re on a clear stretch of fairway and want to kick back and relax.
In addition to providing details of the hole you are playing and the distances to any hazards, you can also enter your score as you go but be aware that, unlike most GPS watches for example, the M-Tech does not store save scores so as soon as you select ‘end round’ it will be lost.
Shot tracking is also available. This is similar to the feature you will find on many golf watches although no details are stored. The purpose of the feature is twofold. Primarily, it’s for when you hit that booming drive up the middle and are curious as to just how far it actually went.
There is a more practical use for it too though, as if you know how far you tend to hit each club a yardage counter narrows the search area down considerably when you stray from the fairway.
The DHC (down hill control) feature is something golfers will find particularly useful on undulating courses. Trolleys are heavy, especially when loaded with a full set of golf clubs and various other items in the pockets. So when they are going downhill you have to hold on to them to prevent them running away, and that can be almost as tiring as pushing one uphill.
Because of the DHC the M-Tech trolley will descend down the hill at the speed you set it to and it won’t pick up extra pace on the way down.
The high capacity lithium battery is capable of comfortably staying the pace for at least 36 holes so if you're making a full day of it there's no need to worry about the battery going flat while you're out on the course.
You can even use it to charge your smartphone or any other USB device with the handy charger that's situated just underneath the touchscreen.
The trolley comes with a 3 year extended warranty while you get a 5 year warranty with the lithium battery.
The M-Tech has a significantly reduced folded footprint with a simple compact folding system and space-saving inverted wheels to help place into the tightest of spaces. You can fit your clubs and the trolley into pretty much any car boot without any trouble.
And on top of everything else, it looks great too, with polished chrome and carbon fibre detailing, plus hand stitched leather handles to give the ultimate in style and performance.
While any cart bag will fit nicely on this trolley, for maximum performance it is best paired with the M-Tech matching cart bag, which is designed specifically for this trolley and comes with a fastening system that sees it sit securely in place no matter how bumpy the ride is.
The bag is fully waterproof and has all the storage you will need, making this a perfect combination for golfers who like to do things in style.
The M-TECH can also indicate the availability and location of on-course AEDs and provide golfers with CPR instructions to administer to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest. The feature has been proudly supported by Heart Research UK, with over 700 golf clubs across the UK now registered.
Motocaddy M-Tech Electric GPS Trolley: performance
The first couple of times I used the M-Tech I also wore my GPS watch just to compare the numbers. I knew the watch was accurate so I wanted to see if there was much of a difference in the yardages provided by the trolley. There wasn’t, both were spot on.
This trolley comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 courses and it took only a few seconds to locate where I was and bring up the course details. It was actually quicker than the watch at identifying where it was.
The course maps are impressively detailed and you have all the info you need in terms of the locations of hazards as well as your yardage to the front, middle and back of each green. You can even use the touchscreen to move the pin around to get a more accurate number.
This year I’ve almost exclusive carried my bag on the course, mainly because I’ve been reviewing various stand bags, such as the Callaway HyperDry C, TaylorMade FlexTech and the Wilson Staff ECO amongst others. So using a trolley was a nice change of pace for me and the benefits were immediately apparent.
There is a huge physical difference between carrying your bag and using a trolley and my scores have been lower since using the trolley. That might just be a co-incidence of course, but it is certainly easier to play better golf when you aren't knackered.
The course I play most often is particularly hilly and the final four hole stretch is a real uphill grind. Not what you need when you’ve been out there for three hours already. It’s particularly draining moving from the 15th green up the hill to the 16th tee and there have many occasions when I’ve been carrying the bag that I’ve still been out of breath when teeing off! Hardly conducive for a good drive.
A regular trolley wouldn’t help me much in that situation as I’d still have to push the thing up the hill, but electric trolleys are made for that kind of challenge. Not only do you not have to push it up the hill, you can just hang on to it and it almost drags you up behind it. So I arrived on that 16th tee a little leggy, but for once I wasn’t breathless. Imagine that! The tee shot was a cracker too, in case you were wondering.
On flat ground you can just set the trolley to whatever speed you want and let it go off on its own but I wouldn’t advise doing this on hilly fairways unless you’re sticking very close to it. The first time I took it for a spin I let it go off unattended while I went to retrieve a provisional ball I’d hit. It was going uphill and I had it set to seven speed, but it was moving more at a four because of gravity.
By the time I’d nipped off to pick up the other ball the trolley had reached the top of the hill and was now going at an actual seven down the other side! I began to jog after it, trying to look casual, as you do, but soon realised I wasn’t making any ground on it and it was headed towards a green side bunker. The jog became a sprint and I just about got there in time to stop it plunging headlong into the sand, much to the amusement of the three ball on the next fairway.
The ADC (adjustable distance control) function can prevent this kind of ‘runaway trolley' debacle but I didn’t use this too often due to the undulations on my local course, which make it tricky to keep it running in a straight line. There were a couple of holes where I was able to just take my putter out of the bag, set the ADC for a specific distance and send it cruising off to the next tee while I putted out.
You can do the same thing on flat stretches of fairway too as it gives you that peace of mind knowing it will shut down before it finds any trouble. The ADC is extremely easy to use as it’s just a case of holding the on/off button for a couple of seconds, which brings up the ADC setting box. You then select your desired distance and away it goes. It's very handy.
The shot track function is one of those little extras that many people may not even use, but it’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you’ve actually tried it. I’m familiar with the concept from using the Garmin Approach S62 watch but any time I don’t have access to it (like when I’m testing other watches that don’t have that function) I find it really problematic when it comes to finding balls in the rough or trees.
If you know how far you normally carry your driver though you can use a shot tracker to take you right to the spot where your ball is likely to have landed. When you don’t have that it makes the search area a whole lot bigger as you're guessing.
The M-Tech gives you that option and the only issue I had was that I kept forgetting to manually activate it as soon as I’d hit my shot. The watch automatically begins counting the yards as soon as you’ve hit your ball because it’s attached to your wrist and therefore knows when you have made a swing. Obviously a trolley isn’t going to have that kind of functionality so you need to manually activate shot tracker before you set off.
That was occasionally a problem for me but if I hadn’t become accustomed to using the watch and my first experience of shot tracking was with the M-Tech then I’m sure I’d have been less forgetful and it would have become second nature.
The score track function wasn’t something I had any real use for as I either use my smartphone or watch for that as it will keep a record the score after I’m finished, whereas the M-Tech will not store it and you’ll lose it when you switch it off.
In terms of the battery life, it's very impressive. I managed two full rounds as well as a nine hole session on a single charge. On flat courses you may get even more than that. It does take a while to charge the battery though so best to leave it plugged in overnight to ensure a full charge for the next day.
The notifications feature works well but some golfers won't want to use that as it can be distracting. It's a nice option to have though, as is the USB charger which will ensure your phone never dies while you are out on the course.
One ever so slight drawback I found was that occasionally the alignment of the front wheel would be knocked slightly off during transit, preventing the trolley from going in a straight line. Correcting this was relatively straightforward but could take a little time to get exactly right, which isn't ideal if you're in a hurry to make your tee time.
Motocaddy M-Tech Electric GPS Trolley: Verdict
It was a pleasure using this trolley and bag combo. It makes golf more enjoyable, less physically draining and it helps you get around the course that bit quicker too. Golfers of all ages can benefit from an electric trolley but it's especially beneficial when you get a bit older.
Whether you should buy this particular model comes down to how much you are looking to spend (the M-Tech is at the higher end of the price range) and also how much you value the GPS capability over, say, a remote control option which you can get for a similar price.
If you are going to make use of the GPS then this is the trolley for you. It’s stylish, has great battery life and lots of cool features. This is a luxury bit of golf tech and will earn admiring glances from your fellow golfers due to the chrome finish and stitched leather handles. Upgrading your kit to an M-Tech trolley and bag will undoubtedly add to your golfing experience and keep you fresh right up until that last big drive up the 18th.