SMART devices are everywhere these days; from on-board navigation in our cars, to smart TVs to even programmable toasters, we are seeing the benefits of technology in even the most menial tasks in our lives.
Luckily, such is the case with the new Motocaddy M5 Connect DHC Electric Buggy, a full-featured, powerful, “Smart” buggy that not only transports your clubs across the golf course with ease, but also utilises advanced GPS and Bluetooth technology via your smartphone to give your game the high-tech boost it needs.
As many of you know, I am an unabashed gadget geek, so I was extremely keen to take this sleek little number out on the course last month. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The first thing I noticed about the M5 Connect was how amazingly light and compact the buggy was when folded. This is due to a combination of high-tech materials in the frame, as well as a super-light lithium battery that feels like it is almost weightless. The quick-release wheels, too, are quite ingenious; you can take them off and flip/invert them to make the buggy even more compact for storing in the boot.
Once unfolded (which is extremely simple – just a couple of clicks to fold/unfold the entire unit), it is a quick and easy process to attach your bag – either via the standard stretch straps, or via the EASILOCK system (for compatible bags), which features pins that lock into place, eliminating the need for the bottom strap. The unit also features an adjustable-height, ergonomic handle which is a pleasure to use.
Operating the buggy is equally simple. Just dial-in your desired speed (There are nine settings in total) and then just push the button to start or stop. Easy. It even features an electronic parking brake which locks the buggy in place when parked on a hill. This was extremely useful on the course where I play, as there are a variety of hills where an unoccupied buggy has been known to make a break for the lake or a nearby bunker.
Going up hills is a breeze for the M5, as its high-power 28v system (utilising a whisper-quiet 230W DHC motor), combines with the robust, all-terrain DHC wheels to power up the steepest of fairways. When going downhill, the buggy features downhill speed control to keep the buggy going at a constant, manageable pace.
Overall, the Motocaddy M5 Connect DHC Electric Buggy is one of the lightest, most robust and easiest-to-use electric buggies I’ve tested.
But wait…we’re just getting to the good bit!
The Ultra-Cool Part – High Tech wizardry
While the reasons above provide plenty of justification to buy one of these remarkable buggies, one of the most exciting parts of the M5 Connect is that it—true to the name—can be connected to the high-tech Motocaddy GPS App (free for compatible smartphones from the Apple Store and Google Play). Just open the Motocaddy GPS app, “Pair” your phone to the buggy via a Bluetooth® connection, and a whole new world of technology opens up on the buggy’s handle. A full-featured GPS display (pulling from a database of over 40,000 worldwide courses) shows you distances to the front, middle and back of the green along with the par of the hole and a digital clock. It also features a round timer plus shot measurement – all right on the handle!
For more in-depth data, the app itself (when viewed on your phone) includes overhead course maps with detailed distances, shot measurement and green-side information. You can also use the Shot Planning option to see distances to any target; while the local course search and automatic hole advancement allows you to select your course and move between holes with ease.
Once connected to your smartphone, the buggy also allows you to “stay connected” to the world while you play, showing missed calls, texts, emails, Facebook and WhatsApp notifications and more – all right there on the handle’s display. (This can all be controlled in the app’s settings, allowing you to choose which alerts you want to see, and which to ignore!) The buggy even features a USB charging port to keep your phone charged.
And before you worry about battery drain on your phone, rest assured that there is a ‘Power Save’ option which preserves battery capacity and reducing data usage in the process. After my round, I noted that the battery usage was minimal.
The M5 Connect DHC also includes an accessory station, seat-ready cross beam and sand bucket loop, all covered by a 3-year full warranty, plus a comprehensive 5-year warranty on all lithium batteries.
So if you’re in the market for a new electric buggy—featuring all the high-tech bells and whistles—then look no further than the M5 Connect. It’s an APPsolute beauty!
M5 Connect DHC – RRP: $1599 with standard lithium battery