Once carrying my bag becomes more of a burden than a pleasure, I’ll gladly strap it to a pushcart and stroll the course with pride.
When news of the oncoming global pandemic was thrust upon us, I was not surprised when items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer quickly experienced nationwide shortages. After all, who wants to be without their preferred brand of bathroom tissue? And hand sanitizer—even though we were being told that washing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds was more effective—seemed like a logical necessity.
I was caught off guard, however, when I heard about the shortage of golf pushcarts and the price gouging that ensued. C+RB shared the news online and in our daily e-newsletter on May 20th: “Having fallen out of favor due to the rise of motorized golf carts and popularity of caddies, pushcarts are now following the trend of toilet paper and hand sanitizer … hard to find,” the Wall Street Journal reported, noting that where the “once-disparaged device” is concerned, “warehouses are empty, retailers are out of stock and price gouging is now taking place.”
While I don’t know that I ever “disparaged” pushcarts, count me in the group that never used them. My grandfather had a pushcart many years ago, and I’d see them for rent at some of the public golf courses I visited—often sitting to the side, ignored and gathering dust. They certainly weren’t in demand.
Had I paid attention to the signs, perhaps I would have foreseen the crisis. Before COVID-19 found its way into our daily lives, the guys at No Laying Up were touting the “Pushcart Mafia” and even sold t-shirts to its loyal following.
Actually, “loyal” may be too soft of a word. Let’s try “rabid.” Social-media influencer Paige Spiranac received a threat after mocking guys who used pushcarts.
While at the PGA Merchandise Show in January, I visited the Walker Trolleys booth. Their high-end pushcarts are beautiful, but I didn’t see the market for them at the time. I also thought “Dancing with the Stars” was a silly concept for a TV show, so my track record for forecasting success isn’t always strong.
Can pushcarts be fun? You bet. Our most popular unboxing video on the Club + Resort Business YouTube channel is a device that straps to a standard pushcart and is controlled via a remote control. Check out the video at youtu.be/qLhMwnDAaZ0. I took it for a spin around the office (this was back when we all still worked in offices) and got a lot of attention.
So, here we are in the Dog Days of Summer, and I’ve come full circle. I’m a believer in the pushcart and will (almost certainly) be using one in the future. I rarely take a caddie and prefer walking over riding. Once carrying my bag becomes more of a burden than a pleasure, I’ll gladly strap it to a pushcart and stroll the course with pride.
Does your pro shop sell pushcarts, or are you offering them as a rental? If so, have they proved to be a strong new revenue producer? If not, why not—do you think they’re just a short-lived fad? Shoot me an e-mail and let me know where you “stand” on the issue.