New Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1 Rolls Out

There’s more than one way to walk the course. You can be caddied, you can carry, you can drag. But when push comes to shove, this may be your solution.

Bag DropMy memories of using a hand cart are not good ones. Invariably they were rentals at public courses weighing a good 15 pounds with wobbly little wheels and a propensity to tip over on anything but dead flat ground. Dragging one of those behind me up and down hills wasn’t any fun.

That’s why I always carried when I walked. It was simpler and definitely more fashionable. Somehow here in the U.S. using a hand cart just wasn’t the cool thing to do. But times change and so did I. I got older, my feet gave out (plantar faciitis), and I started riding instead of walking.

About the same time, while I wasn’t looking, a new breed of hand cart emerged. Sun Mountain introduced their first three-wheeled push cart in 1999. It was light, stable, and ergonomically designed. With the latest version introduced this month, they’ve raised the bar again on what a hand cart can be. Here’s the story…

Push to Walk
Sun Mountain 08 Speed Cart V1OK, I’ll admit it. On my frequent visits to golf stores I’ve found myself playing with push carts. I flip the brake on and off. I push and pull it back and forth a little. I play with all the gizmos and gadgets attached to them… sort of like a dog circling, sniffing, and poking its nose at an unfamiliar object.

I am intrigued. I’m dying to walk the course again. The “old man” stigma may not attach to its use anymore since I am, indeed, an old man. So moot point there. And while the electric motor version, the Speed E Cart, seems the ultimate solution, its roughly $700 plus price tag makes it no solution for me.

The Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1, the least expensive cart in the line, thus holds the most appeal. And there’s no doubt the long list of features speaks directly to the gadget freak inside me.

What it Is
As it was in the beginning, the Speed Cart V1 is a foldable, three-wheeled push cart with big pneumatic tires. It seems beautifully balanced and is designed to keep your back, arms and shoulders in their most natural positions. It’s a far different animal than the two-wheel carts that seem to yank your arm from your shoulder.

There’s a hand brake that locks for parking on slopes, a front wheel alignment adjustment for perfect tracking, and folding bag brackets. Standard accessories include a tire pump, an umbrella holder to keep an open umbrella over the cart and bag, and a bracket for storing the umbrella against the cart.

What’s New
Sun Mountain 08 V1 ConsoleThe 2008 version of the V1 now shipping to stores comes with a number of tweaks and new features. The console tray has been upgraded with a magnetic lid, padded valuables tray, a bungee scorecard holder, swiveling drink holder, and a mesh headcover tray.

There’s something about that console that makes me think of the space ship control panels my friends and I would fashion from cans and nails and cannibalized bicycle parts when we were kids. Very, very nifty.

There are also new upper and lower bag brackets that don’t require bungee cords or straps to secure your bag and a lower bag rest and bracket that fold in one motion.

Sun Mountain has also spiffed up the look. The wheels and spokes now sport a black anodized finish, although they’re staying silver if you choose the metallic black finish. Other colors include metallic blue, metallic red, metallic orange, metallic lime, metallic silver, yellow, and pink.

Sun Mountain 08 V1 Cart Colors

For those so inclined, Sun Mountain makes it possible to pimp your ride with optional accessories like special rain or UV umbrellas, a cooler, a storage bag, a seat, mitts that attach to the cart handle, and a cart cover.

Suggested retail price for the new version is $239. It should be showing up in stores and online over the next few weeks.

In the End…
At that price point, I’m going to be looking to try one of these before I pop for one. Still, walking is a wonderful way to play. It’s faster, it’s better for you, and it’s a lot more like real golf. If a light Sunday bag like we wrote about last week is not the solution, maybe this will be the thing to get me back on my feet.

20 thoughts on “New Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1 Rolls Out”

  1. Once again Jack, a very timely article!

    This year I made a resolution to play LOTS more golf and more importantly to walk whenever possible. I’m getting older and a confirmed desk jockey with my job so I really liked the exercise aspect of that proposition. I also love to walk while playing golf as I always play better and faster — to me, it’s the way the game was meant to be played.

    The past few years my bad back has led to almost all golf rounds from a cart and I found I just wasn’t enjoying that much anymore. I decided a push cart was the ticket to getting me back on the course and walking again. I’m also teaching my best friend and his wife to play and I just can’t see teaching someone to play from a cart.

    I looked at all the carts out there and there are some very good carts from Sun Mountain, Bag Boy and Clicgear. The Sun Mountain and Clicgear carts appear to be the cadillac models, but I really didn’t want to spend upwards of $200 or more. The Cligear cart is intriguing in that it is the most hight tech cart of the bunch and folds down extremely compactly. Reviews I’ve seen of it indicate it’s very well made and a good performer.

    I wanted a basic, sold push cart that wouldn’t break the bank but would perform well. So I continued my search online and finally ended up buying three Tartan Golf Cruiser carts. I was not too confident in buying the carts online, sight unseen but it happened that I saw a guy playing with one during a recent round. He let me push it around a bit so I got an informal “demo”. I liked it a lot — it pushes well compared to the higher end carts, is light, mechanically quite solid and holds the bag well. It doesn’t have as nice a console as the Sun Mountain or Clicgear but it’s serviceable. It also has EVA wheels instead on pneumatic. I was concerned about this, but once I saw a cart and got to push I found the construction and material quality to be very good. I think they’ll take a pretty good beating and still last.

    The best part was the price. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how little I paid for these carts. They retail for about $80 but I paid a little over $50 ea. for them on ebay (including shipping).

    Last Friday I played with my new cart for the first time and it was great. The cart worked well but best of all I got to walk again without killing my back. It was the most enjoyable round I’ve had in several years. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t fancy the idea of carrying your bag for 18 holes (or can’t) to get a cart and start walking!

  2. Nice article on push/pull carts. I used to have one of the old two-wheelers that I picked-up for $19 at KMart or Walmart, don’t remember which. It was called a pull cart because pushing it was virtually impossible. The new three-wheeled models seem to be better sutied for pushing. I must say that I ride about 75-80% of the time versus walking. When I do walk, I carry my Sun Mountain stand bag. Therein lies the issue with me in using a push cart. I just don’t know what it would look like to strap a carry bag onto a push cart. Wouldn’t other golfers view that as somewhat odd? I suppose the same could be said for strapping my carry bag onto an electric/gas powered cart. I don’t know, maybe I’m analyzing it too much and shouldn’t be concerned about it. I certainly wouldn’t want to get a cart bag for the purpose of using on a push cart. Spending $200+ for a push cart and another $150+ for a cart bag just isn’t economical for me. Anybody have any thoughts to help me feel better about this? Thanks!

    P.S. Thanks to MGP for the info on Tartan Golf.

  3. I remember the old GE ad slogan that “Progress is our most important product”. To me that meant if you’re not moving forward, then you’re standing still or even worse, going backward. In the case of using a pull or push golf cart as opposed to a riding cart, that slogan simply doesn’t apply. As the years have rolled by, I found myself, like so many other golfers, using a riding cart more and more. It was probably a combination of laziness and/or simply just following the pack, something I call the ‘herd’ mentality. Then I noticed a friend using a Sun Mountain Speed Cart. It seemed effortless to push and really looked sturdy too. My friend was a picture of health and fitness while I resembled the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I kept telling myself that at 62 years of age, I really NEEDED to ride. On a recent trip to Green Bay, WI to visit my son, we decided to walk 9 holes together. I rented a pull cart for $2 and off we went. Wow, was I amazed at the enjoyment of walking along the fairways, feeling the grass beneath my feet, actually having some time between shots to talk about strategy for our next shots and just general good conversation. Also, I noticed my heart beating more than normal and on uphill climbs, becoming a little short of breath. Then, 2 elderly gentlemen who were walking and playing behind us, caught us on a par 3 tee (while we were waiting on the group in front to clear the green) and we talked about their Bag Boy push carts. I asked how easy they were to use and they said, “compared with that thing you’re pulling, they are like pushing a feather”. They also said how much better health they were enjoying by walking. I made a decision then and there to walk more when I returned home. The next day, my son and I walked another 9 holes and this time, my legs felt stronger, by breath didn’t seem so short and we had just a great time. I was convinced I would walk more. I immediately got on the Internet and ordered a Sun Mountain V2 cart. Upon returning home, the cart was delivered the next day. Opening the carton and unpacking the cart, I was a little disappointed by how difficult it was to open. Also, the handle adjustment seemed tight and was not easy to adjust. I returned the cart the next day. Off to local Pro Golf store I went and viewed their Sun Mountain and Bag Boy displays. Both looked to be made well but after much deliberation, I chose the 2008 model Sun Mountain V1 Speed Cart. It was much easier to operate than the V2 and I think a better cart. I’m looking forward to my first round of golf with the Speed Cart.

  4. Hey David — if it makes you feel any better, I normally strap my Burton Hybrid bag on my push cart (it’s an “organizer” stand bag with legs that will lock closed for cart use). My best friend does the same thing with his Datrek stand bag.

    Think of it this way, you don’t have to lug the bag around the course when you play but if you are making a trip to the driving or practice range you can take if off the cart and have a nice stand bag there to pull clubs out of.

    My bag goes on and off the cart so fast that I see it as the best of both worlds. I wouldn’t get a new bag if you get a push cart unless you have problems with your stand bag.

    Don — Keep up the good work. Golf really is enjoyable when walking and it definitely is healthier in the long run (if you are able). I hope to still be playing and walking when I am very old. 😎

  5. Thanks again all for the thoughts and input. I think I’m going to take the plunge. I don’t want to spend the price of a 3-wood on a cart so I plan on looking at the Bag Boy SC-545, Tartan cart, and maybe the Caddie Golf A-43. All of these are under my budget of $100.

  6. I’ve been thinking about a cart for the past two years. I finally made the move and bought the Sun Mountain V1 (2008 Model). Like David, I didn’t want to spend the price of a 3-wood (although to be honest I never equated it that way) but found that the overall quality of the Sun Mountain made the dollar difference rather insignificant.

    While I always liked to carry my clubs I find that as I get a little older I appreciate the fact that over the last several holes I can now still hit my 3-wood since my shoulders haven’t been loaded down. Kind of like having a caddy, this is the “Caddie” of the push carts.

  7. I have no problem using a Sun Mountain push cart. I walk 90 percent of the time, and don’t see it as an “old man thing” to use a push cart. The pros don’t carry their own bag – so why should I? I enjoy the course more walking and when using a push cart I get a bit of exercise.

    Bur having a push cart is not entirely like having a caddy – I still have to push the cart. I am rectifying that this week – I purchased a Sun Mountain e-cart. The review really helped sway me. I hope it is as good as it sounded in the review.

    And while not cheap, I got mine for under $600 on Brand new.

    Now if only Sun Mountain would come out with a remote-controlled e cart….


  8. I just purchased a Speed Cart V1, upgrading from a Bag Boy Cart. I love it, EXCEPT with the bolt/screw port in the middle of the handle (made for an umbrella holder), its VERY uncomfortable to push with one hand… Any one have an idea how to fix that? I tried screwing in the umbrella holder and using that to push, but with the large hole in the top its equally as uncomforable.

    PS: Three wheeled push carts are the ONLY way to golf… we can golf as fast if not faster than two people sharing a normal golf cart, plus we get lots of exercise… and they are so easy to push. Even old guys like me can gold 18 holes without much effort.

  9. Just FYI.

    I bought a Slazenger RD Speed Cart bag 14 divider top and all the bells and whistles. $59 new at Golf Galaxy. Tartan Cruiser $55 new on ebay shipped. So $114 for a nice push cart and bag. Goodbye heavy Izzo stand/carry bag and goodbye 2 wheel, flip over, yank my arm pull cart.

  10. I have been trying to look for a push cart to mount my Taylor Made R7 stand bag. Havent tried out the speed cart but in other push carts like Bag Boy SC 545 and 120, my bag has a tendency to twist on the course undulations. Just wanted to ask if anyone can share his/her experience on the best push cart for a stand bag? I wouldnt mind spending 170-180$ to get a cart which makes my round of golf hassle free.

  11. Rajat,

    I just bought the Speed Cart V1 2008 and have a stand bag (Air Walk). I was able to place the folded legs into the cart (legs on the backside) without any problem. I love the feel of the Speed Cart V1. I bought it locally so I could take it back if I had to replace my bag, which I didn’t want to do. That wasn’t necessary, however. I had a great salesman and folding this cart seemed much easier than older 3-wheeled carts appeared to me. Before I wasn’t tempted to buy one. I rationalized that the price would be less than a doctor’s visit to access my torqued back.

  12. I bought the Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1 about a month ago. My golf buddies and I have had a long standing rule that we are not allowed to have a push cart until we reach the age of 30. But recently my back has been killing due to the all the high school, college, and semi-pro baseball. But as a pitcher with a blown out ulnar ligament, I turned to golf as my passion when I hung up the spikes at age 24. Now at 28, I golf about 3 times a week, my back has been killing me. Rather than buying a new bed or going to the doctor or chiro, I decided to buy a push cart. And it has made quite a difference. My back is almost 100% again. I am currently pushing around a Nike Pro Combo stand bag and it seems to be working fine after I laid a piece of form on the upper brackets to prevent the bag from twisting because of the darn stand legs. I am thinking about taking he next step and buying the SCB Deluxe bag to go with it because I have no real use for the stand bag if I plan to use the V1 push cart all of the time.

    Does any use the SCB Deluxe bag with the V1 cart? If so, do they fit harmonously together? And what is your feeling on the 2008’s brackets rather than the straps on the older versions?


  13. “Does any use the SCB Deluxe bag with the V1 cart? If so, do they fit harmonously together? And what is your feeling on the 2008’s brackets rather than the straps on the older versions?”

    Yes they do, John!

    For reasons mainly due to storage restrictions in my vehicle, and weight issues with my lower back, I recently went with the ClicGear 2.0 cart which is, in my opinion, a very nice replacement for the Speed Cart V1 and V2. Again, the SCB DLX bag is a perfect compliment. As for the straps versus the brackets? I prefer the straps as they are easier to deal with than the brackets, which have a rather odd screw system that requires twisting. Keeping it simple is the way I prefer to go. Of note also, those brackets will leave a rather interesting wear mark on your bag that you will quickly realize as being permanent and not exactly a good thing. Hope this helps?

  14. I walk 95% of my rounds, and have been using a push cart for years. I am 45. I have both the Sun Mountain Push cart, 2006 version, and the Clicgear 2.0. I also have the Sun Mountain Speed E cart – no kids gives me a bit more money with which to spend on myself. 🙂

    I like both the SM and the CG 2.0. I currently use the CG 2.0, and like it a bit more, as it folds up smaller than the SM. Also when going up a hill or rough terrain, I occasionally have to push down or lift the cart using the handle. The CG does this better, whereas the SM handle will occasionally ratchet loose. I think because the CG has better “gearing” to lock the handle in place. I also like the CG’s brake better. I liked the netting on my SM – wish the CG had that.

    I loved the SM Speed E cart, but the battery makes it very heavy. It was a joy to use on flat terrain. I would set the speed to a brisk walk on the first few holes, which would help me warm up. Then on the back, when I was dragging a bit, I would set the speed a few notches lower. The real downside is that on hills I would have to push it up, as the battery is to the back, so the front wheel gets no purchase. Quite a workout! I don’t use it right now, as it got sideways on a hill and rolled over over. Clubs went all over, but much worse than that was that one of the wheels got bent. One of these days, I will have to fix the damage. If you have a fairly flat course, this cart is a blast. Just press the button and away it goes, allowing you to walk the course, as if you had a caddie doing the heavy carrying.


  15. I do have to voice my dis-pleasure even though they mfg a great cart. While on the course I lost the cap on my greenskeeper. After contacting the customer service desk at sun mountain letting them know I would like to purchase this item. To my surprise I was told that they had no caps but if I wanted, I could purchase a whole new bottle with the cap for $9.95. To me this is alot like going to purchase a radiator cap and the salesman states they do not sell these unless you purchase a new radiator.

    Customer service in my opinion is one of the most important factors in business and I must say how highly disappointed I am with Sun Mountain. If I need any other replacement parts what will happen then, will I need a new cart.


  16. I had Sun Mountains push cart 8 years ago and liked it.
    Sold it and replaced with a UK battery powered 4 years ago which was a mistake. Can’t afford Sun Mountains today’s battery powered even though would pay for itself easily in 1 season over rental 2 seater cart. I just don’t want to shell out $700.00. Comparing Sun’s V1 to Bagboy Express 240, I went for Bagboy as front wheel can be completely removed so I can keep the bag on the cart when folding up the cart! Handle has adjustable POSITIVE lock system.

  17. i recently retired,and decided to play golf has a sm,which she got from her mother,that is 8 or 9 years has knoby tires,no umbrulla holder or pump.i have been using it since nov,and except for the winter,i play min 3,18 hole rounds a week.and 2,9holes with my wife.on the 9’s she uses the sm,and i use the old titelist pull cart.i always walk.the sm is unbelivable.we have not had abit of trouble with it,and it rolls with little friend ,who has a bad back,tried it and bought one for his birthday(62).
    i would highly recommend it to any one.

  18. RE Sun Mountain customer service, I have a Sun Mountain ultralight carry bag that had a problem with the legs not kicking out when you set the bag down. Sun Mountain exchanged the bag for a new bag…no questions asked. I was walking with my wife in the neighborhood last night and a guy was moving and cleaning out his garage…at the curb was a practically brand new Sun Mountain Speed Cart. It still had some of the plastic packaging film on it. It must be an older model….no brake, no umbrella holder, and a web basket for a water bottle holder. Literally not a scratch on it. I want to try it and will put my carry bag on it and could care less if it looks “funny”. All I care about is my score and how my back feels after walking 18 holes.

  19. Please let me know where I might find an umbrella holder for my 2008 Sunmountain speed cart V1 – it fell out of the cart holder.

  20. I have only used speed carts. My wife and I started with the V-1 years ago right after they came out. We have since gone to a V-2 for me and a speed cart for the wife. I echo the comment about the speed cart going up a hill. You have to lift up on the handle to get any purchase for the front wheel to power up the hill or walk farther by going at an angle and then reversing, like skiing up hill. Have had no problems with either cart bags or stand bags and really prefer the brackets to the straps. The straps had a tendency to work themselves loose and the lower strap was always dragging in the dirt. I really wish they had a larger drink holder that swiveled, as our course offers a one time buy, free refills, with a large cup. On my V-2, I rest the drink in the webbing under the drink holder. I have had two different contacts with Customer service. First, our first V-1 came with one of the tire tubes with a hole in it. They sent 4 replacement tubes. Two, it seems ridiculous they don’t have retrofit parts for the older carts when they improve the model. The first V-1 did not have a folding base where the bag rests which was inconvenient. When that was modified on the next version, I called Sun Mountain to buy the part to retrofit on my model and the rep sounded incredulous, like they had never thought of folks wanting to do that. But mostly, I like the carts and they last forever. We gave our V-1 to friends and they are still motoring.

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