Ask any UK club golfer to name one golf trolley brand, and nine times out of ten, they’re going to say PowaKaddy. This is a result of year upon year of high quality, reliable products that have ultimately resulted in golfers enjoying a round of golf that little bit more. Simple really.
Recently PowaKaddy have taken things a step further with their latest introduction of the PowaKaddy C2i GPS Trolley. The key word in this title obviously being ‘GPS’.
What's It All About?
A lot has changed in the world of golf trolleys in recent years, and in my opinion this is all for the better.
The introduction of Lithium batteries has led to an influx of smaller, much more compact models flooding the market with the priority on saving space. You can hear the conversation in the pro shop now: “Does the battery last longer than 18 holes?” “Will my current bag fit on it easily?” And the question on every golfer’s lips… “Will it fold down to fit in my boot along with my clubs?”
Thankfully, we’ve answered all of those questions in this review. In this case however there is also a new topic to address that historically you wouldn’t have had to worry about: “Will this trolley give me the correct yardages to the green?”
The PowaKaddy C2i GPS Electric Trolley is the follow up to the very impressive PowaKaddy C2i Electric Trolley which we reviewed back in 2017. It features the same frame as the Compact C2i model and follows on from PowaKaddy’s FW7s GPS model.
Two years later, the boffins at PowaKaddy have put the colour widescreen display to real use adding GPS technology, and with it a whole host of handy new features.
The new, pre-loaded GPS in question takes pride of place on a high-tech looking handle which is said to deliver distances to the front, middle and back of greens and hazards. The GPS is displayed on a brand-new screen with a full colour 'memory in pixel' (MIP) display allowing for 'sharp viewing in all-weather conditions', including bright sunlight.
The Compact C2i GPS is also compatible with PowaKaddy’s new Mobile App, which allows golfers to update course maps on the go. The trolley itself comes pre-loaded with over 38,000 golf courses worldwide with no added fees or subscriptions required.
CEO David Catford commented:
We believe our team of dedicated design engineers really have managed to successfully combine the convenience of built-in GPS with a simplicity of control married to the simple-2-fold operation that is the hallmark of this product.
This test was conducted in the perfect conditions to find out whether PowaKaddy’s latest offering is worth the eye-watering RRP of £699.99 price tag (or £749.99 for a 36 hole battery).
I played 36 holes at an extremely damp Stockport Golf Club. The weather was typically British, with every condition you could think of playing its part. Strong swirling winds, on and off heavy rain, wet fairways and even some sunny, bright spells all played their part in putting the PowaKaddy through it’s paces.
The lay of the land at Stockport itself also played a huge part in this test. In case you’ve never played Stockport before, it’s worth noting that the course is highly undulating with steep inclines littering the fairways. Balance, agility, speed, and build quality were all under the microscope as well as the main talking point – the built-in GPS.
PowaKaddy C2i GPS Trolley Review
I was impressed. As a pretty no-nonsense golfer who likes to keep my technology-usage to a minimum when playing golf, the idea of having yardages appear in front of me, in real time without the need to carry an external yardage device was appealing.
Based on first impressions this trolley promised to be exactly the kind of product that would suit my approach to the game of golf: simple, quick, forward-thinking, easy-to-use and most of all helpful. After all, this is the “world’s smallest GPS electric trolley” and it looked great. What’s not to like?
On The Course
Setting up/folding down
PowaKaddy really have got the setting up and folding down of trollies down to a fine art. Weighing just 9.9kg without the battery, assembling the C2i GPS honestly couldn’t be simpler. All that needs to be done is click the two wheels into place, pull out the front wheel, and then straighten the main arm in the centre of the frame.
The ‘Simple-2-Fold’ System really is as straight-forward as it gets. Made simple by PowaKaddy marking the three main joints of the trolley in their standout yellow (front wheel, main arm, and handle) so you’re not twisting, pulling or messing with any part of the trolley that you shouldn’t be. This may seem a simple feature, but it will help the majority of older golfers and when combined with the premium gunmetal metallic frame, it looks great.
When setting up everything just clicks into place easily. When folding down, again, once the yellow buttons and clicks have been un-clicked, everything just collapses into place ready to be lifted into your boot with the help of the integrated carry handle.
The trolley is all powered by the familiar PowaKaddy battery that is light and simply clips into place with ease. The three connector’s line up in one movement as part of PowaKaddy’s unique Plug ‘N’ Play battery system so there is no need for plugging in faffy and unwanted cables or any of that nonsense.
On the course, the general usability of the PowaKaddy was pretty much as you’d expect from a lightweight, compact electric trolley. This however highlighted some strengths and weaknesses…
In general usage around the course, the trolley was quick and nimble. Manoeuvrability comes with ease. At a fairly short course like Stockport, I’d have to say it was ideal. The power supplied from the 230w Motor ensured that the C2i GPS made mincemeat of any undulating fairways and cart paths.
However, be warned – this thing is fast, and when I say fast I mean rapid. The C2i GPS features what PowaKaddy call the ‘Power, Pause and Resume Function’ which allows the trolley to start again at the same speed that you stopped the trolley at. This feature on a lightweight trolley such as this means that if you start it off at anything higher than speed 3 or 4, the trolley can rock back a little from the sudden burst of speed. I wouldn’t call this a problem, more something to get used to. You’ve been warned…
Although the combination of the ‘Premium, gunmetal metallic frame’ and the ‘Premium Sports Wheels’ give this trolley a sturdy look, I did find there was a little give in the main handle of the trolley. Given the price tag, I had expected it to feel a little more robust when out on the course. On reflection though, I think that the little bit of extra give in the handle helped to ride any lumps, bumps and undulations on a golf course. I’ll give PowaKaddy the benefit of the doubt here.
On the topic of the wheels, they were easily one of the stand-out features with this product. Not only were they extremely easy to assemble, they looked great and performed well too. Although admittedly I’m going back around 10 years here, my memories of using electric trolleys are when the wheels were cumbersome and noisy. Not here though, the Premium Sports Wheels were extremely quiet running even on hard surfaces. Lovely stuff.
Manoeuvrability comes with ease thanks to the help of an ambidextrous, winged control with a soft touch handle. As a 6’4” golfer, with the overall height of the trolley being a little smaller than usual hence it’s ‘compact’ nature, I did feel the trolley handle was a little low for me. This shouldn’t be a problem as the handle is adjustable giving you three height options to move it higher or lower. To adjust the handle it does require a screwdriver however, meaning it becomes a bit of a faff. Not ideal if you decide mid-round you want to change the height of your trolley.
Another small, yet stand out feature for me is the bungee straps which hold your bag in place on the trolley. In true PowaKaddy style, they were well thought out, simple and very effective. Through 36 holes, not once did my PowaKaddy cart bag feel as if it was going to slip out of place.
Even though since the introduction of lithium batteries to the golf market problems with battery life seem to be a thing of the past, this wouldn’t be a golf trolley review without commenting on the battery life…
During my 36 holes of testing I had no issues with at all. After 18 holes I was left with about 65% battery. And after 36, there was still plenty in the tank to probably squeeze another 9 holes in. Throughout the 36 holes, the power didn’t seem to decline at all either.
Now on to the interesting bit… Setting up the GPS on the trolley is extremely simple and easy. PowaKaddy really have put themselves in the shoes of the older generation golfer here and done it well. The GPS recognises the course you are located at automatically and then within seconds, the GPS distances appear on the screen.
Navigating through holes is simple. With a click of the smaller grey buttons, located either side of the main central button, the display scrolls through the holes with ease. This is only necessary on some occasions however as the GPS distances advance automatically anyway as you move from hole to hole. Very rarely did I feel the need to do it manually, but having the reassurance to know you can is a bonus.
The GPS offers simple, front middle and back yardages to the green on the easy-to-digest, colour, widescreen display. Press and hold the right-hand grey button and the display changes to show hazard information in a list view. Handy water and sand icons help to show what the hazard is, which will come in handy if you’re playing a course you don’t know or the hazard is tucked around a dog-leg.
One problem I did find here is that the distances provided are only to reach the hazards, not to carry them. I found myself adding ten yards or so to each hazard yardage so I knew how far I needed to hit it, not just how far away the hazards were. Bare this in mind.
In addition to this, it wasn’t always clear which hazard was which if they were in a similar location on the hole. The list view they were displayed in looked simple, but wasn’t always 100% effective.
To test the accuracy of the actual yardages the C2i GPS provided, we put it up against the SkyCaddie SX500 GPS we tested earlier in the year. Although 95% of the time the yardages on the trolley were within one or two yards of the SkyCaddie, there were some occasions which conflicted with the market-leading GPS device and left me confused and between clubs. See the image below, 8/9 yards difference is quite a lot in golf...
As you’d expect for a slightly lower spec model, the Compact C2i GPS doesn’t have the level of features of the FW7s GPS, which has a scorecard and shot measurement function. Having said that, what you do get is a brilliant looking display with the C2i GPS.
The new 2.8” MIP LCD widescreen display itself is brilliant. Testing this product in every weather condition imaginable, never did I find myself squinting or shielding the light to try and see the small numbers on the display. As PowaKaddy promise, the ‘Transflective’ display really does enable clear, sharp viewing in all weather conditions.
The serious, avid golfers among you will also appreciate the course updating system via the new PowaKaddy app available on Google Play and the Apple App store. Bluetooth connectivity between trolley and phone makes this possible, however I did occur a couple of problems getting my android phone to connect straight away. Leave yourself 10 minutes or so to get this sorted in-case you had the same problem that I did so you’re not late to that Saturday morning tee time.
Other useful features:
- Improved accuracy speed controller
- Automatic Distance Function from 15 / 30 / 45 yards – we tested this, as you’d expect – it works reliably and consistently.
- Integrated USB charging port
- 3 Year Warranty on the trolley
- 5* Year Full Warranty on Lithium Battery
- Optional EBS (Electronic Braking System) to slow the trolley on steep inclines giving 3 levels of progressive braking
As you can see, the PowaKaddy C2i GPS fit easily into the boot of a 3-door Vauxhall Corsa. To fit the boot in with a PowaKaddy 2019 Cart Bag too, I had to put one seat down. Again, impressive.
Would I Use It?
Yes, without a doubt. Usually I’m a pencil bag golfer who either uses public transport to get to the golf course or steals a lift off a playing partner (yes, I am that guy). So trolleys are out of the equation for me. But the simple, quick, compact nature of this trolley really appealed to me and I’m sure it will appeal to you too.
PowaKaddy C2i GPS Trolley Verdict
The Compact C2i GPS Trolley all in all is pretty impressive. It’s feature packed, with pretty much everything a golfer could wish for in a golf trolley.
I had a couple slight niggles with the accuracy of some of the yardages at times and the display of the hazards but to be honest considering the price of a Bushnell Pro XE laser or a SkyCaddie SX500 GPS, with everything else you get with the PowaKaddy C2i GPS, you’d be crazy not to consider it if you’re thinking of treating yourself to some new wheels…
- ‘Simple-2-Fold’ System makes assembling very easy
- Looks modern, sporty and sleek – combine with a nice new bag and you’re onto a winner here
- Sports wheels are brilliant
- LCD Widescreen display did the business and visibility was great
- GPS yardages are easy to digest and update in real-time
- Easy to lift from boot to car park
- Fits in a small boot easily without the seats down. Fits in small boot easily alongside a PowaKaddy cart bag with just one seat down.
- Battery life was impressive.
- Price-tag is reasonable considering bang for buck.
- Front, middle and back yardages conflicted with other market-leading GPS devices at times
- Yardages on hazards are only to the front and was at times hard to work out which was which
- Handle arm wasn’t as robust as I’d of liked
- Bluetooth connectivity had its issues and didn’t work first time