It is almost ten years since I went over to what was then considered the dark side and started using an electric trolley.
Since then electric trolleys have become mainstream with golfers of all ages taking advantage of the convenience and weight saving benefits.
One type of electric trolley that existed back then was a remote controlled option and with the exception of the super premium Stewart brand, the species almost became extinct until Motocaddy revived it with the S7 Remote this year.
When it arrives the first thing you notice is the size of the S7 Remote trolley. The 13kg aluminium frame is based on the current S3 Pro model, but it is 15cm longer.
The frame comes in black or alpine white and it assembles very easily as the Quikfold design slides the two parts together until they clip into place automatically.
The wheels on the wide axle are broader than usual to ensure stability during manoeuvres up, down and across slopes, which by the way is excellent.
It is also quite a heavy trolley to lift as you have two 230W motors instead of one to provide power separately to each wheel to turn the trolley. This does give it a very robust feel and the build quality is excellent.
All the other Motocaddy features are present and correct including the option for using the Easilock pin system for holding the base of your Motocaddy bag in place instead of using the elastic strap on the base.
The S7 Remote comes with quite a big lithium battery that charges quicker than a lead acid version and weighs less, but is not as light to carry as some other lithiums I have used.
On the handle there is the usual USB port for recharging devices and the remote, plus a dial for stopping, starting and controlling the speed of the S7 manually. Given the premium price, I was disappointed not to see the integrated GPS holder that they have on the Motocaddy M3 Pro trolley.
Thankfully Motocaddy has resisted the urge to cram non-essential bells and whistles like distance functions on to the control panel, with the result that it is clear and functional.
The same thing could be said for the usual Motocaddy handle which is not the most comfortable to use, but as you have a remote for the S7 you can avoid this if you want.
The remote control is 13cm long by 4cm wide by 2cm deep and uses three AAA batteries and you have to unscrew the cover with a Philips screwdriver to change them which is going to be a pain to do on the course if you don't have rechargeable batteries.
It fits very easily in your hand even if it seems a little bigger than I thought it would be. I was expecting something closer in size to a garage door or Apple TV remote, but I presume that it is larger to accommodate the battery power required.
It is very easy to use with front/back/left/right controls and the harder you push them, the faster the S7 moves. With a bit of practice you can walk along with the remote in your pocket and control the trolley by feel and this is where a more compact remote would be better as you need decent sized pockets to do this.
For me using the S7 Remote was like another new dawn in how to move a golf bag around a course.
Straight out the box the S7 is so easy to use and the urge to show off by zooming the trolley ahead, doing doughnuts or cutting up your playing partners is very hard to resist, but you must or you will end up playing alone.
Having been on the receiving end of this in the past, be conscious that your playing partners will feel like they are continually crossing the road all day, keeping an eye out for your trolley zipping around like some teenager in an over spec'd hatchback.
It does require a few rounds to get used to how it moves, so start off by yourself or with good friends until you get the hang of how long it takes to turn and stop. If you don't touch the remote for 45 seconds or it goes more than 50m away from you then it automatically stops.
As mentioned earlier, there are no concerns over stability as the detachable 4th wheel at the rear stops it tipping over backwards going up a hill, but it can sometimes get in the way if you are walking behind it in manual mode.
Compared to a manual trolley the S7 Remote did require a bit more general concentration to steer down every hole and ensure you don't run someone over or end up upside down in a bunker. If you play a generally flat course you should be able to relax more, especially if you head down the fairway more often than not.
However, the benefits over a manual electric trolley are huge. You can walk up to the green and send the S7 round the green over to the next tee thus saving time. It feels like you have a personal caddy walking the course with you that you don't have to tip or talk to.
When you are searching for a ball and then you find it, you can summon the S7 to you like a faithful lab rather than having to walk back for it, again saving time.
With a manual trolley you do have to almost lift the front wheel a little to turn and that can be tiring. However the remote and the multidirectional front wheel make steering very easy and coming off the course after using the S7 I don't think my arms and shoulders have felt so good fully clothed.
Occasionally I did go to manual around the greens and when heading to the next hole, but switching between manual and remote required a couple of clicks on the handle dial so it was not a slick process. I found the best option in tight spaces was to use the remote to control the power and then use the handle to control the direction.
The S7 Remote is not perfect, but it does all the important things very well. You will need a decent sized car boot and a bit of strength to lift it in, the size and battery access of the remote could be improved and I am not mad about the feel of the handle.
However, I would be willing to put up with all these things as the Motocaddy S7 Remote was up there as one of the most enjoyable pieces of golf equipment I have used in a long time and I had a smile on my face all day.
The excitement from picking up the remote control was like driving your first remote controlled car as a kid and I doubt whether that feeling will ever disappear.
Not only that, but I felt it was quicker and easier to get around the course than using a manual trolley and certainly a lot less effort. It collapsed easily and quickly and taking the bag on and off was very easy, especially if you have a Motocaddy bag that can use Easilock.
So put the bag down and pick up the S7 Remote as this type of trolley could be mainstream in another 10 years’ time.