Electric Golf Push Cart vs Manual Push Cart: Which is Right For You?

Chris Lang

Read Time: 25 minutes

Electric Golf Push Cart vs Manual Push Cart: Which is Right For You?

Electric or manual? Every golfer wonders about this - how do you choose the push cart that's perfect for you? As someone who's spent many hours on the course, I know how crucial it is to have a dependable and efficient way to move your clubs. But with so many choices, it can be hard to decide which type of cart is best.

That's why I'm here to explain the differences between electric and manual golf push carts. I'll lay out the pros and cons of each option so choosing becomes easy, giving you more time for what matters: playing better. So, let's explore the world of golf push carts together!

The Evolution of Golf Carts: From Manual to Electric

Foresight Sports ForeCaddy Follow/Remote Control Electric Smart Cart v1 - Big Horn Golfer

Golf carts have evolved a lot since the days of carrying your clubs around the course. What began as a simple way to transport your gear has turned into a high-tech, feature-packed experience that can make your round more fun and less tiring.

The Rise of Electric Golf Carts

Electric golf push carts have gained popularity recently, and it's easy to see why. These carts provide a level of convenience and ease of use that manual carts can't match. With features like remote control operation, USB charging ports, and even GPS, electric carts are made to make your round as smooth as possible. Recent studies show electric golf push carts are becoming more popular, growing 15% per year. More and more golfers are realizing the benefits of going electric.

Manual Push Carts: Still a Popular Choice

Despite the rise of electric carts, manual push carts are still a common choice for golfers. Manual push carts make up about 60% of golfers' preferences. There are a few reasons some golfers like manual carts. First, they're usually cheaper than electric models. They're also lighter and more portable, making them easier to take to and from the course. And for some golfers, there's just something satisfying about pushing your own cart around.

Of course, cost is always a factor when choosing between electric and manual golf carts. Electric carts can cost from around $500 to over $2,000, depending on the features and brand. Manual carts are generally cheaper, ranging from $100 to $500. But it's not just the upfront cost to consider. Electric carts need charging and maintenance, which can add to the overall cost. Manual carts, while cheaper upfront, may need more physical effort, which could be a factor for some golfers.

Performance and Convenience Features

When it comes to performance and convenience, electric golf carts have a lot to offer. Many models have features like remote control operation, letting you send the cart ahead to your next shot. Some even have follow modes that let the cart trail behind you as you walk.

Battery life is another important consideration. Most electric carts can go up to 20 miles on a single charge, which is more than enough for a round of golf. And with battery life typically lasting 18 to 27 holes before needing a recharge, you can be sure your cart will last through your entire round.

Other convenient features to look for in an electric cart include:

  • Built-in GPS for accurate yardage and course mapping
  • USB charging ports to keep your devices powered
  • Ample storage compartments for your gear and golf accessories

One of the biggest differences between electric and manual golf carts is how they handle different terrains on the course. Manual push carts require physical effort to navigate hills and rough terrain, which can be tiring over a round. Electric carts are designed to handle a variety of terrains easily. Many models have powerful motors and durable wheels that can tackle even the toughest courses. This can be a big advantage for golfers who play on hilly or challenging layouts.

Of course, the trade-off is that electric carts need less physical effort, which means you may not get as much of a workout as with a manual cart. But for many golfers, the convenience and ease of use are well worth it.

Safety Considerations in Modern Golf Cart Usage

Let's talk about safety for a minute. I know it's not the most exciting topic, but when it comes to using modern electric golf carts, it's crucial.

Remote Control Operation and Navigating Slopes

Picture this: you're cruising along the fairway, enjoying your remote control golf cart's convenience. But then you hit a steep slope. Suddenly, that convenience turns into a potential hazard. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission study, golf cart accidents cause over 15,000 injuries per year in the US. Many of these accidents happen due to improper use on slopes or lack of control with remote operation.

So, what can you do to stay safe? First, always read the manufacturer's instructions and safety guidelines. Make sure you understand how to properly navigate hills and inclines. And when in doubt, stick to manual control for better stability.

Golfing Experience with Additional Features

Now, let's shift gears to something more fun - improving your golfing experience with all the bells and whistles modern golf carts offer.

Convenience Features for Manual and Electric Cart Users

Whether you're a die-hard manual push cart fan or an electric cart enthusiast, there are plenty of features designed to make your life easier on the course. Take umbrella holders, for example. No more juggling your clubs and an umbrella when an unexpected rain shower hits. Scorecard holders keep your card safe and dry while freeing up your hands. And don't even get me started on the luxury of built-in coolers for your favorite beverage.

These extras may seem small, but trust me - they make a world of difference. My personal favorite? GPS holders. As someone who's directionally challenged, having my phone or GPS device right in front of me is a game-changer. We have a range of motocaddy electric golf push carts with tons of safety features. Do check them out.

Choosing Between Electric and Manual Golf Carts

So, you're sold on the idea of a golf cart. But now comes the tough decision - electric or manual?

Personal Preferences and Game Requirements

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for a workout and enjoy the simplicity of a manual cart, stick with the push or pull variety. But if you're all about convenience and want to conserve your energy for your swing, an electric cart might be the way to go.

Consider factors like the terrain of your usual courses and the amount of gear you typically haul. Personally, I'm a bit of a tech geek, so I love all the advanced features electric carts offer. But I also appreciate the tradition and the feel of a manual cart. My advice? Give both a test run and see what feels right for you.

Advanced Technologies in Golf Carts

Let's dive into the really cool stuff - the advanced technologies that are revolutionizing the golf cart game.

Follow Mode, Speed Control, and Long-Lasting Batteries

Have you heard of "follow mode"? This nifty feature allows your electric cart to automatically follow you around the course, staying a set distance behind. It's like having an obedient caddy that never gets tired. Speed control settings are another game-changer, especially for navigating those tricky slopes we talked about earlier. You can set your cart to maintain a steady pace, even on an incline.

And let's not forget about the power behind these high-tech carts - lithium-ion batteries. Long-lasting and quick to charge, they'll keep you going for round after round. I recently upgraded to a cart with all these advanced features, and let me tell you - it's like playing in the future. The convenience and cool factor are off the charts. If you have decided on going electric, read our guide on the best electric golf push carts.

Maintenance Tips for Golf Cart Owners

As a golf cart owner, I know firsthand the importance of proper maintenance. Whether you've got an electric or manual cart, taking care of it is key to ensuring it lasts for years of enjoyable rounds.

One of the most crucial maintenance tips is to regularly clean and lubricate all the moving parts. This includes the wheels, axles, and folding mechanism. I like to use a dry lubricant spray to avoid attracting dirt and grime. Keeping these parts clean and well-lubricated will prevent rust, squeaks, and sticking. It'll also make your cart easier to push or fold.

Checking Tire Pressure and Wear


Another important aspect of golf cart maintenance is checking the tire pressure and wear. Low tire pressure can make your cart harder to push and maneuver. It can also lead to uneven wear on the tires. I recommend checking the tire pressure before each round and inflating them to the manufacturer's recommended PSI.

While you're at it, inspect the tires for any signs of excessive wear, cuts, or punctures. Catching these issues early can save you from a flat tire in the middle of your game. Trust me, there's nothing worse than lugging your clubs because of a preventable tire problem.

Battery Care for Electric Carts

If you have an electric golf cart, battery maintenance is crucial. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for charging and storage. Most modern lithium-ion batteries don't require a full discharge before recharging. In fact, it's better to avoid fully draining the battery. I like to recharge mine after every round, even if there's still some juice left.

When storing your cart for an extended period, make sure the battery is fully charged. Disconnect it from the cart to prevent any parasitic drain. Some high-end models even have a built-in battery management system that takes care of this for you.

Folding Mechanisms and Portability Features

When it comes to choosing the right golf cart, the folding mechanism and portability features are key considerations. As someone who frequently travels to different courses, I need a cart that's easy to fold, load, and transport.

A compact folding design is essential for fitting your cart into your trunk or backseat. Look for models that fold down to a small footprint with minimal effort. Some carts even offer a two-step folding process, where the wheels fold in first, followed by the handle. This design allows for an even more compact size when folded. I've found that carts with a simple, one-handed folding mechanism are the most convenient. You don't want to be fumbling with complicated latches or levers while juggling your clubs and gear.

Lightweight Materials

The weight of your golf cart also plays a significant role in its portability. Lighter carts are easier to lift in and out of your vehicle and maneuver around the course. Look for carts made with lightweight yet durable materials like aluminum or titanium. Some high-end models even use carbon fiber for the ultimate combination of strength and lightness. Remember, every pound counts when you're loading and unloading your cart multiple times per round. A lightweight design can save you energy and strain on your back and arms.

Wheel Size and Type

The size and type of wheels on your golf cart can also impact its portability and ease of use. Larger wheels roll more smoothly over rough terrain and are less likely to get stuck in divots or mud. Airless tires are another feature to consider. They eliminate the need to worry about punctures or low tire pressure. Some models use solid foam or rubber tires that offer the same benefits. When folded, larger wheels may take up more space. Consider the size of your vehicle's trunk or storage area when choosing a cart with oversized wheels.

Still not sure how to weigh out the differences? Read our extensive guide on how to pick the best electric golf push cart for you.

The Impact of Golf Carts on Physical Health

As an avid golfer, I'm always looking for ways to stay fit and healthy on the course. One aspect that often gets overlooked is how the type of golf cart you use can impact your physical health.

The most obvious difference between using a manual push cart and riding in an electric cart is the amount of walking involved. When you walk the course with a push cart, you're getting a low-impact cardiovascular workout. Studies have shown that walking 18 holes can burn anywhere from 800 to 1,400 calories, depending on your weight and the terrain of the course. That's a significant amount of energy expenditure compared to riding in a cart.

Walking also helps improve your circulation, strengthens your leg muscles, and can even boost your mood thanks to the release of endorphins. Plus, there's something meditative about walking the fairways and taking in the scenery.

Pushing vs. Pulling

Even if you opt for a manual cart, the type of cart you choose can affect your physical health. Traditional pull carts, where the bag is situated behind you, can put strain on your shoulders and back. Pushing a cart, on the other hand, allows for a more upright posture and natural arm swing. This reduces the risk of back pain and shoulder fatigue.

Some push carts even have adjustable handles to accommodate different heights and preferences. This ensures that you're not hunching over or reaching too far forward, which can lead to discomfort.

Engaging Your Core

Another benefit of using a push cart is the engagement of your core muscles. Pushing a cart requires some degree of balance and stability, especially on hills or uneven terrain. This constant engagement of your core can help improve your posture and reduce the risk of lower back pain. It also helps train your body to maintain a stable spine throughout your swing.

Of course, the level of core engagement depends on the weight and design of your cart. Lighter carts with ergonomic handles will be easier to push and control.

Battery Technology in Electric Golf Carts

For those who prefer the convenience of an electric golf cart, battery technology is a crucial factor to consider. The type and quality of the battery can greatly impact the cart's performance and longevity.

In recent years, lithium-ion batteries have become the gold standard for electric golf carts. They offer several advantages over traditional lead-acid batteries. Firstly, lithium-ion batteries are much lighter than lead-acid batteries. This reduces the overall weight of the cart, making it easier to maneuver and transport. Lithium-ion batteries also have a longer lifespan and can handle more charge cycles than lead-acid batteries. This means you can use your cart for more rounds before needing to replace the battery.

Battery Capacity and Range

When evaluating electric golf carts, pay attention to the battery capacity and estimated range. A higher capacity battery will allow you to play more holes on a single charge. Most modern electric carts can handle at least 18 holes on a single charge, with some high-end models offering up to 36 holes of range.

Consider your typical playing habits and the courses you frequent when deciding on the battery capacity you need. Keep in mind that factors like terrain, weight load, and speed settings can affect the actual range you get from a single charge. It's always a good idea to have a bit of extra capacity as a buffer.

Charging Time and Methods

Another important aspect of battery technology is the charging time and methods. Look for carts with fast charging capabilities, so you can quickly recharge between rounds. Some carts come with a removable battery pack that can be charged separately from the cart. This allows you to have a spare battery ready to go, so you never have to worry about running out of power on the course. Other models have a built-in charging port that allows you to plug the cart directly into a power outlet. This is convenient if you have a dedicated storage area for your cart with easy access to an electrical outlet.


When it comes to choosing between an electric and manual golf push cart, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It all comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and golfing style.

Electric carts offer convenience and ease of use, but they come with a higher price tag and require regular charging. Manual carts, on the other hand, are more affordable and low-maintenance, but they require a bit more physical effort to push around the course.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and priorities as a golfer. Whether you opt for the high-tech features of an electric cart or the simplicity of a manual one, the most important thing is that you choose a cart that helps you enjoy your time on the green to the fullest.

Q: What is the difference between an electric golf push cart and a manual push cart?

A: The main difference is that an electric golf push cart is motorized and requires less physical effort to move around the course, while a manual push cart needs to be pushed or pulled by the golfer.

Q: Why would someone choose an electric golf push cart over a manual push cart?

A: Golfers may choose an electric golf push cart for its convenience, especially on hilly courses or for golfers who prefer not to carry their bag or push a heavy cart around the course.

Q: Are electric golf push carts allowed on all golf courses?

A: Most golf courses allow electric golf push carts, but it's always best to check with the course beforehand to ensure they are permitted.

Q: Do electric golf push carts have any disadvantages compared to manual push carts?

A: One disadvantage of electric golf push carts is that they are generally more expensive upfront and may require additional maintenance due to the motorized components.

Q: How do I know which type of golf push cart is right for me?

A: Consider factors such as your budget, physical capabilities, course terrain, and how often you golf when deciding between an electric or manual push cart.

Q: Can I use an electric golf push cart without a golf bag?

A: Electric golf push carts are designed to carry a golf bag, so it's recommended to use one with your cart for stability and balance.

Q: Are there any popular brands known for their electric golf push carts?

A: Yes, popular brands known for their electric golf push carts include MGI Zip Navigator, Stewart Golf, Motocaddy, Sun Mountain, and more.