Sun Mountain’s Pathfinder 3 buggy is packed full of features and is designed to handle cart and stand bags with equal ease. See what happened when we put the new buggy through its paces.
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4)
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: One of the things I noticed instantly about the Pathfinder 3 was it came out of the box fully assembled, and was relatively compact in size when folded up, meaning it will fit in almost any car.
From an aesthetics perspective, the cart is smart and sleek and the variety of colours – six on offer – allows you to personalise your buggy/bag combination. While my stand bag fit comfortably on the buggy and the bungee cords and bracket locked it in place once they were adjusted.
HOW IT PERFORMED: The first real test for any buggy is how easily it folds and unfolds, as there is nothing worse than wrestling with multiple steps and clasps in the car park before your round. This wasn’t an issue with the Pathfinder 3, which was up and back down in two easy steps.
As my time went on testing the Pathfinder 3, I was more and more impressed with how well my bag was secured to the buggy. Having always been a stand bag user, I long ago accepted my bag rolling around during my round and having to constantly flip it back over to access the pockets. This is an area where buggies have improved in recent times, and certainly wasn’t a problem with the Pathfinder 3, which is the best buggy I have used in this regard thanks to its unique upper bracket that perfectly housed the stand of my bag. And because the bag was so soundly in place my clubs very rarely rattled against each other, which was a nice added benefit.
The buggy was smooth to push, even on rough terrain, and when travelling on flat fairways and downhill, the Pathfinder could be pushed quite easily with one hand. And while the front wheel is fixed and the turning circle isn’t as tight as some, this wasn’t a major hindrance at any stage.
Outside of the buggy’s bag security and how easily it was to push around the course, its accessory console was where the Pathfinder 3 really impressed me.
There is a spot for everything right at your fingertips, including balls, tees, scorecard and a drink holder that means your drink of choice is always easily accessible, as well as a mesh basket for anything else you could ever need on course.
My favourite two accessory features of the buggy, however, were the velour lined valuables pocket under the handle that was absolutely perfect for quickly accessing my range finder, and the phone holder, which stands up your mobile and locks it in place with a small cord. Despite some initial concerns that it could bounce out, the phone stayed in place for the entirety of my multiple rounds of testing, and is in the perfect position if you use a GPS app on your phone, or if you have ducked out of the office and need to keep an eye on your emails and calls.
Overall, the Pathfinder 3 did its core functions well, moving around the course without any issue and folding up and down easily. Its hand brake makes ‘parking’ to hit each shot a simple process and despite its relatively small size, the buggy was stable and handled a round in high winds very well, only ever looking like tipping over if I parked it poorly on the side of a hill.
Beyond these obviously very important performance aspects, the benefits of the well-designed accessory console and the security that it held my stand bag with, meant I was seriously impressed by the Pathfinder 3, which offers the same bag security regardless of the type of bag you use, through its adjustable straps and brackets.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUN MOUNTAIN SAYS: The Pathfinder 3 push cart folds quickly and easily in two simple steps and has a small, compact footprint, so it easily fits in your vehicle.
The accessory console is designed to secure your cell phone, scorecard, golf balls, tees, keys and more, while the cart also has a mesh basket for additional storage and a velour-lined valuables pouch that is perfect for range finders.
Adjustable bungee cords on the upper and lower bag brackets secure any bag in place, and work together with the adjustable, universal upper bag bracket, which works equally well for cart or stand bags. Finally, the tracking system allows easy tracking adjustment.
For more information contact Australian Golf Supplies at www.australiangolfsupplies.com.au