THE QOD Electric Golf Buggy looks a little different than many of its competitors doing the rounds these days and it is certainly an intriguing little unit.
The “QOD” actually stands for Quality Of Design and talking to Collin Hiss, the founder of the Australian company that designs, manufactures and markets these buggies, it is immediately apparent just how much thought, love and passion has gone into its development.
Starting out, Hiss wanted to design a buggy that was very compact, practical, simple to set up and pack away, easy to use and reliable.
Discussing his “baby” the other day, Hiss made a comment about golfing and buggies that I thought very wise, and that is that you can get a golf buggy with all the bells and whistles you want, but what you really want to concentrate on out on the course is your golf game, not what your buggy is up to.
QOD sent us one of their buggies to road test and this is just a short “first impressions” review after just a couple of rounds at our local course. We’ll have a full review in a couple of week after we’ve had more experience with the unit, particularly taking it on a road trip that includes the week long Australian Veteran Golfers Union National Championships in Port Stephens.
So some quick first impressions:
- We knew a major selling point of the QOD is its compact construction so we weren’t all that surprised it arrived in such a relatively small carton. What we were surprised by is the tiny “Mini Miser” lithium battery that powers the unit. At just 2.5kgs you really can just pick it up with one finger – so easy and convenient for travelling or just popping it into the garage to recharge overnight. And performance seems fine. So far it has never gone past full green status during our 18 hole rounds and the battery is assured to do 36 holes in one day (i.e if you were playing Saturday and Sunday you would have to charge it overnight [about 4 hours for full charge].
- Once you get the sequence right unfolding the QOD for use and attaching your golf bag takes a couple of minutes at most. Same to pack it away. It is all basically one small unit so there is no messing around taking wheels or accessories off.
- The QOD buggy is so small and light it is a breeze to lift in and out of a car boot, or in or out of your standard golf club locker for that matter.
- Its modular design, including the aircraft-grade aluminium frame, was developed for performance and ease of operation, but looks wise it does have its admirers. Setting it up in my club car park this morning a passing golfer said: “That’s a sexy looking thing.” And I’m 100 percent certain he was talking about the QOD.
- There’s a couple of different ways of controlling the QOD on course and integrating with its nine speed operating system is becoming seamless after just a couple of rounds. There’s a variable speed circular button (potentiometer) or plus and minus speed buttons with an added pause/resume button. My usual walking speed seems to be 4 or 5 so I’ve got lots of power left for uphill or thick grass.
- Despite the reasonable small footprint the QOD has proven very stable and I’ll be interested to see how it might handle some more severe slopes. I (unfortunately) got to use the umbrella holder with umbrella up for quite a while today and it remained very stable.
- The QOD comes standard with a USB charging port and there are other accessories/options including smart phone holder, drinks holder, scorecard holder etc.
- QOD has great faith in its product and offers a comprehensive two-year (or 2,000 rounds) warranty, a 10-year comprehensive warranty on the frame and axle shafts, two-years comprehensive warranty on the lithium battery charger and five years total warranty on the battery (two comprehensive, three limited)
So after just a couple of rounds the QOD is emerging as a very viable electric golf buggy option. I’m really looking forward to giving the unit a longer hit out, and maybe particularly all the times I’m going to happily carry the Mini Miser battery to my accommodations.