Big Max Blade IP Golf Push Cart Review
Big Max Blade IP Golf Cart
Teacher’s Comments: The engineering is amazing. The next best thing to having a caddy.
As a dedicated walker prone to back issues, I long ago gave up carrying my bag in favor of golf push- and pull-carts. Initially, pull carts were the only option; later, I purchased a Sun Mountain Speed Cart, which has served me for nearly fifteen years.
But for all its virtues, the Speed Cart is bulky, taking up considerable room in storage and in the car. I know several people who literally cannot fit one in the trunk of their car, and thus are disinclined to walk.
Enter the Big Max Blade IP Push Cart (or trolley, as they say across the pond). If only everything in life were engineered with the elegance and precision of the Big Max Blade IP Golf Cart.
Big Max is a European-based company that has in recent years made a push into the US Market. The company started making pull carts in 1994, and in 1997 created what may very well be the first three wheeled push cart. You can read more about the history of the Big Max Trolley at the link.
The “blade” part of the Blade IP name is pretty obvious once you look at the design and the way it lays flat when folded. The “IP”, however, is a bit of an inside joke. It stands for “intellectual property” and refers to the fact that Big Max has had many imitators over the years, but that the flat fold patents are currently holding strong.
The aforementioned “flat fold” is the standout feature of the Big Max Blade IP. While a full sized, and fully functional push cart, the Big Max Blade IP folds down to the height of two boxes of balls. It is an amazing bit of design. The top handle folds into the bottom frame, and the wheels fold and wrap around. The only part that really protrudes is the collar that holds the top of the bag.
When folded flat, it is thin enough to tuck behind a seat. It takes up virtually no room in the storage area of my Subaru Forester.
Once you get the hang of it, opening the Big Max Blade IP takes only a few seconds to fold or unfold the trolley. To open, you grab it by the handle and just sort of shake it a bit. The Big Max Blade IP unfolds and everything clicks into place. The handle locks in position with a lever.
Folding the Big Max Blade IP is nearly as simple. After unlocking the handle, it folds into the back part of the frame, which then flops forward to the base. The side wheels fold up nearly automatically. The only real hitch is unlocking the front wheel. I haven’t quite got the hang of that yet.
You can see how the Big Max Blade IP folds and unfolds in the video below.
Construction on the Big Max Blade IP is top notch. The frame is of tough, but light aluminum; the wheels, brakes, tray and joints are very sturdy plastic. I can see this golf push cart lasting for a decade or more.
A benefit of the materials used is that the Blade IP is quite light, coming in at under 15 pounds. It feels much lighter than that.
Both my Big Max and Sun Mountain bags fit nicely on the Blade IP. The top and bottom cradles have elastic bands that stretch and hold them securely in place.
Of note is that bags sit more vertically in the Big Max Blade IP than in a Speed Cart. This clears the top of the bag from the handle, making it easier to take clubs in and out. However, it also moves the center of gravity for the cart upwards.
On the course, the Blade IP push cart is a solid performer. It pushes easily, and is quite stable. It handled the hilly University of Michigan golf course with aplomb.
Just for fun, I let go of it on a downhill fairway at the University course. The Blade IP coasted to the bottom in a nearly straight line, with no sign of instability.
As an aside, I have two occasional golfing buddies who like to race their carts down a hill at our home course. It often ends with disaster … one cart crashing into the other, and one — or both — falling over. My money would be on the Blade IP in such a contest.
The upright angle of the bag in the Big Max Blade IP makes it easy to slide clubs in and out. Clubs easily clear the handle. On my SpeedCart, which has a more horizontal angle, I find that the weight of things in the pockets, as well of the shafts themselves, press down on and crowd the clubs. The SpeedCart’s design often makes it difficult extract or replace the clubs.
For securing the Big Max Blade IP on slopes, there are two foot “brake” levers on the rear wheels. I hesitate to use the word brakes, because they simply lock the wheels in place. Engaging the lock is just a matter of a simple flick of the foot. There are two — one for each wheel, but I have never bothered to engage more than one.
Just under the handle is a plastic storage unit with a spring loaded lid. On top of the lid, there is a clip for a scorecard, two spots for balls and several spots for tees (although my Martini Tees don’t fit).
The two knobs on either side of the tray are covers for accessory ports. These can be used, for example, to insert an umbrella or GPS holder. The covers and accessories release with a push of the red buttons.
The inside of the Big Max Blade IP has a couple of elastic rubber bands that I use to hold my GPS in place. The GPS holder accessory is currently out of stock, so I have to make do.
Just forward of the storage unit is a self-leveling cup holder. It fits my 750ml Camelback bottle perfectly.
The handle is well padded, and I like fact that the padding wraps around the curves down to the storage box. A flip lever allows height and angle adjustment on the handle.
If you need additional storage on the push cart, Big Max sells a flat tray that attaches to the two arms at the bottom of the cart, and a mesh bag that attaches to the vertical. I think I’d like to get these. With my camera equipment, I can never really have enough storage space.
The Big Max Blade IP is the next best thing to having a caddy. It eliminates the weight of a bag on your shoulder, keeps your clubs and gear in order, and lets you enjoy golf as it was meant to be enjoyed — on foot.
The Blade IP is available in five colors and costs around $330.
A couple of minor criticisms: First, it does not turn as quickly as I would like. I think that has something to do with the relatively small front wheel. Nudging the push cart to head left or right is a slow process because the Big Max Blade IP insists on going in a straight line. I find that the best method is to tilt it back, aim it and then head straight out.
My second criticism is related. That smallish front wheel doesn’t navigate craggy terrain as well as I would like. On the vast majority of golf courses that isn’t an issue. But if you play on munis with questionable ground conditions, or on a course that is unusually rugged, it might come up.
Studying the Blade IP as it lies folded, I think that there is room for the front wheel to grow in diameter. A larger wheel could solve both of those difficulties.
Still, these are minor quibbles. Overall, the Big Max Blade IP is as good a golf push cart as I have used. I’d really like to see what kind of engineering magic Big Max could perform on an electric trolley. That’s the next step in golf “push” cart evolution.
Below are some photos of the Big Max Blade IP next to a perhaps more-familiar Sun Mountain Speedcart for reference.