In 1993 the electric caddy business was small in Australia and historically, very few retailers stocked electric buggies. After a push from Ian’s father Noel – an avid golfer, Ian contacted Caddymatic, an electric caddy company in Queensland sorting a deal to purchase a caddy at wholesale price for his father. It was at this time, the opportunity arose for Ian to purchase the stock from this business and start operating it from the family home in Park Orchards, Victoria. He named his company after the original brand he sold, Caddymatic Australia.
1994 - 1997
Ian saw the only way to grow the business was to get retailers both off and on course to support the selling of electric caddies, however that was not easy as the total demand for electric caddies was low and the cost to the retailer for one unit was high. Through Ian’s persistence, he won over retailers one door at a time. Caddymatic Australia grew quickly over the next few years and moved from a leased office in Park Orchards, to Maroondah Hwy Ringwood and then in 1996, purchased buildings in New Street Ringwood. During these years
Caddymatic Australia had two name changes – Motorized Golf Australia (MGA) to then Motorized Golf International (MGI). The business also acquired the distribution rights to international brands Powakaddy, Lectronic Kaddy, Foissy and Hill Billy.
1998 - 1999
With the Australian dollar weakening and Ian’s desire to design and manufacture his own caddy range, he officially launched his own range of MGI branded electric caddies. Some of his original models were the Compact, Laser and Lite. These were basic walk behind models with square steel tubing, locally designed and manufactured electronics, New Zealand made wheels and imported motors. The 90’s saw Ian choose colors of Green, Burgundy and Black for his initial designs.
2000 - 2001
These years were a major turning point for the company with the release of its first remote controlled caddy, The Tornado. This unique model was manufactured locally and it used a solenoid that freed up the front wheel when the remote requested it to turn. The front wheel was otherwise locked in position to help The Tornado go straight. Other models to launch were the Superlite and Hurricane.
2002 - 2004
In 2002, MGI moved to 11 Maurice Court, Nunawading, Victoria, the same address where it is today. It was at this new premises that The Navigator was born and was the first motorized golf caddy to use an electronic compass. Although this design was ground breaking it had issues of being influenced by steel headed clubs, something that Ian would eventually overcome.
2005 - 2006
Ian’s younger brother Neil, joined MGI in 2005 followed closely by his youngest daughter Carrie and then his eldest daughter Miranda.
In what was a milestone year, he also moved the manufacturing of frames and motors to China and launched the Superlite 100, 300 and 500, the Navigator 700 and the iSeries.
In 2006 MGI launched internationally by exporting its first shipment to America.
2007 - 2010
The electronic compass continued on The Navigator until another invention, the electronic gyroscope came along in 2007. Golf Caddies travel over many different terrains and the gyroscope had to be able to deal with that. In what took much research and development, great financial investment and considerable time, eventually MGI were able to get it to work and the Navigator with Electronic Gyroscope with a patent was released in January 2008. Other models launched during these years were the SL50, C Series, iBuggy, and GPS Series.
MGI eventually moved all of its manufacturing to China with the launch of the R & G Series, however the Navigators electronics were still made locally and were launched with on board GPS and mapping. Another milestone for MGI was acquiring SureshotGPS, cementing MGI as a market leader in the golf industry. SureshotGPS was originally manufactured in the UK then production was transferred to Australia.
2011 - 2013
The Caddystar was released as a low end quality caddy in 2012, achieving its goal to compete against inferior online imports.
The SureshotGPS production was transferred to China/ Taiwan and MGI introduced hand held models – 300x, 700x and touch screen 9500x, a Golf Watch, Voice Caddie and Laser Distance Rangefinder.
MGI unveiled its first international, MGI branded, booth at the PGA Golf and Merchandise Show in Orlando, USA. It also featured in the New Product area generating much interest.
The world seemed to be full of three wheel electric buggies and there was a need for a four wheel version, which resulted in the Quad Series being released. Along with this a rebrand for the company also took place and striving to be more competitive world wide, all manufacture was taken off shore.
MGI introduced new models of the SureshotGPS Golf Watch and Laser Distance Rangefinder
2015 - 2016
With some customers requesting a three wheel version of the Quad, in 2016 MGI delivered with the Ryder Tri and differential Terrain Tri being released.
MGI introduced new SureshotGPS hand held models – 150x, 200x, 350x and 750x.
Built specifically for Australia and the world wide market, MGI released the space saving one-piece frame Zip Series – the X1, X3, X5 and Navigator – taking up 25 per cent less space when folded. The Zip Series was a game changer for the golf industry and saw golfers upgrade from push/pull carts to this new compact range.
In second half of 2017, saw MGI investing into the future with the Maurice Court offices being fully reconditioned into a world-class work space, providing wonderful conditions for staff and a great showroom for the trade and service customers. The SureshotGPS AIR Series Handheld, a Golf Watch and a new 5000 series Laser Distance Rangefinders were designed by Ian and released by MGI.
In its 25th year of operation, MGI exported the Zip Series to the world and they are currently being sold into more than 25 countries – an exciting time in the business as the global market means further growth.
In August, at the 25th Anniversary Dinner celebration, a Limited Edition of the Zip Navigator with
With golf course difficulty and distances increasing around the world, MGI responded in 2019 by developing the Zip Navigator AT (All-Terrain). The electric caddies independent swiveling front wheels, combined with the perfected performance and design of the established Zip Series models provided MGI’s most versatile caddy to date.