8 Way Golf Bag Vs 5 Way Vs 14 Way – What the Best Bag Style?
The setup of your golf bag can sometimes make just as dramatic of a difference as your clubs in the bag. Not all golf bags are created equally.
We know that the rules specify that you can only have a maximum of 14 clubs but how should you bag them up?
In this guide, we will share with you some tips and comparisons for choosing the best bag style.
We’re looking at specifically 8 ways, 5 ways, and 14 ways here but there are options out there too.
Bag Style Overview
Not only will you find bags that have a variety of setups for your clubs but there can be any number of added features to a bag on top of that.
While we’re focusing on the club holding design here, you should keep in mind that there are other features to consider on your golf bag as well.
When you see a description such as 8 way, 5 way, or perhaps 14 way, this is how many dividers there are for your clubs. In a 14 way bag, you have 14 separated slots for each of your 14 clubs. The same applies to any other number.
What you may need to also be aware of is whether the dividers are just at the top or whether they will separate the clubs farther down in the bag as well?
Do the Dividers Really Matter?
You might be surprised to find that the number of dividers in your golf bag can make a difference. One thing you will notice is that it really boils down to your own preferences.
How organized do you want your clubs to be? How easy or hard for you will it be to choose a club with your 5 way bag as opposed to your 14 way bag?
Take a quick look at this video. It shows an overview of a 14 way bag. While this is a review of the bag, we simply chose it to give you an overview of using this type of bag on the course.
The dividers can help keep your clubs from banging against each other or from tangling in the bottom of your bag at times.
There may be some preference as to being able to just toss your iron back in the same divider as the other irons but there could be added wear and tear in this scenario also.
8 Way Vs. 5 Way Vs. 14 Way Golf Bag – What’s the Difference?
So what really is the difference here? We understand that a 14 way golf bag has 14 slots, giving each club its own place. But how do the 8 way and 5 way bags differ? What are the sections and how do you divide your clubs?
Another thing to consider is whether you are walking or using a cart and whether you will be using a golf stand. These factors can affect what the dividers do for you.
If you’re going to carry fewer clubs, we recommend using a bag with fewer dividers. This can also work great when you are on the cart as well. In this scenario, your 5 way bag will be awesome because it keeps things simple and divided but they aren’t banging around as much either.
An 8 way golf bag will typically have 3-4 larger slots for your groups of clubs like your woods and irons. Then, it will have at least 4 smaller slots for your individual clubs like maybe a wedge, driver, or putter.
Organizing your golf bag is the fun part of the process.
A 5 way golf bag will generally have a divider in the middle with two slots on each side so you can group your clubs, then it will have one more slot at the top or the bottom. You can put your specialty clubs here or perhaps your putter and driver.
Finally, the 14 way golf bag may be set up any number of ways but ultimately, it will have 14 different slots in some pattern or another.
Pros and Cons of a 5 Way Bag
The 5 way golf bag is ideal for a cart or even a stand use but it can also be used for carrying purposes. Here are some pros and cons to be aware of with a 5 way bag.
- Separate clubs into types to keep organized
- Easier to find open space in the slot
- Clubs stay grouped well together
- Easy to find and grab a club as needed
- You can organize your bag to your preferences
- Perfect for carrying fewer clubs
- Lightweight compared to others
- Clubs may bang together more
- You may have to play around a bit to get the best organization
- May be better for walking with a light bag or riding in a cart
Arranging A 5 Way Bag
When you arrange a 5 way golf bag, there are some tips for arranging that can be helpful. When you’re using a bag with fewer dividers, you may want a specific setup to make it easiest.
The best way to arrange your bag is to make it from longer to shorter. This means you will want to place your shortest clubs towards the front of the bag and the longest clubs towards the bag.
You can group them how you like from there but it’s best to stack them from shortest to highest for easiest access.
Who Should Use A 5 Way Bag?
5 way bags can be really great for any play. If you are walking the course, this is a good choice because it will be lighter weight.
Be aware that your clubs may bang together more but you can add additional protection to your clubs as well with covers.
These are also nice for carts or stands because you have organization but they probably won’t rattle around as much.
Pros And Cons Of An 8 Way Bag
- A good middle ground from 5 to 14
- Lighter than a 14 way bag
- Several compartments to organize how you like
- Offers slightly more protection of your clubs
- Perfect for any type of bag use
- Great organization and protection
- Easy to get your clubs in and out
- Slightly heavier overall than a 5 way bag
- Your clubs may still bang together some if carrying the bag
Arranging An 8 Way Bag
With an 8 way bag, you will still want to generally keep your shorter clubs towards the front and your longer clubs towards the back. You will have some variation since you have more slots, however.
We recommend placing your shortest clubs at the very front. From there, build out by using the middle places for middle irons and mid-length clubs. Your longest clubs like the driver and similar options.
Your hybrids and putter should be placed however you are comfortable, falling into the size organization.
Who Should Carry An 8 Way Bag?
If you want just a little bit more protection in your golf bag without making it super heavy, this is the bag for you.
It will be slightly heavier than a 5 way but it offers just a little more organization without being overly heavy.
With that in mind, you can walk or use these bags in a cart and they work quite well either way.
Pros And Cons Of A 14 Way Bag
- A specific slot for each club
- Keeps clubs separated and protected from banging around
- Perfect organization
- Great option for carts and stands
- Easier to just grab the club you need and place it back quickly
- Some bags only divide at the top and not all of the way down
- These bags can get pretty heavy
- Walking and carrying may be uncomfortable
Arranging A 14 Way Bag
Arranging your 14 way bag will be similar to other bags but it may also depend on your bag.
Some bags have specific designations while others allow you to organize as you please.
Your overall organization will be similar with the shorter clubs taking the front places and the longest clubs taking the back spaces.
Who Should Carry A 14 Way Bag?
14 way bags can be heavy and cumbersome. If you are walking the course, we really do not recommend these. However, if you prefer each club have its own designated spot, this is your bag!
This is also a good bag choice if you have expensive clubs or shafts and you are concerned about wear and tear from clubs being too close together. It adds that extra layer of protection.
Now that you understand the differences in golf bags, it’s time to figure out what works for you.
You might even decide that you want to have more than one type of golf bag on hand so you have a good option for walking and a good option for a golf cart. It’s totally up to your preferences!
Which bag will you reach for on your next golf adventure?
Aidan Lehane here, I’m a Mid-low handicap golfer who has made tremendous progress in breaking 90 in just over 1 year of playing golf seriously.
I get out to the course or range as often as possible and review all the equipment I’ve come across on this blog.