Golf Bag Buying Guide – How To Pick The Best Option For Your Game

 

To play golf you need a golf bag, you actually aren’t allowed on the golf course without one, and anyways it’s much easier to put your clubs in a golf bag than carrying them loose.

Like it or not, there will be a time when you will need to buy a bag for the first time or when your current one is getting old. There are a number of different styles of golf bags to fit your needs, pencil to carry to cart bags, there is a whole array of different types.

Choosing the right bag for you will make your round more enjoyable, and funny enough probably make you play better.

Let’s dive into all the different options out there, and hopefully we will make your purchasing decision a little easier.

What To Consider When Buying A Golf Bag?

Price

Bags can range from $50 to $600, this is a wide range and deciding on your budget up front is very important. Your leather tour bags will be your most expensive, with your pencil and bottom of the range bags being your cheapest. I would say the sweet spot is between $150 and $250.

Do You Carry Or Cart

There are three main styles of golf bags; cart bags, stand bags and tour bags. 

Cart bags are designed to be on a drive cart or push/pull cart. The main pockets are positioned in the front and sides, so when you put it on a drive cart or trolley you have access to all the pockets.

Stand bags are designed to carry, they have a double strap with pockets on the sides and front, the may become awkward when putting on a drive cart or trolley as the stand mechanism could get in the way, if you drive cart and carry, you could have two bags or choose a stand bag with a nice stand mechanism that fits on a trolley or drive cart.

Tour bags are your big boys, they have loads of pockets, but are very heavy. Unless you take a caddie we would not recommend going with a Tour bag, they are hard to carry and do not fit well on a drive cart or trolley.

You also get a pencil bag, this is a small lightweight bag used for a quick nine early morning or late evening. It will have one or two dividers, one pocket and one strap. We recommend having this as an extra bag and not your main bag.

Waterproof

Are you going to be playing in rainy conditions? You will inevitably play in the rain at least once, but if it is a once off occasion then there is no need to purchase a bag that is completely waterproof, they are generally a lot more expensive.

Most times if the bag has a rain cover that covers the top of your clubs, and a waterproof valuables pouch then that is more than enough.

Pockets

Having at least five pockets on your golf bag is a must, obviously if you buy a pencil bag there will be less but that’s the exception. You’ll need two front pockets, this will be for your balls, tees, markers, scorecards etc.

Two side pockets are for clothing, sunblock, rangefinders etc. And a valuables pocket is a must. Making sure you have at least five pockets will ensure you have enough space to store all your goodies when playing a round of golf.

Straps

Generally cart bags will have one strap, as it is there just to help you carry it a short distance. Where straps become important is when you are carrying your bag. You need to make sure they are comfortable and have enough padding. Best way to test it is to put it on and try it out.

Stands

The stands of your carry bag are also important. If they are flimsy and break, your bag becomes useless. The legs and mechanism at the bottom are both important to consider.

Buying a bag with strong sturdy legs is number one. Secondly the mechanism at the bottom is also important. There are two types, internal and external.

External is the most popular and cheapest, whereas the internal lasts longer but is more pricey.

Club Dividers

The way you store your clubs in your bag also needs to be considered. Pencil bags have one or two dividers, most other bags will have four to six, and you also get 14 divider bags.

We would recommend at least five, this prevents your clubs from getting mixed up and damaged. We feel 14 is an overkill.

Weight

Let’s be honest, no one wants to carry around a heavy golf bag. If you are carting or pulling your bag on a trolley then it isn’t too important, but buying a lighter bag is still better than a heavy bag.

When carrying your bag, going with a light bag can actually improve your scores, you won’t be as tired towards the end of your round, allowing you to finish off strong.

Extras

There are a few extra small things to consider when purchasing a bag, which don’t make a big difference but are definitely something to consider.

Carry handles, water bottle holder, towel clip, padding for carry bags, scorecard slot, velcro for your glove, zip quality.

What Are The Different Types Of Golf Bag To Consider 

Stand Bag

Besides the cart bag, the stand bag is your most popular bag. When it comes to pricing you can get some very affordable options, they are easy to carry, lightweight and have plenty of storage options.

As the name says, the bag comes with a stand, this prevents the bag lying on the floor, it also helps you access the pockets and clubs easier.

There are many different styles and pricing, so make sure you read the guide above before making your purchase.

Cart Bag

Along with the stand bag, the cart bag is also a very popular option. This bag is designed to go on a drive cart or trolley as the pockets are positioned in the front and sides, which makes it easy to fit on your drive cart or trolley.

If you are going to carry your bag, we would not recommend this bag, it generally only has one strap and you have to put it on the ground when you hit your shot.

The cart bag has loads of storage space, allowing you to store all your goodies. They also come with an option of 14 dividers for your clubs, which some players love.

Pricing also varies here, you can pick up some really good bargains when it comes to cart bags.

Pencil/Carry Bag

This bag is for your early/late 9 hole golfer. Some people have this as an addition to their main bag. It has very few pockets with only a few dividers for your clubs. They are generally very affordable and extremely lightweight.

If you are looking to cart, do not buy a pencil bag, they do not fit well on a cart bag or trolley.

Tour Staff Bag

Tour bags are the ones you see on TV, all tour players use them as they have large areas for sponsors, and are able to carry everything the tour player needs.

They are reasonably popular amongst amateurs, but only to guys that use a drive cart or trolley. They are extremely heavy as they are made from leather. In my opinion they are not great, they don’t fit well on a drive cart or trolley, one pocket is always not accessible, and they are extremely heavy.

Plus they are the most expensive bag on the market.

Best Stand Bag – PING Hoofer

The Ping Hoofer bag is a household name in the golf industry, for many years it has been a step ahead of its competitors. Their awesome designs, incredible quality, and loads of pockets make this bag the best in its class.

Your clubs are well protected with their high-impact polypropylene construction and anti-flex walls, this will prevent your clubs from getting damaged.

They have a new strap system which provides comfort.

The Ping Hoofer has 11 pockets, much more than most brands. It also features a cart strap pass-thru channel, this allows the cart strap to go behind your pockets, keeping them accessible.

It has a rain hood to protect your clubs when it rains.

It also has a magnetic range-finder pocket, and an easy accessible water bottle holder.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Loads of pockets
  • Rain hood
  • Protective club dividers
  • Incredible long lasting quality

Cons

  • Very expensive

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Best Cart Bag – TaylorMade Supreme Cart

The TaylorMade Supreme Cart bag is the best cart bag on the market. It has a synthetic leather finish making it durable but still lightweight.

It has seven front facing pockets, which gives you loads of storage and easy access during the round. It has a magnetic clip on a dual closure accessory pocket. This allows you to open it quickly and easily without anything falling out. 

It features a large cooler pocket with a built-in drainage system, this allows you to store food and drinks for the length of the round.

Pros

  • 14-way top divider with a separate putter divider
  • It has 11 Total pockets in total
  • Quick access magnet closure giving you easy access
  • Large integrated cooler for food and drinks

Cons

  • May to too bulky and heavy for some
  • Expensive

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Best Tour Staff Bag – TaylorMade Tour Staff Bag

The TaylorMade Tour Staff bag is the cream of the crop, their 2022 design has the Stealth colors. It has a premium design which aligns with the latest Carbonwood Technology.

It is packed with loads of specialized pockets and efficient storage, for your drinks, tees, balls and everything in between. It is completely waterproof, so nothing will get wet when you play in the rain.

What we like the most about the TaylorMade Staff bags is that they are always coming out with cool new designs. From the 4 majors each year, to product specific styles. They have many different designs.

Pros

  • It has 12 Total pockets
  • Like the cart bag it has a quick access magnet closure pocket
  • 2 hard shell stash pockets keep your belongings safe
  • 2 large well garment pockets will keep your clothing dry

Cons

  • It is heavy to carry
  • Doesn’t fit well on a drive cart or trolley
  • Very expensive

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Best Carry Bag – Callaway Par3

 

This may be cheating, but I don’t care. The Callaway Par3 Pencil bag is the best in the market. It does however have a small stand, but it is so tiny that it just keeps your bag from lying on the ground. Other than that it is exactly the same as your traditional pencil bag

It has a 3 way divider for your clubs, and a ring for your towel. It has 4 pockets, much more than most pencil bags, with one of them being velour lined for your valuables. It has a durable fabric and two straps, making it easier to carry.

Pros 

  • It has 3 dividers for your clubs
  • Ring for your towel
  • 4 pockets
  • It is very durable
  • 2 straps making it even easier to carry
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Clubs may become damaged over time from rubbing up against each other
  • Might get tired from picking it up after every shot
  • Not ideal for 18 holes

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Conclusion

 

Picking a golf bag needs to be as important as getting fitted for a driver or putter. With so many options out there, from styles to prices, you need to know what you are looking for when going to purchase a bag.

The five most important things to consider are; price, do you cart or carry, weight, pockets and dividers.

Having the right bag will make your clubs last longer, prevent everything from getting wet when it rains, and it can actually make you shoot better scores.