I thought I would dedicate today to a very overlooked item of golf equipment. An item that is a must for every level of player. An item that makes the game so much easier. An item that works the same for everyone… the novice, the intermediate and the pro.
Today is “Golf Bag Day” on SirShanksAlot.com. It’s funny how many questions we get about golf bags… both on the website and at work…
How should I get started in my search for a new golf bag?
That’s an easy one. Think about your game. Are you a rider or a walker? If you like to ride a power cart or use a pull cart… look at a cart bag. Cart bags are designed for carts… go figure huh? They usually feature larger pockets, elaborate club dividing systems… more bells and whistles basically. These bags aren’t designed to be carried. Extra features usually mean extra weight… something that isn’t a concern if you’re using a cart. If you like to walk and carry your bag then you probably want to look at a carry bag. These bags feature dual (backpack) strap systems, stands, fewer pockets and lighter materials. There are some bags that try to give the consumer the best of both worlds… bags that can be used as a cart bag and that can be carried. The Sun Mountain MPB is a recent entry into this category.
What are some of the new trends in golf bags?
It seems that everyone wants to find that perfect way of seperating all of their clubs. It used to be that a two divider system was more than enough for most golfers. Woods at the top, irons in the middle and putter are the bottom. Not anymore! More and more companies are coming out with bags featuring individual slots for each club. Some of these slots (depending on the bag) are seperated all the way to the bottom too. This greatly reduces the chances of clubs getting caught on one another. Pay attention to the type of dividing system… some bags look like they have individual dividers but you may find that the dividers don’t go all the way to the bottom. I have seen a few a few bags get returned because the dividers come unattached at the bottom of the golf bag. Find out how they are attached to the bottom and remember that you get what you pay for!
Another hot feature right now is the external putter tube. Ever lose your putter amongst the longer clubs in your bag? I haven’t… but apparently it is a big problem with some people. These tubes also allow for more room in the bag… more room for more clubs. Hey… if you want to carry 18 clubs… go ahead. Just don’t play me for money.
What’s the deal with tour bags?
Tour bags are those big billboards you see on T.V. … you know… the bags that your favorite Tour player uses. Every company will have a retail version and most stores will stock a few for display purposes. These bags are big… although smaller versions are available for everyday use. We sell the odd tour bag but they are not really that practical for the average player. The best time to pick up a tour bag is at the end of the season… a lot of retailers try to dump these at a reduced price.
What’s the difference between a ladies bag and a mens bag?
A ladies bag is usually a bit shorter because ladies clubs are a bit shorter. They may also feature more feminine colors and extras. Overall… don’t be too concerned about the whole ladies bag, mens bag thing. Find one that you like and one that suits your needs!
How do “brand name” golf bags compare to those without a name?
Most big equipment companies get other companies to make their bags for them. Example… Callaway wants to have a few bags in their line but they don’t want to invest a lot of time and effort into designing them. They contract out Ogio to make their bags and put the Callaway name on them. This happens all the time. If you don’t need the big name then don’t waste your money… the actual golf bag isn’t any better because of it.
What are your picks for the best cart and carry bags of the year?
There are lots of great golf bags out there but here are a few of my favorites..
1. Sun Mountain Phantom – Full dividers, decent size, external putter tube, very well made
2. Callaway ORG 14 – Good bag although the Callaway name bumps up the price
3. Datrek IDS 180 – Built like a tank, a bit heavy though
4. Bag Boy NXO Plus Organizer – Features Grip-Lok technology and a great price
5. Wilson Cart Plus – Good looking bag with some good features
1. Ogio Grom – Awesome bag for the price, our best selling bag this year
2. Sun Mountain 3.5 – Full featured bag that only weighs 3.5 lbs.
3. Ping Hoofer Lite – Not as good as the old Hoofer bags but still pretty good
4. TaylorMade Taylite 3.5 – Good bag, very light, worth a look
5. Titleist X56 – Looks like a Sun Mountain? That’s because it is
A few more odds and ends…
– Zippers are usually the first to go on a golf bag. Pay close attention to zippers and try to stay away from plastic ones!
– Look for stands that go right to the top of the bag. Stands that are attached halfway down the bag have a tendency to break.
– Have a look at the rain cover that comes with the bag. Is it big enough to hold today’s oversized equipment and headcovers?
– Take one of your clubs with you when shopping for a golf bag. Do you have oversized grips? Will they fit into an individual slot?
– Does your cart bag fit on your pull cart? Some bags are too wide for pull cart brackets. Can you get at all of the pockets when the bag sits on the cart?
– Don’t waste your time trying to convert your old cart bag into a carry bag. Those strap on stands don’t work!
Buying a golf bag isn’t rocket science but it is worth some thought. Find a bag that fits your game… don’t think you can carry a cart bag on your shoulder. Buy whatever suits your game the best and remember that you can never go wrong with a lightweight bag!