Is it time for a new golf bag? We know the feeling.
Your golf bag is an critical supporting player in your golf game. It not only needs to be functional, durable and organized – it should be worth the money that you’re not spending on the fun gear. Your golf bag should hold everything you need to play an efficient round or a laid back outing with some drinks.
It can be tough to narrow down all the categories and choices you have, so we’ve laid out the key decisions you need to pick that best golf bag for the way you play golf in our golf bag buying guide. Otherwise let’s move on to the top golf bags:
Best Golf Bags in 2018:
After reviewing every quality golf bag on the market this year, the best golf bags are:
BEST CART BAGS
Best Golf Cart Bag – Sun Mountain C-130 – 2018 Model
2018 marks the second year in a row that the Sun Mountain C-130 Golf Cart Bag won our Best Cart Bag title. There is definitely a lot to love about the overall layout and quality of this golf bag. New features and some design fixes have improved on an already popular design. If you are looking for a stylish and functional golf bag that won’t break the bank for driving around the links with, this is an excellent choice with only a few downsides.
Sun Mountain isn’t the most well-known brand on the market so you might be understandably skeptical.
SUN MOUNTAIN C-130 STAND OUT FEATURES
Smart Strap System
The new Velcro Smart Straps on the C-130 are extremely simple to use and will cut down on the twisting and over cinching that can happen with traditional strapping systems. You can get it on and off the cart quickly and securely, without cinching down on your clubs.
Integrated Putter Well
The separate putter well is extra roomy and makes easy work of getting putters with extra-large grips in and out of the bag.
Improved Top Handles
The top of this golf bag features an integrated top handle system with rubber coated handles that are well placed to help you maneuver the bag with a little grace.
All the Extras
One of the features to love about the Sun Mountain C-130 is that it comes with all the extras that you could want, saving you the trouble of ordering pieces separately. A padded shoulder strap, rain hood, umbrella holder and towel ring. You name it—everything is included and ready to roll.
Space and Convenience
Overall, this cart bag gets high marks for being roomy with well placed pockets that are practically laid out for a smooth user experience. They managed to nail the balance between spacious and bulky with this design. Weighing in at just 6.9 pounds, it comes in light for the storage space you get.
Although a few of the 10 exterior pockets have been moved to the side, departing from the front facing tradition of previous Sun Mountain cart golf bags, they still have forward facing access with well-placed zippers.
The 14 club dividers in this bag are set up in a tiered fashion which keeps your club heads laid out high to low and prevents them from knocking around during travel. Although they are full length, some users have reported some sticking when pulling clubs out. The top also features a new integrated handle system that we found does make this bag easier to maneuver.
The bag’s cooler pocket is smaller than in previous models, and it has also moved to the side. Although the zipper is still in the front, the draining holes remain on the left side of the bag which means you will have to be aware when you attach it next to other bags on the cart. If a large cooler pocket is a major priority for you, you may be disappointed with this model.
If you’re looking for style, you can’t go wrong with this golf cart bag. There are 11 different color patterns, each with a unique look that will set you apart on the course. Of course, a favorite for returning Sun Mountain fans is the good old red, white and blue. This year’s patriotic design is as sharp as ever. Looking for something more rugged? Go for the Camo Blaze.
These bags are made in the USA and the quality shows through. High-end materials, reinforced seams, and top-notch hardware continue to be something you can count on from Sun Mountain. The same 70D fabrics that are frequently used for high-end outdoor gear find their way onto this bag. You will be able to enjoy it for years to come.
In addition, Sun Mountain appears to have fixed some concerns with previous designs by addressing the slight listing problem in the older models. The C-130 is as stable as they come, even when fully loaded with gear.
Solid Bag at a Reasonable Price
While you can spend more to get some more room and some fancier options, the Sun Mountain 2018 C-130 Golf Cart Bag is a solid piece of gear that you will be happy with for years to come. You would be hard pressed to beat this manufacturer on style and functionality. USA manufacturing and a strong brand reputation sweeten the pot. Overall, this is a great value for all you get at a mid-range price poin and why we picked it was the best golf cart bag of 2018.
Best Golf Bag (Cart) Runner-up: Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag – 2018 Model
The 2018 Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag is an excellent choice for serious golfers looking to invest in top-notch gear. A little on the pricey side, the cost is justified in this case. Not only is there plenty of storage, the pockets are in the right place for an overall design that has kept this bag a top seller.
This bag also has an updated look with uncluttered lines and modern appeal to compliment any style. In addition, several design tweaks from previous versions of this popular bag make this year a great time for an upgrade.
STAND OUT BAG FEATURES
With 12 external pockets that have plenty of room to expand when stuffed, the biggest downside of this bag may be that it offers so much room you might need a little help to get this monster on the cart if you pack it to the gills. One thing is for sure, you won’t have to decide what to leave behind.
When you have invested in top end gear, it is nice to be able to do a little cross promotion. This bag has a minimalist look and plenty of space on the side pockets and front facing ball pocket for a company logo—perfect for those who like to combine business and pleasure.
All the Extras
Sometimes it all comes down to the details and Callaway didn’t hold anything back with this bag. Two cooler pockets, matching rain cover, valuables pockets with magnetic closures, pen holders, towel clip, umbrella slot—everything you need for a full day on the links in any weather.
The 14-way club dividers go the full length of this cart bag, preventing your clubs from binding when you pull them out. The putter well is extra wide, so even your extra-large grips will slide out with ease. There are two handles integrated right into the top which makes getting this mammoth situated on the cart a snap.
It doesn’t matter if a bag has a ton of storage space if getting to your gear is a hassle. Callaway has the winning formula with this design, keeping up with past years as their best-selling bag. The layout of the pockets just makes sense, and with 12 pockets to choose from, you can organize your gear to your heart’s content.
The base is steady, even when fully loaded. It features an E-trolley base which works with most carts including push and riding styles. The attachment strap passes through the bag for extra stability without binding up your clubs. Coming in at 5.6 pounds, unless you over stuff this bag, getting it on and off the cart won’t be a hassle.
Improvements from Prior Models
The Org 14 remains one of the most popular bags in golf, and Callaway has continued to refine the design with some significant improvements in this year’s model.
The powerful magnets on the fully lined and water-resistant valuables pocket give you fast, one-hand access while being strong enough that you don’t have to worry about them popping open on their own—a major improvement over zippers. They are large enough to accommodate even the bigger tablet hybrid phones on the market which is a sweet perk.
Stow pens or tees right on the front of the bag with three handy loops in just the right place to be useful but not in the way. A Velcro patch lets you stick your gloves right to the outside of the bag so you don’t have to go digging for them at the next hole.
There are now two insulated cooler pockets, both with their own drain holes and waterproof insulation lining to keep them cold. Keep a full six-pack topped off with some ice in one and put some snacks and an ice pack in the other to keep you fueled through the day.
We couldn’t let style go unmentioned because the Org 14 really brings it. It has a very polished look that communicates a certain sophistication. It has smooth lines and sharp contrast color blocks that just pop, even from a distance. Despite having 12 pockets, it doesn’t look cluttered.
Whether you keep it simple or add your company logo to the look, this is a golf cart bag that speaks to a quality investment in high-end gear. This bag will make you look like a pro, even if your swing can use a little work.
Great Bag for Serious Golfers
The Callaway Golf 2018 Org 14 Cart Bag is an excellent choice if you are looking for a quality cart bag that can keep a lot of gear organized so that you can make the most of 18 holes. With high marks for style, function and overall design, the price is justified. The only downside to this bag is that it has so much storage space and so many specialty pockets, you could find yourself with fairly heavy bag on your hands. Luckily, you won’t need to carry it far!
BEST PUSH CART BAGS
Best Golf Bag – Push Cart Bag: Sun Mountain Sync
Our pick for the Best Golf Push Cart Bag is the Sync model from a relatively unknown company outside of bags, Sun Mountain. This bag is very comparable to the Org 14 in its size, number of pockets and materials, with one exception – this model is designed for use on push carts. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the push cart bag on a motorized cart or vice versa, it really just means the decisions made around straps, pocket locations, etc. are driven by the intended use. Most of the time just there’s not much difference between the two.
Built for the Push Cart
The Sync golf bag is designed for maximum convenience when using a push cart. Your first priority on a push cart is keeping the bag in place, so the Sync comes with a notched bottom section that fits snugly with the triangular pads on many push carts. The side of the upper portion of the Sync has a pass-through strap that allows a strap to hold the golf bag in place without constricting the pockets.
Differences from the Org 14
- Org 14 designed for motor cart vs Sync being designed for push carts
- Sync has front carry handle where the Org 14 has the rangefinder pouch with strap slot –
SUN MOUNTAIN SYNC – STAND OUT FEATURES
- 15-way top with individual, full-length dividers
- Integrated putter compartment
- All pockets are forward-facing and accessible when the bag is on a cart
- Two utility handles molded into the top for handling
- Eight pockets include a beverage pocket and two velour-lined valuables pockets, one sized for a rangefinder
- The cart strap pass-through allows the golf bag to be secured to the cart without hindering pocket access
- Loop for towel
- Cart bumpers for added durability
- Includes matching rain hood
- High-quality, waterproof and tear-resistant material
- Smart mounted wraps for maximum stability on the cart
- 15 dividers for clubs
- 8 conveniently placed and easily accessed pockets
- Waterproof hood
- May not stand on its own without proper weight distribution
BEST STAND BAGS IN 2018
Best Golf Stand Bag: Callaway Chev (2018 Model)
The 2018 Callaway Chev Stand Bag offers basic functionality for a mid-range price and is a solid choice if you are looking for a lightweight standing bag for a full day on your feet. The design is simple but well thought out—don’t be looking for too many bells and whistles on this bag. On the other hand, expect functionality that will be there when you need it from tee to green. The Chev won our Best Golf Stand Bag rating two years in a row.
STAND OUT FEATURES
Featuring a whole new look, this year’s version of this popular stand bag comes in 7 color options with a sharp and modern graphic design.
If bang for the buck is a priority, the Chev should be on your shortlist. You get a trusted brand name, solid basic features, and all the function you need at a very affordable price with this golf stand bag.
The upshot of a basic bag like the 2018 Chev Stand Bag by Callaway is that it has just enough in the way of specialized pockets and storage to stow the items you need for 18 holes, without becoming overly cluttered with stuff you just don’t need to be carrying around.
POCKETS AND STORAGE
The pocket layout is masterfully simple and intuitive. The right-side pocket takes advantage of the full length of the bag for tons of space and filets open for easy packing. A Velour-lined valuables pocket adds a nice touch of class and quality feel while giving you water-resistant protection for electronic devices.
The top is 5-way; 4 pockets plus a very spacious putter well. The dividers are full-length, so you won’t have to worry about binding when you go to grab the club you want. There is nothing super fancy going on here—but it covers all the bases without adding any clutter or extra weight.
This stand bag comes in right at 5 pounds, respectably lightweight for 18 holes. Although it doesn’t feature as many extras as some higher-end bags, this may be a hidden advantage—less temptation to pack extra odds and ends you really don’t want to carry.
The handles are well positioned, including an ergonomically designed hard top handle and padded front handle which make this bag easy to maneuver. Non-sink feet on the sturdy legs will keep this bag where you want it on the green. The legs slide out quickly and easily, making set up and tear down for each shot a breeze.
FORM AND FUNCTION
The shoulder pads are thick and well placed, leading to an easy walk, even when fully loaded. The balance is right—something you don’t always get with knock-off gear. You can count on this bag performing well when it matters most.
Another easily overlooked feature is the seamless tee pocket. No more rips from getting the points lodged in the stitching. The zippers on the bag are smooth, outward facing, and built to last. This is the kind of quality you would expect from Callaway.
The Callaway Golf 2018 Chev Stand Bag is heavy on style, basic on functionality, and just right on price. Overall, the biggest selling point is strong value. If you are looking for Callaway gear to match your clubs, this is a low investment option worth considering.
We tried not to pick the same brand for our best stand and cart picks, but we really had no choice with Callaway‘s latest product lines. The Callaway Chev is the best golf stand bag for the money right now. It’s light, durable enough, and simply does what you need it to do – carry your golf clubs comfortably while walking the course and have the stability to stand up in all the situations you’ll end up in while playing.
- 7-Way top with full-length dividers
- 7 pockets including a soft lined valuables pocket
- All terrain base System – delivers stability on all ground conditions
- Soft mesh hip pad provides comfort and ventilation
- Weight: 5.5 lbs
- Good padding on straps and on the bag for carrying
- Spacious for a carry bag with typical pocket setup
- Dividers don’t go length of the golf bag
- Not quite as durable as cart bags due to weight optimization, although it’s plenty durable if you treat it well
Stand golf bags sacrifice some storage to be light enough for 18+ holes. If you’re used to a cart bag where you can fit a six-pack and a couple kids in them, you’ll have to leave a few things in your car (or at home). The Callaway Chev has your standard stand bag pockets – 1 velour pocket for your valuables, 1 full-length pocket that can *almost* fit my shoes in comfortably when not playing.
The Chev holds up well on the course. It’s able to stay upright when propped up on the inclines along the greens and the legs do a nice job of popping out when you set the bag down. I had a couple instances in prior Callaway bags where the leg would get stuck behind the casing where the legs rest when the bag is carried. It’s an easy fix so it’s more of an annoyance than a problem and I’ve not had that problem with this bag.
My bag usually has some extra space available. Just my towel, a dozen or so balls plus a few cheap ones for water holes, my rangefinder, my phone/wallet/keys and a water bottle. I can fit all this stuff with plenty of room to to stash a couple beers when playing a casual round.
It really is a quality bag at a solid price.
Founders Club Premium Cart Bag
The Founders Club Premium Cart Bag is an inexpensive golf bag for use with riding or hand pulled golf carts. It features a hard-top design that keeps club heads seated and organized during transit, a perk that has made it a very popular bag. It comes at a very reasonable cost, making it a great choice for those new to golf.
There are a few downsides to this bag to take note of, included limited storage room and a few minor design flaws, which we will cover in more detail below. It isn’t the perfect bag for everyone so read on to find out if it is the right cart bag for you before you buy.
Check Price on Amazon
Coming in under $150, this is a great value if budget is your top priority.
The hard-molded top hugs each club head in place so they are safe and protected. Your clubs will always be exactly where you left them with the added convenience of ditching your club head covers.
For a bargain cart bag, the quality is surprising. The fabrics used are a little bit lightweight, but the bag has some rigidity because it is constructed around a hard-plastic molded tube core for extra protection.
Innovative Top Section
First, let’s talk about the innovative molded top. Club heads drop down in each slot, keeping them from banging around in the car or on the cart. You will notice how quiet it is and may not be able to go back once you realize how much knocking your clubs were doing in a standard cart bag. You can toss the club covers—you won’t need them anymore with this set up.
The added organization the rigid top offers is another plus. Each club will always be in the same spot every time you need it. The putter hole is extra wide to accommodate large and supper putter grips as well, and there is plenty of height to accommodate longer staffs. However, if you are using a hybrid putter, this bag may not work for you since the molded top isn’t designed for them.
Storage and Style
Despite being a very inexpensive bag, we found it to be stable and steady when fully loaded. The base is a solid hard molded plastic and should last a long time.
The zippers run smoothly and the 10 exterior pockets are well placed for a balanced load. It will be easy to keep your gear organized. All of the pockets are well placed and can be accessed with ease, whether you plan on riding the course, or pulling your gear with a hand cart. A glove holder, lined valuable pocket and umbrella slot add plenty of versatility.
We got five 16oz. bottles of water to fit in the cooler pouch, which is in just the right spot at the bottom front of the bag. Toss three in the freezer before heading out and you will have cold drinks all day long. You won’t want to use plain ice—unfortunately, there is no drainage hole.
The (Few) Downsides
Design wise, we found a few areas that could be improved. Most of the pockets are just a bit more shallow than what you would expect. You may find yourself splitting your balls over a few pockets to get enough on board for 18 holes. The valuables pocket is just large enough for a mobile, but not much else.
In fact, all of the pockets could be a bit bigger. This won’t be a problem if you are packing light to pull your clubs on the course in perfect weather. However, if you want to pack for a rainy day, this bag may not have the room you need for a rain jacket and an extra pair of shoes.
It is also a bit heavy, coming in at 9.5 pounds. To make matters a little worse, the handles are not really in an ideal position. Rather than being in the front and top, they are on the side, making it a bit awkward to get it on hand carts since you need both hands to get a balanced lift.
The Best Golf Cart Bag for the Money
Overall, the price is right. The Founders Club 14 Way Divider Top Cart Bag is a great starter bag for the money. The innovative top offers some distinct advantages, especially if you can’t stand the sound of your clubs jostling around on the course. However, there are some downsides that are worth noting. If you need a lot of storage space for inclement weather or longer outings, you may want to keep looking for the right bag for your needs.
Best Golf Stand Bag: PING Hoofer Stand Bag – 2018 Model
The 2018 PING Hoofer is a 14 way carry and stand golf bag worth giving serious consideration. It is strong on function, quality, and style for a reasonable price tag. This bag will satisfy folks new to the game as well as seasoned players. In terms of a comfortable carry, this product exceeds expectations. If you are looking for the bag that will bring the enjoyment back to walking 18 holes, this may well be the one for you.
Check Price on Amazon
All 12 pockets are just where you would want them for an overall experience that is simply intuitive. Special pockets for a range finder, valuables, balls, gloves and pens are all the right size and easily accessible.
SensorCool Shoulder Straps
PING made comfort a priority by featuring double, front adjusting shoulder straps that have thick padding and a special fabric to wick away excess moisture. This bag will allow you to stay focused on the pleasure of the walk.
Available in five different two-tone colorways, this bag is heavy on curb appeal. In fact, it’s just downright sexy. PING brings it home on looks again this year.
The mid-range price tag is very reasonable for what you get from this golf bag. The fabric is durable, the hardware is solid, and the stitching is reinforced at the major stress points. The legs are quite sturdy and pop in and out of use with no trouble, with a full 24” span for a wide base, creating a stable stand you can trust even when you’re stuck on a 45 degree sidehill lie.
The 14-way top will keep each of your clubs in place so you can grab the correct club without even looking. The top handle is also well-designed with plenty of room for even large hands, making this bag easy to maneuver. The additional handle in the front makes standing it up a breeze.
One downside, however, is that the dividers do not run the full length of the bag. This can create binding from the grips getting hung up on each other. As a consolation prize, there is an easy access pocket that will let you retrieve any small items that you may drop down the top. Full length dividers would have been better.
If you are looking for a comfortable carry above all else, PING nailed it with the 2018 Hoofer. The double shoulder straps have plenty of padding and are designed to slip on and off easily. They adjust in the front for a perfect fit and a balanced load, every time.
The bag also features a hip pad that offers a decent cushion that can really make a difference over 18 holes. The thoughtful design also places the rain hood pocket in the same place for even more padding. You can also use this bag with just a single strap if that is your preference.
If you want to throw this bag on a cart, it does have a pass-through slot so that you can tuck the strap around the bag without losing access to any of the exterior pockets, a very nice touch indeed.
12 pockets and plenty of details give this bag high marks for organization. The roomy main pockets along the side will give you lots of space for extra garments and a towel. Smaller pockets give you a place for keys, valuables, and other odds and ends.
Another thoughtful pocket that really adds to the experience of this golf carry and stand bag is the insulated water bottle pocket. It is in just the right place for you to grab a drink while walking with your gear on, a major convenience. No more stopping halfway to grab a cool drink.
Finally, PING added some nice little details that really work. A small Velcro patch is convenient for hanging gloves without fussing with pockets, a perfectly positioned pen holder, and hoop pulls on the zippers for clipping keys or ID tags all add up to a smooth user experience.
Solid All-Around Choice
The 2018 Hoofer by PING doesn’t disappoint. It has a sleek and elegant look, thoughtful features without extraneous extras, and plenty of space to pack all your will need for a full day on the links.
Where this bag really shines, however, is comfort. Heavy padding on the shoulders and ample hip support make this bag feel like it was actually designed by a golfer that has walked the links a time or two. If you are tired of losing a great day to aches and pains, this bag is definitely worth a try.
Runner-up Best Golf Stand Bag: Titleist Lightweight Stand Bag
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Chev, check out the Titlest Lightweight Stand Bag. It has only 4 club slots and weighs a bit more, but also comes with slightly more storage.
Best Golf Bag Hybrid
Ping Pioneer Cart Golf Bag
Our runner up is slightly lighter than the Sun Mountain, so it pairs up as a carry bag well. For those wanting more diversity and adaptability from a golf bag, this is the obvious choice. The bag handles well both on your back and on the cart, is made of anti-rip polyesters and is water resistant, making it an excellent choice for any player.
The Pioneer has plenty of storage space for even us pack-rats. It has 8 zippered pockets that can hold plenty of gear. These include clothes, balls, valuables, and, because the bag holds in the cold air, it can be used to store some much needed cold drinks – especially when the beverage cart is nowhere to be seen.
The bag also features 15 dividers, allowing you to include your 14 playing clubs and space for a backup, alignment sticks, or a ball retriever. The dividers are designed to protect your clubs from banging and tangling when walking. The sides of the bag are made of a non-flex material, which further protects the clubs from a forceful impact, so it can handle some of your post-shot frustrations.
Is it really hybrid?
While the Pioneer is a hybrid bag that can be used to carry, it is primarily intended to be a golf cart bag. That’s why the pockets are placed on the top side of the bag so you can access them more easily while it’s strapped onto the cart. However, the special nonslip bottom lets you easily use a pushcart as well. You’d expect a hybrid bag to come with extra weight but the Ping Pioneer is pretty light, (it weighs 7 pounds) allowing you to carry it around like a carry bag without a problem.
- Non-rip, water resistant material
- 15 dividers for clubs
- The non-flex material makes up the sides for increased protection of the clubs
- Plenty of pockets for apparel, balls, and beverages
- Hybrid bag – can be mounted on a golf cart, push-cart or be carried
- Doesn’t seem to feature a hood
Other Bag Reviews & Prior year Winners:
Best Riding Cart Bag: Callaway Org 14 Golf Cart Bag
The Callaway Org 14 is our pick for the best golf bag in 2017, because it has tons of pockets, smart design, and being lightweight enough to make it easy to carry around when you need to. The Org 14 line has been in production for a few years now and Callaway keeps improving it.
- Full sleeve slots keeping your clubs from tangling
- 2 Cooler sections for drinks and a cool towel
- Felt lined pocket to protect phone screens; rangefinder slot
- Larger center slots for putter, and driver (Super Stroke 3.0 okay, be careful with any grip larger)
- Lightweight considering size
- Exterior slots for tees
- Can stand on its own at the range
The Org 14 comes with plenty of storage space to store everything you’ll need on the course. The pockets are not only spacious but also arranged in an intuitive way. You have two cooler pockets for drinks and your towel, two full-length side pockets (one is a cooler) with plenty of shoe space and a mesh section to allow your gloves to air out.
The Callaway Org 14 is designed to be used on a motor cart, so there’s a slot for the cart strap behind the upper rangefinder pouch that gives you extra storage space you wouldn’t get otherwise. The left side pocket also has a cleverly hidden sleeve for your golf umbrella plus slots for tees on the exterior. It’s clear Callaway put a lot of thought and took feedback from lots of golfers to make this bag so intuitive. A sign of a great golf bag is when you can easily access exactly what you need without interrupting your round.
The club organizer section is also excellent, with specific sleeves for each divider in the bag. This prevents your clubs from getting tangled up at the bottom. I’ve had bags without the dividers and there’s really no turning back once you’ve been able to slide your club back in without having to jam it through the other club grips. Just be careful not to force your clubs in too hard after a bad shot because the sleeves aren’t quite as durable as the exterior of the bag. Don’t let the warning fool you, though, the Org 14 is pretty durable considering it weighs in at less than 6 pounds.
While the Org 14 doesn’t have a carry handle on the front like some cart bags do, it does have a full length strap running along the back which you can use to carry the bag from your car to the clubhouse without issue. The combination of the design, storage capacity, weight and price, the Callaway Org 14 is the best golf bag for carts 2018. This bag is a winner and we hope Callaway keeps this line going for years.
In This Article
- 1 Best Golf Bags in 2018:
- 2 BEST CART BAGS
- 3 Best Golf Cart Bag – Sun Mountain C-130 – 2018 Model
- 4 Best Golf Bag (Cart) Runner-up: Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag – 2018 Model
- 5 BEST PUSH CART BAGS
- 6 Best Golf Bag – Push Cart Bag: Sun Mountain Sync
- 7 BEST STAND BAGS IN 2018
- 8 Best Golf Stand Bag: Callaway Chev (2018 Model)
- 9 Best Golf Stand Bag: Callaway Chev (2016)
- 10 Founders Club Premium Cart Bag
- 11 Best Golf Stand Bag: PING Hoofer Stand Bag – 2018 Model
- 12 Runner-up Best Golf Stand Bag: Titleist Lightweight Stand Bag
- 13 Best Golf Bag Hybrid Ping Pioneer Cart Golf Bag
- 14 Other Bag Reviews & Prior year Winners:
- 15 Best Riding Cart Bag: Callaway Org 14 Golf Cart Bag
- 16 GOLF BAG GUIDE: How to Pick the Best Golf Bag for You
- 17 WRAPPING UP – WHAT’S THE BEST GOLF BAG FOR YOU?
- 18 WHAT DO YOU THINK?
GOLF BAG GUIDE: How to Pick the Best Golf Bag for You
Types of Golf Bags: More than you’d think
There are a few major decisions you’ll need to make when deciding on a golf bag. The first, and most obvious being the decision between a cart bag and a stand bag. The main trade-off decision you need to make is between mobility (lighter weight) and storage (heavier).
Staff bags are the heaviest and the most expensive in the market. They’re almost exclusively produced by the major club manufacturers, mainly because they sponsor the Tour players who use the bags. They are big, flashy, bright and they grab attention – how else are they going to recover the sponsorship money? Size naturally means they are heavy – usually weighing in around 10 pounds, sometimes even more. Professional golfers have the help of caddies to handle the bag, so there’s no need to restrict size or weight. You better believe that if PGA Tour players had to carry their own bags, they’d get much lighter in a hurry.
Cart Bags – Riders
It may shock you to learn that cart bags are used by people who ride in golf carts and don’t plan to carry their clubs themselves. Crazy, I know. These things are not only heavy but they’re big. There are two subcategories of Cart Bags: Staff/Caddy Bags and Traditional Carry Bags.
If you’re not playing golf professionally, you’ll probably pass on the staff bag simply because you won’t need the extra space. We’ve got you covered if you do happen to fall in this camp. Everyone else should be looking at a decision between a Traditional Cart Bag and Carry Bag.
Cart Bags for Pull Carts
Cart Bags are smaller and lighter than Staff Bags. They are easier for a person to carry and are priced better. Even though they’re lighter most golfers won’t want to carry a cart bag around (unless you plan to have a caddy), as they weigh somewhere around 6 to 7 pounds without clubs. These bags are intended for pushcarts or to be mounted on the back of a golf cart. For that reason, they have special mounting wraps, and often have hardened, rubberized, non-slip bottoms so that they can stay securely in place once strapped in.
Golf bags for carts are less roomy than staff bags but are still spacious enough to allow you to carry 15, a rangefinder, clothes, balls, beverages and other necessities. They also have special placement of their pockets so that you may access them without having to unstrap the bag and take it down from the mount. If you use a motorized or push cart every time you play and like to carry lots of gear, a cart bag is for you.
If you prefer to walk the course and don’t look like Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson [image], you’ll want to buy a carry/stand bag. Typically, these bags can hold 12-15 clubs and have slightly smaller compartments. They usually don’t weigh much more than 6 pounds. Stand bags have retractable legs which extend when the bag is set on the ground, forming a tripod to balance it. These bags are smaller and designed to be as light as possible.
The quest for a lighter bag can mean less durability as manufacturers opt for thinner material construction and pocket lining. The key to finding the best stand bag is to find the right blend of durability and weight while still looking good on the course.
However, they still are good-sized and have a decent number of pockets so you can carry necessities, even a few beverages with you. These bags typically have handles on the top to help you lift them, and backpack-style straps so you can put them on your back and distribute the weight well. The often have deployable tripods that prop the bag up when you’re taking your shot. They also have reinforced bottoms that help set the bag firmly on the ground.
As the name says, these bags combine the best of both worlds – carry and cart bags. These bags are larger than carry bags and weigh more, but are still light enough to carry around. They often come with tripods, characteristic of carry bags, but they often have wraps that let you secure the bag to a golf or push cart. The same goes for the pocket placement: the pockets are placed so they can be easily accessed easily from both the cart and the stand.
Naturally, the quality of the materials used in the making of the golf bag is a major concern. The fact is you don’t want your bag ripping, breaking or leaking at any point, as it may damage your equipment, clubs, clothes or electronics (like a phone or a range finder). The last thing you need is your bag to fall apart in the middle of a round. That happened to me in 2014 when a pocket caught a railing while crossing a bridge and I nearly lost my wallet into a creek. Durability matters!
To keep all your stuff safe in the bag you’ll want to choose a bag made of rip-resistant, water-resistant materials. This will not only save your gear in an event of an accident (say, a sudden downpour or an aggressive bridge railing) but will make sure that the bag serves you well until you’re ready for a change of style or design.
Another consideration is the lining of the pockets – some bags have soft lined pockets and others with cooling capabilities. The velvet-lined pockets are good for keeping valuables in them, and the cooling capabilities of certain materials will allow you to keep a few beverages handy. They can even help to keep your phone from overheating in the peak summer temperatures. In addition, a hood or umbrella slot helps you keep your clubs dry in the rain.
Name brands are a big factor when it comes to buying anything, including golf bags. And like with everything, brand products tend to have premium price tags tacked on (but not always). Well known brands with long product histories give you confidence that your money is well spent and the manufacturer will resolve any problems you have. This gives the product a level of predictability, and you will know whether the product is good or not, and what are its strengths and weaknesses.
WRAPPING UP – WHAT’S THE BEST GOLF BAG FOR YOU?
It can be a little overwhelming to decide between all the golf bags on the market. Fortunately the overall quality of golf bags has drastically improved from the last decade. Even the cheapest golf bags are generally more durable than the golf bags of the early 2000’s – while being several pounds lighter. If you’re having trouble deciding, go with your gut based on the most important function for you or based on the look. It doesn’t have to be the best golf bag in the world to be the best bag for you.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have a bag you love? Hate? Drop us a comment below to let us know how you feel.