9 Best Golf Bags for your Next Round
Although it is often overlooked, the golf bag is an important piece of golf equipment and should not be ignored. In a lot of ways, a golf bag is like the façade of the golfer's house: It gives others a palpable first impression of the gear and skill within. The type of golf bag you carry can say a lot about you.
Shopping for a new golf bag? Our golf experts at Golf Academy of America have compiled a list of some of the best golf bags out there:
This is easily the most common type of golf bag. Ideally, they combine durability with ample storage space without being too bulky to fit alongside a couple of others in your trunk or being too heavy to use while walking a lot of rounds. Current leaders in this category include:
- PING Hoofer: Long considered the gold standard of stand bags, the PING Hoofer continues to be one of the most popular bag models. With a wide range of available colors, eight pockets and a sensible weight of 5.4 pounds, its popularity makes it an exception to the “rule” about mismatching your clubs' brand with the bag's brand.
- OGIO Nimbus: OGIO doesn't make clubs, so you're in the clear when it comes to the mismatch rule. At just 3.6 pounds, the Nimbus is one of the lightest bags in its category. Impressively, it still has seven pockets to hold all your balls, tees and other necessities.
- Sun Mountain THREE 5: Like the OGIO Nimbus, the THREE 5 weighs in at less than four pounds and — like the Nimbus — it includes seven pockets. The mouth of the bag is also thoughtfully shaped so that it is easy to put clubs in and pull them out.
If your idea of golf always includes a golf cart, then weight isn't as much of an issue. That means storage is a bigger concern for you. With a cart bag, there is room to keep your rain suit and a couple dozen golf balls in your bag at all times — just make sure you tip the cart attendants when they lift them in and out of your car. If you're in the market for one of these bags, here are three to consider:
- PING Traverse: A ten-pocket cart bag that weighs only one-tenth of a pound more than a stand bag? Years ago this seemed like a pipe dream, but with the 5.5-pound Traverse, it is now a reality. Not only is it light, it's also easy to maneuver thanks to solid, strategically-placed handles. Furthermore, the material that forms the exterior of this bag is particularly durable.
- OGIO MAJESTIC: At 6.5 pounds and with eight pockets, the Majestic cart bag is hefty and built for extended use. It's also easy to load — the mouth is 10 inches wide, meaning your clubs have plenty of room to coexist peacefully. Visually, the exterior of the bag is a bit different, with a checkerboard pattern that makes it stand out like Rickie Fowler on Sunday.
- Titleist Premium Staff Bag: Unless you're a Tour pro, if you have a staff bag, it's a cart bag by default. Titleist's Staff Bag is popular, able to hold a ton of gear and easily recognizable as an emblem of a serious golfer. It does cost $375, after all.
Back in the pre-golf cart days, bags were exceedingly simple, without much technology factoring into their construction. Nowadays, these less complex pieces are making a comeback, especially among players who walk most rounds. Walking bags also enjoy the widest price range of any genre of golf bag. They are sometimes referred to as “Sunday bags.” They usually do not have stands and are typically laid flat on the ground.
- Titleist Carry Golf Bag: This Titleist carry bag is one of the most popular walking bags due to its simple design, light weight (2.8 pounds) and reasonable price (around $80). It's perfect for the no-frills golfer who sometimes will play with six or seven clubs, although it is large enough to hold 14 clubs.
- Original Jones Bag: Based in Portland, Oregon, Jones has made bags for a number of uses beyond golf, but their links offerings have been very popular lately. Weighing just over three pounds and with three total pockets, they are heftier than their Titleist counterpart and more expensive (about $140). Their strong outer material makes the Original Jones bag an excellent everyday option. Jones also makes a premium “waxed canvas” walking bag that costs $300. Additionally, Jones produces stand and cart bags, all with their trademark 80s/90s styling.
- The Original MacKenzie Walker: You'd be justified in thinking that $995 is way too much to pay for a golf bag, much less one without a stand. Nevertheless, many discerning players choose the supple leather Original MacKenzie Walker for a refined, traditional feel. If you seek a high-end golf bag, look no further.
There are so many options available to golfers today, and it can be hard to choose what is right. However, don't let that deter you from finding a proper golf bag — it's an important piece of your equipment. Any of the abovementioned selections would be a great place to start!