A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Golf Bag
2020 Golf | 6 min read
Types of Golf Bags
Staff Bags are typically used by professional players on tour. This is because the large panels and pockets provide maximum storage and branding space. Although this bag type is the most traditional, it’s important to note that staff bags are the largest and heaviest style of bag on the market--weighing around 10-12 pounds. After adding clubs and extra gear, you’re looking upwards of 40 pounds. However, if you’re an avid golfer or typically play full rounds, the extra weight may be worth it. The large apparel pockets offer ample space for golf accessories, a change of clothes, additional layers, and anything else that is essential for an entire day on the course. Many players attest to staff bags being their preferred option because this style typically features exposed water bottle pockets. Another highlight for avid players is that staff bags usually have the most pockets, so finding a place for everything is no problem.
This bag style option is excellent for those that have a caddy, or those that don’t mind carrying a considerable amount of weight around the course. It is excellent for players that need to be prepared for any kind of weather, or for those that spend numerous hours playing golf. It can store more than enough gear needed for long days, tournaments, and playing while traveling.
This bag style is not recommended for those that plan to utilize a cart often because the bed of most golf carts are actually too small to store the bag comfortably. Because of the snug fit on the cart, this may leave unnecessary scuffs on the material, and accelerate wear and tear. If you don’t normally have a caddy, it may be challenging to tote this bag so try opting for a lighter bag option.
Cart bags are slightly smaller and lighter than staff bags, but still offer a considerable amount of storage space. On average, this style of bag weighs about 6-8lbs and is specifically designed to be transported on a riding or push cart. With front-facing pockets, cart bags provide easy-access to gear when the bag is resting on the cart. This style of bag typically features a single strap with no stand mechanism because they are not necessarily designed for carry. The single strap is secured down with an additional cross-strap to keep it from dragging on the bed of the cart.
This bag style is recommended for those that want a substantial bag, but don’t need the excess space and weight that staff bags provide. Of course, this is the top pick for those that prefer to ride carts rather than walking the course. Cart bags are preferred by players that are particular in how they store their golf clubs since most brands offer a 6-way or 14-way option.
This bag style is not for those who prefer quick access to their bag it will typically be left on a cart, rather than being placed on the nearby green.
Stand bags, sometimes referred to as, “carry bags”, typically weigh between 5-7lbs. Many advanced models feature two retractable legs which kick out when placed on the ground. The reinforcing legs stand the bag at 45 degrees, which is helpful to keep the bag stable on bumpy surfaces. This means it won’t need to be left on a flatter surface while you putt or tee off. The tilted top also allows for easy access to clubs.
Most stand bags come with a double-strap which enables players to carry the bag like a backpack. This distributes the weight of the bag evenly and prevents unnecessary strain and fatigue. Few models of stand bags have a single strap, and even fewer can interchange between the two kinds of straps, however, high-end stand bags will have this capability.
This bag style is recommended for those that find themselves walking the course rather than taking a cart or doubling as their own caddy. The backpack style strap allows the player to carry the weight more comfortably from hole to hole. It is also a top choice for the “minimalist” player that does not tend to pack a lot of gear, and the “weekend golfer” that only finds themselves on the course every once in a while.
It is not recommended for those that typically ride on golf carts, since the bag may rattle around in transit. Even when the stand is strapped down, the bed of a cart may cause unwanted dents on the legs which may prevent them from retracting properly.
Although some features differ across bag designs, there are a few components that stay pretty consistent across brands.
Dividers section the top opening of the golf bag and provide a way for clubs to be organized and accounted for. Most golf bag designs don’t have full-length dividers, but higher-end bags will. Full-length dividers will prevent the clubs from tangling.
Stand Bag: 4, 6 or 14 dividers
The number of pockets slightly varies across bag styles, but all bags should fit the essentials.
Large Apparel Pocket- allows storage of a windbreaker, jacket, and any additional clothing in case there’s a change in the weather.
Magnetic Ball/Viewfinder Pocket- a magnetic closure that allows the pocket to snap open and close. This pocket provides quick and easy access to golf balls, tees, or viewfinder.
Water Bottle or Cooler Lined Pocket(s)- provides a spot to keep water or other beverages cold.
Velour-Lined Valuables Pocket - provides a space to store keepsakes, watches, jewelry, and anything else of value.
STRAPS AND HANDLES
The touch-points of your bag need to be sturdy and conveniently-placed. Otherwise, there isn’t much use from a handle that is only good for aesthetics. Many players like to ensure that there is at least one handle near the dividers, and one somewhere on the side of the bag.
An umbrella holder offers a helpful spot to stow an umbrella for rainy days. Well designed bags will place the umbrella holder in a space that does not interfere with the function and carrying of the bag.
Most high-end bags will include a rain hood, but this is not a feature that is guaranteed with every brand. If this is a must-have item, be sure to check the bag features description.
Most bags will have a towel ring, loop, or clip that is used to keep a towel. This loop allows you to keep your towel handy to wipe off dirt and debris.
To learn more about Vessel golf bags and accessories, follow this link: https://vesselbags.com/pages/golf