For some, golf can seem like an intimidating sport to jump into. Apart from the challenges that come with the learning curve of the game, it becomes an uphill task to determine which equipment would be the best for each golfer. Among all of the equipment requirements, a golf bag is something that a golf player can’t do without.
As a golf bag doesn’t actively improve a player’s game, individual needs and preferences other than functionality play significant roles when it comes to picking one. There are several varieties available on the market. If you’re a golfer, understanding the different types of golf bags is crucial, and being familiar with their features will help you make an informed buying decision.
Types of golf bags
When you enter a golf store, you’ll find an assortment of golf bags to choose from. Different styles and sizes cater to specific categories of golfers based on their techniques. The four main types of golf bags that are readily available are carry bags, staff bags, cart bags and stand bags.
Usually structure-less and easy to carry, carry bags are considered the lightest and most compact of all golf bags available. You can fold them up for easy storage and carry the bare essentials on the course. Being made of lighter materials, carry bags manage to weigh extremely less. While other golf bags may come with half a dozen or more pockets, carry bags are equipped with just a handful of pockets at the most. The average carry bag can hold just a handful of clubs, balls and tees, making it ideal for those who don’t want to carry their full set to the range or course. Most of these bags come with one- or two-strap configuration together with thick padding that offers shoulder and back support while walking from hole to hole. Additionally, many modern variations come equipped with a pair of foldout legs, which form a tripod to allow the bag to stand upright on the course.
Staff bags are often used by the pros and prominently display brand logos. These bags are the luxury sedans of golf bags; big, spacious and heavy. With pros, the weight isn’t an issue as a caddie carries their bag. But if you don’t have one, or aren’t someone with incredibly strong back, you may tire of lugging around the added weight. Traditional golfers may love the feel and look of staff bags, but the cost and weight may outweigh the benefits. Staff bags are ideal for professionals who need the extra real estate for the manufacturers and brands that sponsor them. These bags come with a large amount of space required by tour players to carry waterproofs, extra clothing, refreshments, balls, gloves etc.
These bags are ideal for players who use a riding, pull or push cart on the course. A number of versatile features, along with space for clubs, tees and balls, make cart bags the more preferred option over traditional carry options. Specifically designed to firmly sit on the back of a push cart or a powered golf cart, these are full size bags that provide ample storage space on the course. Cart bags typically come with a single strap and don’t have the built-in stand mechanism since they aren’t designed for carrying on the course. Pockets on these bags are forward facing and engineered in such a way that you can access all the zippers when the bag is strapped into a cart. Apart from being constructed with long-lasting, sturdy materials that are capable of protecting gear through questionable weather conditions, most cart bags come with a non-slip or rubber base that keeps the bag from sliding off the cart.
As suggested by its name, stand bags come equipped with a built-in stand mechanism, and are ideal for players who want to carry their clubs while walking through the course. These bags offer the most versatility among all golf bags available and come with a unique design – the two retractable legs. These legs enable the bags to stand either in a slanting position, or else, in a completely upright position (like a cart or staff bag). Many stand bags offer backpack-style shoulder straps that distribute the weight evenly across both the shoulders, as opposed to traditional single-strap bags. You can also use these bags with carts but you should make sure that the legs don’t get damaged.
Which Golf Bag is Best to choose?
While different types of golf bags are available, there are some features that you should consider when deciding on the bag, which is the best for you.
Straps and handles
Golf bags are handled by their straps and handles. It’s wise to ensure proper placement of them and that they offer the functionality that you’re looking for. For instance, if walking the course is your preference, a single-strap carry system may not be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you don’t walk the course regularly, a bag with backpack-style straps might not be required.
When considering pockets, think about the types of gear you like to have with you at the range or during a round. If you want to carry items such as your cell phone, go for a bag with a valuables pocket. A bag with an apparel pocket is a good idea if you want to carry a rain jacket or windbreaker.
A bag with a putter well is a good option, especially when you have a larger putter grip. A putter well is a specifically-designed, separate compartment that keeps the putter from damaging your other clubs’ shafts.
When it comes to determining which bag to take onto the course, you should conduct some research about the options available. Apart from finalizing your budget, try to figure out the features that you need most, and the ones you can live without as that could save you a considerable amount of money.