The best golf bag for you is arguably the bit of kit that will make the biggest contribution to making your life easier on the course. The right golf bag can make a difference to your game by conserving your energy and enabling you to concentrate on enjoying yourself more on the course.
Choosing the best golf bag for your needs isn’t just about which brand you prefer, although that is an important element for many. Before you get on to that or the budget at your disposal, you need to decide between three main types of golf bag: tour, cart, and stand. The good news is, we have all you need to know in this handy guide to the best golf bags of all types.
Different Types of Best Golf Bags
Tour golf bags (aka staff bags) are big beasts. As the name states, they’re mainly designed for professional golfers on the European and PGA tour. They’re the highest quality golf bag you can get, but with their size, endless hidden features, and cost, they are probably OTT for more casual golfers. A tour bag will last you a lifetime, making it a solid investment for regular lower-handicap golfers, but you’ll want a caddie or buggy to carry it for you as they’re seriously heavy when fully loaded.
Best Golf Cart Bags
Best Golf Cart Bags could be more up your street. These are the middle ground between a larger tour bag and a smaller stand bag. Golf cart bags are designed, as the name suggests, to fit on ‘carts’ or trolleys. That can be a pushcart or electric trolley, or on the back of a golf buggy.
On a wheeled trolley, this means you can pull your golf gear along easily. Years ago, trolleys were only used by older golfers or those with back issues. These days, however, many younger modern golfers have realized the huge benefits of the cart bag.
Cart bags are big enough to store your clubs in plentiful dividers in the top, while larger pockets can carry more gear like waterproofs, as well as food, snacks, and drinks, whether that’s water or a chilled four-pack, as well as golf balls and gadgets like GPS rangefinders.
The big plus of a cart bag is that it leaves you noticeably fresher during your round. For most golfers, it’s way preferable to carrying your gear on your back, up, down, and around 18, long holes of golf over 4 to 5 hours. As a result, your golf scores and standards shouldn’t slip due to you becoming tired on the back nine.
Best Golf Stand Bag
Stand golf bags, despite that, are the more traditional and most popular golf bags. They’re much lighter and you carry them across your back with dual straps, to help spread the weight. They’re designed with retractable legs, so when you put the back down on the tee, fairway, or side the green, you can prop it up – making it easier to take out/put away clubs – this keeps it cleaner too. With a stand bag, you don’t have to walk around greens or follow paths as you do with cart bags, as you can’t wheel trolleys over greens and have to go the long way around tee boxes, etc. But as they’re smaller, you can’t carry as much gear, and of course, the more you stuff in the pockets, the heavier it is to lug around 18 holes.
You can also get very basic, lighter and cheaper golf bags, called a carry bag, which is legless, and better suited to smaller half-golf sets and those who want a no-frills bag.
HOW TO BUY THE BEST GOLF BAGS FOR YOU
The best golf bags are strong, with high-grade stitching and sturdy zips, and should be comfortable to carry or transport from car to cart. They can house a fair amount of weight when full of your clubs, balls and kit, and are tough enough to be used weekly and carried or shaken about on trolleys regularly. They should be at least semi-waterproof so avoid your gear inside getting wet in the rain – as there’s nothing worse than slippery grips, or finding your jacket inside is already soaked! – and be able to withstand the rough and tumble of outdoor use.
A large number of dividers for club organization are preferable so you can pull/put back clubs quicker every time. Plus the more pockets the better for quick access to your essentials, such as snacks, drinks, wet-weather jacket, and spare clothing, balls, scorecards, and golf gadgets. Dual straps and a sturdy stand are useful features for carrying bags.
We’ve rounded up the best and newest bags of all types, from the biggest golf brands. It’s worth noting that golf bags are often discounted in end-of-season sales before new annual golf lines arrive.