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Golf Cart Bag Vs Stand Bag

golf cart bag vs stand bag
golf cart bag vs stand bag

Like many fathers, my dad told me to invest in well-made belts and good shoes. He said that you can tell a lot about a man by the care and attention to detail he puts into those things. He was right, and the same thing can be said about a golfer’s bag.

Golf bags are designed to serve a very simple purpose: to hold your clubs when you play. However, well-designed and well-conceptualized bags are made to do a lot more than that. They can make playing less stressful, while at the same time helping to add a splash of style to your game.

If your bag is breaking down or you just want a change, realize that the key to finding your ideal bag is to consider how you play and what you need on the course. After you answer those questions, here is what to look for, as broken down into three categories that generally encapsulate most players:

I’m never going to walk: Cart bag

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a resurgence in walking on golf courses, but many golfers are continuing to ride in carts. After all, many courses in the United States are not conducive to walking and have large distances between greens and tee boxes.

If you know you are not going to walk, then a cart bag is a good option. A well-made cart bag could last a decade.

Many cart bags can balance on flat ground and stay upright, but they don’t have fold-out legs to keep them steady. They typically have pockets on the front and both sides, while the back side will be devoid of pockets and be flatter to make the bag fit more securely on the back on the cart.

Think of a bag like the Ogio Convoy SE Cart Bag 14 ($249.99) as a U-Haul truck you take on the course. It has 14 compartments in the top to hold clubs and keep them for banging around, as well as 13 pockets. There is an insulated cooler pocket, bottle holder, a removeable ball pocket, an umbrella holder and pockets that can hold a rain suit, laser rangefinder and more. There is also a soft-lined pocket for a watch, cell phone and other valuables.

Cart bags tend to be relatively heavy (Ogio’s Convey SE is 5.9 pounds), but if you are riding that’s not an issue. Be sure there are at least two handles near the top to make it easier to get the bag into and out of your car, and look for a strap that has plenty of padding for when you will need to carry the bag from the parking lot to the course.

I prefer to walk, but ride occasionally: Stand bag

If you are a player who will ride on some occasions and walk on others, you need a golf bag that is versatile. You need to consider how heavy the bag is and how easy it will be to adjust the shoulder straps. You also need to think about what you will carry in it. For you, a stand bag might be the smartest option.

Not surprisingly, stand bags are the most-common style of bag used by recreational golfers. They are smaller than cart bags and usually are about 2 pounds lighter. That may not sound like a lot, but after 18 holes you will appreciate the difference.

Stand bags have a mechanism that springs a pair of legs outward when you set down the bag, allowing it to stay upright at somewhere near a 45-degree angle. This makes it easy to access your clubs.

Stand bags typically have three or five dividers in the top to keep your clubs organized, but some models, such as the Sun Mountain 2.5+ 14-Way Stand bag ($239.99), offer 14 individual club slots.

The 2.5+ 14-Way weighs less than 4 pounds and has five pockets, including a full-length apparel pocket, ball pocket and a pouch designed to hold a water bottle. There is also a velour-lined valuables pocket. The retractable legs are made from carbon fiber for extra strength without adding weight.

Like most stand bags, the 2.5+ 14-way has a strap system that allows you to carry the bag like a backpack, distributing the weight over two shoulders instead of one. The straps have thick foam pads for added comfort and can be adjusted quickly.

Typically, adding club club dividers adds weight, so if you prioritize having a light bag, look for one with three or five dividers in the top.

I never ride: Stand bag or carry bag

And then there are the purists. Some golfers would rather not play at all than ride in a cart. They insist that golf is a walking game. Period.

For them, a stand bag can be a good choice. However, there is a growing number of younger, hipper players who love the look and style of throwback equipment, including the bags used by players back in the days of Hogan, Snead and Palmer. For those players or anyone who takes a minimalist approach to the game, a legless carry bag (or walking bag) is an option.

As the name implies, carry bags are designed to be carried on your shoulder and do not always work especially well on the back of carts. They do not have the retractable legs of a stand bag, so they are laid flat on the ground.

A classic-looking example of a well-made carry bag is the Jones Sports Company’s Original bag ($150). Introduced in 1971, it is made from nylon and vinyl, and the minimalist, retro style remains the same.

Its top is divided into three sections to separate clubs, and it has three pockets, two in the front and a long one in the back, to hold balls, tees and a few other things. The Original bag has a single, well-padded strap to rest on your shoulder, and the bag weighs just 3.15 pounds.

For golfers who consider the walk to be as important, if not more important, than their score, or for players who sometimes opt to use fewer than 14 clubs during spontaneous evening and weekends rounds, a carry bag could be just the thing.

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