A Buying Guide for finding the Right Golf Bag
2021 Golf | 6 min read
Types of Golf Bags
Staff Bags are the sizable golf bags you'll see professionals use on the golf course. With large panels and plenty of pockets, players have maximum storage and branding space. Although staff bags have become the most traditional golf bag for pros, it’s important to note they are the largest and heaviest style. They range from 10-12 pounds and with the addition of golf clubs and golf equipment, you’re looking upwards of 35-40 pounds. However, if you’re an avid golfer, the extra weight may be worth it.
Staff bags usually have the most pockets so storage is not an issue. The large apparel pockets offer ample space for: golf accessories, a change of clothes, additional layers, and other essentials needed 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.
This bag style option is excellent for golfers that have a caddy, or don’t mind carrying a considerable amount of weight around the golf 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.
Staff bags are 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. The snug fit on the cart, 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.
One of the best staff bags on the market is the Prime Staff bag. Crafted with tour-grade synthetic leather and the finest materials, this luxurious yet sturdy staff bag is trusted by numerous PGA and LPGA pros. It features a 6-way club divider and reinforced steel ring top that is wrapped in velour. Not only does this premium staff bag look sleek, it provides the durability and functionality avid golfers demand from their golf gear. With 8 pockets, 2 water bottle compartments and an umbrella sleeve, this tour bag has a place for every golf essential. [Check out all Prime Staff features]
Golf 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 an electric golf cart or push cart. With front-facing pockets, cart bags provide easy-access to gear when the bag is nestled on the cart. This style of bag typically features a single shoulder 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 of staff bags. Of course, this is the top pick for those that prefer to ride carts rather than walking the course. Because cart bags often come in a 6-way or 14-way top option, they are preferred by players that have specific club organization. Golf cart bags are not recommended for golfers who prefer to keep their bags nearby for quick access since the bag will likely be left on the cart for the duration of the round.
One of the best golf cart bag is the Lux XV. Aptly named for its 15-way top divider and 15 full-length dividers, the Lux XV provides each golf club its own dedicated space. The fifteenth slot is generously-sized putter well that accommodates all putter and grip sizes. Smart features like forward-facing pockets & TPR-coated top handles are designed for quick access to golf gear. The most notable new feature is the upper, magnetic pocket pod that easily snaps over a cart strap. This provides accessibility to rangefinders, tees, golf balls, and golf accessories. Other storage includes: insulated, magnetic water bottle sleeves with drainage; an insulated cooler pocket, interior lock pocket, & antimicrobial personals packets. Each Lux XV Cart Bag includes a neoprene Cart Strap Sleeve to alleviate wear & tear caused by cart straps.
Golf stand bags, also called, “carry bags”, include any golf bag style that has stand legs. This is inclusive of sunday bags that range from 2-4 pounds to full-sized stand bags that weigh between 5-7lbs.
Many advanced stand bags feature two retractable legs that deploy when placed on the ground. The stand legs prop open to 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.
Some stand bags will come with a single strap, but most come with a double-strap system. This provides players with a backpack-style carry that evenly distributes weight, prevents unnecessary strain, and minimizes fatigue. High-end stand bags, like the Player III, will have a versatile strap system that allows golfer to interchange between a single or double-strap carry.
Golf stand bags are recommended for those that find themselves walking the course rather than taking a cart or doubling as their own caddy. With a lightweight frame and backpack-style carry, golfers can comfortably play 18 holes. Stand bags are 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.
This style is not recommended for golfers that normally ride on golf carts. 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.
Club dividers section the top of the bag for easy-access and club organization. Depending on how you prefer to compartmentalize them, will determine how many club dividers you'll need.
Most golf bags don’t have fully-enclosed, full-length club dividers, but high-quality bags will. Full-length dividers prevent golf clubs from tangling and minimize the wear and tear on expensive grips and shafts. Each style typically comes in the following options -
Staff Bags : 6-way top divider
Cart Bags: 6 or 14-way divider
Stand Bag: 2, 4, 6 or 14-way divider
The number of pockets slightly varies across bag styles, but all golf bags typically fit the essentials.
Front Ball Pocket - most commonly used to store golf balls, tees, yardage books, divot tools, and other small golfing tools
Large Apparel Pocket- ideal storage for: windbreaker, jacket, golf shoes, and additional golf gear in case of a change in the weather.
Magnetic Rangefinder Pocket- a pocket secured by magnetic closure to allow easy-access. Ideal storage for: golf balls, tees, or rangefinder (viewfinder).
Water Bottle or Cooler Pocket(s)- lined pocket that keeps water bottles and beverages cold.
STRAPS AND HANDLES
The touch-points of a golf 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 feature is not guaranteed with every brand. If this is a must-have item, be sure to check the bag features description.
Many bags 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.
✓ Players that need extra space
✓ Players that wish to optimize ad opportunities
✓Players that have a caddy
✗ Players that want a lightweight bag
✓Players that need extra space
✓Players that use a cart
✓Players that like options for number of dividers
✗Players that mostly walk
✓Players that need lightweight
✓Players that frequently interchange between single and double straps
✓Players that like options for number of dividers
✗ Players that mostly ride on a cart
Learn more about Vessel golf bags and accessories here: https://vesselbags.com/pages/golf
Have an Amazon gift card? Shop the VESSEL Amazon store