What would Indiana Jones be without his whip?
You need a golf bag, and you’re either using an old dusty one that’s become misshapen, or you don’t have one at the moment.
Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.
Whether it’s you or your caddy bringing the clubs around, a good bag will protect those expensive clubs, hold onto your additional gear such as gloves, shoes or even a range finder, and if you treat it well, stand the test of time.
Grabbing one of the best golf bags is basically setting yourself up for life. Built tough, designed for heavy use, and easy to maintain—that’s what we’ve got for you on this list.
Best Golf Bags Reviews & Recommendations For 2020
- Wilson 2018 NFL Golf Cart Bag
- Founders Club Premium Cart Bag
- K-Cliffs Driving Range Mini Course Travel Case
- Orlimar Pitch and Putt Lightweight Stand
- TaylorMade Golf Stand Bag
- OGIO Alpha Convoy Golf Stand Bag
- Titleist Players Four Stand Bag
- Ping 4 Series Golf Stand Bag
- Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian Golf Bag
- Original Jones Golf Bag
Wilson 2018 NFL Golf Cart Bag
Wilson dips their toes into every type of sport you can imagine, and you can bet that golf is no different.
Their 2018 cart bag features some of the best renditions of classic design that you’re already crazy about, but it’s just done the Wilson way to push the envelope a little bit farther.
First of all, this is a cart bag that looks like a stand bag.
As such, it includes a tough base at the bottom for when you’re transitioning it from the car to the cart, from the closet down the front stairs, and so on. It’s convenient and reliable.
Speaking of reliability, when we were poring over golf bag reviews, we were surprised to find out that a lot of people don’t know about ripstop polyester.
While it’s not a waterproof material, it does include a very tight construction that does what the title suggests—it stops rips.
The abrasion-resistant and tear-proof design is basically perfect for anyone who’s a little rougher on their golf bag than they should be.
Inside, you get a fourteen-way divider.
I only know a couple of people who carry more than fourteen clubs during a casual match, so this would be perfect for them, and more lightweight users as well.
I personally use one of the divider slots to keep an extra long ball retriever handy, and it works like a charm.
You get multiple pockets that are designed for golf gloves, holding onto valuable items, and a base pocket that doubles as a cooler thanks to the lining.
Stash your cold water bottles here, and you’ll be good for a while. It keeps them out of direct sunlight as well.
Altogether, even if you use a push cart instead of a golf cart, this bag is about as prime as you can get.
Speaking of which, it’s priced like you wouldn’t believe. Whether or not you get it on a deal, the base MSRP of this bag blows everyone else out of the water.
Founders Club Premium Cart Bag
Founders was a hard one to judge, because they actually almost beat Wilson in our little checklist.
It’s another cart bag, built out of durable nylon and hard plastic for the protectors on top. Each individual slot has its own protector, which can be switched out whenever you need.
This comes in handy if you angrily slide the club in, and the steel head cracks a piece.
Since this is rubberized ABS plastic, that’s not likely to happen, but having a quick repair option is always a good thing.
As for the rest of the construction, you’ll still see ABS plastic components all over the bag, but you’re also going to see a highly durable nylon.
This prevents abrasions and tears, but it isn’t waterproof, so you’ll have to use the inclusive rain hood to keep those droplets at bay.
Much like Wilson’s bag, this has fourteen slots in total, which is plenty for most golfers.
You can utilize the golf gloves holder and six additional pockets to hold onto valuables, club ID cards, or whatever else you need.
They’re all quick access slots, so you won’t have to go far to get your phone or wallet in a jif. One of the components of this cart bag is the refrigerated pocket section.
This allows you to just throw in some cold water bottles when you park, and have them stay nice and chilly for about three or four hours.
That could be all the time you need to use a push cart on a nine-hole kind of Sunday.
Lastly, we want to tell you about the cart strap. It’s good, but it’s not as durable as it looks, so keep an eye on it to be safe.
If anything happens, you have a one-year manufacturer warranty that you can redeem at any time.
K-Cliffs Driving Range Mini Course Travel Case
I don’t think I would be able to find a better ultra light golf bag if I tried. Ultralight bags get a bad rep, but they can often be built tough like an expensive Wilson cart bag.
K-Cliffs made this bag out of everything you need, and nothing that you don’t.
With a primarily soft nylon upper section and sturdy PVC piping in the center, it’s rigid enough to stay straight and hold onto your clubs properly.
Nothing is worse than a soft nylon case with absolutely no skeleton to it (I had an electric guitar case like that back in the day; it did more harm than good).
Now, I’m not going to pretend that pencil cases are the almighty answer that you need. For one, there are no dividers in this entire bag.
You just have to stack them appropriately within the bag, and make sure they don’t rattle around too much.
This is basically a case that’s designed for a beginner; it’s lightweight, easy on your shoulders, and it doesn’t cost a fraction of what the lower-end cart/divider bags cost.
This is a great introductory bag.
The strap has multiple points of contact, allowing you to adjust it as you see fit and make it work for you.
For the full length of the case, and the handle as well, it’s soft to the touch so you won’t feel the side of your clubs hitting your back while you walk.
If I had to summarize it, I would say that it’s just effective enough to work, but it isn’t for more experienced players who will be carrying more clubs, and more gear.
You are sacrificing additional storage, fridge pockets, and things of that sort that we’ve discussed in the other bags.
Then again, for this bag, you won’t make as big of a dent in your checking account.
Orlimar Pitch and Putt Lightweight Stand
Nylon is a great material, when it’s used properly. I want to start this review right out of the gate by saying that this is not the most comfortable bag, which is why it’s one notch below K-Cliffs.
They didn’t use enough nylon to really add a comfortable layer, just a protective one. It’ll protect your clubs, but you’ll mostly be relying on this bag to be used with its stand.
Now that that’s out of the way, I do love the stand. It folds up quickly, pops out fast, and is built pretty well.
They did a bang-up job on this one, and it’s one of the main strengths of this bag.
Another strength resides in the price—it’s beyond agreeable, and in downright competition with the K-Cliffs bag.
But it’s just like a pencil bag. It doesn’t hold many clubs. You can comfortable fit six clubs, but if you jam in that putter, seven will fit very snugly.
They did something that kind of baffles me: they put a divider in the middle of the bag, but the central compartment is all the same.
It almost feels pointless to include it, if you ask me.
I talked about the nylon not being that comfortable. That’s true, but if you look at the base weight of this, that might not be as big of a problem to you as it was to me.
It’s under two pounds in total, which is pretty darn lightweight for a golf bag. You can tell where they skimped on the material to make that possible, but it’s still a nice feature.
While most of the other bags we’ve reviewed had a rain hood or something to help, this doesn’t.
No part of this is waterproof, so be very careful not to travel in the rain with this one if you can avoid it. It’s light, it’s priced right, it’s just not a forever golf bag.
TaylorMade Golf Stand Bag
TaylorMade—they make your favorite golf balls, they might even make your favorite golf clubs. They’re everywhere in the golfing world, and for good reason.
They stand golf bag gives you a little bit of everything you need. To start things off, there’s no preset amount of clubs you can hold in this.
It’s got a four-way organizer, meaning you’ll be able to stuff different amount of clubs in here depending on what brand/size you have.
It’s an odd approach, but you can still divide your clubs, so it works.
TaylorMade doesn’t make waterproof golf bags, which is a bit of a shame, but if you look at the competitors bags on this list, neither do they.
Water resistant is as good as you’re going to get, which is why instead, they always include a rain hood.
The harness strap is easy enough to slug over your shoulder and carry from spot to spot, it’s just not the most comfortable thing in the world.
Then again, this does come with a retractable stand that you should be using.
The stand itself is great quality. On the bottom of each peg, there’s rubberized feet so that you aren’t tearing up the green after your swing.
Overall, it’s a good design with a solid nylon construction.
TaylorMade sits in the middle of the price range here. It’s basically a tightrope act between value and quality, which is kind of where their brand tends to lean anyway.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned golf veteran, this bag has a little bit of everything for you.
Best Golf Stand Bag: OGIO Alpha Convoy Golf Stand Bag
The best golf cart bag goes to OGIO, and if you weren’t expecting this seemingly small brand to come out of the woodwork, you’re not alone. After using their Alpha Convoy stand bag, it’s difficult to think about ever using anything else.
As the best golf stand bag, it comes with three handles to pull and hoist it any way you want, as well as a 14-way top to manage every one of your golf clubs. While you might not be bringing the entire set out to the club with you, the option is there. The plastic dividers are lightweight, so even if you’re leaving empty room, your bag won’t be too heavy.
Crafted out of durable 600D cordura nylon, the OGIO Alpha Convoy bag is designed to handle intense sun exposure, as well as general wear and tear. You’ll be able to put this bag through hell and back before you notice any signs of degradation.
YKK zippers are the most sought-after zippers out there. It sounds like a very small detail, but it matters more than you’d think. These zippers don’t snag, and help protect whatever pocket they’re covering without popping open from a bit of pressure.
Your stand is fairly sturdy as well. Pop it open, lean the bag back, and it should come to a halt without feeling jiggling or pressure on the stand beyond what’s normal. The stand has small stabilizing rods that are mightier than they look.
On the bottom of your bag, the rubber foot pad will collect dirt and grass fairly easily. Light wear and tear could be enough to ruin these, so it’s recommended to purchase additional traction pads (the sticky back kind) for when these give out on you.
You have a two-year warranty straight from the manufacturer, which covers manufacturing defects and workmanship issues. Normal wear and tear doesn’t count. Thankfully, OGIO built this bag to be tough as nails, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll burn through this even if you’re rough on it.
Runner Up Golf Stand Bag: Titleist Players Four Stand Bag
Titleist has always been referred to as the best golf travel bag brand out there, because they keep things nice and lightweight while allowing you to explore tons of pockets and options. Their stand bag is the near-perfect culmination of every feature you would want in a golf bag.
Starting with the material, Titleist crafted this out of durable nylon and dual-density foam scattered throughout the multiple pockets on this bag. When you pop the stand open, you’ll notice the small stabilizing rods help to prop the actual stand legs where they need to be. Depositing and withdrawing these from the interior of the bag can be tricky, so do it with caution.
The stand itself is fantastic, but another excellent feature is the full-length apparel compartment. Not going directly to the club when you leave the house? You can simply put your shoes, hat, glove, and everything else in this pocket, then change when you get to the club.
With full-length dividers, your club heads aren’t knocking around up top. However, those club dividers are narrow, so you’ll notice some crowding near the top. Organizing your clubs appropriately is a must.
The self-balancing and convertible strap system is designed to handle better when you’re carrying this from hole to hole, and while it makes it easier, it’s hard to tell if that’s just the great weight distribution and balance by the design of the bag or not. It might be hype, but the bag’s balance from top to bottom at least helps.
It’s not only one of the best lightweight golf bags out there, but it comes in a dozen colors, and a stays compact regardless of how much you stuff it. Less bulk means less swinging while it’s on your back. Titleist doesn’t include a known warranty with this golf bag, so once you make a decision if this is the right bag for you or not, you’re on your own.
Alternative Golf Stand Bag: Ping 4 Series Golf Stand Bag
You’ve seen this bag on the PGA tour, you’ve heard of Ping, but now you get to own one. This fantastic golf bag hits a really great price point that just about every golfer can get behind.
As one of the best lightweight golf bags out there, Ping pulled out all the stops when they made this. With a four-way top and a max empty weight of 4.5 lbs, you have the versatility you need while keeping unnecessary weight off of your shoulder.
Speaking of your shoulder, you’ll be happy to know that after you weigh is down with clubs and golf gear, the shoulder pads include sensor cool technology, which helps to aerate the space between your shoulder and the strap to keep sweat at bay. The material itself isn’t sweat-wicking, but this does the trick just fine for the walks between holes.
With a customizable ball pocket panel, as well as a deployable rain hood, you’ve got all the fixings you need. However, nothing is perfect, and there’s a reason this didn’t top our list. Ping didn’t make the strongest stand, so you will feel this wobble a bit if you overload it. That’s one of the trade-offs we see with ultralight golf bags from time to time.
While the stand is still sturdy, it also doesn’t sink into the ground thanks to the plastic feet. You have access to an insulated water bottle pocket, which works fairly well, although the valuables pocket is a bit of a let-down. It’s too small to really hold onto anything shy of a ring, so no watch storage unfortunately.
Seven pockets, a four-way top, and one of the most breathable shoulder straps you’ll ever use. It has its perks, and works well for anyone that’s trying to consolidate their golf bag with hybrid clubs and ultralight gear.
Best Glider Golf Bag: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian Golf Bag
Sun Mountain came out of the woodwork to provide the best walking golf bag out there, because unlike the term being used to simply define it like a best carry golf bag, this actually comes with wheels to walk it across the green.
You don’t just get wheels on the stand, but also on the bottom. Two large rubberized wheels are ready to handle bumps, bruises, and even the asphalt in the parking lot when you go to and from your car at the golf course.
One downside here is that the bag is pretty heavy, so for those moments that you have to carry it to and from different areas, just note that the empty weight is 11.8 lbs. Top that with your clubs and gear, and it’s going to be pretty beefy.
With multiple pocket areas inside of this bag are reinforced with heavy-duty zippers, as well as the 1200D polyester that makes up the rest of the bag. Everything is reinforced to help keep your bag intact and all of your possessions safe.
Out of every golf bag on this list and the others that we considered for it, this has to be one of the most linear and compact designs. You have five colors to choose from, although there’s no warranty that we can find anywhere online to cover this.
Best Golf Travel Bag: Original Jones Golf Bag
Last but not least, we have the best hybrid golf bag from Jones Golf BGS. Why is it good for hybrids? Because it’s not fitted with a bunch of unnecessary room or space. What you see is what you get, and that takes a bite out of the price tag, too.
With as ingle shoulder strap and a weighted, balanced bottom, you can prop this upright on the green, retrieve your hybrids clubs, and call it a day. There are less compartments here and less features than our other bags, which some can see as a bad thing, and others will see s a minimalist take on an age-old design.
With two zippered ball pockets and an external umbrella sleeve, you have everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. The strap is wide and designed for continuous carry throughout the day, and the design is simplistic: black and white. You can see grass stains, know what to clean, and then be done with it.
Speaking of minimalism, you’ll be happy to know that this golf bag is only 3.15 lbs when it’s completely empty. Adding your golf club weight to this, but not having the option of the extra-long garments compartment or unnecessary valuables pockets will help keep the overall weight down.
Golf Bag Buying Guide and FAQ
What to Look for in a Golf Bag
No two golf bags are created equal. Look out for these key features to know if they’re right for you or not.
● Bag Type: Stand bag, cart bag, or carry bag? This is the preliminary choice you need to make before you look at materials or brands. Are you actually going to carry your bag from hole to hole, or are you bringing a cart the entire way? Stand bags work best for walkers so you can avoid grass stands and getting dirt on your bag whenever possible.
● Material: Most golf bags are made of nylon, canvas, some plastic bits, and sometimes leather (depending on how much you spend). Canvas and nylon are durable and long-lasting, and above all else they’re ridiculously easy to clean. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining your bag, tough-as-nails canvas and nylon are your best bet. They also don’t crack from sun exposure like leather does.
● Empty Weight: How much does the bag weigh when it’s empty? Because that’s going to impact how much it weighs when it’s full, too. Start with a lighter bag and apply your equipment, and you’ll be in a better spot. Every pound of carry weight can fatigue you further, so in a carry bag, you should always go for ultralight over ultra-functional.
● Dedicated Pockets: Some golf bags will have spots for water bottles, some for cell phone use, and some will even be insulated. It’s important to think about everything you bring with you when you go golfing, no matter how small it may seem now. If you specifically go golfing in the winter, an insulated pocket might be worth your time to consider.
● Dividers: Dividers help to separate your golf clubs. This can come in handy to prevent them from banging into one another and getting dented, scratched up, or just generally damaged. Some dividers are good, but keep the number of clubs you actually use in mind. You don’t want to have more dividers than necessary, otherwise it could jack up the price.
What is the Difference Between a Golf Cart Bag and a Golf Stand Bag?
The best golf cart bag is designed to strap onto the frame of a golf cart, while a stand bag is meant to be carried on your shoulder from hole to hole, but has a collapsible stand that keeps it propped up.
This allows you to withdraw clubs from the divider on the top.
Most stand bags are golf bags with full length dividers, while some cart bags might skimp on the depth to preserve costs.
Is a Cart Bag or Stand Bag Better?
This is going to come down to preference for some people, but I’d like to throw out some hard facts about the differences between the two, and let you decide from there.
If you’re actually going to take a cart every single time beyond the shadow of a doubt, then a cart bag is far more convenient.
You strap it on, you just go and you enjoy the day. You walk over to the cart when you need something or to switch out your iron, and life is good.
It’s more convenient because at no point do you have to collapse the stand, carry it in your hand or over your shoulder, and prop the stand back up at another hole.
Even if you hit a par 3 on all eighteen holes, that’s still well over 50 times that you have to set up a stand bag and retract the legs again.
However, most of us aren’t using carts every single time. In fact, I prefer to walk on the green and actually enjoy the day.
If I cart from time to time, I’ll do a full eighteen, but if I’m walking, I usually stick to nine most days.
Setting up a stand bag isn’t difficult at all, but it’s still extra steps. The benefits of a stand bag is that you can actually carry it.
If your cart broke down, have fun carrying a cart bag back with you. They might come with an additional strap for carry, but they’re not designed with this as their primary function.
A stand bag is made to be carried over your shoulder intermittently throughout the day, and the padding on the strap is usually better suited for this.
Cart bags tend to wear out faster as well. The cart strap undergoes more stress from the jerky stop-and-start motion of the cart, and the walls are made thinner since they don’t have to be comfortable on a golfer’s shoulder while carrying it from hole to hole. Keep that in mind.
The perfect in-between solution would be a hybrid golf bag, where it can comfortably be carried on your shoulder—comfortably being the key word, there—but also have a cart strap and be adequately sized to be accessible at the same time.
It’s not an easy task, but some companies manage to pull it off well. At the end of the day, I prefer a stand bag, but I also have a cart bag, so it’s really up to you.
Pick and choose from the benefits and drawbacks, and just be happy with whatever bag you end up purchasing.
What Should I Keep in my Golf Bag?
Whether you go with a cart bag, or the best golf stand bag, you need to have enough room to keep a few things handy at all times.
There are just some things you really don’t want to be caught without, but then there are some online golf bag checklists that get a bit eccentric.
I’ve taken care of all the confusion for you.
Depending on what bag you go with and how large the compartments are, you’ll have to prioritize differently.
Here’s an essentials list, and a should-have list.
- Golf clubs: How else are you going to play golf without them?
- Golf balls: You should always have a dozen or so.
- Tees: Have the same amount as you have of golf balls
- Towels: For your sweat, to clean off your clubs, and more.
- Marker: To literally mark your name on the ball during casual matches
- Water bottles: Dehydration is creeping around every corner.
- First-aid kit: Always be prepared; you never know what’s going to happen.
- Spare socks: Your socks get sweaty towards the ninth hole.
- Spare gloves: Your gloves are going to get slick with sweat, just like your socks.
- Rangefinder: Excellent for long-range games on unfamiliar courses.
- Golf rule book: Settle disputes with friends, and use it for quick reference.
- Ball retriever: Comes in handy when you get stuck in the mud.
- Divot tool: Because nobody needs to leave the turf all turned up after they swing.
How Many Clubs in a Golf Bag?
You’re allowed to have up to 14 clubs in your bag, but not all of us bring 14 clubs with us for the back nine on a Sunday afternoon.
Even if you have the best golf carry bag, 14 clubs weighs a lot. I certainly don’t want to carry around more than I absolutely have to (which is why many people use hybrid golf clubs to reduce carry weight).
How to Carry a Golf Bag?
You’ve got the best golf bag for walking, but how do you, y’know, actually carry it from A to B? Your golf bag has a wide strap with a shoulder pad along the design.
Slide the bag over your shoulder and rest that strap on it. The bag should run at about a 45° angle behind you, with the head of your bag (golf club heads) tilted up.
Your arm can rest on the top of the clubs and help shoulder some of the weight by preventing it from swinging.
Can You Carry a Golf Cart Bag?
Yes you can, and if it’s not a cart bag, you should be carrying it from hole to hole.
Cart bags aren’t just difficult to carry because they lack a proper strap, but because they’re bulky and not designed to be carried around.
Stand bags are typically what you should be carrying, since you can position your bag up on its legs to keep it off the grass. Carry-only bags are going to inevitably get grass stains if you don’t have a stand or a cart to lean them on.
What Are Golf Bag Pockets for?
Top rated golf bags always come with additional pockets on the outside. A few won’t do—you want around eight to twelve, if you can get your hands on a bag with that much beffiness to it.
The primary reason that you need this many pockets is for your add-on items.
Those include a first-aid kit, additional golf balls, tees, markers, actual ball markers, gloves, spare socks—you fill that space up far quicker than you’d ever imagine.
There are some golf bags that include a fridge pocket, which is just a way of saying it’s mildly insulated.
Putting one frozen water bottle and two cold water bottles in here is an extremely effective way to keep them cold for a long day on the course.
Alternatively, you can also store your wallet, cell phone, and any club ID cards that you need in these external pockets.
They make great quick-access pouches for items like that. It’s a wide open space; you’ll be able to keep an eye on your bag without worrying.
How to Maintain Your Golf Bag?
Regular cleaning will be your best option. If you aren’t keeping your golf bag clean, it can’t perform well for you. There are a few things you need, and a short list of steps to take.
1. Clear Everything Out of Your Bag
Take out your clubs, your gloves, your towels, all of it. Put it to the side. Shake your bag upside-down to get any loose debris out. This will make everything easier later. Tap the bag on the sides to knock any stubborn grass or dirt loose.
2. Vacuum it Out
Use a vacuum nozzle narrower tool, and get in there. If you has a flashlight or the flashlight mode on your smartphone, use it to ensure you’re getting absolutely everything. Shake this upside down again afterwards to make sure you got everything out.
3. Plastic Bristle Brush
With the material that most golf bags are made of, a plastic bristle brush will knock loose any stuck-on dirt or dust that is trapped inside of your golf bag fibers. Do this and monitor the bag. If nothing comes out, proceed to step 4. Otherwise, repeat step 2 until any additional dirt is gone.
4. Damp Wipes
Take a cotton cloth, make sure it’s damp (not wet), and gently go over any grass stains or dirty areas on the exterior of your bag. We’ve removed loose dirt from inside, and if you want to, you can take a rag to the interior of your bag but it’s not recommended. We don’t want to accidentally soak an area and have mildew growth, so try to just clean the outside of your bag during this step.
5. Hang Up to Dry
You need a well-ventilated area to hang up your golf bag. You can position some fans to help speed up the process of drying it out, but generally just putting it in a well-ventilated area for one to two days should do the trick. This helps dry the exterior from step 4, but it also ensures that if there was any trapped moisture inside your bag, that it will dry out and prime your bag for storage.
How to Store Your Golf Bag Properly?
Moisture is the enemy every single way you look at it. You want to store your golf bag in a cool, dry space where this isn’t going to be an issue.
Regardless of how durable your golf bag seems, moisture from the green can turn into mildew, which will eat through your golf bag ilke an acid over time. If you only get the chance to hit the course once a month, that’s enough time for substantial damage to occur.
Wherever you decide to store it, you’ll want to ensure it has good ventilation. If it’s in a closet space, make sure it has central AC ventilation or a constant fan running to circulate air.
This is the number one way to get rid of stubborn moisture in the air that loves to cling to your belongings. Avoid storing your golf bag in non-temperature controlled areas like sheds and unfinished garages.
But it’s not just about where you store it, but about how you store it. Your golf bag will lose its shape and look like it deflated at some point if you don’t stuff the pockets with something like socks or cotton rags.
Something needs to be in there to maintain its shape. You can buy cheap bundles of cotton clothes like these ones to get you situated. They also work well while you’re out on the course.
A Better Way to Lug Your Clubs
So you’ve seen the best golf bags, you’ve learned how to handle them so they’ll last for ages, and now, all that’s left to do is finalize your decision.
After testing dozens of bags and dragging them through everything we could, only five came out on top.
That’s because each of these five bags are top-notch and equipped to last you for decades to come.
You’ve found the holy grail of golf bags. All that’s left to do is find which one best vibes with your golfing style, and the rest is history.
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