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.
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.
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.
Golf Bag Buying Guide and FAQ
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.
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.
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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