What Is the Best Golf Bag? A List of the Top 5 Recommended OptionsPublished on 07/04/2023 · 9 min readDiscover the top-recommended options for golf bags! Our Expert guide covers stand bags, cart bags, and even travel covers. Find the perfect fit for you.
Photo by Candy Retriever
A golf bag is a piece of essential gear that contains a golfer's clubs, spare balls, gloves, towels, and rangefinder, not to mention any other accessories they might deem necessary for a day on the course. A bag must also be durable, made of fine materials, and well-constructed to last through the rigors of multiple seasons.
With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. To make things simpler, we have compiled a list of our most recommended golf bags by category, but first, we need to figure out what type of bag you will need!
They say that you can learn a lot about someone from how they play golf, and that may be true. But you can learn everything about how they play golf by looking at their golf bag. That’s because golf bags are specialized in how you play. So if you’re wondering what type of bag you need, you can find the answer by examining the kind of golf you play!
Types of Golf Bags
We’ll discuss the different types of golf bags—carry and cart bags—and stand and travel bags.
A carry bag is intended to be carried throughout a round of golf. These bags are a wonderful starting point for everyone, but they have one major limitation: They need more storage.
“Stand bag” is a term that typically applies to a lightweight carry bag designed for the walking player. The defining feature is, of course, the stand, which is typically made of two spring-loaded metal legs and an articulating base. These allow the bag to be leaned into a more stable position when not being carried by the player. This practically eliminates the chances of a bag falling over and greatly increases the ease of getting clubs out of the bag in both play and practice.
The layout of a stand bag has become somewhat standardized over the last two decades. A typical layout includes a backpack-style strap system placed above a small accessories pocket on the left side. One (or more) smaller pockets might occupy the middle spine of the bag below the handle for balls, tees, and rangefinders. And on the opposite side of the carry strap is usually a full-length pocket for shoes or apparel.
If you require more storage than a stand bag can provide, you must upgrade to our next type of bag: the cart bag.
The reason to have a cart bag is for more storage than what a regular stand bag can provide. The bags that the pros’ caddies carry on the television are virtually precisely the same as any other bag variant regarding how they store clubs. The difference is we don’t all have a caddy to carry around our 50lb bags for us!
A cart bag is designed for storage, not to be carried. However, don’t let that make you think there isn’t a way to walk with a cart bag. Even though cart bags can often be immense, they are quite utilitarian. The user can strap the bag to either a riding cart or a push cart if they desire to walk. However you transport them around a course, their purpose is simply storage.
A typical cart bag will have a single strap, forward-facing pockets, and nearly double the number of pockets compared to a stand bag from the same manufacturer. The pockets themselves will be more use centered: cooler pockets for things you technically aren’t allowed to bring to the course, apparel pockets for rain gear, and ball vaults so deep you will lose ball markers for months. You name it; a manufacturer has dreamed it up and sewn it into existence. So, without further ado, let’s get into the top 5 most recommended golf bags!
Top 5 Recommended Golf Bag Options
The Ogio Fuse 4 features a four-way top that easily accommodates a full set of clubs without letting them rattle around too much. There are six pockets, including two that feature a technology that Ogio calls “rapid access snap pockets.” These are fantastic features that I wish I could have on all pockets everywhere. It allows the pocket to snap shut on itself without using magnets. The bag has an Incredibly smooth working stand mechanism.
Long-time Ogio bag fans will be relieved to hear that the three-ball external ball storage silo is on this bag. We must mention the carry aspect of this bag. The molded hip pad and performance-cut shoulder straps make this bag an_ _easy choice. There are several colorways, so there is surely something for everyone!
This bag is meant to be carried but unfazed by inclement conditions, weighing in at an astonishingly lightweight 4lbs. The resistance to the elements starts with the waterproof fabric but doesn’t stop there. Other bags that advertise waterproof construction can often fall short because manufacturers skimp on zippers, a key component in keeping out water. When you put something away in the Callaway, you can be assured that it will stay dry and secure for the rest of the round because Callaway uses high-quality waterproof zippers and metal toggle pulls on the Fairway C.
An all-new metal alloy towel ring rounds out this durable package, so do not expect to need a new bag for next season if you go this route. It has quick clips with a single-release strap for the backpack straps and seven pockets, including a full-length apparel pocket. The velour-lined valuables pocket provides ample storage space. The quality is obvious when you feel the bag. It is very solid for its lightweight, but the metal accents add a sense of heft and gravity to the points you interact with during day-to-day use.
The Chev has a 14-way top divider, so each club stays nice and snug in its spot, and two grab handles for safe movement and loading. This is especially important for those who have trucks or SUVs, as even a light cart bag can become unwieldy when lifted above the waist.
It is a 4lb cart bag. You read that right; at 4lbs, it is lighter than many carry bags of significantly smaller size. The weight is kept down by reducing the number of superfluous pockets to five: two oversized apparel pockets on the sides, one with an additional externally accessible valuables pocket, and two on the spine of the bag for balls and a rangefinder, respectively.
Some may balk at a cart bag with so few pockets, but they provide ample space, and those out there do not desire dozens of pockets to lose things. This cart bag is our top recommended option because it is light, durable, and adaptable to the needs of anyone who spends most of their time riding or pushing a cart.
4. Sun Mountain C-130 Cart Bag
The Sun Mountain C-130 is a bag for those who don’t just want to throw everything at the golf course and want to have it all well-organized too. It has 13 front-facing storage pockets, including two velour-lined valuables pockets, an insulated cooler, and a magnetic rangefinder pocket on the side, making this bag the perfect choice for those who want everything to have its place.
Design touches all over this bag make it clear how much thought and intent have gone into making it a top-performing golf bag. For instance, the reverse orientation of the top and the three grab handles make it an easy bag to handle in and out of the car and quick to adjust on the cart.
Sun Mountain redesigned the bag for 2023, and although the profile and general function remain the same, there are some new features, but the new colorways steal the show. If you’re not the type to replace a bag often and need something durable and adaptable, go with the Sun Mountain C-130.
For some of us, quality is everything. Sound familiar? If so, this is the bag for you; from the guys who make bags for the pros is the Vessel Luxury Cart Bag. Made of a proprietary synthetic leather and antimicrobial lining, this bag will draw the attention of those you are paired with. The Vessel Lux is available in a seven- or 14-way top, with fully enclosed dividers and many color options.
Its synthetic leather is a world-class material, and the bags offer incredibly reasonable prices for customization, so we can all have our names on our bags or an image of our choosing for a modest fee.
Protect Your Gear in a Travel Bag
Okay, you have your golf bag worked out. Is that it? No matter what type of bag you have, you might take it somewhere on an extended trip in an automobile, train, or plane. Travel bags keep your investment safe in cargo and luggage bays. The confusing part is that travel bags aren’t actually golf bags, meaning they don’t have slots to hold clubs or dividers. Instead, these giant zipper bags provide additional security and peace of mind during transit, like the Ogio Alpha Travel Cover.
Ogio Alpha Travel Cover
This travel cover is simple because one name reigns supreme in the world of travel bags: Ogio. The Ogio Alpha Travel Golf Bag is the best available travel golf bag on the market. Remember, these aren't golf bags that hold your clubs like the others on the above list. They are an essential piece of luggage that protects your golf bag and clubs during travel.
The travel cover is generously sized to house any cart or stand bag. It is constructed of a durable 900D polyester fabric with a dense foam on top to protect clubheads. There are both internal and external compression straps to ensure your load stays secure during transit. Furthermore, the skid plate built into the wheel section pairs with the compression system to turn the bag into a dolly when loaded, making it much easier to get where you need to go.
Find the Right Golf Bag for You
In conclusion, selecting the right golf bag is crucial for enjoying the game. The top recommended options include the Ogio Fuse 4 and the Callaway Fairway Double C for stand bags; the Callaway Chev 14, Vessel Lux, and Sun Mountain C-130 for cart bags; and the Ogio Alpha Travel Cover for your travel bag needs. Consider your specific needs and personal preference to make the best choice.
The right golf bag to invest in is the one that makes golf a more comfortable and organized experience. So, if you are primarily a walking player who doesn’t mind carrying their bag, and has a relatively small number of golf accessories, a carry bag equipped with a stand is the bag for you. If more storage is something you require, then a cart bag will be the way to go for you.
If you need help picking out the right golf bag, chat with me or one of my fellow Golfing Experts here on Curated.