Best Golf Bags for the Money 2016 – 2017 (Buying Guide)

golf bags

Whether you’re a novice, experienced golfer or professional, you’re going to need a reliable golf bag for your clubs, balls and all your other accessories. There are several different types of golf bags from which you can choose. They include staff bags, cart bags, stand bags and carry bags. When deciding which type of golf bag you will need, you have to consider how many clubs you’re going to take on the course with you and how you’re going to transport the bag. Depending on whether you’re going to be using a cart or carry it yourself will determine what type of bag you should choose.

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Our Top Golf Bag Ratings At-A-Glance

golf bag ratings

Top 10 Best Golf Bags Reviewed in 2016 - 2017

Here you'll find our list of the best golf bags for the money based on our team's ratings of the products. If you want to read reviews or get more product information, just scroll down the page or click on the links.
BAGTYPEOUR RATING
Nike Air Sport III Stand Bag
Nike Air Sport III Stand Bag
Stand (9.8 / 10)
Callaway 2016 Fusion Stand Bag
Callaway 2016 Fusion Stand Bag
Stand (9.4 / 10)
Nike Air Hybrid II Stand Bag
Nike Air Hybrid II Stand Bag
Stand Hybrid (9.4 / 10)
TaylorMade Purelite Stand Bag
TaylorMade Purelite Stand Bag
Stand (9.2 / 10)
Titleist Lighweight Stand Bag
Titleist Lighweight Stand Bag
Stand (9.4 / 10)
Nike Sport Lite Carry Bag
Nike Sport Lite Carry Bag
Stand (9.6 / 10)
Sun Mountain 2016 C-130 Cart Bag
Sun Mountain 2016 C-130 Cart Bag
Cart (9.2 / 10)
Titleist Lightweight Cart Bag
Titleist Lightweight Cart Bag
Cart (9.8 / 10)
Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag
Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag
Cart (10 / 10)
TaylorMade Supreme Hybrid Stand Bag
TaylorMade Supreme Hybrid Stand Bag
Stand Hybrid (9.8 / 10)

Choosing the Right Golf Bag

Your golf bag is an important tool. It is with you for your entire round keeping everything safe and accessible. That’s why it’s important you choose the type that works best for you. You should think about when, where and how often you will be playing golf when you’re picking a bag. Functionality is key. Not only whether you’ll be walking or riding, but will you be storing extra clothing, rain gear, GPS and rangefinders. The answers to those questions will determine the best golf bag to suit your needs.

Types of Golf Bags

Staff Bags

Staff bags are considered to be the best golf bags. They are the bags the professional golfers use on tour. They are large, roomy, luxurious and heavy. They usually have the brand logo prominently displayed. To the pros the weight isn’t an issue because a caddy will be carrying it. But if you are not a professional and will be carrying your golf bag yourself, lugging around a staff bag all day can get you tired and impact your golf game and your ability to enjoy your time out on the course. You have to decide if the plentiful storage space, higher quality material and Tour-worthy aesthetics is worth carrying around the extra weight.

These bags tend to be made of leather and have a diameter of around 8 to 12 inches. They are made to hold an entire 14-club set along with all the accessories the golfer may need. Sometimes called tour bags, these bags tend to be very expensive.

Cart Bags

Cart bags are somewhat smaller and lighter than staff bags. This type of golf bag is designed to be used with a push cart or a riding cart. It’s not the best option for people planning to walk the course while carrying their golf bag on their backs. Still, they’re a few pounds lighter than the staff bag and easier to carry. They’re a great option for people walking the course using a pull cart or riding in a golf cart. Cart bags are made to allow easy access to the pockets without removing it from the pull cart or riding cart. Cart bags also have a non-slip or rubber base that prevents the bag from accidentally coming off the cart.

If the courses you commonly play require carts or put carts at your disposal, then a cart bag may be a good choice for you. These bags are about 9 inches in diameter and are designed for optimal organization. This type of bag is made with a strap which allow people to place it on their shoulder. But while the cart bag is able to stand on smooth, flat surfaces, it won’t stand upright on uneven surfaces like a fairway.

Stand Bags

Stand bags have two retractable legs. That’s a unique design feature that’s only found on that style of golf bag. The retractable legs allow the bag to either stand completely upright the way staff bags or cart bag do or stand canted. Its two legs extend outwards, stabilize the bag and allow the golfer easy access to the clubs. When the bag is in the upright position, the legs can be retracted and placed snugly against the bag. Golfers walking the course prefer stand bags because the retractable legs enable the bag to stand upright on turf.

Cart and staff bags are made to be used on the backs of riding carts or other flat surfaces. Many stand bags have backpack-style shoulder straps. They allow the weight to be distributed across both shoulders. Some stand bags have hip pads and other ergonomic features to make carrying the golf bag easier. Stand bags can also be used with riding carts or push/pull carts. However, special care should be taken to ensure the legs are not damaged while securing the bag with straps.

Carry Bags

Carry bags are made to be carried by golfers walking the course. They are sometimes referred to as Sunday bags. Stand bags are considered to be a type of carry bag. Carry bags are the lightest golf bags. They are made of the lighter materials and are less structured than staff, cart and stand golf bags. Carry bags only have a few pockets while other golf bags may have six or more. While some other types of golf bags may have a series of dividers that can separate the opening of the bag into 4, 6, or as many as 14 sections, carry bags typically only have 2-way dividers.

Carry bags are designed for golfers that walk the entire course when they play. They are minimalist bags. A good carry bag will be designed with just enough pockets to carry spare golf balls, gloves, tees and maybe a beverage. These bags are designed to only have space for just the essentials. If you plan to carry your clubs yourself, this is the golf bag to buy. These lightweight bags are designed to reduce the pressure placed on the golfer’s back as they walk the course. Carry golf bags can hold a set of clubs, your tees and the balls you need. Their backpack-like straps make them easy to pick up and carry.

These are the basic golf bags from which most golfers choose. They provide everything you need for a round of golf.

What Are Sunday Golf Bags?

One important aspect of the game of golf is the way in which the clubs, and golf equipment, are transported around the course. The ancient use of caddies has been replaced in most private and all public golf courses by the ubiquitous golf cart. Originally the game was enjoyed by a player who had his caddy to rely on to carry the golf bag and to offer the player sage advice and to keep the player’s mood positive. The only groups of golfers not using carts today are the PGA professionals and the high school and college golfers who sling their carry bags over their shoulders and soldier on playing, competing, and enjoying the game of golf to its fullest.

There are times when the love of golf beckons golfers away from their relaxing Sunday spots at home with the enchanting sound of balls struck perfectly and the sight of that little white ball hovering in space as it approaches its intended target. The golfer may have played 18 or 36 holes on Saturday but still has an urge to play again.

Playing alone is a different experience. There is the golf course and you alone. On your home course, you know the landing spots of your best drives and find yourself competing only against a phantom golfer who is a better player. This is the time to have the “Sunday Bag’ among your golf accessories. Stories of private clubs whose caddies were given Sunday off for religious reasons had an adverse impact on members who wanted to play but were forced to carry their “Sunday bag,” a much lighter bag to survive the long walk needed to play an entire 18 holes. This “Sunday bag” was usually constructed of canvas, had fewer pockets for sundry golf implements. It allowed the Sunday golfer to get on the course and play a complete round often with a lighter and shorter set of clubs in the bag. The entire set of clubs is seldom used when playing a round, and at your home course, the player knows what clubs can be removed without ruining his chances at scoring a respectable round.

The simple Sunday bag has evolved over the decades. The modern stand bag created a niche market and a fortune for Sun Mountain Sports. Hordes of golfers flocked to sports stores to purchase stand bags. Some buying the stand bags found these worked better than the bigger, heavier, and bulkier cart bags, especially when going to a practice range. Here the stand bag can be set standing upright and within easy reach of the player for practicing. High school and college players proudly carry stand bags with the school logo emblazoned on a color co-ordinated lightweight nylon material. Seeing one of these logo bags identifies the player as near scratch, if one of these players joins your foursome for a round, do not wager with them.

If you decide you need a Sunday bag, there are numerous models available. Some Sunday bags are similar to the simple, original, Sunday bag whether produced in canvas or leather. There are versions with spikes attached at the base of the bag to let them, stand upright, but this will only serve to infuriate your greenskeeper. The latest incarnation, the stand bag is made of lightweight nylon with reinforcement at the connections with the strap, and molded plastic inserts at the base and the top portion of the bag. A single padded sling and an automatically folding aluminum alloy stand mechanism complete the bag. Look at the design of the Sunday bag before you consider the colors or aesthetics. Most top portions are separated by a strong composite plastic section that will keep your clubs organized. Some bags have special individual compartments for drivers and putters. Other bags offer more zippered storage and space for rain suits and more equipment. If you decide to exchange your cart bag for a Sunday bag, you will need a model with large pockets. All bags in the sports store are space-age light, but your clubs will change the weight of the bag. Poorly designed bags without molded club separations increase the noise of your clubs clinking against each other and can ruin a nice walk.

There is a major difference between the single and double strap systems. It is similar to carrying a shoulder bag compared to a backpack. Since you are going high-tech, go all the way. The two-strap shoulder/back carry system evenly distributes the weight and makes carrying a snap. Once you have a stand bag, you’ll find it to be the perfect golf bag, and you may never want to own another bulky and heavy cart bag.

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