By Clifford Cowley
The old bag is getting worn out. The zippers zip, but the teeth don’t mesh. Every time you pick up your bag, balls fall out. Then there’s that spot on the inner sleeve that’s torn from the time you more than gently put your 3 iron back after it sliced your ball into the woods. Time for a new one, but which one do you choose? We know there are a ton of bag options out there, so we looked at a few options that might help fit your needs, wallet and protect your clubs.
Sun Mountain KG:2 Stand Bag
For over 25 years, Sun Mountain has been designing and manufacturing functional, high-quality, lightweight golf bags for the serious golfer. The new KG:2 stand bag from Sun Mountain offers more of all that golfers have come to appreciate about Sun Mountain’s product line. Built on the same frame as the Superlight 3.5; KG:2 features more pockets, more hand-holds and ease of use when walking or riding. KG:2 features full-length club dividers, three top handles and a new “lift-assist” pocket handle. The bag is complete with eight pockets, including a new mobile phone specific pocket, which I really like. Not that I want to use my phone when I golf, but I hate throwing my phone in a pocket with other things. Other pockets include a beverage pouch, velour-lined valuables pocket, a full-length clothing pocket, as well as the standard ball and accessory pockets. The bag stands well in a cart, and all the pockets are conveniently positioned for easy access when riding or using a walking cart. I liked the leg-lock system that secures the legs when you aren’t walking. In addition, KG:2 offers the comfort features many walking golfers prefer including the E-Z Fit Dual Strap System with generously padded shoulder straps. When you do walk, the top-mounted strap attachment allows for more balanced carrying. The triangular non-slip foot pads are nice for stability on slick or wet surfaces. The Sun Mountain bag is a bargain both in price and durability.
Street Price: $199
Burton’s New Pro and Player Stand Bags
Burton has extended its line in 2012 with the company’s entry into the lightweight stand bag market. Designed for players who enjoy walking, but would also like a bag that fits well on a cart, Burton introduces two stand bags–the Pro and Player. Both stand bags feature a lift handle integrated into the bag top for ease of maneuvering, a cart-friendly “stable flex” bottom that fits in riding carts and push carts, a leg-lock system to secure the legs, dual shoulder straps for ease in carrying, and a hip pad to add in walking comfort. Burton also has a customization department. Personalized embroidery is available on the ball, apparel and accessory pockets.
The Pro stand bag is the ultimate full feature bag, providing golfers with comfort, organization and convenience qualities including full-length dividers, and seven pockets for ample storage. The insulated beverage pocket and velour lined valuables pocket keeps your thirst quencher cool, and your iPod safe. Other features include a Velcro glove holder, umbrella holder, rain hood and towel ring. The Pro stand bag weighs in at 5.5 lbs which attests to the quality and durability.
The Player stand bag is the perfect lightweight carrying bag weighing only 4.5 lbs., a full pound lighter that its big brother. It is designed with features to make walking the course enjoyable including full dividers to keep clubs organized. Five pockets offer plenty of storage space, with an insulated beverage pocket, and a scorecard, pen and pencil slot inside the accessory pocket, and like the Pro, the Player bag also comes with Velcro glove holder, umbrella holder, rain hood, and towel ring. The Player offers affordability, and durability golfers have come to expect from Burton products.
Nike Golf’s Nike Vapor X
Nike Golf is introducing its lightest golf bag ever. The Nike Vapor X lives up to its name. Weighing in at less than four pounds, the Nike Vapor X weighs one pound less than the average carry bag. If you are looking for super-light-weight and durable design, this is it. The Nike Vapor X was created by using minimal materials, providing a lightweight bag for more stamina and less fatigue during a round. The Vapor X features a new, ergonomically designed dual strap system with the renowned Nike Max Air curved technology. Even though the bag is compact in size, it offers six functional pockets that provide a generous amount of storage space. The waterproof fleece-lined valuables pocket provides a safe location for cell phone and other valuables, and the stretch-fit pockets allow for maximum storage capacity. Convenient intuitive icons adorn the waterproof pocket, glove patch, GPS/rangefinder loop, pen-sleeve and insulated water-bottle sleeve making it easy to store and locate items. Other features include custom grip leg end-caps, a ventilated die-cut air mesh back pad and a full-length double divider system with putter well. The Vapor X is for the golfer who wants to walk not ride.
Street Price: $179.00 / MSRP: $230.00
Club Glove – Aficionado IV Stand Bag
Weighing in at 4.9 pounds, the fourth generation of Club Glove’s most popular stand bag features new, patented, removable front and side panels for easy personalization with the company’s embroidery. The Aficionado IV is crafted from extremely durable, UV-protected 210D nylon fabric to avoid tearing and loss of shape. Additional key features include an exclusive Dual Shoulder Strap system, convertible to a single strap for caddies, and a convenient lumbar pad for carrying ease. Other distinguishing characteristics include a patented leg stand with a wide, stable stance, a full length weather gear pocket, and nine additional compartments with deep pockets to hold balls, personal items, umbrella, and water bottle. The Aficionado IV is small, yet functional for a golfer’s convenience, especially on courses with extra strenuous hiking holes. It also fits well into a cart for those who need to ride because their buddies take carts. The Aficionado IV offers durability, affordability and comfort.
Orlimar CRL Stand Bag
The CRL stand bag features 7-way graphite safe top with an integrated carry handle. The padded dual harness carry strap makes carrying the bag comfortable and balanced. It has full length dividers with ample storage space of seven pockets including an insulated beverage pocket (it kept my water bottle cool all day), lined valuables pocket, large garment pocket, a ball pocket and three accessory pockets. The padded dual harness carry strap makes carrying the bag comfortable and balanced. For added convenience, there are holders for the essentials like tees, glove, pen and umbrella holder. The CRL stand bag is available in the Orlimar Staff colors – red/white/blue, black/red/white, black/royal/silver, black/green/silver. Standing in at the most affordable of the bags we reviewed, the CRL offers a price that fits the pocket book, along with the quality Orlimar puts into all its golfing products.
MSRP: $139.99. www.orlimar.com
OGIO’s RECOIL STAND BAG
If you are looking for a high quality carrying bag with features unique to golf bag design, look no further than the OGIO Recoil Stand Bag. OGIO is a global leader and designer of uniquely styled, high quality collections of golf bags, apparel and accessories, The Recoil is the most recent addition to the brand’s award-winning stable of golf bags for players of all levels. A little heavier than most stand bags at 8 lbs., the Recoil sports a patent pending SHOXX Suspension strap system utilizing ergonomic straps to help balance the weight and load of a full bag of clubs and accessories, while keeping clubs secure with a 14-way diamond performance top to provide ease and comfort on any course a player chooses. In addition to offering unmatched comfort through the suspension system straps, the Recoil also features strong aircraft-grade aluminum legs with anti-sink footpads to ensure stability on unstable ground. From the carrying handles at the top, to the ample room in the pockets, the Recoil bag is top-notch in quality of craftsmanship and durability. On the day I used it, I found myself being able to concentrate on my game instead of shifting my attention to how the bag rode. It required minimal shifting for proper balance while walking the course, and the strap system took away the extra weight of the bag. The Recoil is the perfect bag for those who decide to take a cart or use a walking cart. The legs briskly snap back into the leg holders, and it comes with a rubber strap that hooks to the bag bar to minimize sliding and shifting when you ride. The Recoil is available in charcoal/burst, Siberian and stealth finishes. If you’re looking for extra quality, durability, and convenience, the Recoil has it all.
Internet price: $239
Choosing a bag that fits well, fits your needs, and fits your pocket book is a major decision. When it’s time to get that old bag off your back and trade it in for a new one, be sure to check out the above line-up. We’re sure you will find one of them to your liking, and remember,we got your back.