The best golf bags are versatile, come with numerous pockets and are made to last. After all, golf is probably the only sport that has so much gear, you're essentially required to carry a bag to lug it all around. (Not using a bag isn't illegal or anything, but you'd look crazy without one).
Best Overall Golf BagPing Hoofer Stand Golf Bag Read More
Best Upgrade Golf BagStitch SL2 Golf Bag Read More
Best Lightweight BagTitleist Players 4 Carbon Stand Bag Read More
Most Versatile Golf BagVessel Player IV Stand Read More
Best Golf Bag for WalkingJones Players Series Carry Bag Read More
Luckily, there are golf bags to suit any type of player, from the professional level down to the weekend warrior, from cart-devotees to those who think that walking is the only way to enjoy a golf course. Read on to see our favorite golf bags, from an iconic Titleist silhouette to professional-grade stand bags made with premium materials.
How We Tested
To test the best golf bags, we got our hands on a number of new bags our testers hadn't tried before. We also took recommendations from friends of Gear Patrol that play golf, in one case even getting one of our dads involved (50 years of golf experience goes a long way).
We focused on carry bags that were geared toward walking, simply because those are the most versatile and make the most sense for the majority of golfers. That doesn't mean we only tested their carrying capabilities, though. We walked with our bags, lugged them to the range, toted them to simulators and strapped them into golf carts as well. We played nine, 18, even 36 holes in a day.
It's safe to say we put these bags through the wringer, so now it's up to you to decide which is the right bag for you.
- Pockets: 11
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
The Ping Hoofer has long been considered the pinnacle of versatile golf bags. In our testing, we found this handy, well-built bag to be nothing short of spectacular. While this standard version is a stand bag, it can also be used when riding the cart thanks to a cart strap channel. Many of the 11 pockets are placed for easy access even when on the back of a cart, and the five-way divider can fit a full 14 clubs without issue.
Where the Hoofer truly shines, though, is walking rounds. The stand mechanism operates fluidly and was a godsend for our tester, who had been using an old MacGregor bag from the 1980s with no stand legs. The backpack straps are soft and durable, while the strap puck allows it to easily convert between double and single strap profiles. The cushioned hip pad adds another level of comfort that keeps this lightweight bag from feeling like a burden while walking down fairways (and in the thick stuff, too).
Another great feature is the perfect placement of the insulated water bottle sleeve, which happens to be right where our tester’s left hand rested while carrying the bag. While there are bags that you’d spend less on and be happy with, the value you get and the long-term quality are worth spending that little bit extra.
For an in-depth look, read our full review of the Ping Hoofer.
Stitch Golf SL2
- Pockets: 3
Weight: 4 pounds
Stitch Golf was created in 2012, when its founder was inspired by the racing strip on a 1958 Porsche. He mused that the stripe could be incorporated into leather headcovers. Fast forward to 2018, and the brand built a company based on the convergence of motorsports and golf. Nowadays, you'll find a full lineup of golf bags and travel gear when you head to Stitch's website.
We got our hands on an SL2 bag to test and were immediately impressed with the quality and attention to detail. The lines are smooth, much like the lines on a sports car, and, for a bag that is super comfortable to carry, it's got a hardy construction that feels like it'll last forever. There's ample space for all of your golf gear, too.
The only real complaint we had when testing was that the bag's pockets can be difficult to get into. This will probably relax over time and use, but at first, it can be a bit frustrating. The bag comes with two strap options that are easy to interchange — you can opt for a single, padded carry strap or backpack-style straps, both of which are great options. Overall, the bag is a welcome upgrade to bags made by legacy brands.
Titleist Players 4 Carbon
- Pockets: 5
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Coming in at just under three pounds, the Players 4 Carbon is easily one of the lightest bags we tested, closest in mass to the Sunday bag listed below. Unlike that option, however, the Players 4 Carbon is a full-size carry bag that can easily fit a full set of 14 clubs, in addition to all your gear.
It has clever features that our tester loved, like a velcro glove patch and external water bottle sleeve. The carbon legs and ultra-lightweight four-way cuff at the top keep things easy on your back, too. The durable rip-stop material is pliable and easy to work with, while the backpack straps are supremely comfortable for an entire round (and more). Finally, it comes with a Tour-inspired rain hood — and has the clean looks you'd expect from Titleist, which is, undeniably, one of the classiest brands in the game.
Vessel Player IV Stand
- Pockets: 6
Weight: 6.76 pounds (6-way divider), 7.15 pounds (14-way divider)
Vessel's bags are known far and wide as some of the best in the sport — you'll even find pros using its bags during tournament play. The Player IV is an ideal solution for the golfer who wants a bag they can walk with but generally relies on a cart or walking cart to carry their essentials. At over six pounds, it's not the lightest option, but thanks to its proprietary ergonomic backpack strap and thoughtfully-designed strap-attachment points, you won't even notice the weight.
You'll see the quality from the moment you get the bag — the synthetic leather feels ultra-luxe, the snap-shut magnetic rangefinder pocket is a signature touch and insulated bottle sleeves keep your liquids cool (or warm). Finally, if you're hyper-organized, you can pick up a 14-divider version, which has an individual spot for each club in your set.
Jones Players Series Golf Bag
- Pockets: 3
Weight: 3 pounds
Jones makes bags for players who like to hit the course on foot. The Player Series is lightweight and minimalist, though that doesn't mean it's short on features. The plush strap is comfortable and easy to throw over your shoulder, while the pockets are easy to get to and spacious enough to keep everything you need close by. It's got a mesh pocket big enough to hold a water bottle and the bag's classic looks are undeniably stylish.
Sunday Loma XL
- Pockets: 4
Weight: 3.4 pounds
Sunday’s Loma XL bag was recommended to our tester by a friend at a local simulator range, so when she had a chance to test one for Gear Patrol, she jumped at the opportunity. The lightweight, compact golf bag packs a punch, and it’s perfect for playing with a light set for pitch and putt, no-cart play or the range. It’s replaced her old range bag for a few reasons: the easy-to-use stand, sturdy grip, lightweight build, and ample pockets — including an insulated can pocket. It’s also stylish.
The stand is smartly designed, with no need to use both sets of hands to adjust it: simply press the front of the bag into the ground, and the legs will automatically extend. The bag can only sit upright when the stand is extended — which is easy to do — but it takes some getting used to.
TaylorMade Vessel Lite Lux Stand Bag
- Pockets: 5
Weight: 4.5 pounds
If you've been around golf for any amount of time, you know Taylor Made. We love the brand's gear, whether it's clubs, gloves or bags, and the Vessel Lite Lux Stand bag is no exception. Made with weatherproof synthetic leather, this bag stands up to its name: it truly looks like a luxury bag.
Its carrying system is comfortable for carrying, though the bag will undeniably look great on the back of a cart. It weighs just 4.5 pounds, fitting it firmly into the lightweight category with some of the other bags featured above. Look a little closer and you'll see some of the fine details that make this worth the price, like the dual-use bottle opener/towel ring, a pen holder, an umbrella holder and a customizable ball pocket.
MNML MV2 Golf Bag
- Pockets: 5
Weight: 5.0 pounds
Our tester raved about the MV2, saying, "Overall, the bag is a stunner. It’s clearly well-designed and feels like it’ll hold up for the long haul. The minimal-styled bag feels anything but, with lots of little luxuries that make the bag feel way more expensive than it is." She even made note of how many compliments she got while using the bag out on the course.
One of the main highlights for our tester is the straps. She tested this out with her old bag on one shoulder and the MNML bag on another for a six-block walk to the driving range. The MV2 was far comfier — she felt no need to readjust to avoid the straps digging into her shoulder.
And contrary to the brand name, she felt the bag wasn't minimal at all. If anything, it's maximal — in a good way. It features a bunch of really fun details like the phone holder to film yourself while you swing, and the included Bluetooth speaker and solar power bank. She wouldn’t have thought these were must-haves for a golf bag, but now that she's used them, she says she'll never go back.
Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag
- Pockets: 6
When it comes to affordable golf equipment, Wilson Staff is the gold standard. Well respected by elite golfers and recreational golfers alike, the brand makes some of the highest quality gear you'll find at its price point. The ECO Stand Bag continues this tradition. Made from over 50 recycled plastic water bottles and verified by Global Recycled Standard 4.0, the bag stands behind its name, proving that the "eco" moniker is not just lip service.
It lacks the bells and whistles of other, more expensive bags, but it has everything you need: self-activating legs, a five-way top for organization and a comfortable set of straps to make walking a breeze. It's got six spacious pockets, including a cooler pocket perfect for stowing a cheeky beer to break open after the turn.
What to Look for in a Golf Bag
For the most part, picking out a bag is pretty straightforward — there are only a few technologies and bag types to work with. In most cases, just buying a bag you think looks good will work. If you want to go deeper, however, you certainly can.
Cart Bag vs. Walking Bag
In today's day and age, bags are lighter, more comfortable to carry and made to excel whether you're walking or riding in a cart. Unless you have your own cart, however, or exclusively ride when you head to the course (or, you know, are in fact a professional), you probably do not want a cart bag. For the large percentage of golfers (read: almost everyone), a walking bag will be the best, most versatile option.
We've tested bags made from synthetic leather, real leather, nylon ripstop and traditional twill/cotton. The decision will ultimately come down to you and how you'll use the bag. If you're carrying it all the time, opt for a lighter material that can withstand the rigors of setting it down and picking it up each time you hit a shot. If you're more of a cart golfer, you can go for something more robust.
Most golf bags are equipped with a number of useful and clever pockets to keep all of your gear close by. You're going to need to keep balls, tees, gloves, ball markers and all the other accoutrements organized, so try to determine how much stuff you lug with you and choose accordingly. Some bags only have space for enough gear to get you through a couple of rounds, while others will have space for just about anything you want and more.