The best golf bag for you is arguably the bit of kit that will make the biggest contribution to making your life easier on the course. The right golf bag can really make a difference to your game by conserving your energy and enabling you to concentrate on enjoying yourself more on the course.
Choosing the best golf bag for your needs isn't just about which brand you prefer, although that is an important element for many. Before you get on to that or the budget at your disposal, you need to decide between three main types of golf bag: tour, cart and stand. The good news is, we have all you need to know in this handy guide to the best golf bags of all types.
What is the best golf bag to buy?
Our pick of the best golf bags is the PING Hoofer Lite Stand Bag. It offers so much quality, comfort and value and you'll feel the difference when you lug this around your local course for 18 holes. Comfort is everything and the unique design of the Hoofer Lite ensures it leads the way.
The best golf bags, in order of preference
The Hoofer has been an industry leader for many years and the latest Hoofer Lite stand bag is rammed full of cool little features that set it apart from other bags in its price range. It isn’t the lightest bag on the market at 5lbs (2.2 kilos) but half a pound either way isn’t really noticeable when you have a bag full of clubs in there.
Little things make a big difference though and this bag has plenty of them. Such as the stylish ’Hoofer’ branding on the legs or the detachable ball pocket that you can have personalised with your name or company logo. You probably won't do it but it’s cool that the option is there.
There is also the option to go to a single strap using the smooth sliding strap connector if that is your preference. It’s a simple process to switch but most golfers tend to prefer the double strap back-pack option.
There is a cushioned hip pad which also acts as a pocket to house the rain hood. Very clever as the hood adds even more padding. Again, it’s the little things isn't it? You can tell how much thought has gone into the design as it's just so 'golfer friendly'. For comfort, style and performance, the Hoofer Lite compares favourably with anything out there which is why it is our choice for the best golf bag you can buy.
• Read our full Ping Hoofer Lite review
The TaylorMade FlexTech stand bag is certainly something you’d be proud to show off to your friends on the first tee. Visually it appears bigger than your typical stand bag but it manages to come in at a fraction over 2kg.
It has curves in all the right places while the brighter coloured variations such as the royal blue / silver combo and the ‘driver’ design (so named because it uses the same colour scheme as the TaylorMade Sim2 driver head cover) look sensational.
The storage space sets this bag apart as the pockets are bigger than standard which also serves to give the bag a more stylish shape. It’s fully waterproof, comfortable to carry and it ticks all the right boxes.
There are cheaper alternatives and there are more expensive ones, but regardless of price very few look or perform better than the TaylorMade FlexTech. This is an excellent bag and well worth the money.
We took this bag out on the course for extensive testing so if you're thinking of buying you should check out our in depth TaylorMade FlexTech Stand Bag review.
Callaway is the biggest golf equipment company in the US, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. This shows in the quality of their new HyperDry C stand bag.
The bag is fully waterproof and the self-balancing X-Act Fit strap system ensures the bag is ergonomically designed to spread the load when you’re carrying your hefty golf gear around 18 holes.
It has a four-way compact top with full-length dividers to store your clubs in groups of threes and fours,
If you want a lot of storage space then this bag is not for you but if you don’t take a lot of items with you onto the course then a bag such as this fits the bill nicely. There is more than enough room for your essentials
Want to know more? No problem, just check out our full review of the Callaway Hyper Dry C.
As the best-selling electric golf trolley brand in over 50 countries worldwide, PowaKaddy have unbeatable experience when it comes to making cart bags. Their innovative cart bags are designed to fit perfectly to PowaKaddy trolleys to ensure your golf clubs and gear stays connected and secure, even over the bumpiest of terrain. This Premium cart bag is made of lightweight vinyl and PU materials, and has 14 dividers, and nine pockets for all your essentials, plus easily-accessible carry handles for lifting from your car to your trolley.
A clever dual-choice bag suited to both carrying or on a cart This is a classy option from Mizuno if you’re after a high-quality golf bag that can switch between a sturdy cart bag and carryable stand bag. A premium quality product, it has soft-touch materials, sturdy zips and enough clever storage options to make your playing partners jealous. It has two-fleece lined valuables pockets, a removable ball pocket panel, and insulated drink pouch, plus even a ‘magnetic-closure’ pocket.
There appears to be nothing out of the ordinary when you look at the Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag but it is actually rather unique and kind of cool. Sure, it may look a little 'Clark Kent' but underneath that plain suit and glasses it’s really Superman. Okay, that's pushing it, but there is much more than meets the eye with this bag.
Why? Well because each and every ECO carry bag is made from over 50 recycled plastic water bottles and 1.7 yards of recycled polyester. This production method uses less energy than using new material, reduces CO2 emissions and keeps plastic out of landfills.
So yeah, don't judge this book by its cover as carrying one of these around guarantees you the moral high ground when your playing partners are on the first tee arguing over who has the best driver.
• Read our full Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag review
A top pro-golf build quality with a raft of genius features and pockets, the TaylorMade Deluxe Cart Bag has a large 10-inch top, with 15 full-length dividers with colour-coordinated air mesh. That means you have a slot for every club in your bag – and one spare, since 14 is the maximum number of clubs you’re allowed to carry.
The outer shell is a premium quality PU (polyurethane leather) material, and there are two easy-access handles to carry the bag from your car onto your electric trolley, pull cart or golf buggy. It has a key-lock base to keep the bag firmly on the trolley – but there’s also a padded shoulder strap if you’d rather carry while playing.
Helpfully, all pockets face forward for easy access to everything during your round. There are ten strategically placed pockets in total, which include; waterproof fur-lined for valuables, separate wet, cooler, and ball pockets, an extra waterproof smartphone pocket, plus expandable clothing pocket.
Please note: although this Deluxe bag is made of PU and has a decent level of waterproofing, there’s also a specific TaylorMade Deluxe Waterproof Cart Bag for those who play their golf in regions prone to wet weather and want, to ensure their clubs and gear remain dry even if they’re drowned rats themselves.
The Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag is quite simply one of the best golf bags you can buy right now. Made of durable and heavyweight fabric this has a huge 14 dividers and 11 pockets making everything easily accessible instantly.
This year the addition of a non stadium top means wedges sit flush. The pockets have also been given new construction lines this year for even more storage. A separate putter well and TPE insert for shaft protection is a great feature making this a tidy setup for quick access to everything.
There's a front facing magnetic rangefinder pocket, electric trolley battery pack sleeve and a new carabiner style towel hook with glove attachment. You really will be hard pressed to find a better bag in the cart category for the price.
If you want to look the part on the fairway this is the bag for you, made from micro perforated synthetic leather, it has a truly premium finish. There's a 6-way velour top, black gunmetal hardware and a zip-off belly panel for embroidery.
But it's not just the materials on this staff bag that matter as you also get 12 pockets, two of which are velour lined making them ideal for phones. There's a rain hood and umbrella sleeve for wet weather and a three point shoulder strap for a nicely balanced carry.
At 5 kg this isn't the lightest bag out there but if you want to look the part with Tour-level quality then you'll need to have the stamina of a tour-level player too.
How to buy the best golf bag for you
If you want to know more try this longer read: Golf bags: is stand, cart, tour or carry best for you? Here's a truncated version, though
Tour golf bags (aka staff bags) are big beasts. As the name states, they’re mainly designed for professional golfers on the European and PGA tour. They’re the highest quality golf bag you can get, but with their size, endless hidden features and cost, they are probably OTT for more casual golfers.
A tour bag will last you a lifetime, making it a solid investment for regular lower-handicap golfers, but you’ll want a caddie or buggy to carry it for you as they’re serously heavy when fully loaded.
Cart golf bags could be more up your street. These are the middle ground between a larger tour bag and smaller stand bag. Golf cart bags are designed, as the name suggests, to fit on ‘carts’ or trolleys. That can be a push cart or electric trolley, or on the back of a golf buggy.
On a wheeled trolley this means you can pull your golf gear along easily. Years ago, trolleys were only used by older golfers or those with back issues. These days however, many younger modern golfers have realised the huge benefits of the cart bag.
Cart bags are big enough to store your clubs in plentiful dividers in the top, while larger pockets can carry more gear like waterproofs, as well food, snacks and drinks, whether that's water or a chilled four-pack, as well as golf balls and gadgets like GPS rangefinders.
The big plus of a cart bag is that it leaves you noticeably fresher during your round. For most golfers it's way preferable to carrying your gear on your back, up, down and around 18, long holes of golf over 4 to 5 hours. As a result, your golf scores and standards shouldn't slip due to you becoming tired on the back nine.
Stand golf bags, despite that are the more traditional and most popular golf bags. They’re much lighter and you carry them across your back with dual straps, to help spread the weight. They’re designed with retractable legs, so when you put the back down on the tee, fairway or side the green, you can prop it up – making it easier to take out/put away clubs – this keeps it cleaner too.
With a stand bag you don’t have to walk around greens or follow paths like you do with cart bags, as you can’t wheel trolleys over greens and have to go the long way around tee boxes etc. But as they’re smaller, you can’t carry as much gear, and of course, the more you stuff in the pockets, the heavier it is to lug around 18 holes.
You can also get very basic, lighter and cheaper golf bags, called a carry bag, which is legless, and better suited to smaller half-golf sets and those who want a no-frills bag.
The best golf bags are strong, with high grade stitching and sturdy zips, and should be comfortable to carry or transport from car to cart. They can house a fair amount of weight when full of your clubs, balls and kit, and are tough enough to be used weekly and carried or shaken about on trolleys regularly. They should be at least semi-waterproof so avoid your gear inside getting wet in the rain – as there’s nothing worse than slippery grips, or finding your jacket inside is already soaked! – and be able to withstand the rough and tumble of outdoor use.
A large number of dividers for club organisation are preferable so you can pull / put back clubs quicker every time. Plus the more pockets the better for quick access to your essentials, such as snacks, drinks, wet-weather jacket and spare clothing, balls, scorecards, and golf gadgets. Dual straps and a sturdy stand are useful features for carry bags.
We’ve rounded up the best and newest bags of all types, from the biggest golf brands. It's worth noting that golf bags are often discounted in end-of-season sales before new annual golf lines arrive.