PING Hoofer Lite Stand Bag – Key Specs
Weight: 2.2 kilos
Number of pockets: 7
Features: Range Finder Pocket, Single or Double Strap carry option, Cart Strap Sleeve.
Ping Hoofer Lite review in a sentence: it's a golf bag – a stand bag in fact – with just that extra little bit of class to stand out.
With a new season upon us and lockdown over, touch wood, you may well be looking for the best golf bag, to buy to replace the one you got in about 2007. Perhaps you aren’t exactly sure what you need. We can help you with our useful guide on the different types available and whether stand, cart, tour or carry is best for you, but if you are a golfer who likes to carry their clubs around then there are certain things you are going to need from your bag.
First and foremost you need a bag that is easy to carry and comfortable. Carrying your bag rather than taking the easy option of using a trolley is admirable and has numerous health benefits, but if you don’t have the correct bag then at the very least it will distract you from your game (not to mention cause fatigue late in your round) and at worst it can cause back problems that may keep you off the course.
So if you are one of those hardy souls who prefer to carry their clubs then you will need a stand bag, and stand bags don’t come much better than the PING Hoofer series.
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.
PING Hoofer Lite Stand Bag: Overview
This is the time of year when many golfers are looking to upgrade their kit. Whether it’s stocking up on the best golf balls, trying to find the best driver available or perhaps investing in a new pair of golf shoes, now is as good a time as any as you have a full season of golf ahead of you. Touch wood. So how about a new Ping Hoofer Lite?
Aesthetically this bag ticks a lot of boxes. It looks streamlined, it's well put together and the colour schemes are pleasing on the eye. I must confess to being a little biased here as to me PING bags have always looked great. Those huge PING bags you see caddies lugging around on the PGA Tour always seemed to look better than any of the other brands in my eyes. I don’t know why, there’s just something about the branding that looks cool.
The Hoofer series of bags are no different. This review focuses on the Hoofer Lite but you may also want to look at the standard Hoofer too, which is another great looking bag. They come in a variety of colour schemes so there is something to cater for most tastes.
The Hoofer Lite has been constructed with a lightweight and durable high-denier polyester material, and has a built-in lift assist handle. The four way top is a slightly wider than usual 9.5” and there are four full length dividers to help keep the clubs spaced in the bottom of the bag.
The quality of the zips is very good and the bag feels sturdy despite being lightweight. 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.
There’s a standard umbrella fastener loop at the top but whereas a lot of bags simply have a little nylon loop at the bottom the Hoofer Lite comes with a nice sleeve that you can slide the umbrella into. There’s also a little pouch where you can keep a pen to mark your scorecard.
Little things like this make a big difference 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.
The Hoofer Lite is not fully waterproof though so keep that in mind. If you are looking for a fully waterproof bag then you could look at the PING Hoofer Monsoon, or alternatively, the Callaway Hyper Dry C which I reviewed recently. Be aware that fully waterproof bags are more expensive though.
- Best golf watch – fore! Arm!
PING Hoofer Lite Stand Bag: Storage
Storage is a big strength of the Hoofer Lite. It comes with seven pockets in total and covers all bases. The apparel pocket is a good size and even has added storage areas inside, which is a nice extra feature.
There is another decent sized pocket on the opposite side that could hold snacks, a jumper, an extra drink or anything else you may not want to store in the apparel pocket. The ball pocket is a decent enough size and has little sections in there where you can keep tees, pitch mark repairers, ball markers etc and as mentioned above, this pocket is detachable if you want to customise it.
I particularly like the Range Finder pocket located directly above the ball pocket. It is perfectly sized for my Garmin Z82 even in its protective casing. Many golfers prefer to hang the Range Finder from their towel ring but this is a better option as it offers more protection as the device won’t get bashed around while the bag is being carried.
The drinks cooler pocket is not the largest and is designed to hold only a 16oz water bottle. If you tend to drink more than that during a round then there is room for a spare in either of the larger side pockets.
Unusually, the drinks pocket on the Hoofer Lite has a zip which is not always the case on a lot of bags. The open pouch seems to be most common with stand bags these days but PING have provided versatility by having the zip option. You can still leave it open if you’re drinking from a bottle, but if you have a beer that you’d like to keep cold until you’re ready to drink it then you can seal the pocket and let the lining do the rest.
The velour lined main valuables pocket concerned me a little. The size is perfect and you can slide your smartphone right in there snugly, but it faces downwards when carrying so if you were to inadvertently leave the zip open there’s a good chance your phone would fall out with the motion of the bag being carried on your back along the fairway.
I used this for my wallet and kept the zip closed for the duration of the round and kept my phone in the side pocket.
The seventh pocket contains the rain hood. More on that in a second.
PING Hoofer Lite Stand Bag: Functionality
It’s so easy to carry this bag. The adjustable shoulder straps are very high quality (featuring SensorCool technology) but felt a little shorter than normal. This caused the bag to sit higher up on my back than I’m used to but the way it seemed to just sit in place without bouncing around too much made it very comfortable, almost like a snug back-pack.
This snugness may also be due to the shape of the bag. Most bags have round bodies but the Hoofer-Lite is more, I want to say box-like maybe, which seemed to concentrate the bag’s weight across a larger area rather than a single point.
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 that 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'.
The Hoofer Lite also features a sleeve that allows a cart strap to slide behind the main pocket (see above photo). This is yet another cool feature and should surely be a staple of any stand bag simply because it just adds to its versatility and even if it is never used it is barely noticeable anyway. You only see it if you're looking for it.
Stand bags aren’t designed to be carried on trolleys and if you use a trolley (or a buggy) most of the time you should go for a cart bag, but if you like to mix it up and occasionally carry, then a stand bag with a cart strap pass through it, such as the Hoofer Lite or the TaylorMade FlexTech Waterproof, gives you that option.
You can use a stand bag on a trolley far more easily than you can carry a cart bag on your back. Something to keep in mind.
So while this bag performs very well overall, there are a couple of issues that need to be mentioned.
Firstly, when you put your clubs in the Hoofer Lite it is no longer capable of standing upright on its own. You need to extend the legs or it will just fall over. That is not a failing exclusive to this bag as many stand bags won’t ‘stand’ without their legs.
A lot of golfers won’t even care as it isn’t something they need their bag to do, but when I’m not playing I like to leave my bag in an upright position rather than with the legs extended simply because it takes up far less space that way. The only way you can do that with this bag is to rest it against a wall or something.
Secondly, club tangling was a bit of an issue. Not a massive issue by any means and it would certainly not be enough to put me off buying this bag, but it will bother some golfers. Again though, this is something that you will find with a lot of stand bags.
To provide a bit more detail to that. The clubs in the top and bottom sections were easy enough to take in and out but the grips of the clubs in the two centre compartments seemed to get stuck quite a bit when I tried to put them back in after taking a shot.
This is due to the design of the base and legs, which is ironically a big strength of the Hoofer bags. Basically, when you extend the legs the base folds as a complete unit, meaning the bottom of the bag sits squarely and stably on the ground. So it is practical, but visually this looks very cool too.
The trade off is that when the base flattens, the clubs inside become more jammed together because of the decreased space. They are un-jammed again when you pick the bag up and the base returns to normal, but now your clubs are most likely a little tangled.
You can avoid this issue by removing your desired club while the bag is upright and by standing the bag up before putting the club back in after taking your shot. If you don’t want to do that, however (and plenty won’t), then be prepared for a little bit of tangling now and again.
If I'm entirely honest, a bit of tangling is a small price to pay for the hidden gem I found under the main carry handle on the front of the bag. I was sold on this bag as soon as I saw it; a velcro glove holder! They seem to be something of an endangered species these days so let's hear a golf clap for PING for not following the lead of everyone else who have ditched the glove holder.
PING Hoofer Lite Stand Bag: Verdict
This is a great bag packed full of useful little features and it is well worth the money. It isn’t perfect and the slight tangling issue may be off-putting to some, but this bag more than makes up for that minor issue by excelling in every other area.
The Hoofer Lite is definitely one of the better bags on the market and has an awful lot going for it. You’ll be doing very well if you find anything more comfortable to carry around for 18 holes at a similar price.