Golf Bags: 2019 Hot List
We reviewed 93 candidates to find the top 34 choices.
Unlike most golf equipment, no launch monitor or wrist-to-floor measurement will tell you what's the best golf bag for you. That's why this year's golf-bag Hot List—our first since 2014—is a great place to start. Ask yourself how you play most often (walk or ride) and what you like to carry (bare essentials or pack mule). We reviewed 93 golf bags to find the top 34 choices in our four categories: Carry, Cart, Hybrid and Lightweight. Our results include a mix of standard and lightweight carry bags, cart-only bags and bigger “hybrid” stand bags with 14-way dividers (pictured here are the gold-medal winners in the carry and hybrid categories).
SUN MOUNTAIN ▶ CARRY
$290 ▶ Borrowing from the company's top-rated raingear, its DEFCON 1-level outer layer with sealed seams and YKK zippers looks ready to take on a downpour like Jim Cantore in the eye of a bomb cyclone. This new lighter-weight version's top expands the woods section, too.
TITLEIST ▶ CARRY
PLAYERS 4 STADRY
$255 ▶ Its waterproof material and seam-sealed zippers keep your gear umbrella-dry, but it stays a true carry bag. There's smart comfort throughout, including an easy-access range-finder pocket, more strap padding than the previous version, plus a lighter overall weight.
PING ▶ CARRY
$220 ▶ This legendary carry bag's latest update includes new moisture-wicking shoulder straps that glide on and off like your favorite jacket, 12 pockets and a top that's spacious and sturdy. For riders, a channel hides the cart strap so you can still get to those side pockets.
CALLAWAY ▶ CARRY
$210 ▶ The problem with some carry bags is fitting all your clubs in the bag—and being able to pull them out without tearing a wrist tendon. A top that is nearly 20-percent larger than before helps. Even easier are the self-balancing straps and the quick-grab phone pocket.
TAYLORMADE ▶ CARRY
$215 ▶ There are 11 useful pockets and a cart-strap pass-through for riders, but walkers will dig the pillowy shoulder padding, too. The versatile hinging base doesn't scrunch when the legs extend so there's more room for clubs, but it still fits neatly in a cart when you ride.
Walk or ride? Bare essentials or pack mule?
OGIO ▶ CARRY
SHADOW FUSE 304
$230 ▶ If you're carrying, the bag's weight matters, but not as much as the comfort of the straps. Ogio's famous for its sleek, functional backpacks, and these straps echo that heritage. Ergonomically curved and padded, they move freely and self-adjust via a rotating disc system.
TAYLORMADE ▶ HYBRID
$235 ▶ A hinging base, also found on the company's lighter carry bags, maintains space with the legs extended. But space is also the story with the 14-way dividers and the pockets, especially how those on the side are built into the bag's center for more room without adding weight.
BAGBOY ▶ HYBRID
$190 ▶ We don't usually play where the carts come with fully stocked ice chests. Sure, this bag's 10 pockets, 14-way dividers and tuck-away strap provide easy access, but mostly we love the attached cooler that stores up to four drinks. Enough to get us to the turn, anyway.
SUN MOUNTAIN ▶ HYBRID
4.5 LS 14-WAY SUPERCHARGED
$280 ▶ Like an executive assistant or Gary on “Veep,” this bag anticipates every need. The 14 full-length dividers, 10 pockets and holders for everything from umbrella to keys are a start. But next-level is the portable power pack with enough juice to reboot your phone three times.
PING ▶ HYBRID
$240 ▶ This full-service entry with 14-way dividers features 12 pockets, including one for a range finder. But if you can't get to your wallet without undoing the cart strap, that number is irrelevant. So here a channel runs under the side pockets to provide full access.
LIGHTWEIGHT (>4 lbs.)
CART •Callaway ORG 14