Organizational skills

Former Ryder Cup captains disagree over ... organizing their golf bags?

January 18, 2023

Cliff Hawkins

Golfers love debates. No, not just about professional golf’s existential crisis with the emergence of a controversial upstart tour. Sometimes it’s more innocent questions that stir the masses: Should you be able to move your ball out of a divot? What is the greatest feeling in golf? Is music acceptable on the course?

Enter: Which pocket of your golf bag do you put your putter in? The pressing question first surfaced on Reddit before Caddie Network took the debate to Twitter:

As of this writing the tweet had topped 840,000 views and over 1,000 people weighed in, unable to come to a consensus. Some insisted the putter go either on top or on the bottom, while others questioned the prevalence of a 13-pocket bag. Most notably, however, the post elicited thoughtful replies from a couple of major champions and former Ryder Cup captains.

It appears we have a bit of a disagreement. Turns out, Furyk—the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup captain—is a putter in top of the bag guy while Paddy—the 2021 European Ryder Cup captain—is adamant its place is in the bottom two pockets, defending his stance with a bit of … science. Yet, given both are tour pros who rarely carry their own bags, perhaps a tour caddie is best-positioned to settle this one. John Wood, the caddie-turned-broadcaster, weighed in:

The debate—not only over where the putter goes but over the 13-pocket bag itself—rages on. For what it’s worth, this writer—who grew up in the north—opts for the top of the bag alongside the driver. Furyk’s theory holds strong.