Rickie Fowler is a trend setter, but Fowler’s use of a Puma stand bag to house his clubs last week at the Farmers Insurance Open isn’t the reason Jon Rahm, Jimmy Walker and other TaylorMade and Titleist players are allowing their caddies to lighten the load at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Rahm and Walker will be using stand bags from their respective companies as part of a product launch for the bags. Titleist is introducing its Players 4 Plus bag and as part of its introduction made bags for each player, putting their names and sponsors logos on the carry bags and allowing players the option to use them. Similarly, TaylorMade rolled out its FlexTech and FlexTech Lifestyle stand bags with Rahm, Beau Hossler and Chez Reavie expected to lighten their caddies’ load by employing the bag in Scottsdale. The FlexTech and FlexTech Lifestyle bags utilize a design where each main side pocket is built into the center of the bag to create a single piece construction that allows for more storage without adding weight.
As for why the Waste Management Phoenix Open, it’s likely not a coincidence. The event has a decidedly relaxed vibe, making it easier to get players to agree to do something outside the norm. Additionally, the heavier staff bags that tour caddies routinely lug often are stocked with plenty of rain gear. Scottsdale is perhaps the most likely tour venue on the schedule to avoid wet weather, making the use of the smaller bags more viable as the likelihood of inclement weather is minimal.
Regardless, the caddies who get to carry the lighter bags will rejoice, but don’t expect the bags to stay in play for longer than this week. Sponsors like to see their logos on television—and they like to see them in big, bold letters.