Cart Bag vs Staff Bag vs Carry Bag – What’s The Best Option For Golfers?
Tour staff bags are very special, they look great and they are the mark of a top golfer. When you pull up to the club and get a tour bag out of your car, you are making a statement and people will be watching to see if you can deliver. They expect you to be a good player, you’re telling them that you think you are.
These days you can buy so many different types of bag. From staff bag to half-bag, from stand bag to cart bag, there are so many options. Today we are going to look at what is best and help you decide what to buy.
A dream come true
In my playing career, I always wanted to turn pro so that I could have a tour bag with my name on it. I was clearly aiming high, my other aim was to try to qualify for the Open Championship. I will never forget the day I walked into the shop and saw my new staff bag filled with the clubs from my sponsor and my name in black and white.
I had made it, so straight to the first tee I went with the kind of swagger you would only see from someone walking up to the final green with a three shot lead in a major. I snap-hooked it and the ball jerked out of bounds. Golf always reminds you where you stand.
The Cart Bag – What Is It And Who Is It For?
The cart bag has sky-rocketed in popularity in recent years and for good reason. These bags have all the benefit of the staff bag with huge amounts of space, perfect for the changeable weather of the UK and Ireland, without the staff bag statement. They are specifically designed to maximise storage space.
These bags are for those who don’t want to carry, those committed to the trolley life. They are great for those strong-willed golfers who will play in any conditions. Load it up and play safe in the knowledge that you’re prepared for anything out there.
Cart Bag Pros
I’ve already said how good the storage space is, that really is the key benefit. However, because these bags aren’t made to be carried, they can be heavier, this means that they are often more durable and better in the rain. They can be very waterproof which is a huge bonus.
Another great thing about these bags is that they are kinder on your body. Carrying a golf bag is a burden and it can take its toll over eighteen holes. These bags are often used by older golfers so they can get the most out of their bodies and play longer.
Cart Bag Cons
The most obvious one is that you need a trolley and that costs more money. It’s also something you could forget which would mean hiring one at the club once you get there. You will also need a fairly large car boot as these bags can be on the bigger side.
Another thing is that in the winter you can have days where carts are not allowed, so you will need a ‘plan B’. Finally, pushing/pulling a cart adds many steps onto your round, you can’t go over greens and certain areas are banned to carts. There will be more walking involved for sure.
The Stand/Carry Bag – What Is It And Who Is It For?
The carry bag is the classic golf bag, it is also making a bit of a comeback with the cool kids. The very classic looking carry bags of yesteryear are now being used by many young golfers as they move away from mainstream brands onto some up and comers like Jones. The stand bag is also a great choice for those of us who play in wet conditions.
These bags are certainly better for people who are fit enough to carry bags, whatever your age. They tend to be used by younger golfers and they are fairly simple. You can get everything you need into these.
Stand/Carry Bag Pros
These bags are smaller, this is a benefit for those who have small homes with little storage or have a small car boot. They also don’t need a trolley to be used so they work out cheaper. They tend to be light and allow you to freely walk over the golf course without avoiding certain areas etc.
Carrying the weight of your clubs over a round also allows you to get extra fitness benefits from your round, you will burn more calories by carrying. I certainly prefer the experience of carrying.
Stand/Carry Bag Cons
The fitness and physicality aspect of carrying is certainly something to consider here, if you can’t manage this then that is definitely a con. These bags tend to have significantly less storage space too, so you need to pack intelligently in changeable weather conditions. It is also a con that on days when you need more kit, your bag will weigh a lot more.
Another annoyance for many is that on very windy days, many stand bags struggle to stay standing. The fact that they need to save weight to make them easier to carry means that they can topple.
Finally, as you walk, using a stand/carry bag, your clubs often hit off one another and this can cause small marks over time.
The Staff Bag – What Is It And Who Is It For?
To me, these are the most beautiful golf bags on the market and the ones that the best players in the world use on tour. These are the huge bags that you see caddies lugging about in the heat of the summer. They are often made of leather and can be fairly heavy, even when you aren’t carrying much stuff.
If you like staff bags then get one, but it is worth noting that golfers will expect you to be a good player if you have one. If you’re good or just bold and don’t care what people think, then this is a statement bag that you will enjoy having.
Staff Bag Pros
They look great and you get to see them on TV, it’s always great to see a big name using the same bag as you. They also take a huge amount of gear so they are really useful on wet days. This is a particular advantage as they are designed to make it easier to keep everything as dry as possible with superb weather covers.
The staff bag also stands upright, when you’re on the range they look great just sitting beside you. Yes a lot of the advantages of these bags are down to looks, but the storage and weather-proofing is great too.
Staff Bag Cons
Just like I mentioned in the pros section, some people will judge you for having one of these, especially if they watch you hit a shot and it isn’t a towering drive or a pitch that lands stiff. They are also incredibly heavy so you will want to have a trolley to get around. The size means you will need a bigger car to transport the bag as well.
These bags are the size they are so that sponsors can sell products, you don’t need that. Thankfully now, brands have brought out smaller versions and even staff stand bags. They are just huge.
The Best Bags On The Market
Taylormade Golf 2020 Select Cart Bag – Our Cart Bag Choice
Taylormade are a leading golf brand with bold styling, their cart bags look great and is built with the company’s well-known high quality. The Taylormade Select bag is White, Navy and with Red details to make it stand out on the course but it also comes in a host of other patterns and designs to suit all tastes. It is great value and fully waterproof with plenty of pockets to hold your balls, clubs, gadgets, apparel and refreshments, nothing can stop you with this bag.
Check Out More Reviews Here:
The PING Hoofer – Our Carry Bag Choice
The PING Hoofer has been on the market longer than any other stand bag in golf and it has hung around for very good reason, it is incredible. PING have some of the best engineering talent in golf on their books and so you would expect a bag of this quality. It is versatile, light and has plenty of room for your gear.
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Titleist Tour Staff Bag – Our Staff Bag Choice
Staff bags don’t change design often, when they do it marks a big change and last year Titleist took that jump. The all new Titleist Tour staff bag just looks mean and makes the statement that you are a good golfer, people should take notice of you. It is an incredibly luxurious piece of kit and one that will make you feel like the king or queen of the course.
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Can I turn my cart bag into a stand bag?
There are contraptions out there that can do this, however, they can be hard to find and they can be finicky. There is nothing wrong with having options and having both a cart bag and a stand bag for lighter rounds.
How do I attach my bag to a cart?
It’s always annoying when your bag falls off your cart. Your cart should have straps and it should be obvious, just make sure the bag is sitting correctly before you strap it in. It always amazes me how many people you see on a course with their bag not sitting in place properly.
Is it better to push or pull a golf cart?
Personally, I’m more of a push guy, but each to their own. I have a cart with three wheels which is made for pushing, it has no motor. It really is personal preference on this one, see which one feels better to you and off you go.
Will a golf stand bag fit on a trolley?
You certainly can. This is an option for people who like to carry at times and use a trolley on other occasions. It is important to have good fasteners so that the bag is secure as it will be smaller than cart bags so can move a lot in the trolley.
Will I have to buy a golf cart? Is it worth it?
You don’t necessarily have to, no. You can almost always hire one and if you are a member at a club, just make sure they have them. It really depends how much you play, trollies don’t cost a lot to hire so if you don’t play often, you don’t need to splurge.
Is carrying your golf bag bad for you?
Golf bags are fairly heavy, especially on days when you’ve packed your rain gear. Lugging all that weight around on your back can have an effect and using a trolley definitely reduces some of the stress on your body. Carrying isn’t necessarily bad but pushing/pulling is better for your body.
Is it a good exercise to carry a golf bag?
Playing golf burns a lot of calories. You will burn over 1000 calories in a round and carrying your clubs burns the most. This is exercise for your legs and posture muscles, it is also a mild cardiovascular workout. Golf is a great way for anyone to get a bit more active, just don’t take a cart.
How many calories do you burn riding a cart?
Surprisingly, 18 holes on a cart still burns around 800 calories. Many will put this back in with some cold beers and on-course snacks though. The golf swing is an athletic move, it takes power and energy to swing the club.
After many years playing golf, you will learn what way you prefer to get around the course. I like carrying but also like pushing a trolley. This really is all down to personal preference and fitness, only you can really know what works best for you.
The good thing is that there are options. If you have never used a trolley, hire one and give it a shot, see how it makes you feel. As long as you are enjoying your golf and feeling good, then that is all that matters!
Hi, I am Matthew, a mid handicap golfer who likes to play as much as possible. I love trying out new gear and this blog is where you can find all the gear I have tested over the years!