I recently wrote about my preference for a smaller golf bag and talked through my 4 golf bag set up (not as ridiculous as it sounds, I promise!) I also mentioned that I still don’t feel like I have found the perfect bag. As a golfing minimalist much of the time, I feel like I should have a bag that fits in with this approach. In other words, I should really have the perfect minimalist golf bag. SO far, this seems to have eluded me so I thought that I might look at just what this perfect club carrier would be like, what features it should have and see if a kind reader could even point me in the right direction.
Minimalist Golf Bag: What is it really?
I suppose the big problem I have when trying to find my perfect bag is that I don’t have a precise image in my head. There are some bags out there that I love. For example, I would love to have one of the traditional Jones Bags. They are certainly minimal and, at least in my opinion, look absolutely amazing, and yet it still doesn’t fit in exactly with everything I want.
I could also simply go for one of the smaller stand bags from any of the major brands. This would be fine: functional, practical and easy to find. In fact, it would be very similar to the Titleist stand bag I currently use about which, really, I have no complaints. It just feels a little bit run-of-the-mill, ordinary and the same as everyone else.
I can imagine that you are thinking I am something of a difficult shopper, but generally this really isn’t the case, I promise! I don’t wear particularly extravagant clothes or shoes, I am the sort of guy you would probably pass in the street without noticing (part from the fact that I am nearly 2m tall, obviously!) It is just that, for me, golf is an area where I do like to express myself a little more. Nothing crazy, but I enjoy coloured grips on my clubs, redoing the paintwork on the heads of my irons and a little colour and style in my bags!
Look Good or Be Practical?
So it feels in many ways as if I caught between a rock and hard place. Get a boring but practical bag or get something fun but not so functional. Actually, this is something of an exaggeration. I would really be happy with either bag. But let’s suppose that I can get everything I want. Just what features would I be looking for?
- Good looks. As previously mentioned, I do like bags that have something about them visually. This might be like the Jones bags which just ooze class. I also like bags with crazy colours and patterns on them too, which isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, for sure. For example, I know John Daly isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I do enjoy his loudmouth range of stuff and the bags are no exception. To me, they are fun and look good.
- A reasonable price. I understand that quality isn’t cheap, but I just feel like I would rather put my hard-earned into clubs, green fees or even memberships. I know that I can’t get what I want exactly for budget prices, but something about a golf bag that costs 4 figures seems to just put me off!
- Club storage. It is easy to find a bag that will take 14 clubs or more. I have about 30 clubs in my storage bag in the garage. However, I want a bag that is going to be slightly smaller than full size but could still take a full set if necessary. Of course, usually I will only have ten or fewer in there, and I don’t want to have to carry a big bag for this half set either.
- Pockets. This is a tricky one. I find that golfers in general (including me) will find a use for any pockets that are available. I am fine when I have my one pocket pencil bag but I will also manage to find a use for the 6-8 pockets on a bigger bag too! So how many is enough? I would say that ideally, I want a longer zip pocket for a water bottle and waterproof or jumper, a ball pocket for, well, balls (and tees etc), a valuables pocket preferably inside another pocket for extra safety and maybe an easily accessible pocket for a drink and snack. Four pockets should be fine. I am not even worried about something like a cool pocket because I find that they generally don’t make a lot of different anyway. If I want to keep my drink cold all day, I usually freeze it the night before and let it thaw out gradually as I play.
- A Stand (possibly!) This is a tricky one. I actually prefer my Nike carry bag that has no stand at all because it is so light. There are two big disadvantages in having this as my only bag however. Firstly, the ground needs to be clean and dry. Obviously, this isn’t great in the winter or even in early/late season rain. It also doesn’t work for my early morning rounds when there is dew on the ground. The obvious choice here would be a stand, but I find that small stand bags tend to be very small, not enough space for clubs and few pockets, or too big and essentially a trolley bag with legs.
Does My Perfect Minimalist Golf Bag Exist?
So that is what I am looking for, but does anything out there actually fit the bill? There are a couple of things that get close. I really like the short stand legs on some of the more recent bags. I think Ping came out with this first, and it looks like a few different brands are doing it. It tends to go on a very small bag though, so not really offering idea practicality.
I also like the semi-rigid strap that the Ping Moonlite series has. The bag goes on the floor, but the strap stays slightly rigid above the bag for ease of pick up and to keep it dry and clean.
In terms of looks, I find that the Jones bags look really good. They certainly aren’t the cheapest bags out there and I have never had the opportunity to try one in person, but everything I have heard and/or read about them is good. I would guess that at some point, I will just bite the bullet and get one.
If anyone out there has a suggestion that fits the bill, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.