The 10 Best Golf Bags
Several Areas to Consider Whenever Choosing a Golf Bag
If possible, you'll want that bag to have a lid or built-in rainfly for keeping your clubs dry in the event of a downpour.
Assuming your clubs are valuable, you'll want a bag that enables those clubs to be slid in and out without getting damaged.
Choosing a golf bag comes down to a combination of personal experience, prudence, and taste. Casual players, for example, might gravitate toward a beginner bag that appears compact. While these beginner bags are lighter, they might also force a player to jam several clubs into a cramped compartment. Assuming your clubs are valuable, you'll want a bag that enables those clubs to be slid in and out without getting damaged.
Ideally, you'll want a bag to have at least four central compartments, which you can use to distribute up to 14 clubs (according to regulation rules). If possible, you'll want that bag to have a lid or built-in rainfly for keeping your clubs dry in the event of a downpour. In addition, you'll want that bag to have several pockets that you can use to store balls, tees, towels, water bottles, and food.
If you often choose to carry your own clubs (as opposed to using a caddy), then you'll want a bag that has a cushioned strap. If you're accustomed to walking each course (as opposed to using a cart), then you'll want a bag that features stick holders, so you can stand that bag upright instead of laying it on its side.
Those with shoulder issues might want to invest in a bag that comes with a pull-out handle and a rear-side set of wheels. If you have hip issues, it might be worth investing in a bag with a cushioned liner that won't bang against your waist. Or, if you just want to be comfortable and enjoy your day on the links, get a bag cart to do all the heavy lifting for you.
How to Arrange Your Golf Bag
When arranging your golf bag, most experts recommend that you start by placing the smallest clubs in first. These clubs should be stored inside the bag's rear compartment. The reason being that whenever a bag is tilted, the smallest clubs are always the least likely to teeter out.
These clubs should be stored inside the bag's rear compartment.
Assuming your bag has four central compartments, you'll want to divide your irons chronologically throughout the three bottom-most compartments, while placing your woods, your wedge, and your putter in the compartment nearest the strap. Distributing the weight equally in this manner will keep your bag from getting front-heavy, and it will also make it easier to locate a specific club whenever you're trying to make a shot.
If you're constantly switching the set of clubs that you play with, it might be worth taping a list of which clubs belong in each compartment along the lip of your bag. Either that or use your cellphone to take an overhead photo of your bag with all of the clubs placed in their proper order.
Regarding the bag's side pockets, the common-sense rule is that drinks and snacks should be placed in a separate pocket from towels and gloves. Balls and tees should be afforded their own pockets, and - given these items are used so often - those pockets should be located near the bag's top.
A Brief History of Golf
The modern game of golf originated during 15th-Century Scotland, where it was banned for a time by James II, who felt the game represented a distraction to Scotsmen who should be practicing archery - a more utilitarian sport. Ironically, this ban was lifted in 1502 by James IV, a direct descendant of James II who had begun to play golf himself.
During the mid-16th Century, Archbishop Hamilton of Scotland granted permission for the waterside greens along St. Andrews to be re-purposed as a golf course. This was a symbol of mainstream acceptance, and it soon resulted in St. Andrews becoming hallowed ground for golf enthusiasts throughout Europe.
During the 1920s, experienced golfers and their caddies took to using custom-made bags to tote a full arsenal of clubs.
Up until the 1700s, most golf games were played by adhering to unofficial rules. These rules became standardized, however, under the game's first governing body, an organization known as The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. In 1764, this organization approved recognizing a full "round" of golf as being comprised of 18 holes (as opposed to the previously acceptable 22).
Golf's first "Open Championship" took place in Ayrshire, Scotland during 1860. This tournament proved to be such a success that golf subsequently made its way across the Atlantic. The first U.S. country clubs began opening in New York toward the end of the 19th Century. These "clubs" were usually 18-hole golf courses that were attached to a lavish meeting hall for society's elite.
During the 1920s, experienced golfers and their caddies took to using custom-made bags to tote a full arsenal of clubs. Motorized carts were added into the mix a few decades later, rendering it much easier for even the most out-of-shape golfers to enjoy a full day on the links.
Today, it is estimated that 25 million people play golf worldwide. That estimate has fallen off slightly from its peak of 31 million players, culminating during the height of Tiger Woods' prime.