Remember the colossal golf bag Rodney Dangerfield sports in Caddyshack, the one with the functioning beer tap, a (very) loud music system and a belly fat enough to swallow four full sets of clubs? Along with the glitz, comes one big drawback that is evident when his caddie groans, “What do you got in here, rocks?”
If you like to walk the course (or you take pity on your caddie’s spinal health) it’s time to streamline your bag. Modern materials and new designs mean that slimmer, sleeker bags can do a job once reserved for much bigger, bulkier bags. The Titleist Players 4 Carbon Stand Bag ($245, far right), for example, weighs a mere 3.8 pounds, but its four, full-length dividers make it easy to store a full set. There’s extra padding where the bag meets your back.
If you’re looking for more storage, the Cobra Ultralight Stand bag (4.5 pounds, $189, left) has eight pockets, plenty for all of your gear. You can’t cram a keg in there like Rodney, but its insulated pocket will help keep a can or bottle of something cool. For a minimalist look, try the Stitch SL1 ($229, center). It looks like leather, but it’s made of a proprietary modern fabric giving it that retro feel of yesteryear without the weight of old-fashioned technology. The 3.5-pound bag has only one divider and two pockets, making it impractical as an everyday bag but ideal as a traveler or for nine holes.