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Guide - The Different Types of Golf Bag Explained

Alongside the clubs you choose to carry in it, the golf bag you select can be one of the most important purchases any golfer makes. With the requirements of withstanding the sunshine, the rain and the roll around the boot of the car on the way too and from the course, you are sure to need something with substantial build quality to stand the test of time. 

Despite what you may think, golf bag engineering is a big part of the development process for many major brands with advancements in materials and build design growing by substantial amounts in recent years. With this, the decision of which bag is best for you has become harder than ever before. That is why we have created the definitive guide to the different types of golf bags and just which one may be the best for you.

Guide Contents

  1. What are the different types of golf bags?
  2. Cart Bags 
  3. Carry Bags 
  4. Tour Bags 
  5. Pencil Bags 
  6. Travel Bags 

What are the different types of golf bag?

What are the different types of golf bags?

An easy question to start off. In total there are five different types of  golf bags all with slightly different benefits and uses to suit different types of golfers' needs. These can be split into the following categories

Cart / Trolley Bags
Stand / Carry Bags

Tour Bags

Pencil Bags

Travel Bags

Don’t worry if you have no idea what any of these terms mean, this guide is about to explain all!

Cart Bags

Cart or Trolley bags are exactly what they sound like. Golf bags that have been specifically designed to sit on either push and pull trolleys or an electric trolley with a stable flat base to stand on when they are on the ground. 

Cart Bag Key Characteristics

  • Weight - Averages between 2-4 Kg
  • Additional pocket space - Typically 8-10 pockets. 
  • Stand-alone rubber base. 
  • Most come with 14-way club dividers. 

As you may expect, cart bags are not the most ideal to carry around the course, but some do come equipped with a carry strap for easy transportation when away from the course.  
Cart bags are normally one of the more substantial bags available to golfers. With less requirement for a lighter weight bag, cart bags come with more pocket options and often more hardwearing and heavier materials. Although lightweight options are available, many golfers choose more premium feel cart bags that offer benefits such as fully waterproof exteriors and cooler pockets for drinks and snacks..

Our Most Popular Cart Bags

Carry Bags

The most popular type of golf bag available to purchase, stand or carry bags are used by golfers of all ages and abilities across the world to transport their golf clubs and accessories

Stand Bag Key Characteristics

  • Weight - Averages 1.5-3kg 
  • Retractable stand for easy access
  • Padded double-shoulder strap on most bags
  • 5-7 mixed-sized pockets

Generally, stand bags are lighter than cart bags due to the nature of them being carried on a golfer's back for the duration of the round. Typically, a stand bag will weigh around 5 pounds with lighter versions available if preferred. 

Each stand bag comes equipped with features to make them as convenient as possible and not impede your on-course performance. As you may expect from a stand bag, it comes with a stand. This is retractable and only extends once the base of the bag is placed on the floor. The stand keeps the bag semi-upright to make accessing clubs and the bag’s pockets as easy as possible. Once the bag is lifted the stand retracts back along the underneath of the bag out of the way. 
Many of the carry bags we offer in our range also come with a padded double shoulder strap that fits in a similar way to a backpack. This distributes the weight of the bag across both shoulders for a more comfortable carry experience, an important factor in a four-hour round of golf. Despite their name, some carry bags fit well on both  electric and pull trolleys making them well-suited for golfers who change between carrying and trolley use throughout the year.

Our Most Popular Carry Bags

Tour Bags

The most premium option in golf bags is unquestionably the Tour Bag. As the name suggests, these are provided to tour players across the globe with almost every brand in golf offering a premium tour bag to their contracted players. Adding a tour bag to your collection could be the next step in elevating your game and emulating your favourite European or PGA Tour professionals. 

Tour Bag Key Characteristics

  • Weight - Around 4kg 
  • Premium materials. 
  • The biggest bag type available. 
  • Upgraded designs as standard

As the flagship golf bag of any brand, the Staff Bag or Tour Bag has to stand out as a superior product and it does not let anyone down. By far the largest bag type available on the market, these luxurious look and feel bags offer significant amounts of space with vast deep pockets found on both sides for additional clothing, waterproofs, gloves, golf balls and any other accessories you may require during a round.

All of that may sound positive, but the high-end materials and the size of the bags comes at a cost in weight. The average Tour Bag weighs in at around 10 pounds or just over 4 kg making them double the weight of the average carry bag. Whilst tour professionals have a caddy to carry their bag around the course, amateurs using a tour bag pair them with a buggy or a  trolley with the bag’s weight a considerable factor when playing alone.

Our Most Popular Tour Bags

Pencil Bags

From the biggest golf bags available in tour bags to the smallest by some distance, the humble pencil bag. A small and thin carry bag designed with as little as possible to make it as light as possible. Perfect if you don’t carry a lot when out on the course. 

Pencil Bag Key Characteristics 

  • Weight - 0.8 - 1.3kg 
  • Comfortable carry straps
  • 2-3 pockets 
  • Made as light as possible 

Ideal for golfers who do not carry a full set of clubs,  pencil bags are a popular choice with junior and senior golfers due to their incredibly lightweight construction. Mostly made without a stand, pencil bags are designed to be laid on the ground next to your ball between shots. Some pencil bags come with small stands to raise the bag slightly off of the ground but this is much lower than a full stand bag. 

Due to pencil bags being a more basic product, they are available at a much cheaper price than stand or carry bags with no reduction in the build quality. Typically holding one large pocket and either one or two smaller pockets, pencil bags are also popular for winter golf outside of the competitive season when fewer accessories are required.

Our Most Popular Pencil Bags

What should I do if I’m travelling with golf clubs?

Photo credit: Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock

If you are a keen golfer, it is likely that you go on golfing holidays or take your clubs away with you, so it is vital you package your golf equipment carefully, to ensure they make it through check-in to baggage reclaim all in one piece.

Golf travel bags and covers are used in conjunction with your golf bag to help protect your most prized possessions whilst travelling. Typical features include a padded top to protect clubs in transit, padded or reinforced handles for easier handling, and at least one extra external pocket for additional storage.

There are two types of travel bags: hard cased or soft cased. The hard case is solid on the outside and heavier than other travel bags you will find but will offer great protection. The soft travel bag will be padded and still offer great protection, but in a lightweight alternative.

Clearance Shirts

According to the golfers of Twitter, these are the most popular golf bags:

To help you choose, when deciding between a hard or soft case travel bag, you must decide the bag's purpose. The hard bag is extremely rigid and will not fit easily into the back of many cars, but they are great for the less-than-gentle airline baggage handlers. The soft case is more suited towards storage and will be more 'hire-car friendly' than a hard case. It is also worth having a travel bag that has wheels, to make it easier to cart around an airport or hotel.

Presumably you have your golf essentials and have figured out what golf bag is right for you; do you know the correct way to pack a golf bag? Find out here.