The Evolution of the Golf Bag
By Snyper on 8/23/10
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.
Back in the day, a golf bag was a golf bag. They didn't vary much and about the only difference from one to another was the number of pockets. There was no such thing as a carry bag with multiple shoulder straps and a stand. People that chose to walk would always use caddies and the caddies had no trouble carrying a bag with one strap. Since they weren't hitting shots, they had no need for a stand. As the game of golf began to grow, the use of golf carts became more and more popular. Golf carts drove caddies to the brink of extinction in no time. However, there were still many golfers who preferred walking, but now, they had no caddie to carry their bag. So, for years, walkers were forced to carry bulky golf bags that were more of an obstacle than an aide to their game.
For years, walkers were forced to carry bulky golf bags that were more of an obstacle than an aide to their game.
Slowly, but surely, the golf industry picked up on this disconnect between golf bags and the players that use them. Since power carts dominated the scene, the major companies in the game were not too concerned about catering to the few players who still chose to walk. However, some of the smaller companies recognized the opportunity to make some money. This led to the first major development in the transformation of golf bags, which was the additional strap that could be added to any bag. The strap would use the existing connections for the single strap to attach a second strap. This second shoulder strap led to the book-bag like format of carrying that most all carry bags now use. Shortly after the additional shoulder strap was created as an accessory, a stand that could be attached to your bag was also developed. Similar to the way modern day push and pull carts attach to a golf bag, a two-legged stand was developed that could be put on and taken off of any bag very quickly and easily. Suddenly, with the purchase of these two accessories, a typical golf bag could be easily transformed into a walkers dream bag! I can remember, as a kid, being jealous of others who were fortunate enough to have both of these upgrades while I toted around my single strap bag that lay on the ground. In fact, not to date myself here, but I can remember how excited I was when I eventually talked my parents into purchasing both of these accessories for me.
Well, it didn’t take long for the major companies in golf to realize that they were missing out on available money. Soon, they began creating bags that came with dual shoulder straps and built-in stands. I can remember some of those first bags like it was yesterday. The stands were very flimsy and also quite bulky. The shoulder straps were also poorly designed and seemed to be less comfortable than the single strap at times. But, it wasn’t long before they began to get it right. Ping is the company that comes to mind as the first one to really make a quality carry bag. The Ping Hoofer was the envy of all walkers when they were first developed. The competition followed quickly as companies like Sun Mountain found ways to create lighter and sturdier carry bags. This evolution resulted in golf bags no longer being just golf bags. A golf bag must now be defined as a carry bag or a cart bag. And, today, all manufacturers offer bags in both categories.
Who's going to be the first company to lead the way in bags that are designed for pushcarts?
As we grow older, we get to see many neat changes in products, technology, etc. For me, being a huge fan of the game of golf, it has been enjoyable to watch the evolution of golf bags. I now own three different types of bags. I have a carry bag, a cart bag, and I also have a carry bag that I have adapted to fit by pushcart. This leads me to wonder, who’s going to be the first company to lead the way in bags that are designed for pushcarts? That I don’t know, but I do know that every time I walk, I am thankful for how much easier it is to carry my golf bag now compared to when I was a kid. It makes me feel a little bit like my grandfather when I say that, but it is true. Golf bags have come a long way to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the game. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next as the game continues to grow and to change.
* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
[ comments ]
Sun Mountain advertises a cart bag ,the SCB Deluxe that they describe as made to fit their Sun Mountain V1 Speed Cart.
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