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2018 Titleist Stadry 4 Up Review

2018 titleist stadry 4 Up

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#1 TitleistESQ

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:40 PM

Titleist 2018 Stadry 4 Up (S4U) Review

First things first, some background:
I purchased this bag to fill a spot in my golfing experience that was lacking with my current “gamer” bag. Until recently, I used a 2015 Sun Mountain Three 5 for all of my golf sessions. For the most part it goes above and beyond what I need out of a round of golf every couple weeks when my schedule allows and recommend it as a great all around bag. I lived in Milwaukee for a few years during and after law school, and moved back to Chicago last summer. Needless to say, with Midwest winters, golfing is somewhat limited, and as such, the bag has held up nicely.

In keeping with this reality, my purchase of a 2018 Stadry 4 Up was predicated on the idea of wanting and using a scaled down bag for all the other times I was not golfing 18 on a full length course. I enjoy spending time at the local outdoor driving range from spring to fall, indoor dome to practice during our lovely Midwest winters and short par-3 course that, at most, requires up to a 7 or 8-iron for the longest holes. And, for as much as it pains me, I spend most of my golf time doing these activities as opposed to playing 18 on a full length course.

Surely, in the past, I was able to use my Three 5 in those moments and it took care of me well. The issue was not failure of design or quality. The main problem (a “first world problem,” I know…) was that it was almost overkill for my needs in those “non-round” sessions. I wanted something lighter and with less “frills” that would accomplish the task at hand.

I researched a variety of bags while considering my options. Around the early 2010s I purchased my first Sun Mountain bag and quickly realized the online reviews and statements about quality and value were borne of truth. I have not had a Sun Mountain bag I regretted purchasing and have continually purchased them while recommending them to others seeking advice on a new bag or getting into the game for the first time.

As such, I considered the SM 2.5 and its updated brethren the 2.5+. I leaned toward the 2.5+ due to others’ reviews about positive changes from the first incarnation and my gut instinct about how durable some features might be in reality after wear and tear. It’s never been my concern with the Three 5 I use or the Fours that my friends and family use, nor my “mini-staff” Tour Series cart bag which seems built like a tank. But the prospect of an ultra-light bag requiring incredibly thin material surrounding a minimalistic skeletal frame was one I did not want to pursue.

Likewise, I looked at the SM Front-9 bag. In fact, it was actually in my cart awaiting final payment when I came across the Titleist line. I only came across one review, and it was glowing, and it seemed like the logical fit between the 2.5+ and the Three-5. The only thing I disliked was the three-zone divider design. But in fairness, it would have been an even trade-off for the slightly reduced weight and sleek design while stepping down from the Three 5.

I considered other models made by different companies but wanted to stick with a brand I was experienced in using. Call it brand loyalty, but I tend to stick with a brand that serves me well until it no longer does. So I also looked at Titleist’s offerings, having once purchased a stand bag from them. It was an older model Stadry stand bag maybe 5 years ago and it was awesome. The only draw back was that it was a pretty bulky, full-size stand bag was better suited as a full time gamer if I lived and played frequently in rainy conditions. I parted ways with it by gifting it to a buddy.

As I looked over the Titleist line one bag caught my eye: The Stadry 4Up (S4U). It seemed to fit all the needs and desires I had in a new bag: Lightweight, streamlined profile, less frills, and, as a bonus, waterproof.

So I bought it. I like it so much I chose to do a first time review. I hope it suits you all well.

Design
The Stadry 4Up (S4U) is a sleek carry bag. Not nearly as slim or refined as a Sunday or pencil bag, and probably larger and wider than the 2.5+ (this is from memory - I have not been able to get a look at them side by side). The S4U is a smallish carry bag that has already proven to fit my needs. It is light, but weighed in at 4lbs 4.6oz, higher than I was expecting. I will be emptying my Three 5 and getting a raw weight as I suspect it will be higher then expected as well.

Upon removing it from the box I was a bit worried. I actually considered not removing merchandise tags in case I had second thoughts and wanted to do a return. Because I bought it based on online photos and those of last years iteration with the same name, and had not seen it in person, I was kind of caught off guard by its size. It certainly seemed almost too small as I pulled it from the cardboard. I am 6’2” and a few cheeseburgers over 3 bills, so I was worried it would look like a billiard stick bag on my back. It is certainly on the smaller side of medium sized. But in examining the bag and comparing it to my Three 5, there is a bit of an optical illusion going on.

In setting the bags side by side, the S4U is just about as tall as the Three 5 bag (to my naked eye). I think the size worry was based upon just how compact and sleek the bag is. Aside from the main ball pocked, there are no billowing pockets protruding from the chassis like my old Stadry carry bag or Three 5. The “side” pockets seem tighter to the frame than my other bags and it creates a very slim profile to the eye.

After realizing I had received the correct bag, and that my assumption of it serving juniors and/or those of a smaller stature better were premature, I removed the tags and protective plastics. I immediately transferred some clubs from my Three 5 bag to the S4U to check fit. Just like the Three 5, the 4SU adequately protected my clubs. I play clubs over standard length and my custom length irons are based on my 7i being ¾” longer than standard and subsequent clubs being 3/8” shorter or longer from the 7i starting point. My driver, hybrids and putter are also over standard length. They extend well above the protective foam covering the dividers but this will be the case with all bags. There was not much difference in shaft protection between my Three 5 and the S4U.

The 4-way top is divided with full length dividers (one WRXer claimed they extend down to within an inch of the bottom, but I cannot confirm this). Needless to say, they are pretty much down to the bottom of the bag.  The top, approximately, is an 8.5” x 7.5”  oval, with an inside space being closer to 7.25” x 6.75”. The top is a bit constricted for my liking. There is no way around this reality. My guess is that a wider diameter requires a larger frame down to the base and this negates the point of the scaled down design. My other bags were much wider in diameter and the Three 5 has a fluted top allowing easier insertion/drawing of clubs from bag. I was able to transfer all of my clubs from the Three 5 to the S4U, and the clubs fit fine with some finessing. There is a built-in, molded lift handle on the top “collar” unlike last years model with three. There is also a connected rubber handle along the spine and a recessed material “grab” point below the ball pocket on the main spine like my Three 5.

By this I mean they literally fit. Just like I can also squeeze into pants a size too small if I really tried, I could probably jam a few more clubs into the bag if necessary. The issue here, of course, is comfort and ease of use. I am confident in saying that, yes, you can game this bag with all 14 clubs. But I am likewise adamant that it would be a pain in the a** to do so. The “best” way I could achieve this was driver, hybrid, 3iron, putter (with a Mid Slim 2.0) on top; 5-7 on one side with 8-PW on the other; 4 wedges in the bottom space. My clubs have built-up grips with 7 layers and 1 layer of double sided tape under midsize GP-MCC grips. They are not as wide as fatso grips but they are much larger in diameter than stock.  This obviously creates an issue when putting clubs in bags.

I have almost no issue in using all 14 with my Three 5. There are club tangles every now and then, but my experience is generally annoyance-free. The S4U on the other hand, proved to be a more irritating experience when using all 14 clubs. Again, it can be done. The question is how much hassle you want. And it is not even really a criticism of the bag; packing 14 clubs with smaller grips might prove to be problem-free or more enjoyable with less tangles when re-inserting clubs. I believe it is the player who must make the call on what they want in a bag.

Just as I would not fault a Miata or BMW 3 series for not fitting me well, I cannot completely blame a scaled down golf bag for being too snug when loaded with large-gripped clubs. In short, one would think I ought to have known better.  But I went into this venture knowing full well that I probably would not be using this as a gamer with all clubs in the bag when I played 18. When I practice I bring the odd numbered irons or the evens instead of all my clubs. I either bring a driver and hybrid with my 3, 5, 7, and 9 irons with 2 wedges or with the 4, 6, 8, and PW with the 2 other wedges. I do not get much benefit out of hitting all clubs as there isn’t much difference between hitting a 3, 4, and 5 iron into the back of a 90-yard deep golf dome or outdoor range with limited targets. As such, the bag has already proven to suit me WAY better when I only load it up with half of my clubs. Shocking, I know!....

The pockets are nice but are nothing revolutionary. The bag has the typical setup of left, center and right side pockets. There is a smaller pocket on its left side (if looking at it from the non-leg side), a slightly smaller than normal ball pocket on the middle spine area, and the common, dual-pocket setup on the right side. The perks here, being the Stadry model, are taped zipper seams that keep moisture and liquids out, and a nicely lined fleece pocket for valuables. The full-size pocket on the right side adequately held the provided rain cover, my rain jacket/pants, and some old yardage books. I probably could have added more items if needed. The left pocket was large enough to contain 3 of my XXL Bionic gloves, some sunscreen, and my pocket flask, with room to spare. The main ball compartment easily provided enough room for 2-dozen balls along with my bag of tees. Additionally there is an insulated beverage pocket provided next to the small pocket on the left side. I have fit a 20oz bottle of soda and it was sufficient large to handle it. The angle the bottle sat was odd and seemed likely to fall out but it did not come to fruition. Beyond a 20oz bottle I am uncertain of feasibility. There is also a tab and retention strap for umbrellas as well. An interesting design quirk includes the zipper pulls functioning as retention clips on the ends of the zipper. The zippers are tough to pull on as-is and I do not see the extra function being utilized. There is clearly enough room for odds and ends needed for golfing.

As for the straps… They are nicely padded and designed to be convertible between a single “caddie” strap and the modern, dual “backpack” strap setup. I have tried on some bags with straps that felt overly padded and bulky beyond my needs and these straps do not rise to that feel. I have not walked a long distance yet but do not foresee a problem of discomfort.   Likewise, I will be carrying this myself, on shorter courses, and will keep it as a backpack setup. The cool feature here (perhaps new??) is the connective plastic piece that allows for the straps to slide into place when putting the bag on the shoulders. It seems to kind of auto-fit the bag to your dimensions. You can adjust the straps at the connective points like normal and I found I had very little adjustment needed for my large frame.

The legs spring outwards without issue upon pressure being added from above. My Three 5 seems to be very sensitive in a good way as very little pressure pressing forward will activate the legs. The S4U needs a bit more assistance in pressing the bag down or forward to kick the legs out.  Their spread is a bit narrow for my liking and stability has been an issue on slicker, non-nature grounds already. On my carpet, grass and gravel in the parking lot they are fine and without error. But I noticed a bit more give on my hardwood floor and the slick, paved concrete ground at the local indoor dome/range.  Also, I noticed instability as I tried to pull clubs from the bag (when fully loaded), as tangles occurred. The bag actually lifted up off the ground a bit when the clubs got caught on each other/dividers and the legs began to retract quickly. If, for nothing else, the legs do retract quite nicely with strong springs when the bag is lifted off the ground for carry. I have read about Titleist bag legs having some droop after a while but cannot confirm this quite yet. I do not worry about the bag falling over per se, but have had bags that seemed more stable.

Lastly, the Stadry material is nice. My main concern with the SM 2.5+ was based on reviews of how thin the material was. One review remarked about concern of tearing after a while. It swayed me away. The Stadry material does not seem overly thin to the touch and my experience with the older model Stadry is that it is ruggedly superior for rain and moisture. The cushioned hip pad is not covered with the material but I do not foresee leakage into the bag here.

Value
In my estimation, this is always the most subjective and touchy part of a review. It is kind of that “in the eye of the beholder” situation. Value, in my mind, is a balance between actual use and cost. I bought this bag as a want, not a need. I could have passed on it, or waited for the price to come down, and used the Three 5 just fine. But I have made a personal goal of getting better and more consistent, so I plan to get out more often to play and practice. As such, I wanted a lightweight, scaled down bag for practice sessions. I paid what I consider a premium for the bag ($245). Shortly after payment I found a site having it on sale for about $25 less (it has since increased to $240).

It is clearly a pricey bag for most people, including myself. It is more expensive than the larger, fuller bodied Three 5 that I bought brand new a couple years ago. Today, there are a handful of more expensive options than the S4U available and even more on the cheaper side. Not often am I one to purchase a smaller, limited item for a higher price. But, here, I believe I am paying a fair price for less hassle and more comfort.

Is this bag worth more than $250? Probably not. But it’s your job to assess what you plan to get out of it, whether it can meet your needs, and whether it’s worth the amount to spend. I know its only $5 difference from what I paid but $250 was my budget and absolute top end. As a lawyer paying back great students loans, I have a real economic limit on my buying power. $50 would not have made too much difference in the scheme of things (maybe one less dinner out, or a couple practice sessions eliminated or waiting an extra week or month to save a bit more) but I feel like $245-$250 was already close to an excessive price for a bag.

In conclusion, I am content with purchasing this bag at its price point and believe it is a fair trade for the upside I will get out of it.

Pros
The pros of this bag are probably the reduced weight, sleek design and inclusion of the rain-resistant material. These are all perks that my current gamer bag do not have.

Cons
In my opinion, the cons of this bag are somewhat shaky legs (on certain surfaces and when using a bunch of clubs), tangled grips on insert/removal of clubs (if you have lareger than stock grips), and the premium price point for a smaller bag.

Conclusion
With my assumption that I have already written too much, I will try to limit myself here. I hope this review and the photos help you make a decision on a bag in the future. I have used it already at the range last week and like it a lot. I have not used any other of these scaled down micro bags, so I will not trash them and prop this one up as some greater alternative. My instinct is that most other bags can get the job done as well, if treated with care. But, I can say with certainty that I am pleased with my purchase and recommend this bag to anyone with similar needs and buying power.fullsizeoutput_a39.jpeg fullsizeoutput_a3a.jpeg fullsizeoutput_a51.jpeg fullsizeoutput_a3c.jpeg DSC_0013.JPG fullsizeoutput_a3f.jpeg fullsizeoutput_a40.jpeg fullsizeoutput_a42.jpeg DSC_0024.JPG

Current Setup in Bold
913d2 9.5* ---> 10.25* Diamana D+ 70 X-Stiff

913h 17* ---> 16.25* (@ 16.25*) Diamana D+ 90 X-Stiff
913h 19* (@ 20.5*) Diamana D+ 90 X-Stiff

712u 2i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 16*)
712u 3i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 19*)
712u 4i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 22*)

710cb 5-P Project X 6.0 (2* Strong)

Vokey SM5 49, 53, 57, 61* Project X 6.0 (61* @ 5.5)

SC 2014 GoLo 5

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#2 onetime19

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 10:04 PM

Great review, I need a cigarette  :yes:

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#3 Chunk777

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:10 AM

I was about to pull the Trigger on one online so I decided to drive up to my local store and check them out. Found the pockets way to slim and tight so Decided to pass. Thanks for the review
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#4 raynorfan1

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:19 PM

Thanks; this is super helpful.

It's all a matter of perspective - I'm looking at the 4up as a bigger bag than the SM SwiftX I've been carrying for 5+ years...

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#5 North Butte

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:08 PM

I guess what I get from it is the grips get tangled, the legs are bit finicky and overall it's not the roomiest bag in the world.

Sounds like if they took their old SwiftX-derived Ultralight bag and replaced its stand mechanism with a grip-tangling tilting floor.

But it's a nice look, compact bag.

Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#6 msh645

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 08:51 AM

Great review!  Thanks for taking the time.  I just received mine and am pleased with it so far.  Then again, we are currently getting about two feet of snow in the Boston area, so it's going to be a while before I'm able to use it outdoors.  I upgraded from my SM 2.5 (Original) which served me well for two years but was wearing and fraying.  Willing to sacrifice additional weight to have more durability.
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#7 TitleistESQ

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 12:36 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I've been able to use the bag a bit more after typing this review - I had to delay the upload as some pics (not included) were coming up as sideways on the uploader ... frustrating!

I've used the bag the last few weekends practicing at the dome and its worked like a charm. Some tangles every now and then and some instability if pulling tangled clubs but for the most part, problem free and a nice upgrade. Definitely recommend it for those using less than 14 club setup and want a minimalist bag with some nice features. I haven't seen the swift x in person but perhaps the comparison is merited.
Current Setup in Bold
913d2 9.5* ---> 10.25* Diamana D+ 70 X-Stiff

913h 17* ---> 16.25* (@ 16.25*) Diamana D+ 90 X-Stiff
913h 19* (@ 20.5*) Diamana D+ 90 X-Stiff

712u 2i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 16*)
712u 3i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 19*)
712u 4i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 22*)

710cb 5-P Project X 6.0 (2* Strong)

Vokey SM5 49, 53, 57, 61* Project X 6.0 (61* @ 5.5)

SC 2014 GoLo 5

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#8 shortgame85

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:39 AM

Great Review. I am exhausted!
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#9 gvogel

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:52 AM

Nice review.  I am currently a Sun Mountain 2.5 guy, and interested in the Titleist Premium Carry Bag with the mini legs.  I would use it for when I carry nine clubs, which is most of the time.
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#10 msh645

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:31 PM

I just got mine in Red/Navy and got it all packed up.  Here is a picture of it.  The navy looks darker due to the lighting, but I'll try to get a better picture and upload that too.  I will say it feels noticeably heavier than my original SM 2.5 but not too heavy.  The material is definitely more durable and I think the bag looks better.  

Titleist 4up StaDry.jpg

Edited by msh645, 14 March 2018 - 01:31 PM.

2017 index - 5.6
2018 goal - 3.0

EPIC PX HC Hzrdus Yellow 65 6.0
i20 15* TFC Stiff
716 T-MB 3 Iron
714 CB 4-PW KBS Stiff
SC Futura 5W
SM7 52.08F 56.10S 60.08M Tour Chrome KBS Stiff

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#11 TitleistESQ

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:13 AM

View Postmsh645, on 14 March 2018 - 01:31 PM, said:

I just got mine in Red/Navy and got it all packed up.  Here is a picture of it.  The navy looks darker due to the lighting, but I'll try to get a better picture and upload that too.  I will say it feels noticeably heavier than my original SM 2.5 but not too heavy.  The material is definitely more durable and I think the bag looks better.  

Attachment Titleist 4up StaDry.jpg

I was surprised at the weight - was expecting well below 4lbs and it was about 4.25 lbs. Not sure you can feel the difference in .25 lbs once it's loaded up but its a selling point.... Will weigh my other bags unloaded out of curiosity sake. I'm leaning toward expecting them to be above manufacturers listed weight.
Current Setup in Bold
913d2 9.5* ---> 10.25* Diamana D+ 70 X-Stiff

913h 17* ---> 16.25* (@ 16.25*) Diamana D+ 90 X-Stiff
913h 19* (@ 20.5*) Diamana D+ 90 X-Stiff

712u 2i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 16*)
712u 3i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 19*)
712u 4i Project X 6.0 (2* Strong @ 22*)

710cb 5-P Project X 6.0 (2* Strong)

Vokey SM5 49, 53, 57, 61* Project X 6.0 (61* @ 5.5)

SC 2014 GoLo 5

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#12 lampogolf

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:56 AM

Just got mine in Navy. Will post some pics later tonight. Pockets/storage is definitely tight/small but there is still enough room for everything you need. Definitely an improvement from my older 5 lb deluxe size stand bag
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#13 SJP1

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 02:01 AM

I think they made a couple of mistakes with the 2018 4UP compared to the prior year in that they increased it from a three-way top to a four. More dividers actually reduces space and increases clubs jamming. They also took the big two side handles around the cuff off, leaving just the one at the top.

I have a 2017 4up and love it. It's light as a feather to carry, but fits on a Clicgear too. I used to have a stand bag, and a cart bag for when I used the pushcart, but the 2017 4UP made me sell the cart bag because it had so much room in the main body and around the cuff. Two for one with the 4UP.

If the 2017 bag had the exterior foot-mechanism stand as opposed to the internal, Hoofer imitation system, it'd be perfect.
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#14 DLiver

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:12 AM

TL:DR but FWIW I have the 2018 T4Up and it is a huge improvement over the 2016 model I had previously. There are a ton of refinements throughout the bag, but most notably the straps, which are now the best I've ever had in a carry bag. This is a great bag.

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#15 billownm1

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:06 PM

Thanks for posting! Great review. I am looking at this bag as well and I really appreciated your thoughts. Cheers!

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#16 danadane22

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  • Joined: 12/21/2014
  • Location:Dallas, Tx
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Posted 13 April 2018 - 07:29 PM

I have been using the Titleist 4up Stadry bag a few weeks now.  I think it's a good walking bag.  I've noticed that club tend to bunch and keeps the club banging down while walking.  The top pocket holds my Driver, 3 wood, hybrid and putter just fine.  Tight but not to tight to remove any of the clubs easily.  The bottom divider holds my 3 wedges.  Seems neat that when I put the bag down all of my clubs are at the same height.  Makes it very easy to remove wedges without having to fish them from underneath my irons.  I do carry standard grip clubs.  The legs are very quickly retracted when picking up the bag which keeps them from getting tangled with anything.  The one handle seems to work better than having 3.  The only use for the additional 2 would be getting the bag in and out of the car/truck.  The pockets are tight but can handle most of the things necessary for a round of golf.  The added water protection is what sold me.  There are no additional pockets inside of the pockets (from what I have found) for those that have asked.  The stand mechanism is very sturdy on tile and wood floors once you get use to it.  I don't think I'll be buying the H2NO that was in my cross-hairs because this bag works.  The divider system causes some sticking but no tangling.  I have a titleist staff bags that can tangle from time to time so I think it's ok for a bag of this size and weight.  Enjoy the bag.  It looks awesome too.

Edited by danadane22, 14 April 2018 - 10:32 AM.


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