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The great divider debate: What’s your perfect number?

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Golf is full of endlessly interesting and debatable topics. From course design to golf grips, everyone has a preference and a reason behind it.

One of the most polarizing debates among golfers revolves around golf bags and their top divider systems—especially when it comes to stand and carry bag.

Carry bags can range from simple stand-less Sunday bags with only two slots, to elaborate geometric shapes to prevent chatter, all the way to the full 14-way top—ne for each club in the bag.

The most common number of dividers found in the market is four, and we see that in bags from Ping, Mizuno, Ogio, TaylorMade, and many more.

The purpose of any golf bag divider system is to keep your clubs organized and easy to access, they are also designed to hopefully prevent your clubs from banging against each other and reduce chatter. Years ago Mizuno even went as far as creating what they called the kabuki top to help irons gather and not click and ding—because nobody wants to ding up their new forged irons!

Ogio, took it a step further with the original Woodé System to keep longer clubs with covers to one side, so it’s easy to see what iron or wedge you are reaching for in your bag. This was a big selling feature for those that carried multiple clubs with covers.

In my opinion, as a walker 90 percent of the time, I will only use a bag with 4 or fewer dividers. I believe a putter doesn’t need its own personal slot, and with larger openings, it’s easier to get clubs in and out and move them around a bit to find the club you are looking for—it’s seriously not that difficult.

To take it a step further to say when carrying less than 14 clubs, the unstructuredness of a Sunday bag keeps clubs sitting together because they don’t really have another option. It’s the moving van principle; if everything is all packed tightly together, it means less rattling and less risk for damage.

Whatever happens, to be your favorite we all have our reasons. So when you’re shopping for your next bag, worry about the top just as much as the pocket designs, because it’s just as important.

GolfWRXers: This was hotly debated on my Twitter, and we want to bring that discussion here. Let us know where you stand in the poll below. 

Poll

What is your preferred number of dividers?

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Pingback: Are staff bags becoming obsolete? – GolfWRX

  2. Matt

    Jul 27, 2020 at 11:13 am

    What is an actual argument *against* a 14-way bag? As long as they are full length dividers I can’t see any benefit to not having them.

    Now if we’re talking some ultra light bag or a Sunday bag for a less than full set, ok. But if you’re carrying 14…why would you not want 14?

  3. JD

    Apr 29, 2020 at 2:12 am

    Hmm..14 dividers means 15 compartments, right? Never mind.
    I have 4 bags and depending on how many clubs I want to play with that, I chose the bag (I didn’t buy 4 bags so i could do that, it kind of just happened). I hate having to search for the club, must be quick to see and grab, so never use the covers:
    1. pencil bag (1 compartment, 0 dividers..): 3 clubs and putter.
    2. 4 compartment bag, not used yet, good for 5 or 6 clubs max.
    3. 6 compartment bag, got 8 clubs in it at the moment, never more.
    4. 14 compartment bag: for my “full” set of 12 clubs. Woods on the left so they cover the irons.

  4. Curb

    Apr 27, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Not 14! I like my clubs a easy to get out and put back in. That said I do like a putter hull as that’s my one club that gets most respect.

  5. MikeB

    Apr 27, 2020 at 11:07 am

    14 works best for me, have Gripmaster grips on all clubs, grips are very sticky, need to keep them separated. Now that I use the Sun Mountain C-130s, light enough to carry if needed, although I wouldn’t say it’s lightweight, just tolerable, cart bag with legs… perfect!

  6. Pelling

    Apr 27, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I prefer 16 slots, but then, just to be safe, I put tubes into those! Once I get my iron covers, I’m good to go! 14 clubs, ball retriever, Orange Whip, with giant animal headcovers. The caddies don’t seem to mind, but I make sure to give them an extra $1 for the effort, especially if there’s a chance of rain and I take an umbrella and extra pair of shoes just in case.

  7. Steve

    Apr 27, 2020 at 9:43 am

    I have a woodie. If I were to replace it a minimum of 4 dividers. More important are that they full length dividers and second would be weight.

  8. Night putter

    Apr 27, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Regarding pull cart / walking around greens… when in NZ a local muni rented a pull cart with big wide wheels that was
    ok to cross greens (not stop) .

  9. MT

    Apr 27, 2020 at 2:47 am

    15 or 16 dividers so you can have a place for a warm up device like orange whip and extra large opening for putter with oversized grips.

  10. Jbone

    Apr 26, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    5.

  11. Matt A

    Apr 26, 2020 at 2:24 am

    I liked the Ogio Woode system, it kept the woods and their covers off to the side where they didn’t cover the irons. And I miss putter wells, it’s nice to get the putter with larger grip out of the way.

  12. steve

    Apr 26, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Semi-related topic … According to another golf website, push/pull cart sales are through the roof during this social distance conundrum. I, myself, feel it is much easier to carry rather than push/pull. I truly despise having to push/pull a cart around greens. If only my local courses would offer some sort of reduced rate for walkers, Many more players would choose that option.

  13. ChipNRun

    Apr 25, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    A midsize bag with four dividers will do the trick.

    Top divider will handle long clubs (4)… Bottom divider will handle wedges + putter (4)
    Two middle dividers will handle 3 irons each.

    (Two middle dividers will handle fourth club each if you’re testing things at range, and don’t have to worry about “clean drop” back into bag after each shot.

    I did in-store tests with the 14-slot stand bag. General impression: it feels like I have a suitcase slung across my back… just doesn’t ride comfortably.

  14. [email protected]

    Apr 25, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Do interns run this site ?

    • Ac

      Apr 26, 2020 at 11:41 am

      You’re free to read elsewhere man… total douché thing to say Jack

  15. karsten's ghost

    Apr 25, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    15. Ball fetcher and alignment rods get their own place.

  16. Haloha

    Apr 25, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    always prefer 14 but I just bought a new stand bag with 4 because of the color lol. 14 slots is just less stressful if playing a tournament.

  17. Najeh

    Apr 25, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Really reaching for content with this one. This topic would never come up in regular conversation.

    • dookie

      Apr 27, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      Better than more Tiger Woods non- news ( and I like Tiger )

  18. Shawn Mulhaney

    Apr 25, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    I often wonder what the big draw is for the Stich bags like the Sl1

  19. Shallowface

    Apr 25, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I still prefer the roominess of an old style staff bag.
    Not related to what I personally use, but I remember a discussion I had with a club repairman several years ago. The JumboMax grips were just hitting the market, and the SuperStroke had been out for awhile.
    I asked him if he thought one could get 13 clubs with JumboMax plus a SuperStroke putter into a modern golf bag, and he said he hadn’t tried it but thought it was a really good question.
    I don’t think those large grips would go into the 14 divider style bags. Not the ones I’ve seen at least.

  20. TacklingDummy

    Apr 25, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    For me, in a carry stand bag, definitely the 4-way divider. Driver, fairway woods or hybrid, putter in top slot. 4,5,6 irons and 7,8,9 irons in middle slots, and PW, 52,56, 60 in the low slot. 4 clubs upper section, 6 clubs middle two sections, 4 clubs in lower section. Works out well.

  21. Donald Duck

    Apr 25, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    The Woode system is perfect, although it’s a bit of a tight squeeze in my carry bag with midsize grips and irons getting tangled up.

    • Your mailman

      Apr 25, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      My woode is also a tight squeeze, according to your wife!

      • Dan

        Apr 25, 2020 at 5:15 pm

        I feel like maybe we all have been cooped up a little too long…

    • Todd Pitt

      Apr 25, 2020 at 11:01 pm

      Does the woode still exist? I am in the market for a bag and can’t find obe

  22. Fergie

    Apr 25, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    If anything, I prefer a (cart) bag with an external tube for carrying the putter, especially when I carry a large, mallet-style putter. A large putter head takes up too much real estate in the top of the bag.

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