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Are staff bags becoming obsolete?

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Earlier this year at GolfWRX, we had some very interesting debates about golf bags and the features and styles that you – the golfer prefer. Opinions were strong and few were swayed but nonetheless, some very interesting discussions were had:

Stand-bags on tour?

The one topic that we never quite got into was a discussion on staff bags. Sure, we see pros use them all the time on TV because they are big, bold and are great for promoting sponsors. But what about regular golfers, do we really need them for day to day use? We don’t get paid to use clubs so why carry around a giant billboard?

This brings us to the PGA Tour, where many trends are born, whether it be clubs, balls, or in this case bags, because a few weeks ago at Sea Island and the RSM Classic, we saw an uptick in caddies and players using what are known as “tour” carry bags—larger “staff-like” stand bags with the full branding of a tour bag, except in a smaller stand bag package.

Both Dylan Frittelli (Callaway – title image) and Nick Watney (Mizuno) are using versions of their companies stand bags this week and we have seen other players using them more frequently, like Camilo Villegas, although under a different set of circumstances since he doesn’t have a current bag sponsorship deal in place. Camilo’s situation is interesting because generally, even sponsorless players use a staff bag, even if it just features their name.

Tour stand bags at the consumer level

There must be something about these tour-like bags that golfers love because many golfers can’t get enough. Ping recently released a Tour Staff bag (above) to serious fanfare with it selling out quickly across most channels and actually being resold online for over MSRP—which is a pretty unusual thing to happen in the golf bag market beyond very limited release items. Other companies also offer larger staff like stand bags including Wilson, Titleist, and Srixon, to name a few.

The only drawback to these larger stand bags is their extra size brings with it extra weight, and for golfers who prefer walking over riding, any extra weight is generally avoided at all costs. This makes tour stand bags a great option for occasional walkers, or for those who use a pushcart, or ride but still enjoy the convenience of a stand bag when going to the range or practice area.

What do you think, GolfWRXers? Do you like the convenience of a larger stand bag or would you still rather use what most tour players use? I mean if you don’t have to carry it—why not?

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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.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Frank Crowe

    Dec 8, 2020 at 5:57 am

    I have a PING staff bag at home filled with clubs but like to go out for 9 holes with a single strap pencil bag and 7 clubs Driver, 4 wood, 4, 6, 8, PW & putter. The sand is so hard at Portobello near Edinburgh in Scotland a sand wedge is no good. Learn to fiddle shots. I hate double straps. Bring back the PING rigid strap bag which was easy to pick up. I wish I had bought that leather pencil bag I saw one evening in San Gimignano. Why should I give free advertising to a firm whose clubs I have to buy? Mind you I would like a big Tour bag with “Psycho” written on the sides!

  2. Imafitter

    Dec 7, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    I prefer the cart bag, as I no longer walk, with 15 dividers and enough pockets to carry my complete winter outerwear closet! I use the Ping Pioneer, and see no issues with Pro’s and caddies using Tour Carry Bags with legs. Much lighter, easier on the body to carry, and most have enough pockets for everything the pro needs.

  3. Milo

    Dec 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    I want to get a staff bag, I usually ride nowadays, if I get a clearish course I can play in under 2.5 hours.

  4. Jordan

    Dec 6, 2020 at 9:23 am

    It helps people who want the quality of a staff bag, but not the pretentiousness of carrying one.

  5. Michael

    Dec 6, 2020 at 1:56 am

    look, i’m pretty bad at golf…i’ve been playing for about 30 years, was playing about twice a week for several years before we started having kiddos…i love playing and now have started introducing our kiddos to the game (13,11,7)…the very first thing i learned about golf was etiquette…i’ve passed that on to my kids…so even though i’m horrible, i keep pace of play and i follow the rules, no mulligans for me…as lousy as i am, i still like to look good on the course and that includes my bag…after my first beginner back 30 years ago, i’ve always had a staff bag, including my current Nike staff bag…i absolutely love staff bags!…and i would hate to see them disappear!

  6. Gene

    Dec 6, 2020 at 12:40 am

    I don’t walk anymore, but I would be interested in this type of bag, for the reasons you stated.

  7. Jeff

    Dec 5, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    I never understood the decision for a company that is so profit driven to miss such a massive opportunity to advertise a product that people actually buy. I know a staff bag offers more “space” to advertise but not really and few people actually buy them anyways.
    Also, poor Fluff being forced to carry such a heavy bad. lol

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