Since I always opt to carry my clubs, the sort of bag that I carry makes a serious difference. With so many different options out there here is the main criteria that I consider.
- Weight - Today's best carry options range from 2.5 pds to 6 pds depending on features. The trick here is to find the bag that gives you everything you need without unnecessary weight.
- Pockets - With approximately 150,000 golf gadgets available to put in your golf bag, you need to figure out what is necessary and how many different places you need for things. Do you separate out your new balls from your used balls? Do you need a special pocket for your 1919 Buffalo Nickel ball marker? How about your phone? Maybe you plan on drinking 7 beers on the back nine?
- Too Stand or Not too Stand - You can ditch some serious weight by going stand-less. How important is it that your club heads are within your immediate grasp?
- Style - This one comes down to preference. For me, I like to keep it simple and clean.
- Club sleeves - The answer here is that you DO NOT need a separate sleeve for everyone of your individual clubs. All of your golf clubs will get along fine in 3-5 different slots. The only real issue is grip wear and by the time this happens, you should change your grips anyways.
- Durability - Will this bag be subjected to harsh weather and airport security? Is there a chance that it will be thrown into a pond? Choose accordingly.
With my main criteria established, I decided to give the Original Jones Bag a play through at Chambers Bay. Based out of Portland, OR, Jones Golf Bags are perhaps the most iconic carry bags in the game of golf. Known for their simplistic and classic appeal, the style of the Classic Jones has changed very little in the past 40 years.
- Weight: 3.15 pounds
- Single carry strap, no stand
- Pockets: 3
- Club dividers: 3
- Construction: Nylon, no inside structure
With the Jones Bag, you have two pockets on the front of the bag. I found there was plenty of room for all the necessities (Balls, tees, phone, range finder). There is also a large pocket on the back of the bag that is perfect for storing jackets and larger clothing items... or even 7 beers.
Having used a carry bag with a stand for years, how was I going to deal with having to put my clubs down on the grass!!?? Turned out that it wasn't that big of a deal to just pull out my 6 iron before I set the bag down. A couple of times, my club heads got sandy and dirty. But then again, so did I.
Another perceived challenge was only having the single strap to carry. I ended up alternating between shoulders throughout the round and although I still prefer the double strap method, I didn't mind as the load was very light.
The best part about carrying the Jones bag was the simple feeling that it gave me. I was just some guy with a bag of sticks out in a field whacking around a ball. It was just plain and simple golf, not a million different things to think about.
I also received several compliments and "What type of bag is that?' questions from other golfers. For me, the style ranking of the Classic Jones Bag was a 10. The fine folks over at Jones were also able to personalize the bag for me with @pjkoenig on the side.
While the lack of stand and dual strap might give some golfers pause, the light load makes this bag a great selection for a day on the links.
Check out the full lineup of Jones Golf Bags here.
Overall Score: 9.1