These days, nearly all golf bags come with plenty of bells and whistles. So many, in fact, that it can make shopping for one a task of simply determining what’s lacking from a bag. I’d recommend looking at it another way though — since nearly all bags are going to offer a decent amount of sizable of pockets, stand legs and shoulder straps for carrying, it’s best to decide what sort of quality you are looking for and what your budget is.
This is a long way of simply saying the best bag is still the best you can buy. That bag is the Ping Hoofer, which has set the standard for stand bags since the late 1980s. Thanks to its revolutionary angled bottom built upon Sun Mountain’s revitalization of collapsible stand legs earlier in that decade, the Hoofer was stable when the legs were deployed and completely changed how golfers walk with bags. Bending over for your gear before hitting the next hole quickly became a thing of the past.
As of writing this review, I’ve tested the Ping Hoofer 2020 model for two months during seven full rounds on carts and walking two 9-holes. After all this time on the course, I can confidently say it’s the best golf bag I’ve had the fortune of using. Here’s why we named it the best overall golf bag.
Editor’s Note: Ping bags work on two-year updates, and 2022 models are just being made available now.
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
- Divider: 5-way
- Pockets: 11
- Rain Hood: Yes
What’s Good About the Ping Hoofer?
The design components are as smart as they are useful.
It’s not just the stable legs and the smooth, consistent mechanism that pops them out and pulls them back in that make this bag extremely useful. It’s also features like a water bottle pocket that sits at the perfect access position while walking down the fairway, a strap puck that allows you to easily switch from single to double strap use, padded comfortable straps that make for easy carrying and 11 pockets with plenty of room for anything you want to bring on the course (including a full-length apparel pocket and a velour-lined valuables pockets).
The main material of the Ping Hoofer is a 300-denier polyester that shed water during one storm-riddled round. And the attached rain hood (that has its own pocket for when it’s not deployed) certainly helped keep things dry, too. At the end of the day, the Ping Hoofer just looks good — and all golfers know if you look good, you feel good — and you play better.
The Ping Hoofer is versatile enough for any round of golf.
Whether you want to walk nine (or 18) or you play a ton of cart golf, the Ping Hoofer can do either with ease — all while fitting 14 clubs in the five-way divider that allow clubs to move in and out without resistance. As mentioned earlier, the angled bottom (or the “hoof”) helped stabilize stand bags in the late ’80s, and the innovation lost in today’s sport. I found the Hoofer to stay just as stable whether in the fairway, green-side or the rough (which is where this bag spent a little too much time, if I’m being honest).
While stability in itself is important, most stand bags these days can also be used on carts, and Ping has an answer for that as well. The specific cart strap channel helps secure the Hoofer to a cart, and all 11 pockets are still completely accessible while strapped in, showing the thoughtfulness to versatility the brand has taken designing the Hoofer.
What’s Less Than Ideal About the Ping Hoofer?
The price can still be a tall burden to overcome, especially for budget golfers.
These days, $275 is the top-end of what an average golfer should probably spend for a golf bag. Unless you’re a pro or have a need for a behemoth cart bag, anything more than this is overkill. There are plenty of capable bags you’d be happy with for less than $275, so do keep your budget in mind. Below are some “comparable” bags less you can consider if you decide to not go with the Ping Hoofer.
If you want something a little more minimalist, the Sunday Loma XL is perfect and will run you about $100 less. While it weighs nearly 2 pounds less than the Hoofer, it does only hold eight clubs.
Need something for really inclement weather while still being a bag you can use all the time? The Titleist 4 StaDry is the standard for waterproof construction and weather-sealed zippers. It weighs less than the Hoofer, but also features just six pockets.
Ping Hoofer: The Verdict
Simply put, the Ping Hoofer is the best golf bag you can buy for the price because it’s the most useful bag for most golfers. While $275 is on the top-end of what you should spend, you do get your money’s worth with the Hoofer, and it’s a bag you’re going to have for decades — I have many friends who still use their Ping Hoofers from the 1990s. Toss in the smart design, legacy and good looks from Ping, and I can’t think of a better bag for any golfer.