* Prices may differ from that shown
Golf is one of my favourite sports. I have been playing since a very young age and like to get out on the course as often as time and the weather up north permits. I first made the step up from simple pitch and putt to an actual full 18 hole golf course when I was around 18 years of age. Back then I cobbled together a set of second hand clubs and borrow and friends cheap golf bag. It soon became clear that if I was going to take the sport seriously and play at a decent level I would have to invest in some clubs. So at the age of around twenty, ten years ago, I did just that. I bought a set of Golden Bear golf clubs from an auction, the clubs came in a Golden Bear golf bag and that is to be the focus of this review. It never ceases to amaze me just how important a golf bag is. You would think that it would really be irrelevant as long as it carries clubs, but the fact is a good bag actually affects the way you play. If you are dragging round a heavy, cumbersome, impractical bulk for the best part of four hours it is going to be exhausting, frustrating and somewhat embarrassing. Just ask my friend who used to play with his dad's old golf bag, it would regularly fall over, drop his clubs and slip off his trolley. My favourite incident was on the 1st hole of our local course where the members in the club house can watch you tee off. We were waiting for the group in front to tee off, just as one of them took his backswing, my friends bag decided to collapse and roll down the hill in an all mighty clatter. Cue sniggering from the members and a rather red faced friend of mine. So as you can see having a decent golf bag really is important. I have been using this particular golf bag for ten years now. I love it! It wasn't overly expensive, Golden Bear are not seen as one of the best brands when it comes to golf, but the fact is that it does everything I would want a golf bag to do and that little bit extra. So let me tell you why I love it so. First of all let's talk about looks. This is not the most important feature but when out on the course you want to look respectable. This Golden Bear bag is nearly all black and looks very presentable. There are no unsightly logos on it, it is very understated and yet slick at the same time. It this bag was an actor it would be someone like Kevin Spacey. Nothing special to look at but a real talent when you get to know him. The straps are neat and tidy and the pockets are tucked away nicely. What about comfort. The fact is carrying a golf bag round for long periods of time can be very exhausting. Many players use a trolley, I do not. The reason for this is I don't have one and don't feel I need one. This bag is very easy to carry and very practical. It has a good sturdy handle slap bang in the middle of the frame, so if carrying just a short distance I use this. If walking after a long drive or to a distant hole location you can make use of the twin straps. These slip over your shoulders and it feels as if you are wearing a rucksack. The bag lies neatly across your bag tilted up slightly so no clubs are likely to make a hasty exit. The straps are padded and very comfortable. If I am walking an average distance I tend to just sling one strap over a shoulder and the bag hangs down at my side, perfect for whipping out my putter to hole that forty foot beast I've left myself. All in all this really is a comfortable bag to use. Next up practicality. First of all for clubs. The bag is a suitable length that all my clubs fit perfectly. The main tube of the bag is one large section, but at the top it is divided into three compartments. This means you can put your clubs in separately thus making them easier to organise. There are several pockets, five in fact. These are ideal for carrying just about anything I need. I have one pocket that contains around twenty golf ball. This is located on the back near the bottom of the bag. There is a small pocket near the top of the bag, I keep tees and my score card in here as well as keys and mobile phone. There is a large pocket that runs the length of the bag, I can fit a waterproof in here and some drinks and snacks. Then there are two more pockets near the bottom which usually has a few odds and ends in. One pocket I actually forgot was there as it's tucked a way very well I recently found contained a three year old apple which looked as if it was about to ferment into cider! This was a lesson that I should check my pockets a little more often than I do. All the zips on the pockets work fine even after ten years of use. They never snag or get caught and they are easy to use if I have a glove on. As well as ample pocket space there are also a few handy clips and loops. These are ideal for clipping score cards to, member badges, green repairers etc... The bag came with it's very own Golden Bear black towel which also clips onto the side of the bag and comes in very handy on a wet day. Possibly my favourite feature of the bag is the stand. This is a very simple device but something that is so important. Basically when I stand my bag up and lean it away from me, a little tripod flicks out and the bag stand up at an angle all on it's own. Most bags have one of these but this one seems to work really well. The only slight downside is that in the past few years it has stopped folding itself up every time. The idea is when you lift the bag off the ground it simply closes up, it seems to have got a little stiff though as sometimes it needs a little encouragement. It doesn't really cause a problem though, just a quick flick with my boot and it folds up fine. What about value and price? Well as this bag came in a set and I bought it at auction it is a little hard to tell you how much I paid for it. The fact is though that top of the line golf bags can often cost as much as £100. For an entire set of clubs and bag I paid around £150. So as you can see this was very cheap. Due to that fact I have to say this bag has been wonderful value. The fact that I've been using it for ten years and yet it show now real signs of wear is truly remarkable. Value wise you would be hard pushed to beat this one. Overall then as you can see I really like this Golden Bear golf bag. It has been my companion through both the rough and smooth of my golfing career. It's always there when things are going well, the refreshing swishing sound it makes as it swings loosely on my back really has made for some very special rounds of golf. At the same time it always puts up with me on my bad days, when I throw my putter at it in a rage having missed my 3rd 3 inch putt of the day. If never complains when I leave it on top of a hill in the wind and rain. It's always there for me whatever naughty words I might utter after a shank or however badly I play. My Golden Bear golf bag really has been a wonderful ally over the years and one that I would highly recommend to anyone considering buying a new golf bag.