“ Manufacturer: Ping „
My old trusty "Powakaddy" golf bag has been a constant companion of mine on the golf course for the last few years. (See my old review) But it has now seen better days, having been subject to all the vagaries of the unpredictable (and often wet) Irish weather and having been tossed in and out of car boots and airplane holds too many times to mention.
So when my better half asked what I'd like for Christmas, I just happened to mention I'd spotted a new Ping golf bag in the professional's shop at my golf club that I really fancied. Being the lovely lass she is she immediately sent a wee note off to Santa, and lo and behold, he came up trumps on Christmas morning. (Cue a very happy hubby!)
So what sort of golf bag is it, and why did I fancy it so much?
Well, I've always been a huge fan of Ping golf equipment ever since I first bought a set of Ping Eye 2 irons back in the mid 1980's, and I still play a set of the same irons today. The name Ping has been synonymous with quality for as far back as I can remember, and they are without question one of the leading and most innovative manufacturers of golf equipment in today's market place.
The bag I received as a present is the Ping Professional Staff Bag. What this means is that it is the exact same bag as Ping supply to the professional golfers throughout the world who choose to play Ping equipment. So, naturally enough, it is the best quality bag in their whole range.
I particularly liked it for a number of reasons, the not least of which is vanity! I admit quite openly that I like having the same bag as many of the top professionals, and I don't even mind the fact that Ping takes the opportunity to emblazon the bag with all manner of advertising logos for their clubs and equipment. (Take a look at the dooyoo picture of the bag at the top of the review, and you'll see what I mean) I'm quite content to give them a wee bit of free advertising, and at the same time advertise the fact I use top class equipment. (Heh, heh)
If you are *REALLY* vain, then there is even the option to have Ping embroider your own name on the front of the bag, obviously at an extra cost. Now my own vanity doesn't quite stretch *THAT* far, so I can't tell you how much extra it would cost.
The bag I have is white, which is probably *NOT* the most practical colour in the world, but I like it simply because it looks great. You can also get it in black, which, of course, is far more practical, but simply doesn't look so good. (Anyways, my old bag was black, and I fancied a change!)
The bag looks and feels like top quality leather, when in fact it's made of textured vinyl. This has the advantage of both looking good and being simple to keep clean. You can easily clean any marks, scuffs, or dirt off the bag with some soapy water or washing up liquid and a damp cloth.
Supplied with the bag is a clip-on waterproof rain cover for the top of the bag which stops the rain from running down inside the bag and soaking your golf grips when you get caught in a heavy shower. (Or here in Ireland, more likely a deluge!) This is very helpful, as it's difficult to hit a good golf shot when your grips are sopping wet.
There's a 6 way top with full length dividers on the interior of the bag. This means you can keep your precious clubs separate from each other, which is more important than you might think as it's *VERY* easy to chip one of the heads of your irons, or damage your shafts through them constantly rubbing against each other.
The bag has a very strong and durable moulded plastic handle and base. This means that the handle is unlikely to come away from the bag with constant use.
One extremely important feature as far as I'm concerned is the vast amount of storage space this bag affords you. It has no less than nine storage pockets. Two large pockets at both the front and rear for bulky items like waterproof rain gear, spare jumpers, golf shoes, etc, and then a 5 further smaller pockets for all the various knick knacks a golfer carries these days. (Tees, golf balls, gloves, towels, chocolate, sweets, fruit, etc) It even has dedicated pockets for drinks and valuables. The drinks pocket is lined in order to keep it cool (or at least cooler) in hot summer conditions, and the valuables pocket is waterproofed so your wallet, watch, and so on don't get soaked through.
The larger pockets also have very large openings, so that you're not struggling to extract and put back your waterproofs from the bag in the middle of a rain storm, and consequently getting wet through. (Never a good idea on the golf course!) There's even a hidden sleeve for your golf umbrella. This means it's hidden from site (apart from the handle) and not just strapped to the side of your bag.
One last thing I really like is the number of little rings and eyes on the exterior of the bag where I can attach things like a small towel (for cleaning my golf ball and club heads) and the various plastic and metal badges I've picked up over the course of my golf career from quality golf courses and tournaments. (More vanity, I admit it!)
Now I bet that at this point you're thinking that this golf bag will cost you an arm and a leg. Not so! My bag cost a mere 210 Euro in my local golf professional's shop, which is superb value for a golf bag of this quality.
The manufacturer's recommended retail price in the UK is currently £240 Sterling. (January 2008) But you might be lucky and find a slightly better price on the web if you shop around. (There's currently one on offer at auction on eBay starting off at £80)
© KenJ January 2008
Features: Nine pockets including water bottle pouches, large-entry apparel pocket, and an internal valuables pocket. Full-length dividers with a molded handle and bottom.