2019 SUNDAY BAG BUYERS GUIDE
What exactly is a Sunday Bag? Once upon a time, the category was limited to small and often unstructured bags with enough room for a handful of clubs and not much else. While traditionalists are free to argue otherwise, that’s not the case anymore. With the emergence of lighter materials, bag manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to overhaul, and redefine the category to the degree that it has become the broadest of all bag categories.
These aren’t your grandpa’s Sunday bags.
Ironically enough, those same material advancements may have all but eliminated the need for traditional Sunday bags entirely. There’s a case to be made that, short of posing for a stylish black and white photo so you can reflect fondly on how things used to be, or you are intent on putting form over function, there isn’t any practical need to go the minimalist route. Today’s Sunday bag offerings are lighter and significantly more functional than those of yesteryear.
The bags we tested run the gamut from almost entirely unstructured material that collapses on itself, to the classic tube design, to fully (or nearly fully) functional, ultralightweight stand bags. For better or worse, the category is almost whatever you want it to be. So, whether you’re looking to buy a new Sunday bag today, are looking for some buying advice, or just want a closer look at what’s on the market right now, this guide will help you find the right bag to fit your needs.
SUNDAY BAG FEATURES THAT MATTER
While storage isn’t as important in a Sunday bag, it shouldn’t be overlooked completely. A pocket that fits a jacket to keep you warm when the sun dips below the trees come in handy. Even if you choose the minimalist route, make sure there’s enough space to carry the essentials.
In the Sunday Bag category, dividers are a matter of preference. Some bags have a single tube to hold everything, while others have 5 dividers, to give the Sunday bag nearly the versatility of a modern stand bag.
While it sounds obvious enough, do forget that comfort is a huge part of carrying. Nearly every bag is comfortable on your back when it’s empty, but you need to consider how the bag feels when it’s filled (or partially filled) with clubs. Simply put, the bag needs to feel as good on your back as it looks on the ground. Your bag should never get in the way of walking 18 or even 36.
Hand-in-hand with comfort, weight is a critical consideration for the walking golfer. While a single pound might not sound like much, the extra mass can dramatically affect fatigue levels throughout a round. A little extra weight can mean the difference between finishing strong or leaking oil on the back 9.
EXPERT TIP – SUNDAY BAGS
The purpose of a Sunday bag is (or at least it was), to give you the means to carry just a handful of clubs for a quick 9, or 6, or whatever you can get in before the sun sets on the weekend. While the definition of the Sunday bag has evolved, comfort while carrying remains supremely important. Whatever design you choose, make sure there’s nothing that digs into your back or otherwise causes discomfort when carrying. If not for unencumbered enjoyment of the game, what’s the purpose?
- If you’re considering a traditional pencil or unstructured bag, look for a waterproof material on the bottom of the bag to prevent moisture seeping up and through.
- Conversely, if your bag is almost always on your back, fatigue can be an issue. Consider forgoing all but the minimum storage space necessary in favor of a lighter and often more comfortable bag.
- Well-designed zippers can be your best friend when the bag is on your back the majority of the time. Look for a bag that has zippers which open and close easily with one hand and without snagging.
Stand or No Stand – Mizuno BR-D2
For those looking for the benefits of a stand while still saving some weight, the Mizuno BR-D2 warrants consideration. The bag boasts a compact, mini, half-length (give or take) stand that keeps your club and bag off the ground. The lightweight design along with the added functionality of the stand system makes the Mizuno BR-D2 a compelling option for golfers chasing the setting sun.
Q: What is a Sunday Bag?
A: Once upon a time, the Sunday bag was defined as a compact, easy-carrying bag, with just enough room for the bare essentials; often less than the full 14 clubs. The modern interpretation includes those traditional offerings, as well as slimmed-down stand bags that maintain a compact footprint while offering greater functionality.
Q: How do I know what type of Sunday bag to buy?
A: The Sunday bag category is exceptionally broad. If you’re looking to sneak in a few holes as the sun is setting, go small. If you plan on carrying 14 clubs, bags with dividers and stands are more versatile. With modern materials, most of the extra weight coming from what you put into them.
Q: How much does the strap system matter?
A: If you’re going to carry regularly, finding a strap system that works for you is mission critical. The seemingly smallest details matter. Look for straps with ample padding. Curved designs are generally more comfortable. When possible, you should test the strap system with the bag fully loaded to see if it’s a good fit for your body.
Q: Should I buy a bag from one of the big equipment brands?
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