You may be one of those golfers who look forward to walking the entire length of the course as much as playing the entire round of golf. But if you’re not one of them, it’s probably because you don’t know how to carry a golf bag properly. So you end up doing more harm than good. And by more harm, I mean inviting unnecessary back and/or shoulder strain.
It’s not just important for your health you know. Carrying and, in fact, even organizing your golf bag properly decide how much undivided attention your actual game of golf is going to get. So, in a way, the success of your round of golf depends on how you organize your golf bag for easy, quick retrieval and return of your precious golf clubs.
But before that, let’s get some basic ground covered…
Table of Contents
- Difference Between Golf Cart Bag and Golf Stand Bag
- Why Carrying Your Golf Bag Properly Is Important
- Preparing A Golf Club - Step-by-Step Guide
- Carrying A Golf Bag - One Strap
- Carrying A Golf Bag - Two Straps
- How to Make Carrying the Golf Bag Easier - 3 Most Useful Tips
Difference Between Golf Cart Bag and Golf Stand Bag
Allow me to discuss what each type of golf bag has to offer, including the good and the bad. Because not every bag is designed in the same manner. Generally, they are divided into two categories.
Golf Cart Bags
As the name suggests, these bags you move around the golf course on a cart. More often than not, they are outfitted with a single strap that you can sling over the shoulder.
You should also know that the cart bag doesn’t stand upright on uneven terrain. It does quite effectively on a flat and smooth surface, but not so much in the case of a fairway. This means you have to either get your very own hand cart or you could attach your bag to the back of the power cart.
What about space? Typically speaking, golf cart bags offer more room and even a greater number of individual compartments. The result of which is better organization, no doubt.
Pros: Effortless transportation, more space and separate compartments, single carry strap
Cons: Additional cost of buying or renting a cart, cannot stand upright on uneven surfaces
Golf Stand Bags
Now here’s the most enticing quality of the stand version. The thing about golf stand bags is that they come with two integrated legs. So the bag sits on the turf at an angle while you’re getting ready to take your shot.
You can indeed transport stand bags on a cart. But many golfers prefer carrying them, which is very convenient to do because of the backpack-style harness or carrying strap.
In fact, the top-selling golf stand bags have a compact design to minimize back strain. So it becomes even more convenient to carry these bags during your game of golf.
However, this also means limited space for any additional gear and supplies.
Pros: Extra exercise for fit golfers, built-in legs for stability on slopey surfaces, carrying strap or backpack-style harness
Cons: Limited room for extra equipment
Why Carrying Your Golf Bag Properly Is Important
When you’re not carrying your golf bag that holds all your expensive golfing equipment properly, it’s more than just your health that’s at stake. If you own pretty extravagant golf clubs, then maybe you can relate.
It goes without saying that back problems are inevitable when it comes to carrying golf bags. Golf and back pain already go hand in hand. So why invite more trouble unnecessarily! And by more trouble, I mean why turn that into chronic back pain.
Now here’s a reason that might compel you to carry your golf bag the right way. You don’t want to get exhausted when more than half of your round of golf is left to play. Am I right? And carrying the bag in the wrong manner is only going to welcome more physical exertion sooner into the game. And with that, more soreness when you’re swinging your golf clubs.
So save your spine and your round of golf simply by finding out the correct way to carry your golf clubs. Speaking of which, here’s the solution…
Preparing A Golf Club - Step-by-Step Guide
Adjust the Straps of the Bag When Empty
Before you go about loading your fancy golf clubs into the bag, make some early strap adjustments. This means adjusting the strap of an empty golf bag to fit the frame and size of your body.
Start Loading the Golf Clubs
Begin with the longer and heavier ones first. These fit into the compartments closest to the strap. So the heaviest load is placed higher and nearer to the bag for proper balance.
Now moving on to your long irons, these should be placed in the middle. And the shorter irons are stored in the remaining compartments. That means the lightest golf clubs are in the bottom, thus preventing the possibility of bouncing or any such unwanted movements when you’re walking.
Evenly Distribute Your Accessories
The accessories include golf balls, tees, divot tools, gloves, etc. These may be small, lightweight items but they certainly add a considerable amount of weight when combined. In that sense, it’s better to distribute the weight evenly. Otherwise, it’s hard to maintain balance and comfort when carrying your golf bag.
Carrying A Golf Bag - One Strap
Is the golf bag loaded properly? If yes, it’s likely that your bag is lopsided because of the weight. In that case, you’re messing up your posture as well as your spine. The best way to avoid this is to place your equipment inside the bag evenly. Meaning distribute the weight of the gear throughout the bag.
Your golf clubs should be placed in a manner that disperses the weight evenly. So the bag is not falling to one side. Even a little bit of tilt tends to cause major back issues over time.
So for carrying a single-strap golf bag, use the dominant shoulder as it offers more stamina. And when this one side gets tired or starts to feel sore, then don’t hesitate to switch shoulders.
You can also adjust the strap of the golf bag based on your comfort and convenience. But that is only possible if you buy a bag with an adjustable strap. Otherwise, the carrying experience is anything but comfortable.
Carrying A Golf Bag - Two Straps
Even in the case of a golf bag with two straps, weight should be evenly spread out. In fact, with double straps, the weight of the bag is even more crucial for your posture and back when on the turf. Adjustability is a must, no matter how many straps the golf bag is designed with.
But how do you decide what strap length is the most suitable? Ideally, the bag has to be higher on your back with the two straps on. Too much slack on the straps is a quite common occurrence on the golf course. So don’t be like one of those golfers and protect your posture.
So, as you can see, the rules are pretty much the same with two strap golf bags as well.
How to Make Carrying the Golf Bag Easier - 3 Most Useful Tips
These are just some simple habits you need to incorporate into your round of golf. And soon, they’ll become a natural part of your game.
1. Buy A New Golf Bag
This applies only if your existing or current bag is not lightweight, not compact, not multi-pocketed, and even not designed with at least one strap.
2. Empty Out Your Golf Bag
Sounds like a simple thing to do, right? I mean empty it out and get rid of all the stuff you don’t use. If it sounds so simple, then why do so many golfers neglect to do this? So stop procrastinating and make your golfing experience more comfortable and relaxing for yourself.
You don’t need your old scorecards, too many golf balls, or even that rain jacket or umbrella if the weather is sunny.
3. Wear Comfortable, Supportive Golf Shoes
There’s an entirely separate category of golf shoes for men and women. And there’s a reason why top brands like Nike, Adidas, Ecco, FootJoy, and even Callaway are manufacturing more and more golf shoes every year.
Factors in the form of traction, cushioning, proper fit, arch support, etc. are very important. Particular when you have flat feet, high arches, wide feet, plantar fasciitis, and special conditions like that.
4. Carry With Your Legs
Whenever carrying anything heavy, the most important thing to remember is to lift the majority of the weight using your legs, not your back. Because the former is certainly stronger in comparison to the latter. So it becomes easier to lift the bag off the ground as well.
5. Carry With Your Dominant Shoulder
Whatever your dominant shoulder, the opposite one is definitely weaker than it. So it’s only common sense to assume that carrying with your dominant shoulder goes a long way. The strap should sit comfortably over that shoulder. And for the strap to feel comfortable, it should be padded and adjustable first.
6. Rely On A Golf Cart
If you can’t carry a golf bag, for whatever reason (like arthritis, muscle pain, old age, excess weight, injury, etc.), then you have the option of using a golf cart. However, renting or purchasing one is expensive. So long as you can afford it, then why not rely on a cart to make your game of golf more enjoyable and less time-consuming and physically demanding.
So it’s more than just buying an expensive golf bag and then just throwing it over your shoulders. You want it to be that simple, right? But, unfortunately, it isn’t because this golf bag of yours holds precious clubs. On top of that, a single round of golf requires a lot of walking. But that’s the fun part of the game. So don’t make it tedious!
As a beginner, once you learn how to properly organize and carry your golf bag, you don’t have to make much of an effort from thereon. And long-term benefits of this your shoulders and back are certainly going to thank you for if they could.