The Benefits of Using a Pencil Golf Bag
There’s been a rising in popularity of the humble pencil bag, or Sunday bag, over recent years. This increase in demand has been coupled with a widening of choice, giving golfers more options than ever when looking to put together the perfect lightweight setup. Below we take a look at some of the benefits of using a pencil bag, and how it could drastically improve your enjoyment of the game - and perhaps even your scores (yes, really!).
The first thing to consider when looking for a pencil bag is whether or not you’re going to go for a single or dual-strap option. Many of the main manufacturer’s offerings; notably those from Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway and PING come with two straps, generally padded, on all of their pencil bags. This has the obvious benefit of offering more comfort when carrying, and spreading the weight of the bag across the back and shoulders, rather than focusing on one side.
Conversely, many of the more traditionally-designed pencil bags, such as those designed by MacKenzie, Camino Golf or Jones opt for the single-strap option. These give the bags a more ‘old-school’ look, and as long as the strap has sufficient padding, many find these bags just as comfortable as their two-strap counterparts!
Whichever way you fall on the number of straps, your pencil bag will almost certainly be lighter than loading up a full set of clubs in a stand bag - helping to ease the strain that can come with carrying, and reducing your fatigue throughout the round. It stands to reason that the fresher you are at the end of your round, the more likely you are to finish strongly - hereby providing reason #1 for a pencil bag helping with your scores!
Another advantage of the pencil bag is the relatively limited amount of space they can take up in your car or home. Their portability has always been unrivalled, making it incredible easy to throw the clubs in the car for a quick 9 after work, or even take along on public transport - without the need for their own seat!
This tidily brings us onto the second reason that a pencil bag may benefit your game.
By having the clubs more readily accessible, swinging by the course or the range for a quick practice session becomes much more practical, ultimately providing less reasons to not work on your game! Furthermore, whilst we’ve all taken a club or two to the range, there’s nothing like having your full set there to work on different shots - a pencil bag helps you do this, again without the need to be ‘that person’ at the range who looks as though they’ve opened their own golf shop in the bay thanks to the myriad of clubs, training aids and the presence of a large cart (or even tour!) bag…
Pencil bags can also make you more popular too - notably with the greenkeeping staff at your club. In the typical British winter, the vast majority of greenskeepers detest the idea of trolleys being dragged through their courses, with the grass unlikely to re-grow fully until the spring. However, many golfers can struggle with carrying a full set of clubs in a stand bag. A pencil bag can, and is often, the solution, giving you the option to still bring the majority (or all) of your clubs. With a setup which overall weighs much less, pencil bags are ideal for winter use, particularly with many companies now offering versions with waterproof bases, and even small stumps which lift the opening of the bag off the ground.
But if you’re still not sold on the idea of a pencil bag, let us speak to the heart rather than the head. Bluntly, pencil bags are just cooler. The guys and girls at your own club that use pencil bags tend to be the ones that can play a bit, or at least think they can! There’s an air of confidence in carrying a pencil bag; as if to say “yeah I’ve got this”. The lack of bells and whistles provides less distractions for the player, allowing them to get on with the task at hand.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, pencil bags make it easier to fully immerse yourself in the surroundings of your round. Having a minimalist approach to your golf bag means that you only take with you what is strictly necessary. Ultimately, this helps to emphasise why you took up the game in the first place, whether that’s enjoying the scenery, focusing on your scores or just engaging in the company of your companions.
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