A Window Into the Golfer’s Soul

One look at their bag is all you need
Lipping Out - A Window into the golfer's soul

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It’s our home. The place we go when we need things, and sometimes when we don’t. It’s a wall to showcase courses we’ve played, memories we’ve had, places we don’t need a reminder that we’ve visited, but still enjoy being reminded. The golf bag is a player’s passport, full of all the information needed to know that person. It’s the easiest way to understand who you’re paired with.

Is it a serious golfer? Then you’ll see blades inside a carry bag with a partly dirty towel only on one side. They typically have a rangefinder dangling from a hook, but nothing else. Serious golfers don’t feel the need to brag about the places they’ve been because they assume you know they’ve been places. That swing isn’t meant for one golf course, after all. 

The serious golfer might not brag about golf course conquests, but they sure as hell are happy to boast about the tournaments they’ve played. Find a scratch golfer and you’ll inevitably find a headcover or a towel from some state amateur championship they qualified for during that one year they spent so much time on their short game. 

For the diehards, the golf bag is essentially a backpack with the minimum amount of balls they’ll need for that round, one small bottle of sunscreen, healthy snacks and a stickered-up tumbler of water. It’s what hikers carry with them when taking on a new route. They never want another ounce on their shoulders because they know it saps energy that could be better spent on that next 4-iron into a par 5. 

They probably have almonds in a Ziploc bag. They definitely have a Sharpie. Diehards need a Sharpie like caddies need comfy shoes. 

Maybe golf is just your hobby.

You work on improving, but the primary goal of each round is to vacation away from real life for a few hours. Those straps are only there to take the bag from your car to the cart and back again, and that is fine.

There’s a menagerie of items in every pocket of that bag that have probably been in there for years. Golf balls? You’ve got every brand, every color, a ball for every scenario. The only pen you have in your bag is one that needs charging and puffing. It’s there to keep that mind of yours relaxed so you can take $20 off your buddy riding next to you. 

Those bags weigh a ton and are full of every memory you’ve had on the golf course. Ball markers, pencils, bag tags, koozies of varying sizes and pro-shop purchases you don’t even remember making. Cleaning that bag out takes hours and is very low on your priority list. 

There are, of course, other types of bags. There are the ones with no stands and few pockets. They’re for the crowd who take serious moral offense with carts. “Riding isn’t golf,” you say as you proudly rock that Royal Dornoch hat you got back in 2013. 

There are carry bags that have never been carried and staff bags that have never been on staff. 

I’ve had almost all of them at various points in my golf life, and I’ve loved every one. The golf bag is so many things for so many people, but I believe the one constant is peace. Peace in knowing what’s in it, that’s it’s been with you through the ups and the downs and that it’s always ready to strap up for the next adventure. 

Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images