Between welcoming a new son, a long, cold winter, and an exceptionally wet spring, I’ve managed to get out for a 18 golf games this year, including ten 9-hole rounds. Almost all of the 9-hole rounds were walked, which is part of my renewed emphasis on my physical fitness and enjoyment of the entire golf experience.
That’s plenty enough opportunities to evaluate my wonderful new golf bag. For my (very generous) Christmas present, I received a Sun Mountain Four 5 carry bag.
I knew 2015 would be there year that I would need to replace the haggard wreck that was my old stand golf bag, so I spent some time researching all the shiny new options available.
I decided on a few key characteristics that I needed in a golf bag:
- A carry/stand bag that was light weight and waterproof
- 14 full-length club dividers
- Dual shoulder straps
- Sturdy stand legs that didn’t cross and jam, and
- Plenty of storage, including a drink compartment
Several manufacturers produce bags meeting all of these demands, though only a few in such a simple, sleek design. After researching available bags online and spending about an hour putting hands on everything offered at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods, I quickly honed in on the Four 5.
Here is what the company says about the bag, which I have found is unusually accurate and devoid of the usually puffery that leaves a golf consumer disappointed:
For those who carry their golf bag and want individual club dividers, the Four 5 is ideal. It weighs 5.5 pounds, has contoured carry straps for maximum comfort and the patent-pending Auto-Fit Dual Strap System, which is easy to get on and off and easy to adjust for a custom fit. For those days when you would rather use a cart, it has a leg-lock system and a cart-friendly bottom.
- New 10.5″ top, flared for easy club retrieval
- Top has fourteen individual, full-length dividers to organize and protect clubs
- Integrated lift-assist handles are built-in to the top and lower spine pocket
- E-Z Grip zipper pulls
- Cart-friendly bottom fits on a riding cart
- Pockets include a water bottle pouch and a velour-lined valuables pocket
- Coordinating rainhood
I was thrilled to receive my gray-on-black Four 5 bag on Christmas morning.
What I’ve discovered after a few months of use is that the bag is really comfortable to carry. After a nice 9-hole walk, any back or shoulder soreness I experience is a result of swinging a golf club too hard or too many times, not from carrying the bag.
Also, what has been remarkably noticeable is how sturdy and reliable the legs are proving, even on some extreme hillsides where I should have never hit the ball. And each time I pick the bag up, without fail, the legs retract back to the bag’s side like it was still brand new.
The fourteen full length club dividers are fantastic, making pulling or putting back a club easier than I’ve ever experienced, without adding unnecessary bulk or weight to the bag.
Plus, the spine and base of the bag are strong enough to keep the bag firmly in place on those occasions that riding the course proves more prudent than trying to hoof it.
If you’re in the market for a new golf bag and walk the course even occasionally, do yourself a favor check out the Sun Mountain lineup.
The $200 price tag is significant and near the top of the market. However, from my (brief) experience, the Four 5 lives up to its billing, and all without a gaudy, over-sized logo or crazy color scheme (though those are available).
Plus, the $10 flat rate shipping from Sun Mountain’s website was hard to beat for something of that size (though only 5.5 pounds).
Given all the engineering that went into my new toy, I’m confident that I’ll be able to get at least a dozen years of enjoyment out of the Four 5, assuming I’m able to continue walking during my golf rounds well into and past the next decade.