History of the golf bag

When golf started in Scotland3 in the mid-15th century, there were no golf bags. Pebbles on the beach were "beaten" through the dunes with simple sticks2. The golf clubs were tied together with a kind of cord and carried by the players. The golf bag was not invented until the late 19th century. The first golf bags were carrying bags made of canvas and leather with a height of around 88 cm. The ends of the golf bag were reinforced with metal for protection and stability. The slot for the golf clubs had a circumference of approximately 11.5 cm. This corresponds to the size of today's pencil golf bag in 4.5 inches. This "small mouth bag"1 was in use until the 30s of the twentieth century.

After the Second World War, golf over 9 holes gradually became the standard. This required a large number of different clubs to successfully attack the green.The golfer also needed more space for golf balls, gloves and the first Birdey books. The demands on carrying comfort increased. In the course of this development, leather, canvas and basket were replaced by lighter nylon and plastic during golf bag production: "Lightweight material, such as nylon and plastic, was substituted for the outdated leather material. Not only was the new club bag easier to carry, it fit more clubs, and even included extra space to store balls, gloves, and even books." 1

The golf cart was invented in 1956. Carrying the golf bag became less popular. With cart, the handling of the golf bag was easier and 9 holes played easier and faster. Golf bags have been provided with a "bottom" to make them easier to place on the cart. At the same time, the first real carrying bags with feet and carrying system were developed to make carrying the golf bag easier when there was no cart. These improvements continue to shape the nature of cart bags and stand bags.

Today, the diverse demands of golfers are met with different types of golf bags. The features of the modern golf bag make the game of golf more efficient and faster. Depending on the application, the golf equipment can be differentiated into the following golf bag types::

  • A cart bag is used in conjunction with a cart or trolley.
  • A stand bag is carried by the golfer.
  • A tour bag is used by tour players. It is particularly spacious and is carried by a caddy.
  • A pencil (stand) bag is slimmer, smaller and lighter than a normal stand bag. A pencil bag is ideal for air travel, for training on the range or for playing golf in winter when trolleys or carts are not allowed.
The modern golf bag has become a fashionable status symbol, Bobby J Talada rightly emphasizes: "Most importantly, the golf club bag is still a symbol of the great game today."1

The illustrations and photos are from a visit to the Hertage of Golf Museum des Gullane Golf Club, East Lothian near Edingburgh on October 1, 2015 by Dr. Kerstin Kellermann

1 http://ezinearticles.com/?The-History-of-Golf-Bags&id=7091415
2 http://www.golfparadise.com/cms/knowhow_rules/Golf_Geschichte_des_Golfsport_StAndrews_Golfschlaeger_Golfgeschenke_Turnierpreise.php?navid=242
3 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_%28Sport%29#15._Jahrhundert