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What Your Golf Clubs Say About You

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Whether you know it or not, your golf bag and clubs speak volumes about you as a player.
 
After playing for 20 plus years, I can pretty much look at someone’s bag on the range and guess their handicap before watching them take a swing. Needless to say, first impressions on the golf course are very real.
 
If you play a lot of golf and want to make a good first impression, follow these rules. Here is a breakdown of how each component of your golf bag describes you as a golfer.
 

Golf Bag and Accessories

Before going into the clubs themselves, let’s talk about the golf bag, as that usually says a lot as well. Here’s how I think of it:
 
Tour bag – If you aren’t a touring professional, never, ever use a Tour bag. They’re massive and not functional for the average golfer.
 
Cart bag – Someone who is at least a 15 handicap, if not more. If I see a ball retriever, I know they’re shooting in the 90s on a good day and triple digits on a bad one.
 
Hybrid bag – Someone who likes to walk nine holes with a push cart occasionally, but not enough to go all in on a stand bag. Likely shooting in the high 80s or 90s.
 
Stand bag – This type of bag usually means you’re a solid golfer who is shooting in the 70s most of the time. Even if you never walk, a stand bag is usually a sign of an established golfer.
 
While there are some exceptions to the rule, these are usually pretty standard when it comes to golf bags. The accessories on your bag also factor in too.
 
Custom name on bag – Having your full name embroidered on your bag is fine. But having something like John “Big Time” Smith is tacky and unnecessary. I fully expect that type of person to miraculously find their golf ball in the trees and talk about how good they were in high school.
 
Gadgets – If you have multiple gadgets, training aids, and other accessories hanging from your bag, I’m a bit worried. Keep it minimal with a club brush, maybe a bag tag from your favorite course, and 1-2 towels.
 

Driver and Fairway Woods

Your big stick and other woods don’t always say as much about you as your irons do. With woods, most golfers play big brands (Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, etc.).
 
But the shaft is usually a more telling sign of who you are a golfer. If you see someone playing an X-stiff shaft or one you know is super stiff, like the HZRDUS green, they’re usually a good player.
 

Irons and Wedges

Irons are usually the easiest thing to spot when another golfer sees you. Good players tend to have blades or small cavity back irons.
 
While mediocre golfers who shoot in the 80s or 90s play a larger cavity back, sometimes with graphite shafts. And golfers who shoot 100+ almost always have a hybrid set, massive cavity back irons, and lightweight graphite shafts.
 
Wedges don’t say a ton as most golfers play standard, blade wedges. Some older players or high handicappers might opt for a small cavity back to match their irons.
 
But if I see some gimmicky club like the Spin Doctor, a 2-sided chipper, or Square Strike from the Golf Channel infomercials, I’m absolutely terrified. These types of clubs usually mean you suck around the greens and I will always make sure to stand behind you in case you shank one.
 

Iron Covers

Please, I beg you, do not use iron covers – no matter what they look like.
 
Anytime I’m playing solo and get paired up with a group and I see iron covers when I’m’ warming up, I know I’m in for a long day.
 
Iron covers are tacky and completely unnecessary. They instantly show everyone at the golf course that you’re a high handicap golfer who doesn’t know much about the game.
 
I don’t care if you’re playing $3,000 PXG irons, skip the iron covers entirely (because clearly you can afford new ones). The only exception is if you’re traveling on an airplane and want to protect your investment, otherwise burn them immediately.
 

Putter

Finally, your putter also says a lot about you as a golfer.
 
In general, solid golfers tend to take care of their putters much better than someone who shoots in the 90s or 100s. If I see someone with a ton of scuff marks, I know they’re making 3-putts look easy.
 
Meanwhile, established players keep a headcover on at all times, usually have a newer grip, and don’t throw it.
 

After reading this, what does your golf bag say about you? Is it giving a good first impression, or do you need to make some adjustments before you head out to the golf course?
 
Let me know in the comments!
 
 
Written by Michael Leonard

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly you have more money than God and don’t give a shit about you investment in golf equipment! Some times it’s better to just shut your pie hole and move on before mocking people you don’t know.

    • Robert,

      Well, good morning to you too 🙂 | I don’t know how much money God has, but I am sure I probably don’t even have as much as you. (LOL)

      Don’t get me wrong, I love my sticks. I game Titleist AP2’s and clean them weekly. I just had them regrooved. I may have to re-think the iron cover gig. You guys are changing my mind…

      Golfingly,

      MGT Team

  2. Head covers could also mean your a good player that has spent way too much on your clubs and need to keep them in good condition to get a good trade in price the next time you up grade

    • Matt,

      Don’t get me wrong, I love my sticks. I game Titleist AP2’s and clean them weekly. I just had them regrooved. I may have to re-think the iron cover gig. You guys are changing my mind… 🙂

      Golfingly,

      MGT Team

  3. A good set of golf clubs is a big investment and I really don’t want them banging together on the back of a cart. So I’m keeping my iron covers because you me it someone trying to protect their investment. Most people I see without head covers ha a hodge podge of clubs that look abused any uncared for.
    So rethink your article about Iron covers.

  4. Been playing 30 + years. Know plenty about the game, just
    don’t play well all the time. Very proud of my iron covers.

    • Evan,

      Shoot sounds like I need to get a set for my Titleist AP2’s. 🙂

      Play well and keep hitting those greens!

      Golfingly,

      MGT Team

  5. Disagree with your comment about Cart Bag.. It’s more convenient, leaves more space for water, sun tan lotion, etc, and is easier to organize and easily grab clubs when you’re playing.. The cart bags also sit better in the golf cart than then stand bags.

    I also typically don’t walk (courses I play are pretty much cart courses) so i prefer a nice cart bag.

    Also, not sure about the putting a cover on every time you put either. I lost my putter head cover and haven’t bothered to replace it. Few scuffs haven’t hurt my putting game .

    (Fyi, 10 handicap here.)

    • Eric,

      I also have a cart bag so I kind of agree with you on this one… I actually have a staff bag so that is even bigger! I am just a stickler about my putter cover.

      That’s the great thing about this game. To each their own and every golfer is different…

      Keep sinking those putts and play well my friend.

      Golfingly,

      MGT Team

  6. I was really warming up to your article and saying that description really matches me until you got to the part about head covers for irons. I’m an 84 year old golfer who shoots in the 70s most of the time but had to ditch the Stiff X shafts on driver and woods because of shoulder issues and to graphite shafted irons and wedges when the doctor insisted: “if you want to keep playing golf loose the ego thing – embrace senior shafts and graphite like your friends.” So you really need to consider that there may be older golfers among your readers. I have beautiful black leather covers to preserve the beautiful new look of my new Mizuno irons. I love their shiny luster. I’ve had the scratched worn look for years but love the look of that shinny blade at address so please, give me some slack on this one.
    Ben

    • Ben,

      Good call my friend. No harm no foul. I love Mizuno irons. I had a set of MP67’s years back. They were butter.

      Play well and keep sinking those putts

      Golfingly,

      MGT Team

  7. I sport a full set of USA Flag hardcovers, a proud American, have a 10.0 index and am in my mid-70’s!

    Your article read like it was a spoof – we all should be able to enjoy golf as individuals, like it was intended, not have to be demeaned by a “junior” player! Have played 60 years and still do not have the game I’d like, but, do love my choices in bags, headcovers, shafts, woods, and irons. Fred

    • Fred,

      Dang man – Sounds like you have a great game. Well Played. Especially at 70+, shoot, you will have to give me strokes 🙂 – We love golf just as much as the next guys. Maybe I need to get a set of iron covers so I can keep up with ya… I game Titleist AP2 716’s and honestly, I take great care of them. I clean them almost weekly and just had them re-grooved. For me, I just don’t use iron covers… Might have to reconsider now though! Fair point!

      What clubs do you play?

      FYI – I just played Oak Quarry last week and got my A** handed to me. That’s the beauty of the sport. Like you said – “Different strokes for different folks”

      Golfingly,

      MGT Team

  8. I have a cart bag, my index is 7.5, I shot a sub par round of 71 last month. I will be 70 in two weeks. I never broke 90 when I regularly used a stand bag. Appearances may be deceiving.

  9. Hold on there cowboy, the best player I’ve ever played with used clubs that looked like he found them in the gutter and his bag looked even worse. Oh, did I mention he was a scratch golfer. He was two under the day I played with him… looks can be deceiving.

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