As a golfer, you know that having the right equipment is essential to playing your best game. One of the most important pieces of equipment is your golf bag. A good golf bag that is both comfortable and protects your clubs, your back, and your skill is crucial. But with such a variety of golf bags on the market, how do you choose the one that’s right for you?
You’ve probably come across all sorts of different golf bag designs out there, like 14-way golf bags, 5-way golf bags, and 8-way golf bags. But what’s the difference? And which one should you buy?
In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each to give you clarity and confidence in making the right choice for your next bag.
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The quick answer – 14 way golf bag vs 5 way or 8 way
Golf bags with 5 way dividers are ideal for carrying a small number of clubs because they provide quick access without overcomplicating things. 14 way golf bags have a separate spot for each club, which is ideal for protecting shafts and grips within the bag, but will be bulkier. 8 way divider bags are less common, but offer a nice balance.
Generally, a 5-way will be preferred if you walk the course. They are easier to carry and better on your back. A 14-way offers better protection for all your clubs and can be a good choice if you prefer a golf cart.
Let’s take a closer look
14, 5, 8? What exactly is the distinction here?
The number of dividers for your clubs is indicated by a description such as 8 way, 5 way, or 14 way. So A 14-way golf bag has 14 distinct roster spots for each of your 14 clubs, a 5 way 5 sections and, yep, you guessed it, an 8 way, 8. But how do they differ? And how are your clubs divided?
However, before we get onto the different types, we must remember that we’re concentrating on the club retaining design here. There are many additional aspects of your golf bag to consider. A bag can also have any number of extra functionalities, such as the number of pockets for optimum organization of balls, tees, car keys etc, a single or double strap, and some even include storage space for a cooler!
Above all else, be sure to choose a golf bag that fits your style of play. Are you a walker? is it important to you to keep your clubs organized? Do you love splashing the cash, so you have all the gear but no idea? C’mon, we all know someone like that.
So while club segregation is important, remember it is just one factor. So with that said, let’s dig in.
The 5 way golf bag
A 5 way divider golf bag, such as the Callaway Hyperlite Zero, will generally have a divider in the center with two slots on each side to combine your clubs, and one more slot at the top or bottom. Put your specialized clubs here, or maybe your putter and driver.
They will often be designed as a carry bag with a comfortable strap and many will also be a stand bag with collapsable legs integrated into the design.
Setting up a five-way golf bag
Getting used to using a specific setup for your golf clubs is advised when using a bag with fewer dividers.
Putting your clubs into your bag based on longer to shorter shafts is the best way to arrange it. This means that you should put your shortest clubs, such as your putter, in the front of the bag and your longest clubs, like your driver, in the back.
From there, you can arrange them however you want, but it’s best to stack them from shortest to highest for easy access.
Why should a 5 way golf bag be used?
5 way golf bags could be extremely useful for any game. If you intend to walk the path, this is a great choice because it is lighter in weight.
Be aware that your clubs will bang together more, but you can add extra protection to your clubs with covers.
These are also good for carts or stands because they are organized, but they won’t rattle around as much.
Pros and cons of a 5 divider bag
- To stay organized, it divide clubs into types.
- Clubs stay well grouped together in the slot, making it easier to find and grab a club as necessary.
- You can organize your bag as you wish.
- Ideal for carrying fewer clubs.
- Compared to others, it is lightweight.
- Clubs may bang together more frequently.
- You may need to experiment a little to find the best organization.
- It might be better to walk with a light bag or ride in a cart.
The 14 way golf bag
A 14-way golf bag, like the pictured Nike golf bag, has grown in popularity in recent years. Many players believe they offer the best protection and love organizing their golf clubs. However, cheap versions may not have full length dividers, so be sure to check if they extend the entire length of the bag, or you may be disappointed.
These bags will often be a cart bag, designed for use on a push cart or motorized golf cart.
A bag with 14 dividers does have some drawbacks, however, so let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of each of these.
Setting up a 14 way golf bag
Assembling your 14-way bag will be similar to arranging other bags, but it will also depend on your bag. Some bags have specific designations, whereas others allow you to organize them how you want. Your overall organization will be similar, with the shorter clubs in front and the longest clubs in the back.
Who should use a 14 way golf bag?
14-way bags can be heavy and awkward. We do not recommend these if you are walking the course.
Also, if you have expensive clubs or shafts and are concerned about wear and tear from clubs being too close together, this is a good bag to choose as it provides an additional layer of protection.
Finally, these bags tend to come with a few more pockets for keeping things organized. So if you’re a bit of a neat freak and want to keep your balls and tees separate from your motor keys, then consider one of these.
Pros and cons of a 14 divider bag
- Each golf club has its own slot.
- Keeps clubs separated and safe from banging together with full length dividers.
- Amazing organization
- Excellent choice for carts and stands.
- It’s easier to just grab the club you need and quickly replace it.
- Some bags divide only at the top and not all the way down.
- These bags can become quite heavy.
- Walking and carrying may be difficult.
The 8 way golf bag
A pretty standard 8-way golf bag will have 3-4 larger slots for groups of clubs such as woods and irons. It will then include at least four smaller spaces for your individual clubs, such as a wedge, driver, or putter. They will also tend to be stand bags. But you can get some cool variations such as the pictured OGIO Woode Hybrid Stand Bag.
Setting up an 8 way golf bag
As with the other two bags, it is best to keep your shorter clubs near the front and your longer clubs near the back. However, because you have more slots, you will have more variety.
We recommend putting your shortest clubs in front. Build out from there by using the middle spots for middle and long irons, or a hybrid. Your longest clubs, such as the driver, and fairway woods can then sit to the back.
Who should use an 8 way golf bag?
This is the bag for you if you want a little more protection in your golf bag without making it too heavy.
It is slightly heavier than a 5 way, but it provides a little more organization without being too heavy.
With that in mind, you can either walk or use these bags in a cart, and they work well in both cases.
Pros and cons of an 8 divider bag
- A good middle ground between 5 and 14
- less than a 14-WAY GOLF BAG
- Several compartments to organize however you see fit
- Provides slightly more club protection.
- Ideal for any type of bag.
- Excellent organization and security.
- It’s simple to get your clubs in and out.
- All in all, slightly heavier than a 5-way golf bag.
- If you’re carrying the bag, your clubs may still bang together a little.
How do clubs go in a 14 way bag?
Most 14-way clubs bags have a designated space for each club, usually arranged in numerical order from the driver down to the putter. This makes finding the club you need easy and keeps them from banging into each other and causing damage. However, there is no set rule for arranging clubs in a 14-way bag, so ultimately, it is up to the golfer to decide what works best for them. Some golfers prefer to arrange their clubs by type (woods, irons, etc.), while others prefer to arrange them by shot length (short, medium, long). Whichever way you choose to arrange your clubs, a 14-way bag will keep them organized and protected while you’re out on the course.
Why can you only have 14 clubs in a golf bag?
The rule limiting golfers to 14 clubs was introduced in the 1920s for a few reasons. Primarily, carrying more than 20 clubs became too much for caddies, who were getting exhausted. Additionally, governing bodies wanted to keep the game challenging and skill-based rather than technologies and equipment-based. Having a larger selection of clubs would give some golfers an unfair advantage. By capping the number of clubs at 14, all golfers are on a level playing field.
Does putter count towards 14 clubs?
Yes. These 14 clubs usually include 1 putter, 3 types of wood (for example, a driver and a couple of fairway woods), 8 irons, 2 additional clubs of your choice that would usually be a couple of wedges, a sand wedge and pitching or similar.
5 way vs 14 way vs 8 way – final thoughts
Well, as you can tell, there is no one definitive answer to this question. It depends on your needs and preferences. Some golfers prefer a 14-way golf bag because it offers more storage and organizational options. Others find that a 5-way or 8-way bag is more manageable and easier to use. Ultimately, the best option is the one that works best for you.