Whilst Ping are best known for their pioneering Anser putters and iron fitting innovation, their stand bags have also been among the best in the market for the last two decades since they introduced the pop-out leg mechanism.
There are a few key things that I look for when I test a stand bag - I want it to be lightweight, comfortable to carry, sturdy and easy to store clubs and accessories.
The Hoofer has undergone a redesign over the last couple of years and so I wanted to put it to the test. Is it still the carry bag to beat after all these years?
The standard Hoofer bag features a five-way reinforced top, helping to keep your clubs protected and aiming to stop them from bunching up. A high impact polypropylene construction and anti-flex walls are said to provide plenty of support.
Adjustable shoulder pads help to make things more comfortable and they are integrated with SensorCool Technology to help with carrying on warmer days. A sliding strap connector allows golfers to carry with either a single or double strap configuration.
This is done thanks to an updated 'back puck' which makes adjustments easier, as the connector unhooks quickly and in one step.
A rainhood is fixed to the bag via a cable and sits inside the cushioned hip pad for easy storage, and also provides extra padding whilst walking.
A cart strap pass-through channel allows the trolley strap to wrap round a bag behind the pockets, meaning that you can access all of your different storage compartments whilst keeping your bag securely in place when you don't fancy carrying.
In total there are 11 different pockets on the Hoofer bag, including a valuables pocket, full length apparel pocket and water-bottle pocket which is designed to be easy to access.
Four other Hoofer bags are also available in the range - Hoofer Monsoon, Hoofer Craz-E Lite, Hoofer 14 and Hoofer Lite - providing an option for every type of golfer.
Ping Hoofer Stand Bag Review
Ping bags have always been among my favourites when it comes to design because I think they do a good job of keeping things pretty simple, whilst also providing a range of different colour options.
The Hoofer bag is available in four different colours and I tested it in the Cardinal/White/Black version, which looks smart and should be pretty versatile across both the summer and winter months when the weather is more variable.
Whilst the Hoofer isn't small for a carry bag, Ping seem to have done a good job with the way they have organised the space because it certainly doesn't look bulky, even despite the fact that it is complete with 11 pockets.
The legs on the bag were sturdy and the fact that they look a little like a driver shaft is a fun feature.
I actually prefer this matte fabric finish rather than a glossy/shiny finish on a golf bag as I think it looks a little more premium, although you do lose the obvious drawback that it won't be fully waterproof as a result.
Performance and Functionality
Functionality is a key with a stand bag, as it's the last thing you want to be worrying about when you're playing golf and trying to shoot a good score.
Luckily that's exactly what you get with the Hoofer bag. I noticed this straight away when I was moving my clubs and other accessories from my existing bag into this one for the test, as I saw just how many different pockets and compartments there were to store my gear.
The thing that I think Ping are great at is the little touches, which might not immediately jump out at you, but which just seem to make life easier and they prove that their products are made by golfers, for golfers.
The attached rain hood, for example, is an excellent way to store a vital piece of gear that you are bound to need at some point when you least expect it. On top of that, it doubles as a bit of extra cushioning whilst walking, and it also frees up space in your other pockets where these hoods are usually situated.
Perhaps my favourite feature was the magnetic pocket on the top of the bag which makes it so easy to quickly access a rangefinder or scorecard without having to mess about with different zips.
I was also really impressed with the quality of the shoulder pads, as they fitted well and felt nicely padded which makes a huge difference to comfort levels over the course of a 4 hour round.
The base of the bag sits quite flat on the ground, a bit of a hallmark of Hoofer bags, and this combines with the sturdy legs to provide plenty of stability even in the windy conditions during my my testing, although I found that the actual stand mechanism was a bit clunky to use.
When I placed the bag down, it often seemed to struggle to fully extend the legs outwards without another push, which got a bit annoying towards the end of the round. It's worth bearing in mind as the bag won't be fully stable in the wind unless the legs are extended right out.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue I came across was that I had a tough time getting clubs in and out of the bag without them getting caught on the other clubs - it was almost as if there wasn't enough room at the bottom of the bag for all 14.
Ping Hoofer Stand Bag Verdict
The Ping Hoofer is a good all-round bag that looks great and is very practical, making it a good choice for most golfers.
I have been quite critical in certain areas of my review but that is because the Hoofer name carries some gravitas and you expect it to be a market-leader in terms of performance, which is why I was quite disappointed in a couple of aspects of its performance.
The good news is that Ping also offer the Hoofer Monsoon if you want a lightweight option, or the Hoofer Craz-E Lite if you're never going to use a trolley and the 2.5kg standard version is too heavy.
Would I Use It?
Despite the issues with the dividers and getting the clubs in and out of the bag I did still really enjoy using the Hoofer bag because it was packed with practical features that make life on the golf course easier. Finally it looks great and I think it would pair well on a trolley too!
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