Ping pencil bags have been a stalwart of the golf carry bag market for as long as I can remember. When I first took up golf as a junior, they were a must-have.
15 years on from the days of playing 36 holes, hitting 100 balls and then doing it all again the next day (and the day after, and the day after that) Ping Hoofer Moonlite bags are seemingly as popular as ever, but it's time to find out whether the aspirational reputation outweighs the performance.
I cleared out my current bag, the TaylorMade FlexTech Carry Bag, swapped out my clubs for the day and took to the course...
Who Is It Aimed At?
The avid golfer, the serious player, the 12-hole-after-work warrior, the mid-week range goat. The golfer at your club that doesn't like anything too fancy, they're old school, a purist.
It's for golfers who want a versatile, light golf bag that's no-nonsense but also looks pretty cool.
Ping claim the Moonlite bag is all about efficiency and practicality, and is therefore extremely lightweight, weighing just 2.5 pounds (which is light even amongst the lightest of golf bags).
An adjustable standing strap stays in a ready position to prevent you from having to bend down to lift the bag and move on to the next shot.
A rigid 4-way divider provides wells that are sturdy and spacious to keep clubs protected, organised, and less prone to bunching. A high-impact polypropylene frame and anti-flex walls are also said to ensure durability and lasting quality.
For storage, the Moonlite features a zippered water-bottle pocket and mesh range-finder pocket among its five pockets.
Other specifications to note are as follows:
- Holds 14 clubs
- Water-resistant belly (that will be laying on the ground)
- 8L pocket volume
- Convertible straps
- 300D polyester
Ping Moonlite Carry Bag Review
Ping know how to design a golf bag; they have been designing, manufacturing and then bettering golf bags with the everyday golfer in mind for years and judging by the looks of the Moonlite, they've got it right in the aesthetics department once again. There's really not much to not like, it's classic and well designed, I still don't think they look quite as good as Titleist pencil bags mind you...
The look is simple, which suits the functional nature of the bag, with the large Ping logo on the main body and some other small detailing of 'play your best' and 'moonlite' on the pockets of the bag.
I reviewed the bag in the Dark Sea/Buck colourway which is a really nice looking combination that won't stand out too much from the crowd - it's understated, contemporary-looking and classy.
That being said I do love the look of the Black / Mr Ping design too, really cool.
Functionality is where Ping golf bags (and most other Ping products, in fairness) usually come into their own. The usual problem with bags of this nature is space for your clubs, and whether you can fit 14 clubs in there as Ping suggest. The 4-way full length club divider makes club organisation easy, but I have to say that getting clubs in and out of the bag wasn't always as straight-forward as you'd like. A half set, or maybe 10-12 clubs would be a little more manageable than my 14.
The divider is also topped with a large plastic grab handle which is helpful for picking the club up from the floor or out of the car boot for example, it also looked durable and like it was made to last.
For picking the bag up, Ping again have thought of everything adding a 'standing strap'. This means that the main shoulder strap is in designed in such a way that it doesn't fall flat when the bag is on the floor. This has been a feature in Ping pencil bags for years but in years gone by it was plastic, now it looks a lot more stylish.
This little idea helps golfers by reducing bending over constantly during in a round. Again however, during test I found when using the bag with both straps that frustratingly the strap didn't always stand tall, maybe the plastic was a more practical option?
Sticking with straps, the main single strap is great (and when it stands up it's awesome). It's super-padded, and high quality therefore really comfortable to wear on the course. Even with 14 clubs in the bag, I rarely felt any aches on my right shoulder.
However, when using the dual straps I found them to be a little awkward and therefore uncomfortable whilst walking. During the first few holes on test I faffed about trying to get the straps level and sit on my shoulders with an even weight distribution - but just couldn't seem to get it right, the main body of the bag was quite bowed and the weight was a little uneven. Over time I'm sure I'd find the right balance, but if you're looking for a bag with two straps, going for something like the Ping Hoofer Lite Golf Bag would be a better option.
Storage was brilliant with the Hoofer Moonlite - there is four main pockets: a large pocket for balls, tees, an extra layer and maybe a snack, a valuables pocket that sits just above it, a rangefinder pocket on the opposite side which also doubles up as a small valuables pocket, and then a zippered drinks pocket with mesh lining which is big enough to fit larges size modern reusable bottles. Each pocket serves a specific purpose and has been designed with practicality and weight saving in mind.
Finally, the overall build quality of the Ping Hoofer Moonlite is what impressed me most. Aspects like the water-resistant belly and base of the bag that means when laying the bag down, your clubs just have that little bit of extra protection from the elements so this bag can be used all year round.
Ping Moonlite Carry Bag Verdict
This is one of the best lightweight pencil bags on the market, always has been and always will be. Although there are some aspects which created inconvenience which I have highlighted, I'm sure once you get used to used whether to use two straps or one, and what length at which to have the straps positioned at, this bag could just well become your favourite piece of equipment.
Unlike the a lot of Ping's recent hardware offerings the price of the Moonlite bag is also pretty reasonable. At £99 RRP, that may seem like a lot of money for a pencil bag but it's really competitive within the market and without doubt one of the best in terms of durability, design and overall functionality.
Invest in a bag like this and you'll be dancing all the way to the driving range for those moonlite practice sessions.
Would I Use It?
Yes - although I think I'll only use it with one strap or at least have to spend some time to figure out getting the straps level and comfortable. Despite some slight drawbacks, the Hoofer Moonlite will be my go to pencil bag for the foreseeable, replacing the Titleist Premium Carry Bag.
Ping Moonlite Carry Bag Pros & Cons
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