When it comes to carry bags, Titleist have quite rightly been one of the most popular names in the market over the last couple of decades thanks to their combination of classic styling and reputation for quality.
In the past, Titleist golf clubs have had a reputation for being best suited to 'better players' rather than just the average golfer. The good news is that any golfer can use one of their bags, even if they don't believe that they are good enough to use the equipment.
The latest range of Titleist bags came earlier this year with six models in total across two different ranges - the standard Players range and the Hybrid range which is designed for use either as a carry bag or on a trolley.
I got my hands on the new Players 4 StaDry stand bag in one of the new colourways and put it to the test out on the golf course.
What's It All About?
Essentially, the Players 4 StaDry is a waterproof version of the Players 4 Bag which aims to provide you with all of the features that you'd need, whilst remaining lightweight and easy to use.
Anyone who plays golf in the UK will know that there's a very good chance they'll get caught in a downpour pretty much every time they play, so ensuring that your clubs and valuables are protected from the elements is an important consideration to make.
The bag comes with a low-profile top cuff, four full-length dividers and a new premium double strap configuration which should make carrying and using the bag easier than ever.
In total you get seven different pockets, including a full-length apparel pocket, space for a rangefinder and a new dedicated external pocket for a water bottle which comes as a result of feedback from existing Titleist bag users.
Other features include a magnetic accessories pocket and tee pocket, StaDry material and seam-sealed zippers, and high-grade aluminium legs with a hinged bottom for added stability.
Titleist Players 4 StaDry Stand Bag Review
Titleist stand bags have always been top of the pile for me when it comes to looks, and this year's range is no different. It's the perfect blend of traditional styling with contemporary colourways and subtle touches which look great.
From clubs to balls to bags, Titleist have always had a reputation for providing high-quality products which are aimed at golfers who take their game seriously, and these bags look to continue that theme.
The StaDry material provides a slightly shiny, crinkled effect which may not look quite as good as the matte finish on the non-waterproof bags, but is probably a price worth paying for the protection it offers.
I've previously struggled a little with Titleist's shoulders strap setup, with the older convertible strap system being a little confusing to work out.
The new double strap allows you to simply clip each shoulder strap into place and adjust it simply via the buckles to ensure that the Titleist pad sits squarely in the middle of your shoulders.
Of course, you can adjust the height to your own preference, and you can also choose to go with just one strap if you're only carrying the bag short distances and planning to use the bag predominantly on a trolley.
On Course Performance
The bag weighs in at 1.7kg which is pretty reasonable for a waterproof stand bag - for comparison, the TaylorMade FlexTech Waterproof Bag is 2.1kg - and I have to say it did feel relatively lightweight even with 14 clubs, spare balls, spare clothes and water bottles all packed in there.
I tested this bag during 18 holes of golf at Prestbury Golf Club, which is a pretty hilly golf course, and I was impressed that the bag felt light to carry for the entire round.
Having said that, I was a little bit disappointed in the quality of the shoulder pads which on one hand felt bulky but ironically didn't seem to offer too much padding or comfy. This surprised me because attention to detail on little things like this is something that I would usually associate with a Titleist golf bag.
When it comes to actually using the bag out on the course, I found that the four way divider was ideally set out to separate and then access your golf clubs with ease.
The seven different pockets were ideal for storing all of the gear you think you might need for a round of golf, with the large apparel pocket on the right side ideal for clothing, as well as a very spacious ball pocket and a large lined valuables pocket.
Titleist's addition of the external water pocket was a good decision and was very easy to access, which came in handy on a warm summer's day. If you were using the bag on a trolley, it'd be simple to just reach down and grab the bottle too, if your trolley didn't come with it's own drinks holder.
The high grade aluminium legs felt solid and secure throughout the test, even when placing the bag down on some pretty sloping lies at Prestbury GC.
The design of the frame means that the legs perhaps sit a little wider than most when you stand the bag on the floor, but I actually think that this is helpful in adding to the overall stability - especially suited for when the breeze gets up.
The legs can also be tucked away if you're transporting the bag in a car or on a trolley thanks to a handy velcro strap, which should tidy things up and keep them protected from any wear and tear in transit.
As it's a StaDry bag I had to check whether it was waterproof, and I was pleased to see that it passed the Golfalot test of pouring a litre of water over the bag and it's zips with flying colours. If you're playing in wet weather then you need to be sure that your valuables will be protected and the bag certainly seemed to deliver in that regard.
This was why I was particularly disappointed when I took out the waterproof raincover during the test. It didn't seem to fit particularly well and there was way too much material, making it hard to actually access your clubs - for me it was all a bit of faff and it didn't look too great either.
Considering that this is a dedicated waterproof bag which is designed to be used in rain, I'd expect the raincover to be really impressive and I'm afraid that it fell a little short.
Titleist Players 4 StaDry Stand Bag Verdict
This is a little bit of a case of 'what if?' for me, as I think that this bag is close to being perfect and I'd also suggest that it's an improvement on the previous range of Titleist bags that I reviewed a couple of years ago.
When it comes to looks, storage space, waterproof protection and lightweight usability I really can't fault it.
Unfortunately, I just felt as if the quality of the shoulder straps and the rainhood stop the bag from getting full marks as they didn't live up to the same quality as the rest of the bag.
This is just my opinion of course, and plenty of people will probably love using it but when it's a brand like Titleist with the reputation for quality that they have it's only right to hold them to the highest standard.
Would I Use It?
As a stylish, feature-packed stand bag that is also waterproof I'd say that this bag is in competition with the TaylorMade FlexTech that George reviewed recently, and the TaylorMade edges it for me even if it is a little more expensive.
Having said that, I do think that the Titleist range is better looking than the TaylorMade options so if you want to make sure that you look the part on the golf course, and potentially save a little bit of money in doing so, then the new Players range is still well worth a look.
- Surprisingly lightweight
- Plenty of storage
- Waterproof protection works well
- Typically classy Titleist looks
- Wide, sturdy legs
- New double strap is an improvement on the previous strap design
- Rain cover was poor
- Shoulder pads could've been better quality and offered more comfort
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Titleist Players 4 Plus StaDry Stand Bag Review
TaylorMade FlexTech Waterproof Stand Bag