50 Words or Less
Comfortable, mid-weight, sturdy, looks cool.
If there’s one thing I’m probably way too picky about when it comes to golf, it’s my golf bag. Arguably, your golf bag has very little impact on your actual game unless you walk a lot (I don’t), but, for whatever reason, if my golf bag isn’t just right everything seems to go downhill from there. This is why I’m in constant pursuit of the “perfect bag.”
I’ve had bags from all the favorite bag companies: Taylormade, Ping, Sun Mountain, Ogio, Callaway, you name it! I thought I had a winner in my Sun Mountain Three5, but that too just wasn’t doing it for me. That’s when I decided to try out the new Cobra Amp Stand Bag. I figured I had my fancy new Cobra Amp Cell Pro irons, why not give their bag a shot?
When Puma took over Cobra Golf, it was a widely expected that there would be a big and bright overhaul to the Cobra image which was typically viewed as Titleist’s often forgotten younger brother. Well, everyone was right: that’s exactly what happened.
The one thing Cobra has maintained is that they have an offering for everyone, and the same is true with this bag. You can get the Rickie Fowler bright orange and white or a simple black and royal blue. I went with the white, black, and red offering. It has just enough color, but isn’t too flashy that it draws too much attention when I’m digging trenches at end of the range.
As I said, I don’t walk much but I still don’t want to carry a refrigerator on my back. Though this bag is not the absolute lightest stand bag in the world, I have had plenty of stand bags that weighed much more and were a nightmare to carry.
The bag is not bad to carry at all. The backpack-style harness is very comfortable to wear and doesn’t cause you to have a sweaty back. The strapping system balances the bag well and makes carrying it a lot easier. The only backpack-style system that is comparable is Sun Mountain’s.
Design and Quality
When it comes to stand bags, the design and quality of the bag are what makes or breaks it for me. No matter how cool they look or how comfortable they are to carry, it all comes to a screeching halt if the bag is designed poorly or the quality isn’t any good. Often times, this becomes painfully obvious in the stand mechanism. Fortunately for me, the Cobra Amp Stand Bag has a nice sturdy stand that’s easy to activate. If you’ve owned more than one stand bag in your day, you should be well aware at how often this is not the case.
The molded 7-way top provides plenty of space to comfortably sort all fourteen clubs. I prefer to have a putter well in my stand bags and this bag has a very good one. Try a bag with a putter well, you’ll thank me later. The seven sections all have full length, lined dividers but I still find putting clubs back in the bag to be difficult at times. This is a design feature I would like to see Cobra improve in their 2014 line. Ultimately, it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen and I can live with it.
The biggest drawback in the Amp Stand Bag is that there is no handle at the top of the bag to easily transition off of your shoulders to the ground. Let’s call this the “lift point” at the top of the bag. Companies like Sun Mountain and Ogio do a tremendous job giving you something to grab around the collar of the bag to easily swing it off of your back and into the standing position. Though this may seem like a small, silly preference, it really makes a huge difference. This, too, is something I would like to see added in the 2014 Cobra bag line.
The bag does have a nice “lift point” built in the bottom of the outside of the ball pocket. There is a sturdy seam at the bottom that serves as a handle to be able to easily lift the bag up out of your trunk, back seat, or off the ground.
The rest of the design features on the bag are pretty common in today’s stand bag world. The bag has an external neoprene ball holder, a beverage pocket, velcro umbrella attachment, metal towel carabiner, and rain hood to name a few. The zippers are all sturdy and smooth. Water doesn’t seep into the pockets. The bag is solid and durable.
A major plus to me is that there is not an obnoxious amount of pockets, but there are enough to keep your equipment nicely sorted and give you plenty of storage for the days you need to pack your waterproofs. This is always a fine line in a stand bag, but I feel the Cobra Amp Stand Bag got it right.
A stand bag is meant to be a work horse. They have to be able to withstand being dropped in mud, rained on, hit by angry golfers, and dragged through 36 holes on a Saturday hanging off of someone’s back. It’s nearly impossible to get the balance of weight, comfort, durability, storage, and looks perfect. One would have to believe that sacrifices have to be made in one area to have gains in another, and this is the case with the Cobra Amp Stand Bag. It’s a great looking bag, durable, sturdy, and a definite work horse, but there are some areas where Cobra needs to improve if they want to be able to call this “perfect stand bag.” I like my Amp Stand Bag better than any other stand bag I have had to date, but I will definitely be looking at Cobra’s 2014 bag line to see if they have made improvements to the club dividers and the various lift points throughout the bag. I’m happy with this bag for now, but 2014 will definitely have me keeping my eyes open.
Price and Availability
Cobra offers the bag for $195 on their website, but the Amp Stand Bag can be found for about $179 on most major golf retail sites.
The Amp Stand Bag is offered in Orange/White, Grey/White, Black/Blue, and Black/White/Red.