50 Words or Less
The 2018 PING Hoofer elevates the classic stand bag to a higher level with loads of smart new features.
No line of golf bags has the history or name recognition of the PING Hoofer. If you’ve played golf for any amount of time, it’s very likely that you’ve had one. With the entire PING line up of carry bags being redesigned for 2018, we wanted to take this opportunity to see if the current version deserves to bear that name.
With very minimal branding and sharp, modern color combinations, the PING Hoofer has a look that will last for many seasons. While the overall look is extremely clean, PING didn’t pass up the opportunity to throw in stylish details like the “Hoofer” branding on the legs.
The Hoofer is available in five colorways: black, black/white/copper, graphite/black/red, graphite/silver/blue (shown here), and navy/white/red.
The Hoofer has a wealth of great features, but two stand out as being particularly clever. First is the attached rain hood (seen above). The rain hood is smart on two counts. Having the hood attached means that you won’t lose it. Also, PING has located it where most bags just place padding, so you don’t lose any storage space.
The other standout feature is the way that the straps are connected to the bag. There are two clips (picture below) that allow you to carry the bag in a variety of different ways. If you’ve ever carried a bag with backpack straps, you know that trying to use only one strap can be awkward. With the new Hoofer, just pop one of the clips and the bag balances naturally for a single-shoulder carry.
Beyond these two standout features, the Hoofer has all the things you expect from a modern stand bag. There’s a cart strap channel that allows you to secure your bag without losing access to any pockets. There are 12 pockets with a cavernous total of 22 liters of capacity. Finally, there’s a water bottle pocket that’s perfectly located to give you a drink while you have the bag on your back.
The standard PING Hoofer has a 5-way top with three full length dividers. I loaded the bag with 14 clubs, all with midsized grips, and I had no trouble getting them in and out. Despite being a little obsessive about organization, I found the 5-way top was ample for keeping everything in its place.
One of my favorite things about using the Hoofer on the course is the base. Rather than having a little plastic foot that activates the legs, the entire base shifts. There are two big things to like about this. First, you don’t have to worry about it breaking (a fate which has rendered many stand bags useless). Additionally, it creates a more solid position, so it won’t tip over when the wind (or a rampaging child) hits it.
When I first eyeballed the Hoofer, I liked the number and size of pockets. On the course, I love them. There’s a cavernous pocket on the back for the guy who wants to carry a ton of balls, but all the other pockets are moderately sized to hold one or two things. With 12 total pockets – all easily accessible – you stay organized rather than tossing everything into a giant black hole.
Finally, I want to reiterate how good the straps are. The adjustments are easy, there’s ample padding, and the bag balances well whether you carry it on one shoulder or two.
I wasn’t in the market for a new stand bag until I saw the PING Hoofer. Now I have a new bag. The combination of superb straps, excellent pocket distribution, and other smart features make the new Hoofer worthy of the name and one of the best stand bags on the market.