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.
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I’ve always loved Ping bags, I currently have four, but with all of the improvements and additions over the years, the bags keep getting heavier. This is why my Moonlite bag remains my favorite. I can carry a full set of clubs, balls, tees, coins, extra gloves, my personal stuff (phone, wallet, keys clipped inside the long pocket), and a bottle of water. What else is needed! Tour players have their caddies drag around rain suits, umbrellas, myriad snacks, bandaids, and on and on – even when there’s zero chance of rain! The rest of us can be more economical in what we “need”. This new Hoofer looks great, seems very well designed, and has many features that would guarantee its success. Just wish it were lighter.
The one and only complaint I’ve read about the Hoofer is the lack of a towel ring. If so, where do you hang a towel (besides a towel with a hole in it to hang over a club), or does a place exist that others reviewers have missed? Thanks.
That’s correct, there is no towel ring. There is a drawstring for the umbrella holder, which could work as a towel ring. Personally, I run my towel through the large handle that’s built into the top and it works out great.
There actually is a towel ring. Check out the black nylon strap that’s diagonally mounted toward the top of the bag.
Isn’t that for the range finder?
There’s a little black strap at the top that is designed for that purpose. Can hold towel rings, bag tags, brush clips, etc.
Another well written review from a trusted source. Quality bag no doubt.
Do you have an opinion on how this bag compares to the Sun Mountain 3.5 or 4.5? I have always been happy with Sun Mountain bags.
I haven’t tested one of those Sun Mountain bags in a few generations, so I couldn’t give you a knowledgeable opinion. I know Bill is a Sun Mountain loyalist and has always been happy with them.
Good review and I’m with you on hanging the towel. What about an easy to reach while walking pocket that holds a rangefinder?
Thanks and keep up the good work.
There are a couple pockets you could easily use for the rangefinder. Personally, I like the magnetic pocket on the back for mine.
Thanks for the review. I’ve been in the market for a new bag and have been looking at the hoofers, so this is timely indeed. My favorite bag that I’ve had through the years is a hoofer that I probably purchased back in 2000. I played Ping irons then, but don’t now., and may be the only reason I can think of as why to not get it. Too OCD?
I think the “bag must match the clubs” thing is pretty common. :)
That said, don’t let it keep you from trying this bag. It’s awesome.
I actually make sure that my bag doesn’t match my clubs. I always wear and carry what I’m not playing (iron wise).
Great review. I really like the patch of Velcro under the handle. For a right handed golfer that would place your glove in a great spot while walking between holes. I’m assuming that is a pencil slot there by the handle as well?
The bag looks full of nice features and would definitely be a consideration if I was in the market for a new bag.
Keep up the great work Matt.
Yes, there’s a pencil slot.
Do you recommend the Hoofer Monsoon as a bag that is waterproof. How does this bag compare to the Hoofer in your current review in terms of weight and features
I haven’t tested the Monsoon, so I can’t say definitively. However, I tend to trust PING’s products, so if waterproofing is important to you, I would think it’s worth a shot.
The towel holder is the black nylon strap above the water resistant valuables pocket.
I’m not seeing the strap you’re referring to. Are you talking about the umbrella strap? That could certainly work as a towel holder.
Matt, when I owned Hoofers in the past I had so much trouble with trying to get clubs (standard diameter grips) in and out. Have tried both standard and 14 way top versions. So much club tangle I gave up on them. Has Ping done anything different with the design or build of the bag that you had no issues with club tangle even with midsize grips?
I’m not that familiar with previous Hoofer models, so I can’t speak to whether or not something has changed.
Regarding tangling, let me be a bit clearer: is this bag the same as one with 14 full length dividers? No, of course not. The clubs do, on occasion, bump together. That said, I stand by what I wrote in the review: I can play 18 holes with this bag without it being an issue.
Anybody know what the symbol above the carrying handle is for?
Yes would also like to know what the dot symbol above the handle is for?
Matt, great review but could U give me your take on the Hoofer Lite? The most notable difference is the 4 way divider system it has vs the 5 way of the standard Hoofer. I’d appreciate your comments as I am leaning towards the Lite.
Matt Meeker has a full review of the Hoofer Lite coming very soon, but in short, you’re right on about the key difference.
I’m 90% ready to buy this bag but I need to work well with a pushcart…otherwise I’d buy a lighter carry bag (sun mountain). My current Hoofer (2007/08/09?) slides out the bottom of my Bag Boy Quad pushcart. But this new Hoofer seems to have a flatter, sturdier bottom as opposed to the diagonal slanted way the old hoofers sit. Thoughts?
I don’t have much experience with the previous generation of Hoofer, but I’ve been very happy using my new Hoofer on my pushcart.
It’s very good to see your review. Your PING Hoofer Golf Bag Review is very nice.
Great information. I will check out the rest of your blog. Thanks for this post. I really like your point of view.
Thanks for the review, in your opinion, where is the best place to put tees?
I put tees in the largest pocket. Slightly unusual, I expect, but it works for my set up.
I bought a hoofer lite last year and have only used it twice. But the legs don’t drop automatically when putting the bag on it’s base and this has always been the case. The pro ay my golf club said it just needed the weight of the clubs to assist it. But this has not worked with 14 clubs in the bag, so is this actually a fault with the bag. Thank you for reading my post. Kind regards, Bob.
I have the same issue ! The bag stand works one out of five times very annoying ! also tremendous problem with club access ! The clubs will not go back into the one of six divisions ! ( Standard Grips )
Totally Love the Hoofer for all it’s amenities but these two inherent issues have me very bumbed out due to the fact I received it as a fathers day present from my kids ! What to Do ?????