The Sunday golf bag is a smaller lightweight bag that typically is designed to carry less than the full complement of clubs.
They are great for playing a short course, pitch and putt, or just heading out to the course or range to work on some specific clubs.
Having a good Sunday bag (sometimes known as a pencil bag) can be really helpful for any of those situations when you don’t need all your clubs. Best of all, they aren’t very expensive.
So here are our top picks for the best Sunday golf bags…
Orlimar Pitch and Putt Lightweight Stand/Carry Golf Bag (Best Overall)
When we were trying to decide our Best Overall, there wasn’t really much of a debate. This Orlimar production has everything a normal bag might have, just shrunk down. There’s a place for a water bottle, a ring to attach a bag strap or towel and one pocket to store what you’ll need for the round.
If you plan on carrying too much stuff to fit in just the one pocket, a simple solution is to attach some kind of pouch using the loop where a towel is normally attached. Since it is a ring, you won’t have to sacrifice your towel for the extra pouch, you can equip both without any issues.
One aspect of this bag that is open to interpretation regarding good or bad is the bag material and stand. The bag is made of a stiff material and won’t collapse when it is not in use. For most people, this is not an issue, but if this is something you might keep in a locker or backseat, it makes storage a little more challenging. On the same note, the stand is not removable, but since the bag does not break down in size, any benefit from a removable stand has already been negated.
TOURBON Lightweight Canvas Golf Club Carrier Sleeves Bag with Shoulder Strap (Runner Up)
I hesitate to call this Sunday bag a “hipster” bag, but that’s really what it feels like. While most bags today are made with polyester, nylon and other manufactured materials, Tourbon uses canvas, leather and metal clips to build a product that will last.
Since this is such a small product, it doesn’t seem right to call it a bag but instead falls best under the category of carrying devices. This carrier is a means to keep your clubs together and transport them from one place to another, but will not be sufficient to protect your clubs entirely. When you want to take one club out, you’ll instead have to undo the Velcro piece and open up the entire apparatus.
Some people keep the Velcro loose so they can remove one club at a time, but with this, you run the risk of a club slipping out. In my opinion, the best use for this bag is when you want to get some practice in on the range, but do not want to bring your full bag or deal with carrying clubs by hand.
While it has a spot for a few tees, an easy solution to avoid running out of this essential is to load your pockets with plastic tees since even just a few will last your entire round. As far as golf balls go, if you plan on losing more than one or two per nine (stop at your car on the turn), you might also need to be prepared to walk along the edges of the woods to reload.
RAM Golf Pitch and Putt Lightweight Golf Carry Bag with Stand (Best Sunday Bag for The Money)
Known for their ability to produce quality products for great prices, RAM delivers again with their take on what a Sunday bag should be. With this option, you’ll have a spot for all your essentials—the tees, gloves, balls, and towel.
One unique feature is the dual carrying options, the first is a detachable strap and the second, a handle attached to the bag near where your club heads will be. Since you’ll only be carrying a few clubs at a time, it is plausible to carry your bag with just one hand. For those taking a younger child golfing and want to carry both bags, this provides a nice option to haul both without breaking your back.
For some people, having a shoulder strap that loops together around the same spot might not make for comfortable carrying. In order to make life a little easier for yourself, it is possible to rig your shoulder strap with one clip at the designated spot and the other connected to the water bottle contraption.
5″ Sunday Bag, Lightweight Carry Bag, Executive Course Golf Bag (Best Budget Option)
On a lot of Sunday bags, storage is the biggest concern. With this option, you have plenty of pockets so that you can load it up with all your golf supplies and still reserve a pocket to put your non-golf items like keys, phone, and wallet. For me, this is a huge plus since I tend to worry about my valuables falling out of my bag if I am constantly going in and out of the pocket they are in. If you’ve ever lost your phone or keys on the course, you’ll understand why.
Unlike most Sunday bags where the strap is an afterthought, comfort is at the forefront of this design. With extra reinforcement stretching the length of the strap, your shoulder won’t get worn out from just carrying the bag; you’re swing will probably take care of that.
What stands out about this bag is that you’ll be able to carry nearly all of your clubs. While it doesn’t have the convenience of dividers or a definite shape, the open end stretches so that you can fit as many clubs you feel comfortable pulling in and out. For most people, this is in the range of 10 clubs, which is plenty for a standard round.
Champkey Professional Golf Sunday Bag (Best Sunday Bag for Women)
(Carry 3-9 Clubs) – 6 Carry Pockets & Adjustable Sling Strap Golf Carry Bag Ideal for Golf Course & Travel
Storage, storage, storage. Even with the reduced weight and overall size reduction, you won’t have to sacrifice by leaving anything behind. With several pockets, including built-in tee storage, you can ready yourself for any situation that might come up when carrying this bag. Thanks to its flexible design, it’s possible to fit nearly an entire set of clubs inside. Really the question you have to ask yourself when using this bag isn’t “what can I fit,” but “what can’t I fit?”
No bag is complete without a carrying option. For this bag, you have an adjustable, padded shoulder strap that people of any height can use. If you’re a golfer on the shorter side or a junior golfer, you can appreciate a golf bag that won’t drag at knee level, but instead can be comfortably carried by your waist.
Another big plus for this bag is that the material is water-resistant. For any golfer that has carried their bag in the rain, you know that the added weight from moisture can be enough to make you want to walk off the course if the rain probably wasn’t already enough. With this advanced nylon, you’ll have a fighting chance to make it back to the clubhouse without taking on significant water weight.
What Is a Sunday Golf Bag?
A Sunday golf bag is a smaller, lightweight option to carry your clubs when you want to play a casual round of golf. This type of bag carries less than your full set of clubs, and a limited number of tees, balls and other necessities due to the small amount, or entire absence of pockets.
The term “Sunday bag” has been around for about as long as golf has been played and referred to a secondary golf bag for when caddies were unavailable, and golfers were forced to carry their own bag. Rather than lug a 30-pound leather bag around the links, using a bag that weighs just a few pounds was a pretty favorable trade.
Today, a Sunday bag has a very loose definition and can be made from a variety of materials, all of which are significantly lighter than standard golf bags. Gone are the days where golfers needed to rely on caddies to carry their clubs, yet Sunday bags are rising in popularity due to their lightweight and affordable costs.
Some of these bags have handles to be carried by, others
have a shoulder strap and some are even carried using the standard dual straps
of your everyday golf bag. Besides how they’re carried, today’s Sunday bags
vary in shape and size, some of which work for most golfers, and others that do
not. With such variety on the market today, it is no problem finding an option
that suits your needs on Sunday, or any other day.
What to Look for When Choosing a Sunday Bag
Sunday bags are unique, so here are some important things to keep in mind when making your decision.
With Sunday bags, the whole idea is to reduce weight and make it easier to walk with your bag while playing golf. If you get a bag that is just about normal weight or holds the same amount of stuff as your normal bag, you’re eliminating the entire purpose of this second option. One other thing of note is that this type of bag is not big enough to stay on a golf cart and would fall off if you were to try securing it as you would a normal sized bag.
From your clothes to your equipment, you can’t perform at your best unless you’re comfortable. This extends to your golf bag, which if it cannot be carried comfortably, is something you’ll be reminded of every shot. This mostly centers around the carrying strap, and for some people this means nothing, but for most, finding an easy to carry bag is of the utmost importance.
Since this isn’t your primary bag, you don’t want to break the bank. While there is something to be said about getting what you pay for, paying the same price for a Sunday bag as you did your normal bag means you’re not getting the most out of your discretionary golf spending. Instead, invest in some extra training tools and lessons to take your game to the next level.
Durability and Quality
One of the most important aspects of any purchase is only having to make it once. If you go too inexpensive or buy something made of inferior materials, you’ll end up having to replace your Sunday bag before the season ends. I’d assume that most people would prefer to not have their bag break down, but then again, it’s always easier to blame material items for the downfall of your round than accepting your swing is to blame.
If you plan on transporting your clubs in the car while they are in your Sunday bag, you’ll need to make sure that it is big and protective enough to keep them safe. If you keep your clubs at your golf course or can load the bag when the time comes for you to use the smaller bag, this is less of a concern.
Common Questions About Sunday Bags
What clubs go in a Sunday bag?
Since there are so many sizing options for Sunday bags, there is no standard answer for what clubs should be brought with you to play. If we had to make a recommendation, we would say to start with the club that you can’t go without—no not your driver, the putter. We know Roy Mcavoy from Tin Cup used only his 7-iron after snapping all his other clubs post-argument with his caddy (we’ve all been there—almost), but we also know that putting with an iron is far from ideal.
For the essentials, we like to get back to our youth golf roots where short, middle and long irons were standard for box sets, the equivalent to a 5, 7 and 9-iron. By starting with these clubs and sprinkling in a few others, you will never have too great of a distance gap between clubs. With any luck, you might even learn how to hit some different types of shots which could come in handy come time for a competitive round.
Why is it called a Sunday bag?
The “Sunday bag” gets its name from the times when golf was played almost exclusively at country club’s by only the nation’s most affluent population. At these early golf courses, caddies were a requirement on all days but Sunday.
As years went by and golfers became more and more enthralled with the game, they would venture to their clubs by themselves to get a few holes in on Sunday. Rather than carry their entire golf bag they used a lightweight alternative, and thus, the Sunday bag was born.
How many clubs fit in a pencil bag?
If you haven’t heard the term Sunday bag, you may know this style bag as a “pencil bag.” For most pencil bags, you can fit at minimum 3-4 clubs, maxing out at roughly 9 clubs. If you’re looking to take any more than that, you should start thinking about switching back to your full-size bag.
Since you’ll likely only be playing casual rounds when this bag is in use, it shouldn’t be too stressful when you try to take a little off a 7-iron when you think a 9-iron would be your best play.