Ping makes good golf bags; the Hoofer Lite is no exception. Hoofer is about the most prominent line of golf bags Ping offers today. With the Hoofer, Hoofer 14 and Hoofer Craz-E Lite offered in addition to the Hoofer Lite, if you like the product line, there’s a bag you’ll love.
While we really like this bag, you should also check out our list of the Best Golf Bags For Walking.
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To clear things up, Hoofer Lite is our top choice because of the versatility it offers, as well as the clean, calculated and attractive design.
We’re going to walk through the basics of the bag and what it offers, then a little bit of what we like, what we don’t like, yadda yadda yadda.
By the end of reading through this, we’re hoping that you’ll have a great idea of what it’s like to own this bag, or if you’re on the fence of buying it, enough information to make that call.
A golf bag has to do more than just hold your clubs. Here are some of the important features and functionality that you get with the Ping Hoofer Lite.
Up top, you have four dividers that are spread in a 1-2-1 form. This piece also connects to a handle that you can easily lift your bag with. It is made from a high-impact polypropylene (hard plastic) that ensures the shape of your bag will stay true and strong even after years of wear and tear.
Outside of the obvious durability the divider frame provides, one thing that stands out to me is that the strength below the surface—below the mesh covering. If you look at older golf bags (not leather old, but not 2020 models either), you’ll notice that this piece is usually softer and covered by felt or materials the rest of the bag is made from. Despite this maybe adding a little aesthetic value, over time this will lead to bag breakdown.
When you put your clubs back into your bag, there’s a chance you slightly miss the hole and your handle brushes against the frame. For a single round this isn’t a big deal, but over time continued friction will cause this fabric to wear away.
The combination of a polypropylene frame and mesh material cover is designed to withstand this type of contact and will prevent your bag from beginning to rip.
The Hoofer Lite comes with seven pockets spread around the bag.
For the most part, they are pretty standard. There’s an apparel pouch that runs the length of the bag, and while it is more spacious than a lot of bags this size, it’s pretty run of the mill.
You have a zippered pocket to house your rangefinder, a valuables pouch that’s easy to get into and a sizable ball pouch. Again, these all provide a needed function, but are pretty standard. Where things really take off is the exterior of the ball pocket and the bottle pouch.
Every golfer wants to look like a pro. As much as you might enjoy going out on the course and knocking the ball around, looking every bit the part of a professional inspires confidence.
Buying the apparel is pretty easily achieved, but having your bag match the look can be more difficult. Having your name or a team logo embroidered on the bag has never been easier thanks to the outer piece of your ball-pocket being able to completely zip off. The only challenge in making this bag your own is finding a professional to stitch the piece.
Drinks and Snacks on the go
While it’s not as exciting as having your bag custom embroidered, the drink pouch having a zipper allows you to put more than just a water bottle in it. At nearly every course around America, you can stop at a water cooler every few holes and unless it’s the middle of July, you can probably make it the few holes between each stop without drinking.
What I like to do with a fully contained and insulated pocket is to stick an ice pack (one of the liquid ones that can easily bend) in and then load up with an apple or a granola bar that otherwise would melt.
I’m by no means against an unhealthy snack, but I absolutely prefer something that gives me a bit of an energy boost while on the course. Without the zippered pouch, I’d be worried (past experiences) that even just the small opening at the top would lead to the demise of the snack I had been looking forward to.
All Weather Bag
Nothing quite ruins your day on the course like bad weather—except bad weather with no protection. An umbrella is good because it shields you from the rain and if it’s large enough, your clubs as well. Like every bag around, there is a place to easily store one on the Hoofer Lite.
Say you don’t have an umbrella, or yours just isn’t big enough to cover you and your clubs; you’ll need to use the bag cover that comes with your bag. I can’t tell you how many of these I see just laying around locker rooms, bag rooms and everywhere else but in people’s bags.
This is because they tend to just get in the way and people don’t see any value in them until they really need them. With a longstanding tradition of bag covers doing nothing but taking up space in the apparel pouch, Ping decided it was time for something different.
On the Hoofer Lite, the cover is stored underneath the hip pad so that you will never be without when the time comes.
Durability & Extra Features
One thing I always look for with golf bag dividers is if they are full-length. I find that this design keeps clubs separated better than bags where the dividers do not extend.
Fortunately, Ping agrees and has included dividers that go the length of the bag. With fourteen clubs and only four dividers, it’s inevitable you’re going to end up with at least four clubs in one slot. As long as you don’t force the clubs in, and allow gravity to do some of the work, your clubs will go in and out easily.
With the Hoofer Lite, the stand lends itself to standing up straighter by not extending as far out as other models. Is this a calculated design by Ping? Or is it just a coincidence? I have no idea, but it absolutely helps to get clubs in and out when using this bag while you walk.
If you find yourself occasionally riding on a golf cart, this bag has a space to attach the cart strap channel that helps to secure your bag to the cart. Anyone who has driven away as their bag falls off the back of the golf cart can appreciate this added security.
No golf bag is complete without adding an accessory or two. To help you make your own, Ping includes a small loop where you can attach things. With there already being a rangefinder pocket, this is one less thing that will need to be clipped on.
The downside of the loop being so small is that there’s only room for a single towel and club brush. If you want to add something like an additional towel or really anything else, space could become an issue.
Weight and Ease of Transport
The Ping Hoofer Lite has a base weight of 5 pounds. This means it’s a mid-range bag in terms of weight, a figure which I tend to not put much stock into given that it’s such a small amount and the lightest bags around are only a pound or two lighter. The real place to save weight and make a bag easier to carry is by putting less stuff into it—crazy thought, I know.
Carrying on the Course
An ergonomic design and quality shoulder straps are also helpful, a design feat most easily achieved by minor tweaks to over the years. Since the Hoofer Lite has been in production for some time now, I think Ping has taken this idea and ran with it, improving their design each year.
There’s a small minority of golfers that prefer to keep their bag strapless. For those people, they can remove the dual shoulder straps as easily as unbuckling them. The benefit of this feature is two-fold as should something happen to your straps, they can be easily replaced. On the same note, you could swap them out for something you find more comfortable—though we doubt this will be the case if you’re use the Hoofer Lite.
If I want to ride for a round, it’s straightforward, I throw the bag on the cart, loop it through the cart strap channel and go. If I’m walking, there’s a back puck that lets me go back and forth from backpack to single-strap carrying. If I take a caddy, it’s even better and lets them take two bags at once without any additional challenges.
Car to Course
For loading your bag in and out of your trunk, there is a hard handle located near the top of the bag and plain strap at the bottom so you can easily hold the bag lengthwise. One thing I always used to worry about with older bags was resting my bag on top of my rangefinder in the trunk. Thanks to the zippered pouch specifically designed for this accessory, this cause for concern is significantly easier to avoid than if you still had to clip it the exterior of your bag.
You’re going to have this bag for a while so it has to look good as well as function good.
One thing that I really like about the 2020 Hoofer Lite is that there are a wide variety of designs to choose from.
Right off the bat, you have some clean looks with muted colors—Black, Gray, Navy, Olive, etc. For people that want to spice it up, there’s a handful of options that are so bright you could use them to see in the dark.
While they are extremely bright, it is usually just an accent color which lets your personality shine a bit without drawing too much attention to you.
The most unique option, however, is a Black bag with a tropical theme that looks like it came right off a Hawaiian shirt; somehow this works. On most of these style options, the Ping logo does not take up the entire side panel allowing you to appreciate the style of the bag instead of being drawn to the brand.
Select college themes
If you want to show your school pride loud and proud, there’s a chance you’ll be able to do it with the Hoofer Lite. Ping offers Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State and Texas (horns up) themed bag. It’s not quite “you can have any color as long as it’s Black,” but NCAA themed options are pretty limited.
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With the Hoofer Lite bag, Ping is able to provide a product light enough to be a carry bag, but with enough space to serve as an everyday bag. As a golfer who regularly switches it up between walking and riding, I love the versatility that we get to experiment with here.
With multiple ways to transport your bag, you won’t have to spend extra time (or money) constantly switching your clubs back and forth from bag to bag. Based on everything that we know about this bag, it’s designed to stand the test of time.
It’s made of premium materials, has a design that has been improved on over the years and comes from a company with a longstanding reputation of production quality. If Ping bags from over the years are any indication, you won’t need to replace the Hoofer Lite for years.