Throughout the history of the game of golf, golf bags have paralleled the progression of the game. If you were to go all the way back to the birth of golf in Scotland, golf bags were not even in existence. Players would typically carry their different clubs or simply bind them together with some type of cord. In fact, golf was banned almost immediately in 1457 in Scotland, due to the fact that it distracted the Scottish Army from training. The Scottish Monarchy believed that carrying around clubs without golf bags was just not enough physical training. Luckily for us, the ban was lifted in 1502 and the game of golf would become a recognized sport and past time.
Many years would pass before golf club bags were invented. In the late 19th century, a modern golf ball was invented as well as the first club carrying bag. The canvas bag stood less than 35 inches tall, had metal ends for both protection and shape, and a 4.4 inch opening at one end in which you placed your clubs in. This small mouth bag would be used all the way into the 1930s.
After World War II, the carrying bag again evolved with the game. The small mouth was much too small for many golfers, as it could only typically carry a small amount of clubs. As the game of nine holes evolved, more clubs were introduced to offer an arsenal of clubs to attack the greens. Lightweight material, such as nylon and plastic, was substituted for the outdated leather material. Not only was the new club bag easier to carry, it fit more clubs, and even included extra space to store balls, gloves, and even books.
With the invention of the golf cart in 1956, the carrying bag lost popularity. Even with all of the improvements to the bag, they were still difficult to carry around. The new cart made it much easier and faster to play a round of nine holes. To answer the threat of the golf cart, creators implemented back straps and tripods to the bag which made it easier to walk around the course. As well as the improvements to carrying the club bags, creators molded bottoms to the bags to make them easier to store on the new golf carts. These improvements can still be seen in the world today.
As for the modern golf club bags, the limits are endless. There are many different types of carrying bags to fit the needs of every golfer. The club bags now are even bigger, weigh less, more fashionable, more durable, and some even include a special pocket for cell phones. Most importantly, the golf club bag is still a symbol of the great game today.
To think that modern golf bags originated from small leather bags is quite incredible. Surely, the history of golf bags have changed and improved just as much as the game of golf but as the game of golf changes, so to will golf bags.