LONDON - Brand loyalty is a powerful thing.
For at least a decade, I've been using a Club Glove Last Bag as my golf travel bag of choice. I love its durability and its spacious interior and shoe compartments. It's still going strong with minimal visual wear and tear.
Although I've had no issues with it, I've found something better: Sun Mountain's ClubGlider. For years, friends with ClubGliders have implored me to try one. I let my brand loyalty blind me. After a handful of trips testing a ClubGlider Meridian golf travel bag, I don't think I'll go back. I won't say never because the Meridian ($339.99) still has to prove its durability over a couple of years, something GolfPass staff writer Tim Gavrich has already vouched for. His ClubGlider has lasted roughly 7 years, and the only minor issue he's had is to replace a few wheels (which can be bought on the Sun Mountain website).
These wheels are part of the retractable stand legs that are a difference maker for the ClubGlider. These legs take the load off of your shoulders and arms when walking through the airport. The clubs literally roll themselves.
Coming home from trips my golf travel bag is often stuffed with souvenirs and dirty clothes. It can get heavy. Lugging the Last Bag on long walks to and from rental car pickups and drop-offs can get old. When the weight is distributed incorrectly, those bags are hard to keep upright if you're waiting in lines. The ClubGlider has none of those worries. The bag sits comfortably on its own thanks to the legs. Those pivoting wheels make changing directions simple. Dense foam padding protects the clubs.
If I did have one minor complaint, it would be the Meridian's size makes it tough to put a pair of shoes on either side. It seems like the shoe pouches are so tight that only one shoe fits comfortably on each side. If I need more shoes, like I did for a recent London trip, I simply put a second pair in a shoe bag inside the travel bag. You could get a larger golf travel bag like the ClubGlider Pro or Tour models, but the Meridian fits nicely inside smaller trunks like my Ford Fusion.
I do have some good news for Club Glove. My allegiance to the Club Glove Stiff Arm will never be broken. This retractable metal rod keeps the stress off of longest clubs, and limits the likelihood that your driver or fairway wood heads snap off during transit. It's the best $30 you'll spend protecting your clubs from aggressive airport baggage handlers.
What is your golf travel bag of choice? Let us know in the comments below.