A wise man once said, “there is no glory in practice, but without practice, there is no glory.” While this rings true in virtually every aspect of life, it’s especially true when it comes to golf. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or you’re trying to knock down a 20-stroke handicap, working on the various aspects of your game is the key to progress. And having the best equipment is the key to your progress. So, let’s take a look at who has the best shag bag available.
If you’re looking to make the most out of practice, a shag bag is something you’ll want to look into. Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this ingenious practice tool and take a closer look at some of the best options on the market.
Why You Need a Golf Shag Bag
We all know how important practice time is to develop a better swing whether you’re at the practice range, in your backyard, or at home. But, it sure is a pain in the butt having to clean up after yourself. If you’ve never experienced the pleasures of having to shag balls just take my word for it, it’s no fun. So, here’s how a shag bag can help:
Perhaps the most helpful feature of a shagbag is that it keeps you organized. Few things are more frustrating or can ruin a solid day of practice faster than rogue practice balls that have a habit of disappearing. A shag bag keeps your practice balls together, and it holds about 80 golf balls, which is more than enough for a solid day of practice.
Less Time Bending = More Time Golfing
Once I hit my thirties, picking up 50+ balls every time I needed to round up my golf balls started to take a toll on my back. In turn, it started affecting my practice sessions as well. After I’d bend over 50 or 60 times to pick up my practice balls, my back would tighten up, and my swing would suffer for the rest of the day.
Many popular shag bags have a built-in practice stick. Others you can use with a separate practice stick. A practice stick allows you to pick up your balls with ease, without having to bend repeatedly and wreck your back.
Choosing the Best Shag Bag
Before you decide on the best bag for your needs, you’ll want to consider these features and factors, as they’ll help narrow the field, so you can find the perfect bag for your needs.
For the most part, you get what you pay for when it comes to a shag bag. Keep in mind that you’ll be using this bag every time you practice, and it will take some wear and tear over the years. Do you want a bag that’s going to stand the test of time, or would you prefer a more affordable bag that won’t last as long?
The importance of style is one of preference and might mean everything to you, or nothing at all. You’ll find shag bags that are utilitarian in their design that don’t have many bells and whistles. You’ll also find bags that are beautifully made of butter soft leather and other luxury materials. Keep this mind as you come to a decision.
Of course, the purpose of a shag bag is to help you make the most out of your practice time, and premium materials aren’t going to make you a better golfer. But, if your looks at the golf driving range is important to you, you may wish to look into a bag with luxury styling.
Some popular bags only provide storage for your practice balls. Others incorporate a practice stick which allows you to pick your balls up without needing to bend over. Personally, I prefer the practice stick variety as it saves additional strain on my back, and helps me to keep my swing in check when I’m just wanting a quick chipping drill session.
But, bags that incorporate a practice stick tend to be a bit clunky, and more difficult to store. You’ll have to decide on function or style when it comes to your shag bag.
Benefits of a Practice Stick
Practice sticks are usually standalone tubes that gather up your practice balls for you. All you need to do is place the stick over your ball and press down, and the practice stick secures your ball for you and holds it in the tube.
As I mentioned, many popular shag bags have built-in practice sticks, some allow you to add a practice stick to the bag, and some are just plain old bags. Some golfers just keep a practice stick handy and forgo the shag bag altogether.
Practice sticks are lightweight and eliminate the literal pain in the back of needing to pick up your balls. They’re also typically very affordable. But, they only hold about 20 or so balls, so they don’t have the large capacity of a shag bag. Plus, they certainly aren’t as stylish as a well-made shag bag is. But, for some golfers, they make a better option.
Best Way to Use a Shag Bag
Your shag bag can come in handy practically anywhere. From the practice range to a local field in town, to your backyard, or even inside your home or office, you’ll find your shag bag comes in handy all the time.
I keep my main bag in my trunk at all times, so I have it at the ready whenever I can steal a few hours to hit the practice range. It’s particularly useful for working on your short game, practicing your quarter swing chips, bump and runs, or sand trap work. It also comes in handy if I’m working on my drives at the local school’s field.
At home, I keep a practice stick handy for my little artificial putting green. That way, I can get some good work in, and cleanup is as simple as using the practice stick to pick up my balls.
Our Top 3 Shag Bags
These three options are our top choices to help you get the most out of your practice time. Each product we’ve covered varies greatly from the other two, so regardless of your needs, there should be a good option for you in this mix.
If you’re interested in the most luxurious and high-end shag bag on the market, this one is a golf ball bag for the discerning golfer who takes their style on the course as seriously as they take their game. Here’s a closer look at the Titleist TA7CSB-061.
These bags are constructed from premium materials including durable nylon and ultra-soft leather like fabric. The handles are handcrafted and reinforced with premium hardware and stitching. Double zippers are included for added convenience, and the bag opens wide for ease of access. This bag is also one of the largest available, and it holds about 80 balls.
Style-wise, this bag makes use of a bold and eye-catching black, red and white color scheme to create a bag that has the flair of an expensive sports car. A bold red zipper adds even more aggressive style to this golf range bag.
Thanks to the high-quality materials and reinforced design, this bag from Titleist should be the only one you ever need. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bag on the market that’s more durable or luxurious than this one.
Unfortunately, this bag doesn’t have a practice stick attached, so it doesn’t address the issue of having to bend down over and over to retrieve your balls. Of course, you could use a practice stick in conjunction with this bag, but that also means you’ll be carrying another accessory around with you.
This bag is one of the most expensive options in the market, but it’s also the most luxurious and well made of any bag on the market. If you’re looking to make a statement, while having a bag that’s designed to last for years, this Titleist bag is one to take a closer look at.
- Built to last and made from luxury materials that will help you make a statement on the course
- Double zippers and a wide mouth opening make it easy for you to load all your balls back into the bag when you’re finished
- Handcrafted reinforced handles for added durability and style
- At $90, this bag is the most expensive you’ll find
- Without a practice stick, you’ll still be bending over to pick up all your balls, and adding a practice stick to your repertoire means you’ll have to carry another accessory around with you
- Only available in a red/black/white colorway. While the colors look great, if you’re looking to match your shag bag to your golf bag, you’re out of luck if you need other colors
The original shag bag, perhaps the best golf ball shagger to ever exist, provides all of the features you could need in a bag.
The Madewell bags company has been at it for over 70 years, and while they produce a few other accessories in addition to this bag, this is basically all they do. That’s 70 years of know-how, quality, and craftsmanship going into each bag they produce.
The bags are made from durable nylon and feature a heavy-duty brass zipper designed for long life and friction resistance. An aircraft aluminum handle helps keep the bag light, while also providing a handle that’s built to last a lifetime. The golf bag tubes are made from stainless steel and resist corrosion and while maintaining their hardness and strength for years.
Each bag they sell comes with an impressive five-year warranty. Should something ever go wrong when your bag is out of warranty, they also sell replacement parts for virtually every component of the bag on their website.
These bags may not quite have all the flashy looks that the Titleist bag is famous for, but it certainly wins when it comes to practicality. The built-in shagger makes it easy for you to grab your balls without bending over repetitively.
They also offer custom options in case you’re looking to add a logo, name or sponsor to your bag and you can contact Madewell for a quote on what a custom bag would cost you.
- Time-tested, industry-leading quality with components that are built to last for decades
- The best warranty in the business, and easy to find replacement parts should you ever need to repair your bag
- Available in multiple colors with custom options available as well
- Doesn’t offer the same striking looks like some other bags. In fact, it sort of resembles a vacuum from the 80’s. Some may go as far as saying this thing is downright ugly.
While this is by no means the best shag bag, nor a golf ball retriever, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more useful product for your practice sessions.
The Practice Stick from ProActive Sports is ideal for the golfer who doesn’t need to carry around dozens of shag balls with them, but would still like to be able to retrieve all their balls without taxing their back.
Holding a maximum of 23 golf balls each stick is made from thick plastic. The Practice Stick represents the most affordable option on the market when it comes to keeping track of your practice balls.
The golf club tubes store away inside your main bag when it isn’t in use, and it’s perfect for those times when you’re practicing your short game. It’s certainly not as practical as the Madewell bag for some applications, but 23 balls are usually more than enough if you’re just chipping around or getting some sand trap work in.
- The grabbing mechanism is high quality, and the Practice Stick grabs and releases your balls with ease
- Ideal for practicing your short game, working on your bump and runs or chips out of the sand trap
- One of the most affordable ball shaggers on the market
- Can be used in combination with the Titleist shag bag, or any other shag bag, for that matter
- Only holds 23 balls
- Not as stylish as the other options
Why practice harder, when you can practice smarter? Shag bags make it easier for you to get the most out of your practice sessions. In many cases, they can help you save time and wear and tear on your back.
All of the options we’ve covered today make a fine choice for helping you maximize your practice time. One may be a better fit for you than others depending on your needs:
1st place – The MadeWell Original Bag Shag Golf Ball Retriever
With over 70 years of experience in the shag bag industry, the original MadeWell bag can’t be beaten. The design is practically perfect, the bag holds tons of balls, and it helps to eliminate strain on your back by allowing you to retrieve your balls without bending down.
It’s also great to know that MadeWell stands behind their products with a five-year warranty. They also make replacement parts readily available, which is another nice touch. Keep in mind that every ball shagger with a bag attached is a copy of MadeWell’s famous design, so why not check out the original first before looking into any of the imitators?
Also, at our local golf stores in Evansville, IN we use this very bag to pick up our indoor driving range. For years we used the cheap shag bags and they would only last a few months. We haven’t had to replace the Original that we started using almost 10 years ago. Talk about durability! It’s a huge reason we consider it the best shag bag.
Runner Up – Titleist Shag Bag TA7ACSB-061
For many golfers, myself included, you take great pride in your appearance on the course. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to take a closer look at the Titleist shag bag.
This bag scores serious points when it comes to style, durability, and design. If you’re looking to turn heads on the course, this is the best shag bag to do it with.
But, this bag is more than double the price of our favorite bag, and it also doesn’t allow you to gather your balls without bending over. Overall, we really like this bag, but we don’t love it.
3rd place – Proactive Stick
Our final choice is the Proactive Sports Practice Stick.
This affordable and convenient ball shagger is well made from quality components, it stores away easily inside your golf bag, and it allows you to store up to 23 balls.
While it doesn’t offer all the additional storage or functionality of the MadeWell bag, it’s a viable option for many golfers, and it’s ideal for anybody who is looking for an affordable and convenient way to save time when working on their short game.