As a junior golfer, I grew up always wanting to have a Titleist golf bag. The best players in the junior team had them, the scratch team used them, and when you turned up to a county event - again - the best players seemed to have them.
There's no denying that they're a very desirable piece of golf equipment, from the classic looks to the premium build quality. Who wouldn't want to walk the fairways with the iconic red, white and black colours on their back?
So when the chance came to test out the new Titleist Players 4 Plus StaDry Stand Bag from the 2019 Players and Hybrid Bag collections, I couldn't wait to get out on the course...
What's It All About?
The Players 4 Plus StaDry is based around a lightweight construction with waterproof protection, as you'd expect from the any bag carrying the well-regarded StaDry name.
To ensure protection from the elements there are also seam-sealed zippers, along with sturdy high-grade aluminium legs and an angled advanced hinged bottom, which adds stability and durability to the base of your bag.
The main talking point with this model is convertible strap system, said to be self-balancing for an easy fit, whilst dual-density foam provides extra comfort for those who prefer to carry.
There are five different colourways available, including Black, White and Navy.
Every element to protect you from the elements.
I played 18 holes of golf at Bramall Park Golf Club in the height of the late British summertime. We also put it through the (very scientific) Golfalot waterproof test - pour a litre bottle of water over the bag - to see whether it could keep my belongings nice and dry too.
I wanted to see whether the new generation of Titleist stand bags still live up to the eye-watering price tag (£245 RRP) and generation-spanning reputation.
Titleist Players 4 Plus StaDry Stand Bag Review
What else can you really say about this bag? It's special looking.
It's the kind of bag which you makes you want to go out and play golf. The kind that makes you want to stay in and clean your clubs on a Friday night before playing in the Monthly Medal.
As you'd expect from Titleist, the build quality looked good from the outset, with attention to detail paid towards the small things that really matter on a golf bag: the zips, legs and pockets.
Upon first inspection, there seemed to be plenty of room for waterproofs, bananas, balls, towels - anything you'd need for a round of golf basically.
On The Course
The bag weighs in at 1.8kg which sounds pretty good, and so I was pretty confident that it would serve me well during 18 holes of golf. Once I had put 14 clubs, tees and balls in there, it was perhaps slightly heavier than I was expecting it to be, although I wouldn't say it would put me off carrying with it again. For most golfers, the weight of this bag won't be an issue.
There are four large full-length dividers separating the bag at the top, and these were great. The clubs sat well inside the bag, were easy to get in and out, and there was plenty of space for all 14 including thicker grips and a fat putter grips. This 4-way design isn't new but it works and had enough cushioning to avoid any unwanted bag wear on my shafts.
Titleist also now puts a handy handle at the top cuff too, complete with Titleist logo, which does a good job of framing your golf clubs as well as making it easy to lift the bag out of the car or onto a trolley or buggy.
The bag's four pockets provide plenty of space and were overall very impressive. The main pocket at the bottom of the bag, which is where I expect most golfers to put their balls and tees, is huge. You could easily fit a dozen balls into it. No complaints there.
On the surface, things seemed pretty good with this bag. However on closer inspection, I encountered issues. The valuables pocket was a little disappointing. Although it had a nice premium velour lining, it also had some mesh netting in there which I felt made the pocket a nuisance. It was quite hard to get my valuables out as a result, and to be honest I didn't think the quality was that good as the thread started to come loose whilst I used it. Not great for £245...
The convertible strap is a nice option to have if you just wanted to sling the bag over one shoulder, although it's not really light enough to use with one strap unless you're taking a half set out, so I don't think I'd get much use from it.
Whilst the shoulder straps had plenty of cushioning for good overall support, the actual length of the straps was an issue - I just couldn't get this thing comfortable on my back! It just felt rigid and unmanageable every time I picked the bag up to put over my right shoulder specifically, it began to get a little annoying in truth.
Likewise, the back cushioning pad looked good but didn't really offer too much padding and began to rub on my lower back as the round went on. A problem if you're in summer if you're just wearing a polo shirt (which I was).
However the legs and leg deployment device, which I have also found to be good on Titleist bags, were nice and wide and felt very stable.
I also performed the waterproof test on the bag, and it passed with flying colours. Just like Titleist promised, your gear certainly does StaDry.
Finally, for those looking to mount this bag on a trolley, I found the base of the bag fit perfectly onto my Powakaddy trolley, which is a great bonus and means the bag can be used all year-round. It's not just a waterproof bag for rainy days.
Titleist Players 4 Plus StaDry Stand Bag Verdict
To summarise, I think this bag is a good example of style over substance. There are some great qualities which you would expect from Titleist, given their long reputation for premium, reliable gear.
However some fundamental errors made the bag a little awkward for general use. The convertible strap was pretty pointless, the comfort itself wasn't great, and at £245 the bag really is overpriced when compared to other quality stand bags I have seen this year. The TaylorMade FlexTech and Motocaddy AquaFlex will offer you more bang for your buck.
Having said that, the 4 Plus StaDry is just one of a wide range of bags released by Titleist this year, including the Hybrid 5 and Cart Bag options which we have reviewed. So even if this one is not to your taste I'm sure there will be something else which will do just the job.
Would I Use It?
To contradict myself here - yes, I would. It may not be the most practical, or most comfortable bag in the world, but that 'style over substance' has really won me over. You pay for the Titleist name and the looks and in this case, I definitely would.
Same as buying an old classic sports car, it's not the most comfortable or most reliable thing in the world. But it looks fantastic and comes with a reputation which might make it all worthwhile in the end.
- Looks great - rock up to the golf course with your clubs in this bag and you're onto a winner.
- StaDry tech no doubt works. Fully waterproof
- Pockets are all a good size, especially balls pocket
- Sturdy and wide-spreading legs
- Compatible with latest electric trolley's on market
- Plenty of space in the divider for 14 clubs
- Uncomfortable straps to wear - right-hand 'convertible strap' does not work effectively
- Plenty of other bags that are as good quality and more affordable
- Valuables pocket was a nuisance
- Back cushioning pad is thin and offers little padding