Golf Bag Reviews Golf Bags

PING 2018 Hoofer Carry Stand Golf Bag Review

Owners of the older model Hoofer’s have been bragging about how solid the bag is. With the new 2018 model, many improvements turns this bag into a must have for new and old users.

PING 2018 Hoofer Carry Stand Golf Bag

The Ping Hoofer is a great buy for golfers that are looking for a solid stand bag. Their 2018 model has a lot of improvements over the original that really makes the buying decision a no brainer. Old and new owners of Ping bags will find that the Hoofer is a valuable purchase when you want the best protection available. Available colors for this model are graphite/silver/blue, navy/white/red, graphite/black/red, black/white/canyon copper and a plain black color. The design is solid, keeping the familiar Ping look that they’ve become popular for. Buyers will get a solid upgrade if this is their stand bag of choice for 2018 and onwards.

Who’s It For?

The price is on the low side, so this is easily a bag that passes the smell check for everyone. Beginners will love the price, intermediate players will love the stability and professionals will love the familiarity with the Ping line. There really isn’t a glaring weakness to point out about this bag.

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Pros

  • Strong stand legs that stay upright even with powerful winds
  • New strap connector is easier to adjust
  • Rain hood doubles as extra padding while carrying the bag

Cons

  • May not be worth the upgrade for some 2016/2017 users

Brand

Established in 1959 by Karsten Solheim, Ping is one of the biggest American manufacturers of golf equipment. They are based in in Phoenix, Arizona and have many ties to PGA golfers. The whole idea of the Ping putter is what started the evolution of the company. They were usually the first to innovate, especially when it came to high-quality cast clubs. When the company decided to start making bags, it was a natural transition that led to them selling to an already established customer base. Because of this, they were able to perfect specific models that fit with where the industry was heading. That is why most Ping bags will contain the best of old traditional technology while mixing in newer modern tech.

Durability

Ping has high durability on all of their products, especially the bags. This can be seen in their lowest tier, so it isn’t isolated to expensive models. The Hoofer is an excellent example of a low priced bag that has great durability inside and out. There are minor improvements with the padding in the straps and on the bag itself. Both of these improvements are meant to help golfers that carry a lot of equipment. As for long-term durability, the results are about the same across all models. Hoofer is no different than their highest priced stand bag. Even though the materials are nearly identical from one Ping model to the next, it is the type of use it will see that determines durability. It does point to Ping having equal quality across all bags, but it also shows that they aren’t a leading brand that will get you 10+ years of uninterrupted usage.

Price

The most surprising thing about the 2018 Hoofer is the price. There are many places that are selling it for less than the price of the 2016/2017 versions. This isn’t the first low cost Hoofer in the series, but it is the most surprising one. The Hoofer 2018 model has a lot of improvements that make it better than any of its predecessors. The only reason to even consider the older models has more to do with nostalgia than actual features. With the 2018 model you also get a new set of colors, something that the company is stingy with when it comes to certain models. The older Hoofers have nice color choices but the 2018 model takes a step further by making them stand out. There will be more on that in the price section of the review.

Materials

The reinforced top is made of high-impact polypropylene. Yes, it is a mouthful, but it protects your most expensive clubs and keeps them from banging into one another. Shoulder pads are flexible and built with SensorCool technology. You won’t get rashes or bruises when carrying a full bag across the course. A cool feature of the included rain hood is that it is built with extra padding so you can use it to cushion the weight of the bag while walking. Not all rain hoods have this capability, and it would be nice to see it included with other notable brands.

Design

Now this is where it gets interesting if you’re looking to upgrade from an older model Hoofer. They improved the design/color scheme, so it fits in with the rest of their 2018 lineup. This isn’t a huge overhaul, and in many ways is much of the same. But Ping did make it a point to mix up the color choices so it wasn’t as dull as last year’s offering. The available colors are nice, providing a mix of bold and mellow selections. Hoofer has never been a knockout in the design department even when it first came out. With the 2018 model, they took a step in the right direction for next year’s design change.

Best Features

There are plenty of them to go over, with the bulk being improved versions from older models. Ping did a good job by not removing the most important features. With the Hoofer 2018, they added new ones that will serve the users well.

  • The Hoofer has five great colors to choose from that is a slight departure from older models. It is the best looking design of the series and sets Ping up for something fantastic in 2019
  • Kick stand legs remain strong even when the bag is full. Wind, rain and whatever else Mother Nature throws at it won’t be a problem while you’re golfing. This also applies to unsteady surfaces that other bags have a hard time getting a grip on
  • Five-way reinforced top is strong, spacious and prevents bunching of your favorite clubs. This is engineering at its absolute finest, and it is solid support
  • Adjustable shoulder pads now have even more padding so that you can carry the bag for longer distances with a heavier weight. The SensorCool Technology is a nice touch, but the big winner here is the padded rain hood that acts as additional padding when needed. The combination of these two makes the Hoofer one of the most comfortable bags to carry
  • Do you hate having your pockets inaccessible while riding in a cart? The Hoofer comes equipped with a cart-strap channel that secures the bag without blocking any of the important pockets. So when your phone rings, there is no hassle getting it out of the pocket
  • The water bottle pocket is also within reach, but is prioritized for reach while walking. Located at the bottom of the bag, it gives you quick access to your main refreshment without having to wrestle with the bag on your arm
  • A great value at a low price. The recognizable Hoofer name is more than enough to make this a quick buying decision. It remains a highly recommended bag no matter year number is attached to the model

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Some Key Features

Enough praise isn’t given for the rain hood and how it attaches to the bag. That is a big deal since a lot of users have complained about losing the rain hoods on the course. It isn’t the easiest thing to replace, so having a way to keep from easily losing it is helpful. And since it is such an essential part of the Hoofer feature set (padding) then that makes the attachment feature even more valuable. So if you’ve ever lost or misplaced a rain hood, then this is the Hoofer model to get so that it never happens again.

Biggest Pro

The biggest pro is that users of old Hoofer bags now have a reason to upgrade. There will still be some holdouts here and there, but the 2018 Hoofer offers the best upgrade value for older users. The only reason to hold out for the 2019 model is improvements with the design. But that has already been accomplished in some ways with the 2018 Hoofer. There is a big enough change that most users will see this as a worthwhile investment rather than a vanity purchase.

Biggest Con

Probably the five way top, which really shouldn’t be considered a con since they have different variations of the 2018 model. For a stand bag it won’t be too much of a problem, but there will still be users that prefer something much larger. The difference in price from the 5 way Hoofer and the 14 way is enough that it makes this a con.

Summary

It’s always nice to see a company making small improvements on their models. The 2018 Hoofer is a prime example of perfecting a product and enticing an entire golfing community to upgrade.