GFore Daytona Stand Bag Review
Part of the Best Stand Bag Series
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I’m a firm believer that the experiences that we have in our youth greatly affect our adulthood.
Whoa whoa whoa. This is supposed to be a golf bag review…
Hear me out. The first stand bag I can remember having was a Sun Mountain stand bag, in a black and red color-way. It was one of those stand bags that had the huge Sun Mountain logo on the side of the bag.
I absolutely hated it. The legs on that bag sucked too. But I’ll be damned, because the legs never broke. At any event or at the golf course, all I would see around me were those clean looking linen-white Ping bags. Must be nice…
So it’s no surprise, that when I look at my golf bag collection as an adult, they are almost all white, and all try to keep as minimal branding as possible.
Most of the times, when boutique companies commission a bag specific maker to produce their golf bags, we often see a big logo slapped on and that’s about it. Where I remain impressed is the design details that were infused into this bag.
We will start with the “look.” All the small details put into the bag present a very thoughtful and detailed presentation. For $350+, it damn well should, but at least it looks the part.
With white golf bags, some depth in the fabric helps differentiate the bag from the crowd. The touches of red, white, and blue, which befit the color guard of many countries, coupled by the quilted look panels really help set the bag off.
One of the aspects that I can appreciate is that with the Daytona line, they chose visual branding elements instead of slapping GFORE all over the sides of the bag. Anyone who has already purchased from GFore will know the bag when they see it, but to the lay eye, the bag just looks different.
To be fair, I don’t believe there will ever be a perfect golf bag, as each of us are idiosyncratic in terms of what is optimal for us, but let me present what I thought was the best pocket and worst pocket on this bag.
In the below picture, you will see a lid on top of a zippered pocket. The magnetic lid is easily the best pocket in the bag. I use that bag to hold everything that I need frequently in a round. Rangefinder, balls, tees, etc..
Well, that’s the problem. Everything gets crammed into that pocket, so it then becomes a bit of an ordeal to find what you are looking for.
The zipper pocket below it, such great real estate, falls short for me. What can only be construed as a ball pocket or a valuables pouch, the accessibility on a pocket in the location that most of us come to use as our main pocket leaves a bit to be desired.
Good Pocket, Bad Pocket.
Bag straps can be grossly personal. Too thin, and they dig into your shoulder.
Too thick, and they just feel heavy.
The Daytona bag comes with a very plush single strap. It is heavily padded, with what looks like velour on the underside of it.
I’ve had the bag since January, and early in the season, I had no issue with the strap.
Now in the middle of summer, the strap contributes to making this bag feel a touch heavy and hot in the summer. Now I know that sounds weird to call a bag hot, but I trust you all know what I mean.
I know it sounds like I’m nitpicking, but that’s what you guys came to read, so let me take a second to say that I still have this bag after 6 months of ownership. It speaks to how much I do enjoy the bag.
Ok, back to nitpicking.
It's the little things, bro.
I grew up with bags that were single strapped. When the double strap bag came out, it blew my mind. An idea that seemed so logical, I’ve seldom ever considered a bag that did not come with one.
On days where the bag is on a cart, I welcome that there is a single strap. There aren’t two dangling straps blocking easy access to all the pockets.
But, on days where I walked with this bag, I sorely missed the second strap.
To be fair, GFore made no promises that this is a super lightweight bag. At over 5.5 lbs, it’s not a heavy bag, but couple that weight with a dense single strap, and the walking experience is not optimal.
Which leads me to my next nitpick.
GFore offers a double strap in various colors to match the different color ways of the bags. Cool.
But why not offer a white one? I’ve ordered the grey one, being that is the most neutral looking one, and when put on this bag, it looks like crap. The only other option is to say forget matching or blending, and get a Tiffany blue double strap and call it a day.
The only other option is to go for the Vessel double strap, which in white is definitely less jarring, but the white doesn’t match, and for this OCD ass, is a nogo.
Make a White Double Strap, please.
Growing up as a kid, mom never bought me white clothes. Back to child psychology, mom, like many a resourceful mother, always believed as a kid I would get white dirty too easily, and it would be a pain to maintain.
So, to this day, I’m always gun-shy about getting white products, let alone golf bags.
My biggest concern with white golf bags has always been with cheap fabrics, the white yellowing over time. I’m not talking about dirt, as I equate that can kind of wear to scratches on a polished bezel, they are battle scars not blemishes.
I gave fellow Tees&Coins founder Don a lot of flack for buying a cart strap sleeve, a neoprene sleeve that went over the cart strap to prevent marring on your bag.
Eh, I probably should have gotten one.
But then again, I like my white bags to show wear, it shows character.
Most stains or marring on the surface look new again with a wet towel wipe down, with occasionally a little soap and water procured to get some of the stubborn mud that may get on the bag.
Overall, durability has been good.
Some people look to the weather forecast to dictate their golfing plans. I’m the type who plays in any condition and tries to relish it.
I’ve played several rounds with it with anywhere from soft rain to sideways downpours.
The fabric is advertised as waterproof, and so far has lived up to its claim. Water beads up on the surface like raindrops on a properly waxed car surface, and can be pushed off the bag by hand.
Whether water absorbs or not, I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I didn’t experience the bag feeling markedly heavier while playing in the rain. The only surfaces or areas of the bag where I feel could absorb water would be the underside of the strap and the opening, which is lined in this thick velour type of material.
Ok, so let’s talk about the opening.
Let me share a little story.
Hit a great drive on 13, have 172 in, my preferred back right pin. This setup lets me play a cut 7 iron to land a few feet short and left and roll up, giving me a good uphill putt.
What do I do? Push the living sh*t out of it, and miss the green entirely.
DAMN. (don’t throw the club)
So the only way I can release my frustration is to slam the club back into the bag.
I walk up to the bag, grip firmly on the head side, ready to show the 7 iron who’s the boss.
But, it won’t go in. (insert middle school joke here).
The opening is so damn tight, the club won’t go in. (add another that’s what she said joke too).
Not only did I hit a terrible shot, I look like a total tool because I’m fighting with my golf bag.
All dramatization aside, the top side of the opening is a little small if you like to have your putter at the top of the bag. I have the top opening house my putter, driver and three wood.
Then I go hybrid, 4, 5, then 6,7,8, with 9-LW in the bottom opening.
With the plush dividers designed to keep scratching to a minimum, which I understand, it is still a tight fit.
Especially for me, when I’m carrying a few extra shafts or putters when doing product testing for T&C, so I acknowledge I tend to load up the bag more than most.
With a normal 14 clubs, the opening is still a little bit crowded, but doable.
For those who often go half bag or somewhere less than a full bag, this shouldn’t be a concern at all.
So, I must really hate this bag huh?
Actually, quite the contrary. I often get sick of golf accessories because most of the time, the mere fact of having something new was the most redeeming quality of it, not the design or detail that goes into them.
But this bag is easily the best looking golf bag I’ve had so far. It is a strong reminder of how much golf has evolved over the last 20-30 years. While my original bag maker Sun Mountain still continues to produce great golf bags (still with massive logos), companies like GFore and Vessel have pushed the boundaries on style with substance.
If I were to have only one golf bag that would serve in every situation, this would not be it, but how many of the Tees&Coins membership have only one bag? Am I right?
Aside from days where I am walking in 100 day heat, this is my goto bag. The proportions, the visual details that went into making this bag, the durability of the fabric, and those shiny legs, make me enjoy walking to my bag and admiring it for a split second before I reach for something in it.
Being the perpetual tinkerer that I am, I am going to take the bag apart and try to find a few ways to cut a little weight from it without losing functionality.
Wish me luck.