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Ogio is a name with which you may not be too familiar but it does make exceedingly good bags
Ogio Grom
RRP £99.95

I have been threatening my golfing partners for some time that I would be getting a new bag [seeing the state of your old one, it's a bit overdue, Ed]. So when I was offered the opportunity to trial a new one I wondered if it would be a Callaway, Titleist, Nike or even another Mizuno.

No, it was an Ogio. Trying not to demonstrate my ignorance of the company I gladly accepted but as I pulled the Ogio out of its box many thoughts whizzed through my mind - who or what the heck is Ogio; gosh it's brightly coloured; it seems very light; it has a bag stand, a dual shoulder strap, a seeming myriad of pockets, and it looks great. I cannot fail to play better using this, I misguidedly thought

Then I had a closer inspection. The club divider spacers in the neck of the bag are arranged differently to most, if not all bags, I have seen. The neck itself was sort of egg shaped and had standard shaped dividers for, I assume, the irons but in addition had another five compartments, four along the side for presumably woods and one at the top for a putter - a neat concept called the 'Woode Club Management System'. Next thing I noticed was the number and variation of pockets - something we are becoming accustomed to in modern bags.

In total there are six external pockets of varying shapes and sizes, which I saw as consisting of one for balls, the largest one for rain gear and jersey, a padded one for valuables and the remainder for bits and bobs. The large zipped pocket was smaller than on my old bag and this worried me as I was used to carrying everything but the kitchen sink just in case of an emergency, but more on this later. Lastly, it came with a lightweight foldaway rain hood.

So let's play golf - what a great excuse.

First I had to demob my old bag and what a strangely interesting time that was. Apart from some items I would rather not describe, I collected 20 pencils, two biros, five pitch mark repairers, 14 ball markers, three spike keys and over 150 tees. Fitting the clubs in was easy, but fitting in my raingear and spare jersey was not. Just as I had first thought - the largest pocket was a bit small. You must remember that in Scotland the weather can be all four seasons in one round, so you do need rain gear, extra jersey, woolly hat, spare towels and so on - just in case. However, once I had re-distributed my spare attire to other pockets, things looked much more encouraging. The only real issue I was left with was where is the best place to keep some tees, ball marker, pitch mark repairer and pencil and this is really the only criticism I have - there is not a small pocket that is easily accessible for such things.

So to the first tee, my game hopefully rejuvenated and playing partners no longer embarrassed by the state of my bag. Interestingly enough my game has at times been in a much worse state than my bag but not a word was uttered about that - but then that's part of the beauty and levelling nature of the game, isn't it?

The bag strap is incredibly comfy, used either as a single or double strap. I have tried both before but this is definitely up with the best. The pockets are conveniently situated for access as you walk the course and the bag stand is a must for muddy, winter weather. As for the clubs, they are certainly more accessible with the unique divider system that Ogio uses and perhaps that, over all else, is the biggest plus point that this Ogio offering has over its rivals.

In summary then, a great bag - light, appears durable, easy to carry with comfortable strap and pockets that are easy to access. Would I swap for an equivalent Callaway, Titleist, Nike or even another Mizuno - probably not.

And in case you are wondering, no it didn't improve my game but the experience of a new bag was a pleasure that, after six weeks still hasn't diminished.

Richard Callison, seven handicap.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ogio, the company says: -Ogio has used its expertise in designing bags in the extreme sports market to come up with a fresh contemporary line of golf bags. Ogio's golf bags are designed from the bottom up highlighting their true area of expertise "detail work". This cutting-edge company has single-handedly revolutionised bag design.

'Ogio's most significant universal feature is the Woode CMS (Club Management System). The woode's logical design directs all woods vertically along the side when the bag is tilted on its legs, and organises the remaining clubs in a stadium seating layout complete with a top-mounted putter pit for the most frequently used club. Variations of the Woode - ranging from 7-10 inch - are present on all Ogio's new stand and carry bags.

More subtle but still noteworthy are Ogio's new pocket configurations. Accessories pockets are positioned on the pad side to facilitate access to water bottles, scorecards, pencils as well as ball markers.'

©    13 - FEBRUARY 2004

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