I was recently on a press trip playing golf in Morocco with members of the Ladies' Golf Union elite squad, which means the UK's best young amateurs, when one of them said: 'Those TaylorMade bags are really good, aren't they?'
Good manners obliged me to answer in the positive but I pressed her for more information and she revealed that, when not playing amateur events all over the UK and the world, she often works in a club pro shop and had been recommending the TaylorMade for a while now, as she thought it both attractive and functional.
On the attractive bit I have to agree and, now I've had a chance to use the bag for a few weeks - and there's no substitute for playing several rounds with a bit of kit like this - I must also confess that it's pretty efficient as well. In fact, after a couple of months' use only one small niggle has emerged and that is, if you have an umbrella on board, it stops the bag from sitting properly on a trolley.
The manufacturer lists the bag's main attributes as being:
600D polyester with propex nylon accents
dual strap system
designed to fit securely on any cart
top clip keeps strap firmly in place
easy on-cart access to pockets and accessories
seven-way top, including putter well.
Please don't ask what 'propex nylon accents' are - life is just too short to seek the answers to some questions, and this is one of them. As an aside, why do manufacturers do this - put phrases into their marketing material that will be properly understood by perhaps 5% or less of the intended market. Perhaps they think we'll be baffled by science and assume it must be a wonderful thing because they've taken the time to tell us about it.
As a relatively slim bit of kit this Taylormade nevertheless manages to swallow a rainsuit, woolly hat, rain hood, rain hat, and drinks and snacks in the two main stowage compartments. Elsewhere, there's a fur-lined valuables pocket and a handy, smallish drop-down pocket near the top, perfect for wallet, scorecard holder and gloves. There's also an external mesh pocket, which most bags seem to have nowadays, designed to hold a few extra golf balls but I've never seen the point - how difficult is it to unzip a ball pocket? Surely it's as easy as it is would be to get your fingers into a mesh pocket.
Although it's attractive, this TaylorMade Classic Cart is also pretty robust and stands up to the abuse of being thrown into the boot of the car and then dragged around four miles of hilly, muddy terrain, with equanimity.
I was puzzled for a moment by the two pockets at the bottom of the bag for balls and tees, as the latter was on the inside, whereas with most bags it's the outermost pocket. However, my uncertainty was only because this arrangement is contrary to what I'm used to but on reflection, there's no reason why it has to be so forever more.
The Classic Cart comes in two colour combinations, black/wine and black/silver although the wine option would seem to be the most popular - I've seen several on the course but none of the silver combos.
TaylorMade seems to be focussing its attention on clubs, as the company offers only three stand bags and two cart bags - and quite right too. Items like this will always be a peripheral part of its business so it should concentrate on a few well-made, good value bits of kit, which it does.
Overall, this bag is both attractive and functional, which is all you can really ask.
For more information, visit: www.taylormadegolf.com.
Martin Vousden, 10 handicap
|| 21 - JANUARY 2004