Be honest, what is there really to say about a golf bag? You put your clubs and other equipment in and carry or cart it round the golf course. That's it.
Well, except, of course, it isn't. Living with a bag that isn't right for you can become extremely tiresome when you discover all those niggling little details that you hadn't really considered when admiring the gleaming new product in the pro shop before handing over a wedge of hard-earned cash. And our priorities are different. A colleague, for example, always carries his clubs, so lightness is his first priority. Because of an ailing back I invariably use a trolley so I'm more concerned with space and load capacity. In addition, I like to have everything with me on a golf course, always, that I might possibly need.
This includes, in addition to the obvious, like clubs, balls, scorecard holder and tees:
An additional light windcheater
Bag rain hood
Four gloves (two leather, two all-weather)
Two drinks; one bottle, one can
Emergency tin (sticking plasters, headache tablets, safety pin, spare laces)
What do you mean, obsessive and pedantic - doesn't everyone carry at least this much with them when they go out to play?
So the first thing to report is that the Adams Neon swallows all this gear, and a little more if I'm really pushed, in comfort. Okay, 'comfort' over-eggs the pudding - it's a bit of a tight squeeze but in addition to the obligatory ball and tee pockets there are five others; two each on either side for clothing and the like and a handy pull-down top-mounted pocket for gloves and a valuables pouch.
The second area that rates high marks is that the bag is extremely well balanced and always stands up, even on fairly lumpy ground - previous bags I have used tend to lean towards whichever side has the most gear packed in it but with this Neon that isn't a problem.
Third, it looks good. The most popular colour combination would appear to be the one shown, which is in black, grey and red. It's also available with royal blue or green options instead of the red.
In terms of functionality, it also scores well, with eight dividers and this means that, even with a full set of 14 clubs and a ball retriever, none of the dividers needs to take more than two clubs - a real boon if, like me, you hate getting the shafts of your clubs tangled up in the depths of a bag, with the result that you have an increasingly violent struggle to extricate your weapon of choice.
Small touches include large, easy-to-use tags on the zippers, external tee holders - which frankly are a bit naff but many bags seem to feature them (what's wrong with your trouser pocket?), and two grab handles to the front, in addition to the regulation carry strap.
Two minor niggles have become evident with use. First, like many cart bags, the umbrella sleeve is towards the back of the bag - the part that you need to rest on a trolley if you want access to all of the pockets. In consequence, the bag cannot sit properly on a trolley with the umbrella in situ but I have found that the umbrella sits very handily into one of the club dividers.
Second, even without the umbrella upsetting things, the bag has a tendency to rotate on a trolley to what I would regard as a slightly side on position. It can be manouvered back easily enough but within a hole or two always resumes its slightly skewed angle, so I have simply learned to live with it.
The synthetic material used for construction - and I have no idea what it is but parts of words like 'poly' and 'prene' probably figure in the equation - is tough and easy to wipe down.
Overall then, a good-looking, functional, roomy bag that is easy to use and live with. We have been impressed with Adams products and this bag continues to reinforce the belief that this is a company making well-crafted and useable equipment.
One word of warning though is that the websites adamsgolf.com and adamsgolf.co.uk are a bit of a mess. At the former you don't even see bags; at the latter they're shown on a graphic under 'accessories' but the pull-down menu doesn't show them. However, if you click on 'deluxe flight bag' you will get the company's full range of golf bags. The website doesn't inspire confidence, though, especially as 'holdall' is spelt 'haldall', and gives a poor impression of an otherwise excellent company.
The Adams Golf Neon bag has a RRP of £89.99 and we're delighted to recommend it.
Martin Vousden, 10 handicap.
NB: Since this feature was first posted we have been told that there were technical problems with the website but they have now been fixed - something we're delighted to confirm, having visited them again.
|| 22 - JULY 2004