The spotty weather in Northern Ireland during the Irish Open at Royal Portrush got a bad rap. Considering the PGA Tour venue for the same week, the AT&T National at Congressional was riddled with heat, humidity and thundershowers, wouldn't you rather play in the odd rain shower and cool breeze? Besides a short rain delay during the first round, most of the week was actually quite calm and sunny. During that time, I had the chance to play some of Northern Ireland's finest golf courses.
The links of Ireland are enjoyed best when walked, and making the rounds with me was the new Sun Mountain KG-2, decked out in a fitting green trim for the occasion. Sun Mountain has 25 years of stand bag-making experience, and with that expertise, virtually no detail is ignored on the KG-2. On the top of the bag are three integrated handles that come in handy when the bag is in a tight space. The lift-handle on the side of the bag is big, stiff and sturdy, and doubles as a dog leash attachment when I'm walking the municipal golf courses in Austin with my rascal of a collie-terrier puppy:
There is a little extra padding on the upper part of the bag that softens any impact it has on your shoulder blades when trudging down a fairway. Pockets include a little slot for a pen and easy-access bottle holder. In total, there are eight pockets of various sizes, including a easy-to-get-to cell phone pocket and velour-lined valuables pocket for your watch that is fully waterproof.
Stuffed into my largest pocket were the Sun Mountain Torrent jacket and pants waterproofs. They are insulated and warm and watching rain bead off the material is quite a sight if you've never worn something as heavy-duty. A couple innovative parts to the Torrent jacket are the cinch system at the waist and adjustable hem and cuffs to ensure the jacket, despite it's sturdy build, doesn't impact your golf swing.
For walkers, the KG-2's E-Z Fit Dual Strap system fits well and can be adjusted very easily, whether you're carrying the bag or if it's on the ground. On two occasions, I had members at Castlerock and Portstewart who caddied for me, and they used trolleys rather than carry. Two small holders at the bottom for the legs, as well as a cart-friendly bottom, ensure the stand isn't damaged or the legs don't stick out.
Sun Mountain has 16 variations of walking, stand bags alone for men (plus one more for women), as well as numerous more cart bag variations. For those who want something that is even smaller and lighter carrying, check out their SwiftX and Zero-G models. But for an all-purpose bag that doesn't skimp on space, style and durability, it's tough to beat the KG-2.
More information can be found at SunMountain.com.