I suffered for years carrying my golf clubs in a hard plastic shell-style travel case. I picked up that original case in 2006, and after 10 years of hurt shoulders, sore backs, and twisted wrists, I decided it was finally time to get something new.
I spent some time doing serious research and consulting other people in the golf industry before making the purchase. My search finally came down to the Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian and the newest offering from ClubGlove. In the end, it was the Clubglider feature from Sun Mountain (aka the folding down second set of wheels) that swung my decision, and I couldn’t be any happier.
This summer included twenty-four individual flight legs with the Sun Mountain Clubglider Meridian in tow. There was even a trip to Australia thrown in there during which time the bag really took a beating.
I can’t overstate how nice the second set of wheels is on the bag. I never have to bend over, security lines are a breeze, and my wrist, shoulder, and back no longer get sore after wheeling my clubs over long distances.
The soft case easily folds up into a smaller form factor to fit into trunks and closets. This may sound like an obvious point, but my hard plastic case didn’t fit in trunks, which resulted in countless angry taxi and Uber drivers when I tossed the case across the back seat.
The nylon material on the bag is extremely durable and I have had no signs of tearing anywhere on the bag. I have also seen no signs at all of the second set of wheels beginning to get loose or fail. It’s been a very heavy summer of use, but I will report back if anything ever breaks on it.
The bag weighs in at 11 pounds, which is about five pounds less than my hard shell case. Weight was one of my biggest factors when doing research on the purchase. Ironically, after five months of use, I’ve realized that it wasn’t very important. The second set of wheels takes all of the weight, so only when lifting in and out of a car, or up and down stairs, has weight mattered.
I think it’s unavoidable based on the size and shape of a golf bag, but while walking, I occasionally catch my ankle on the second set of wheels. It’s really painful and brings back memories of my brothers ramming each other with shopping carts in the ankles. I don’t see how they could change the design to decrease my ankle ramming, so maybe I should learn to walk better…
Another issue is where the bag applies pressure when carrying the clubs without the second set of wheels down. It feels like the weight of the bag applies pressure and stress to the longest clubs in your golf bag. Unfortunately, it’s a problem shared by all soft bags. The fix is a “stiffening rod” that extends slightly past your driver. This rod also protects the clubs from damage when dropped vertically on their heads. I plan to make one in the coming days instead of spending the $29.99.
A final point is that the case is pretty darn pricey. It runs $289.99, which is enough to put off some golfers from the purchase. That being said, you can always look at the Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey, which is slightly less at $239.99. It’s hard to call this a negative though, because the materials are excellent and the quality is exactly what you’d expect. I’ve put the bag through its paces this summer and I am happy that I spent the money. As a friend of mine says, “Buy quality and only cry once.” Thus far, apart from a few ankle bashing sessions, I’ve only cried the once.
The Clubglider Meridian has changed the way I think about golf travel. It’s funny to think back on how much I dreaded flying with my clubs. This may be a rave review, but I’ve never come across a product that so drastically changed the way I think about golf travel. It was worth every penny.