There are few sports in the world more difficult or frustrating to master than the game of golf. Even the best of golfers have their bad days, and even the worst golfers will hit a shot or two just well enough to get you hooked. Once that has occurred, you’re stuck for life and it becomes an obsession. If you’re going to be obsessed, you might as well be good, right? That’s what today’s guide is all about. If you’re looking to sharpen up your game, then a golf impact bag could be just the trick you need. It will help you get more control into your game, something amateurs and pros alike will covet. In our buying guide, we’ll be taking a look at the most popular impact bags on the market and also reviewing the top examples as it stands.
Top Golf Impact Bags Comparison Chart
|Name||Best Feature||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Dr. Gary Wiren Impact Bag||Very durable||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|ProActive Sports Contact Bag Trainer||Can be anchored to the ground||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|SKLZ Rick Smith Smash Bag||Target zone improved||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Michael Breed Golf Swing Impact Bag||Upwards slant||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|EyeLine Golf Impact Cube||Four different sides to hit||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Golf Impact Bags Buying Guide
What Does It Do?
The first question that has to be answered is what exactly does a golf impact bag do? Since there can, rightfully so, be questions about this, it’s only right that we give an answer. The thing that golf impact bags allow you to do is to practice without golf balls. This might sound crazy, but just think of times where you can’t play golf. Maybe the weather is poor, or you don’t have enough space to be pinging a ball around. When moments like that hit, you can turn to an impact bag to bail you out, since practice and only practice can improve your level of play. There will also be no more chasing lost golf balls, for those of you that are still improving or people that have very little amount of space in the back yard. Instead, you can use a golf impact bag and then take some time to work on your short game to really see vast improvement. You can use them any time, anywhere, making them an ideal candidate for use.
Other benefits exist, too. One of them is that it will help you with both your power and your control. If you are able to hit the exact same place each time, you will start to develop a rhythm and a pattern. Muscle memory is so vital in sports, and once you have gotten this down, you will be much better off for it. Power can also see an uptick because the bag is obviously going to be heavier than the ball. So if you can hit the bag, consistently, you can gain both. Another aspect that you have to think about is the amount of work that it puts on your body. Shoulders, arms, your core, all of it, is forced to work, adding fitness to your life as well as working on your game at the same time. Lastly, the repetitions can help you figure out what it should feel like to make clean contact when you are on the course. If you can start seeing the same feeling for both the bag and on course play, then you will know it has been working and that you are making strides toward your goal of better golfing.
So much of modern golf has taught players to worry about their swing, from first to last motion and everywhere in between. While this is great and helpful to some, it’s also taking away from the fact that the point of contact is the most important part. There is nothing within the rules that says you have to hit the ball in a certain manner, after all. Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk are just two golfers that have unique swings, yet they continue to find success almost wherever they go. A golf impact bag brings the game back to what it’s supposed to be about: hitting the ball and making proper contact, without worrying about pre and middle shot routines and hassles.
What Is It?
At its heart and soul, the golf impact bag is very simple. It’s a middle sized cushion, in essence, that you will be hitting. It has some weight to it, yes, but it doesn’t have so much to it that it will hurt you. Some people have used other things as tools as well, and while those can be used, this is perhaps the most effective as it’s going to be more durable because it is made with one intention in mind. That is basically what it is, so now you can go on and figure out which type is going to suit you best.
Ease of Use
Since golf needs quite a bit of space in most cases, you will find that practice is hard to come by for you year round. Maybe you are stuck inside because of the cold or wet. You need something to do to make sure you don’t lose the progress you had made when it was a little bit warmer. A golf impact bag is a very cheap way to keep your game going, and you can do it virtually anywhere you have enough clearance to swing the club at. Inside or outside, it’s your choice. Just don’t hit the wife’s stuff!
Features of An Impact Bag
There are some features that an impact either needs to have or might have that need to be discussed. You should look into these, because the pros and cons will have to be weighed against each other before you make your ultimate decision on what to buy.
The outside of the impact bag is the most important part of the puzzle. If you don’t have a strong material used, then the bag is not going to do its job. It can be super heavy, but if it doesn’t have the required strength, then you will see holes beginning to form in the bag very quickly. The ‘shell,’ if you will, has to be strong enough to endure the elements, too. That’s why so many of them are made out of Nylon or some similar material. You never know when you might get caught outside while practicing when the rain hits. You don’t really want to purposely soak the thing, but there wouldn’t be a whole lot of choice if that happened. So, to keep it from ruining your bag and wasting your money, most of them can be found with materials that can withstand the rain.
The inner core is actually an interesting subject to discuss. Not many people would know it right off the bat judging by pictures of them online, but golf impact bags typically do not come filled already. This means that the job is left up to you to fill them. You can use all sorts of materials, like linen, cloth, or other types of fabrics as well. Depending on what you pick, it can get to be super heavy, so it is very customizable for you.
If you’re going to be hitting a bag over and over again, how do you make sure it’s not constantly moving? Remember, this is not a plastic bag that you get at the grocery store, but still, if you’re very strong or the bag isn’t as heavy as others, you will need something to keep it in place so you don’t look like a dummy whacking a bag and basically chasing it all over. That’s where some sort of stake or anchor comes in. With that, you are going to be much more able to play with your bag staying put firmly, no matter the size or weight of it.
Of course, the target is a vital part of the equation that can’t be forgotten or overlooked. In fact aside from having a strong material to protect the outer portion of the bag, this might be the most important part of it altogether. That’s because the target is the whole point of this exercise. Without having a target, you’re going to end up having the exact same problem you have when you practice with golf balls. You will hit it inconsistently. Only when you have a target, whether it’s printed or drawn on, do you start to see yourself hitting the ‘ball’ more consistently time and time again. If you can begin to see the target and hit it, you’ll be going a very long way toward making sure your ball flight is longer and straighter on the course.
No one likes to have an item that they can’t carry around easily. If you went to the store and bought a TV only to be told that they had no carts for you, you’d most likely scream. In much the same way, you need to be able to carry your impact bag around. Most, if not all, of the bags made for commercial use are going to have some sort of strap on them to make them much easier to carry. Without a strap, you would end up carrying them from the bottom like you are walking around with a large, oversized birthday cake. That’s not fun, not at all. But with the strap, your time will be much easier. Also, some of the products you can find out there look better than others. They seek to give you the opportunity to have your bag look like a normal old duffle bag. This way, you don’t look like some weirdo to people that have no idea about anything that is related to the game of golf.
The shape of a golf impact bag isn’t a massive deal, but they do vary. Most of them are going to be found with either a rounded look or with a square look to them. But there are some that are more like a trapezoid where the impact area is slanted upwards like a ramp. This gives you a few more options to work on your game with. If you are working on shorter shots, you can reverse it the other way to work on your wedge play since the technique is slightly different. While this isn’t the most essential part, it’s still well worth taking a look at and having a long, hard think over.
Some of the bags are going to come with guides on how to use it and drills to do once you have it. This can be helpful to someone that doesn’t have a coach and isn’t getting consistent instruction from someone. There are also plenty of resources to be found online as well, so don’t be afraid to look them up and give them a go to take your game to that next level. This is a non issue for most, but some people would like a guide to get them going just a little to start out with.
The price of an impact bag is going to vary from item to item, and that naturally is always going to play a role in what you choose. The good news is that these bags generally do not cost much money at all. In fact, nearly all of them are cheaper than playing a round at certain clubs and are far cheaper than most training aids you will find. There are some that are cheap on the spectrum, running in the low double digits, while others climb the scale a little bit higher. What should be said is that the ones that are more expensive are not always better than the ones that are lesser so. This is because some products are more established than others and can afford to be priced lower than newer models. Furthermore, at the end of the day, it’s just something you are going to be hitting over and over again anyway, right? There’s little sense for many to get something besides what you need: something durable that has some weight to it that has a target. Pretty simple when you get down to the brass tacks.
What Not To Do
Golf impact bags are great for learning with, but you still have to take some precautions when attempting to use them. If you just go in without any thought you will risk causing injury to yourself. First and foremost, you have to remember that golf is about your core. Your power is derived not from how big your biceps are but by the total strength of your body. Yes, Dustin Johnson is massive and can bomb it. But other, smaller golfers like Bubba Watson are out there, too. They know it’s more about flexibility and core strength instead of sheer force. To ensure you don’t get injured, never swing with full might into the bag with your hands. This is a recipe for disaster. In fact, most teachers want you to start out with half swings and then work your way up from there to ¾. Once you have mastered that you can swing harder, but you never want to lean into it as hard as you possibly can. This will cause you to hurt your hands. Swing from the core, not the hands or wrists. This principle will also help you make sure that you keep the ball on a more consistent plane instead of being wild. If you are going out and in and in and out, then you have developed some poor habits. The whole body should be rotating through the ball, not just your wrists. It’s not a slap, it’s a hit!
Top Five Golf Impact Bags Reviews of 2019
Dr. Gary Wiren Impact Bag
This bag is one of the most popular golf training aids in the world for a reason. It has been around a very long time and is considered to be the original by many. Despite that fact, this is still a medium price point, making it ideal for a number of people. The yellow color is appealing to the eye and the target just is calling out for you to hit it. The significant issues that most people seem to have revolve around the zipper. It’s not all that common, but some have had problems with it coming apart on them both before and after impact. So, that has been a slight annoyance faced. If you use it the right way and don’t slam into it, it will hold up for a very long time, though.
- The originator
- Very durable
- Medium price
- Zipper not great for a few
ProActive Sports Contact Bag Trainer
Like the Wiren above, this is also a circular bag sort of look. This contact bag also works to give you immediate feedback on your shot making and it does so at a less expensive cost than the Dr. Gary Wiren version. The aesthetics aren’t quite as pleasing with an all black look and an orange target, but it does have a nice strap running across it that helps improve the experience overall. The loops include make it possible to stake this item into the ground without significant alterations, which is a major plus to have. The stakes aren’t included, though, so don’t get too excited by it just yet. The one negative is it lacks durability for some, so keep an eye out for that.
- Lower price
- Can be anchored to the ground
- Not super durable
SKLZ Rick Smith Smash Bag
SKLZ does a great job at developing aids for various sports, and they keep that up with this Smash Bag. With this bag, you get a much different sort of target. It’s like a V-shape, showing you just how far you are off if you aren’t hitting right in the very center of it. This target is an improvement over earlier renditions for sure since it helps you see the flight of the ball much better. If it hits somewhere not in the middle it will retain the ‘depression’ where you hit. On top of that, it’s at a very low, affordable price, too, giving you an edge in that regard. With the lower cost, though, you should know that it’s likely to be a little bit less durable than some others are.
- Target zone improved
- Very low cost
- Not as durable as others
Michael Breed Golf Swing Impact Bag
Michael Breed is one of the premier golf teachers in the game, and he seeks to help your game, too, with his own impact bag. The Golf Channel pro brings a cube to the mix here, and it’s one that features a very large target zone with various marks on it to help you pinpoint your biggest weaknesses and also is slanted upwards. Because of this, it is a good tool for taking what is called a ‘ball first divot,’ meaning you hit the ball instead of the grass first. It comes in at fairly middle of the line price point, too, so you won’t be breaking your budget on it too much. The main issue presented here is with durability, as some have stated that the seams come apart. But with correct use, that can be fixed and leave you with quite a tool to fix your game and get to the next level.
- Upwards slant
- Huge target zone
- Durability is a question mark
EyeLine Golf Impact Cube
So far, we have seen one sided bags, but this cube has four sides, each designed to help you work on a specific club. It also comes with a handy manual to introduce you to drills that will help you with your driver, wedge, long irons, and short irons. This way you have varied feels, just like what you will have and need out on the course when you actually play. It’s also made from very durable Nylon, further enhancing your experience. The central problem with this bag is the price that you have to pay, which is pretty steep when compared to the rest. In fact, three of the others would add up to the cost of this, which is why many have refrained from it. Once again, the seams can come apart, but if you use it the right way, the chances of that happening will be lessened dramatically.
- Four different sides to hit
- Upgraded Nylon for use
- Extremely hefty price for a training aid
- Seams can come apart
Conclusion And Final Golf Impact Bags Recommendations
Finding the right golf impact bag isn’t nearly as complicated as a lot of things online, but it’s still an experience that you want to think about. A lot of people aren’t sure if it will actually help them make their game better or not, and the truth is that it’s up to the way you use it. If done the right way, you will see a jump in performance and might cut a few strokes off your score. But even if not, it’s an excellent way to keep in shape and work on core strength all while playing golf. What’s not to like? After today’s guide, you’ll know way more than you’d ever dreamed of knowing about impact bags! Read more questions below in our FAQ’s!
FAQ’s About Golf Impact Bags
Will A Golf Impact Bag Help Me Improve?
It very well could, yes. But there is really no guarantee. A lot of people in our culture today want things right now. The sooner the better. They want to make sure that something is going to be a quick fix and a sure fire solution. Any sort of golf tool is useful only if you use it properly. It helps you take out the factors that are causing you problems, forcing you to think about them. In that same vein, a golf impact bag won’t help you automatically get better. But it will over time if you can take it and use it on the course. Some are experts at doing this, others aren’t so much. Therein lies the problem.
Are There Any Replacements For An Impact Bag?
Sure, there are. People have used all kinds of things own the years, such as beanbag chairs and similar items. This is just a suggestion, and it’s probably at best going to be a temporary solution, but with some effort and a little bit of creativity you can come up with something in the interim to replace an impact bag. The one thing those things won’t have, unless you devise some way to make one up, is a target. Without a target, you are going to have the very same issue you have when hitting the golf ball. You’ll hit the inside, the outside, middle, top, or bottom, and it won’t be consistent. So that’s something you’ll need to keep in mind if you do plan on going in alone and designing one of your very own impact bags.
Are Impact Bags Cost Effective?
To be truly cost effective, an item needs to work for you and make a positive change. An impact bag has the ability to do that if you put in the work and implement it into your game on the course. Aside from that, impact bags are really quite the bang for your buck as far as training tools go. So many of them are quite expensive to buy, and an impact bag just isn’t gong to break your personal bank. That’s very good news for you, as some golf tools can run in the hundreds of dollars. While there is sure to be some of those in the impact bag realm, the number of them is sure to be diminished greatly when compared to some of their brothers and sisters.
Is a Heavier Bag Better?
This is a question that is best left up to you. To some more powerful hitters of the ball, a bigger, heavier bag is going to be preferable. But that is not absolutely necessary. A light one can teach you all of the skills you need to know so that you can hit the course and be much more proficient at your craft than ever before. It’s just a matter of picking out what you need. Sometimes, a heavier or bigger bag is rendered pointless if it is anchored in anyway, so this shouldn’t be a determining factor in your search. You can also always ‘wedge’ it into something to make it stay put and allow you to keep at it.
How Long Will One Last?
This is going to depend on how much you use it and how well, or poorly, you use it, too, but many of the impact bags will hold up for several years, if not longer. It’s also going to depend on the frequency of use. If you use it every single day, then it’s going to take a bigger beating. Unfortunately, nothing really lasts forever, so you have to just accept that it won’t be around all of the time. But for the price, it’s quite a good bargain, at least in my opinion.
What Do I Fill My Bag With?
This one is totally up to you. But most people go with either old towels or old clothes of some sort. They fold them down as best they can to make more space, making the bag more dense and easy to use. Some people will even use old magazines. You can get creative. Just don’t use anything you find ultra important to you! The biggest part is to fill it up and give it some weight, that is all that matters.
Can You Practice With All Your Clubs?
While it may well take a little bit of tailoring to do, you can successfully practice with all of your clubs on an impact bag if you use them the right way. A driver is harder to use along with the bag, but it is very possible to do. You can search for resources online to help you do this, but rest assured that many people accomplish it already!