By Kiel Christianson,
LANSING, MI - Golf equipment is a hot commodity these days. Sometimes hotter than you think. Fact is, golf equipment has become one of the top targets for thieves around the world. Golf clubs disappear daily from cars, garages, homes, lockers, and luggage.
For all of you who have invested thousands in your clubs and worry that they might end up in some pawn-shop, EOS Sports, a Calgary, Alberta-based company, has introduced the first theft-resistant golf bags, the EOS 3.1 cart bag and 2.1 stand bag.
EOS distributes its bags in over 15 countries around the world, and the 3.1 cart bag has recently been named "Golf Product of the Year" by a Scottish golf publication.
While a number of features make the EOS bags unique, it is the whiz-bang security system that really sets them apart from the competition. Atop the bag is a ball cable, which can be extended for up to three feet. To lock up your bag, you loop the cable around a secure object and then insert the ball-end into the hole on top of the bag. Then you slide a tab forward, push in the locking button, and remove the key, locking the cable. The tab also moves a sliding plate in each of the six club bays forward, securing your clubs in the bag as well.
Along with the clever locking system, the bag sports a 6-bay, 9.5"-diameter top that is lined with a soft, proprietary composite material that protects graphite shafts from scratches. There is also a Kevlar-reinforced valuables pocket that can be locked with the security cable.
The other five pockets are equally impressive in both size and design. One of the side pockets can even be removed and replaced with a cooler pocket (sold separately). And the main base pocket hides a zipper that accesses the inside bottom of the club bays - so the next time you drop your watch down there you won't have to remove all of your clubs to get to it.
The cart bag that we tested (MSRP $185) weighed only 6 lbs., despite the locking mechanism. The one well-padded, removable shoulder strap was very comfortable for being just a single strap, and the two heavy-duty handles made for easy lifting into and out of the car trunk. Besides all of the bells and whistles, it's a flat-out handsome bag, too.
Even the best designs leave room for improvement, however: The locking system takes some practice to operate quickly. And you need to take special care that your club shafts aren't crossed before sliding the locking plate into locked position. There is not a lot of room for error, and it's not clear that certain club shafts (like Wilson's Fat Shafts) would fit when locked.
The dedicated Putter Port doesn't actually lock, but there is room to store your putter in one of the other club bays. And finally, the resident tinkerer at my home course demonstrated how one could get into the valuables pocket even when locked. It took 30 seconds and some dexterity, but the contents were indeed vulnerable.
Nevertheless, if you're worried about the safety of your equipment - or just want to have a golf bag worthy of James Bond or Batman - the EOS 3.1 bag is an excellent choice. The value of the security system is especially apparent if you drive a convertible or pick-up, or if you store your clubs in your garage.
And who knows, maybe Canadian golf courses are a lot more dangerous than US courses, eh?
July 22, 2002
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.