Ping Hoofer C-1
OVERALL RATING: 88. GRADE: B+. The new Ping Hoofer C-1 falls into the middle band of the bags tested in terms of weight, features and cost. It doesn’t particularly stand out among the competition, but is reliable and versatile enough to appeal to a wide range of players. There are a number of improvements for the Hoofer this year, including sliding shoulder strap adjustments, a magnetic enclosure for the water bottle pocket, a pocket for scorecard and pencil, and a buttons for the rain hood. Players who have used Hoofer bags in the past will be happy with the latest iteration, and those looking at the Hoofer for the first time would be hard pressed to find fault with any particular element. It’s not the lightest, cheapest, or most full featured entry in the market, but it’s a solid bag that we can’t help but like.
Retail price: $189.99
Amazon.com price: Check price now
Editor’s note: this review is for the 2011 version of the Ping Hoofer C-1. Manufacturers generally make minor changes to bag models each 1-2 years. We have provided links to check prices for the latest version of the bag, which has now reverted to the original Ping Hoofer name.
Following the look and feel of the Hoofer Vantage of years past, the Hoofer C-1 has a 5-way top to separate clubs into different groups. Two full-length dividers running the length of the bag divide club storage space into three major sectors. This is a reasonably simple setup, which, on the Ping spectrum of products, falls in between the 6-way top with 6 dividers of the Ping Latitude V2 and the 4-way top of the 4 Under.
The Ping Hoofer C-1 is designed to collapse at the bottom of the bag with pressure, which in turn engages the legs. While it sometimes may require a little encouragement to get the legs to extend (just get used to sitting it down at the correct angle), we like this design as there is no protruding lever from the base of the bag (which is used by other manufacturers to engage the legs) that will get in the way when using either a push cart or motorized cart.
The legs are rubber tipped, but are not the wider triangular feet found on some competitors. In theory this design may be slightly less stable, and the legs could more easily sink into wet ground or mud (nothing wrong with playing golf in bad weather, right?).
The Ping Hoofer C-1 retains the same two separate shoulder strap design of the previous Hoofer Vantage model. As before, the right strap has a system which allows the strap to retract when not in use, and the left shoulder strap is a standard non-retracting version, most likely to keep the left side more easily accessible when throwing the bag over your shoulder. This year’s bag also has a new sliding strap system to that allows you to easily adjust while walking (see ‘Innovation’, below). The padding on the straps for the shoulders is comfortable.
The Ping Hoofer C-1 has 7 total pockets (Ping markets the bag as having 6, but we count one more. Call it generous!).
- 1 large apparel pocket runs along the right side of the bag.
- 1 smaller sized apparel pocket sits on the right side of the bag on top of the large pocket.
- 1 small velour-lined valuables pocket (waterproof!) sits above the large pocket.
- 1 medium-sized pocket and 1 small pocket sit on the spine of the bag , handy for storing tees, balls and other items that you need to access most often.
- 1 beverage pocket, lined with insulation and with a drain, runs along the left side of the bag. The pocket is smaller than the beverage pockets of the competition, so the largest size bottles may not fit. We liked the magnetic closure of the pocket to keep the beverage secure.
- 1 small/medium pocket is under the beverage pocket. Still easy to access and hold a number of smaller sized items, from gloves to sunscreen.
- Additionally, there is a small pouch to hold a scorecard with a pen/pencil holder that is not included in this pocket count.
The Hoofer C-1 includes a slot on the right side of the bag for holding an umbrella and a plastic loop for attaching a towel or GPS device in its carrying case. There is also a velcro pad by the towel loop to attach your glove.
The rain hood of the Hoofer C-1 is an evolution from earlier Ping bags, and now features 5 buttons to attach the hood to the bag. These buttons all snap in easily, and we prefer the new design to the prior Ping models that required wrapping velcro straps around the top of the bag.
Though the Hoofer has never been the lightest bag on the market, the new Hoofer C-1 sheds nearly a full pound from the previous generation Hoofer Vantage.
- Weight. The Ping Hoofer C-1 is one of the lighter carry bags that we have tested, coming in at under 5 pounds. Quite a diet from the Hoofer Vantage it replaces.
- Balance. We liked the balance of the bag, as well as the ability to easily adjust the shoulder straps while on the course (see ‘Innovation’, below).
- Padding. There is reasonable amount of padding where the bag rests against the user’s lower back. This straddles the line between the lightweight bags that offer less padding to conserve weight, and those bags where the padding extends over a slightly wider area.
The Ping Hoofer C-1 has a relatively wide range of colors to select from, and designs that include different colors for trim as well as secondary colors. 7 different combinations are available:
- Navy with black trim
- Dark green with black trim
- Black with silver highlights and black trim
- Plum, lavender and white
- Red, white and black
- White with black trim
- Yellow, black and silver
None of them are loud, and depending on where you fired your tee shot, it just might be nice not to bring attention to your location.
The Ping Hoofer C-1 features an integrated handle which extends from where the straps attach the top of the bag. Combined with the bottom strap, this makes the bag reasonably easy to grab and lift into a vehicle or while traveling.
In addition to a retractable right shoulder strap, both strap pads are “dual sliding” and allow for easier adjustment than the common straps of the past.
Lastly, the Ping Hoofer C-1 also has a zippered opening at the bottom of the largest apparel pocket, making it easy to retrieve the car keys, food, wallet, golf balls and GPS units that have fallen into your bag without having to turn the bag upside-down.
The Ping Hoofer C-1 retails for $189.99, which puts it at about average among bags tested. It’s a solid, dependable bag, but at this price point users will probably start to consider bags that have more features and carrying capacity, as well as less expensive lightweight bags.