Sun Mountain’s offering into the superlight/ultra-light category is their Front 9, which at 4 pounds with the rain hood on, is the lightest and most stripped-down of Sun Mountain’s carry bags. Don’t think of it as small though – they would prefer you consider it to be “efficient.” And we’ll agree with them on this one – the Sun Mountain Front 9 offers a 3-way top, surprisingly with full length dividers, and the six pockets make it functional. We are big fans of walking the course, and the light bags available nowadays certainly make that more attractive for a wider range of players.

There are a handful of features that most players will want in a bag: at least a few sections for clubs, some pockets to store valuables, a rain jacket, balls and tees, and a beverage container. And this bag has all of that, in a lightweight package. Oh, and if the bag still isn’t light enough for you, don’t forget to consider picking up a push cart.

Retail price: $169.99
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Note: To keep players on their toes, manufacturers often use the same model name across multiple years for carry bags, making larger changes to bag design every 2-3 years. This review is for the 2015 Sun Mountain Front 9 carry bag.


SCORE
87
GRADE
B+
Club Storage
86
Pockets/Storage
84
Carrying Impressions
92
Rain Hood
93
Cost/Value
86

Somewhat humorously, Sun Mountain makes a point of marketing the Front 9 as “big enough to carry a full set of clubs.” I guess they were worried that people would confuse their bag with one of those quiver-style bags. Yes, we tested this assertion. And yes, all 15 clubs fit just fine. Hey, wait a minute! Dangit Myles, did you not count the clubs again?!

Our 14 clubs fit smoothly in Sun Mountain’s new 8.5″ oval top, which features a slight flared opening at top. At about only ½” of flare, this didn’t greatly impact our experience with the bag, but hey, at least someone is trying to innovate, right? And it did help a bit with sliding clubs back in or drawing them out.

Sun Mountain Front 9

Click to enlarge

The 3-way top divides the bag into a 1-2 pattern, with only a single full length divider running horizontally. Having at least one full length divider is important – with very few sections, a lack of a divider would result in lots of grips getting tied up in the bag. No doubt some players will be fine with the 3-way top, though we prefer a little more organization, say five sectors in a nice 1-2-2 pattern.

If you are overjoyed at being able to carry all 14 clubs in your bags, you’ll be elated at the pockets and storage available:

The Sun Mountain Front 9 has a cord and loops to hold and secure an umbrella, and a nylon towel loop at the top of the bag. There are no other frills, so don’t bother searching for tee holders, a scorecard slot or Velcro to secure your glove.

The “DRY HOOD” (hey, why not name it?) is a DuPont Teflon coated cover that has 2 buttons at the back of the hood to attach to the top of the bag, and a combination of two more buttons and Velcro to attach it at the front. Easy to put on when the rain hits.

Nice and light is how we like our golf carry stand bags, and that is the takeaway carrying impression:

While the bag itself is relatively basic, Sun Mountain presents you with a wide range of color combinations so you can express yourself on the course: black-white-lime, black-citron, black-white-red, navy, grey-white-yellow, gunmetal-black-red, and, in left-sided bags also, black and titanium-gunmetal-orange.

At an MSRP of $169.99, the Front 9 is the least expensive carry bag in the Sun Mountain line. While other big-name manufacturer’s bags start in the range of $150, this fairly small difference in prices leads us to encourage you to first decide what features are most important to you in a bag, and then find the right bag in your price range. If you like to walk and don’t need a bag with all the frills, the Sun Mountain Front 9 may be the one for you.

Retail price: $169.99
Amazon.com: Check price now
Golfsmith: Check price now