The Golf Mahal

Published 2009-08-04

The first thing that one sees when the bag is closed is what I call the Darth Vader Mask. This is a source of much rejoicing, specifically for coastal and mountain golfers that aren’t afraid to play in the elements, but really for all tournament golfers that have had to play in the rain at one point or another with a bag that didn’t cut the mustard. The lid entirely covers the mouth of the pack and has rain gutters that extend down the sides so as to keep out rain, sleet, or snow (and whatever else Mother Nature might have up here sleeve depending on where you play).

This will keep dry those of your precious children you have chosen to live in the main compartment of the bag, but don’t worry about your babies – they are safe and sound in the rain fly that extends to keep those putters of yours nice and dry, and as an added precaution you can buckle them in at the base of the bag, locking in the rain fly.

How many discs can YOU carry?

Though the Golf Mahal has water bottle pockets on either side that hold even the largest of water bottles/drinking vessels and are easily accessed while walking the fairways, the bag is set up for hydration, namely a hydration system. One can easily fit any size bladder in the side compartment, and with this pictured 2 liter/70 ounce bladder there is plenty of room for whatever else you might want to store above your water. The hose of the bladder runs directly through a velcro loop as it comes out of the side compartment and continues through a piece of elastic at the top of the shoulder pad and then through what we call an egg roll (aka hose holder). This will keep your mouth piece off the ground and in your mouth, a phenomenon that will have you drinking a hell of a lot more water than you would expect, in turn keeping you hydrated and increasing your performance.

Golf Mahal detail shot

When the Darth Vader Mask is unveiled, it reveals a main compartment that can hold anywhere from 15 to 20 discs depending on your concoction of drivers, mids, and putters (here I have 6 mids and 11 drivers to make 17 discs). Though in this current model the lid then stores in the zippered pocket above the discs, the final model will roll and velcro above what will then become a score card pocket that will be made from a clear vinyl material, so as to allow viewing and rain protection even with the lid open. The unveiling of the mask also reveals the putter pocket, which nicely holds two, and the mini pocket which will hold even xl minis.

The large side compartments are not only your ticket to hydrationville, but can also store anywhere from 7 (all mids) to 10 (all drivers) more discs per compartment. This pushes the maximum disc capacity of the lavish Golf Mahal beyond even Feldberg status to just over a whopping 40 discs. Though one might say that this is unnecessary, that this is a feat of ridiculous proportions, that one could never possibly use so many discs, that you’d be insane to lug such a load, I say to you, “Try it on!” Once you put the Golf Mahal on your back, even with 40+ discs, you’ll be a believer, a man, or woman, of the Mystery Ranch Cloth so to speak (well, actually in this case it’s mostly 1000 denier nylon and a sweet 500 denier nylon laminate called X-Ply, but you’ll be preachin’ the truth nonetheless).

If there’s one thing that the Mystery Ranch has that no other pack company in the world can compete with it’s our harnessing system. The web site has plenty more on this, so in brief, the bag is comfy as hell, and contains a yoke system (aka the piece that the shoulder pads are attached to) that telescopes up and down to fit any size torso, creating a near perfect fit for any size person.

But, returning to the large side compartments, note the 2 black compression straps that run the width of the pockets. This means that if and when your name isn’t Feldberg you can make the compartments simply disappear, creating a sleek, slim line pack that will still hold 20ish discs. In all seriousness though, I know there are many of you out there that will want to hold more discs than will fit in the main compartment and these side compartments will allow for that overflow. Also, it’s great to be able to load this thing to the guns and take it out to a field, or to the course, for practicing purposes. The bag also contains 2 smaller, yet still sexy storage compartments located directly on the side of the large side compartments. These are subject to change slightly in appearance, but will continue to excel at holding cell phones, keys, snacks, and the like.

The crème de la crème of the Golf Mahal has yet to reveal itself however. In similar taste to that of the magical large side compartments, watch as my arm vanishes in the space located between the main compartment and the large side compartment. “Presto!” This is truly what makes the bag unique – what some might call a selling point, but what most have simply stated as, “NO WAY!” Yes folks, this supernatural space is designed for an umbrella, and not just some rolled up umbrella you might shove anywhere in any given pack, but to carry a fully deployed-stab-your-buddy-in-the-eye-umbrella – one that even walks along as you do!!!

When your playing a casual round and it starts raining you can pack your bags and go crying to your mommy, but when it’s tournament play it’s a different story. After playing in more than just a few tournaments in which it rained, I came to realize the shear necessity of keeping my discs dry so as not to spray moist disc every which way, and consequently the shear inadequacy of current bags on the market to accomplish this goal. So, here you have it, the first bag that will carry your umbrella overhead as you play. However, not only will the supernatural space carry your umbrella, it will also carry the 3-legged stool so many of us use while playing – an instrument that will in turn become essential in the quest for dryness. With the bag on the stool and the umbrella overhead, you can keep your discs and person dry while squatting underneath to make your disc selection or simply waiting for others to throw. No longer will you be entrenched in the sick, cyclical game of put-the-umbrella-down, pick-the-umbrella-up, while trying just to make a shot that doesn’t spray into the rough. Infomercial aside though, this really is going to change the way you experience tournament play, and for those that aren’t sissies, any play that involves a little of the elements.

The author … with AMAZING chops to say the least!

My name is Levi Buckingham and I grew up in Bozeman, MT – a place most well known for its skiing, hiking, and climbing, but slightly less known for its’ disc golf and backpacks. Well I’m here to change that. Through the fortune, or perhaps misfortune, of growing up with Dana Gleason’s sons, Dana and Paul, I have locked and lucked into what I can say without a doubt is the best pack making company in the world. Luck also has it that I happen to be a disc golf junky, one of those held in the clutches of an ever growing sickness, and I want to see the sport prosper both in numbers and in gear development. We, disc golfers that is, need a pack that can compete with the disc technology that is growing at an exponential break-neck speed – a pack that goes beyond the padded lunch box design and incorporates the needs of professional athletes playing a diverse and complex sport at the professional level. The Golf Mahal is that answer.