Golf and America, two things that in my mind just seem to go together. Better than that though, is when the focus on America also comes with the goal of increasing support and awareness of our nation’s veterans as well as first responders. That is where Subtle Patriot, a new brand with that specific focus, stands.
Subtle Patriot was founded by Tom Gocke, a former exec for several different golf companies over the years. While Tom himself didn’t serve, his family does have a history of military service for our country and that played a major role in his decision that the knowledge of the golf industry he had gained over the years could be utilized to help bring more recognition to our country’s veterans. It is because of this mission that Subtle Patriot focuses on hiring veterans, sourcing materials/processes from veteran friendly companies, and supporting NS2 Serves which is known as the “Boots to Suits” organization focused on helping veterans transition to civilian careers.
As you would guess by the name, the products the company produces have a focus on the patriotic, but where they differ from others is that here, the word “subtle” has been taken to heart. With items ranging from golf to sport shooting to general lifestyle, Subtle Patriot has created a line with blended patriotism on the outside, and a much brighter dose on the inside. I was lucky enough to get to work with the Subtle Patriot Covert stand bag for this article, and after initial trepidation, I ended up coming away thoroughly impressed.
The bag itself features a 5-way top with a pretty standard 3 full length divider design. Externally, I was cautious on how I would feel based on the marketing photos as the Stars and Stripes pattern looked bold on the bag and though I’m as patriotic as anyone else, I don’t care for using the flag in an in-your-face manner. That concern was put to rest with the bag in-hand because the “subtle” in the company’s name could not be truer. The pattern is visible only when the light hits Covert just right, and even then, it blends rather than contrasts. Add in intelligent use of the Subtle Patriot logo on various locations combined with mixing in some carbon fiber aesthetic to some of the pockets and the Covert is a good-looking bag in my opinion.
Coming in at just over 4 pounds according to the company, the bag has nine total pockets, seven zippered, one magnetic, and one is an insulated drink holder. Pocket placement and design impressed me as they all maintain good depth, and the zippers/pulls are considerably more heavy duty than I have seen on a lot of bags which should be good for durability. While the outside of the bag is subtle in its patriotic theme, the inside of the pockets are a very cool red, white, and blue material with quotes and images from American history, the perfect accent to let the bag pop for the users.
The coolest feature of the whole bag for me is actually the magnetic pocket. When carrying the bag it sits to the left of the golfer and is intended to store a rangefinder. The pocket is much deeper and the magnetic clasp is much stronger than I expected, making the rangefinder possibly falling out a non-issue. It was nice while walking to be able to grab my rangefinder with the bag still on my back and ended up a much more seamless motion/transition than I thought it would be. It is so clever, I wish all stand bags had it, that is about as high of praise as I can give for the concept and execution.
On the course the bag carried well, the straps are solid, nothing revolutionary, but padded enough to make the walk comfortable. The star of the carry design is the “re-balancing” system which is a circular slide tab attached at the strap crossover point, and the nice thing is that it slides freely to adjust for the weight distribution. The other concern of any stand bag, particularly for walkers, is the stand mechanism. Although the only way to have a true verdict on its quality is a very long-term test, the fact that it is built into the base and not a pedal design improved durability right away. For push cart users and riders, the Covert sat well on both and the shape of the base helps its cause there. The one thing I do wish the bag had going for it here is a strap passthrough when riding on a cart, because as is some twisting is going to be inevitable.
The Covert stand bag took the expectations I had for it and blew them out of the water. The looks, the design, and the features are all thought out exceptionally well. The thing about stand bags though, is the full story isn’t revealed until down the road when significant use has been put onto them but based on what I saw during this review the outlook is promising. All in all, if you are looking for something different than the usual suspects and want to support a company with aspirations of supporting our veterans, giving Subtle Patriot a hard look can’t hurt.
The Covert stand bag has an MSRP of $300.00, but it is currently available at their website and www.budgetgolf.com for $239.00 at the time of this review. You can also use the THP Coupon on the right hand side of the page for an additional 15% off any item at Budget Golf. For more info on the company and everything else that they offer, be sure to go check out their website.
FULL PHOTO GALLERY: