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Titleist Linksmaster vs Stitch SL-2, a head-to-head comparison


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Late last fall I decided it was time for a new golf bag. My main criteria were style (my old black and red titleist bag was pretty ugly), lightweight, and functional. Two bags immediately jumped to the top of the list: Stitch SL-2 and Titleist Linksmaster.

I got the navy/white SL-2 as a Christmas present, and it was love at first sight. This bag looks great. And yet, the Linksmaster was still calling my name. I had an order in for one but then Covid-19 happened, the shop has been closed/part time, and now the titleist rep quoting us 7/1 for availability. So I turned my search to the internet...ebay had a couple come and go quickly and for a lot of money. Then I struck gold - one of my favorite clubs in SC had them up for sale on their website, available to the public! After some brief turmoil over buying a bag with a club label I don't belong to (I decided ultimately I don't see how this is any different than the Augusta National or Kiawah headcovers I own), I pulled the trigger. Now I am the owner of a cream white Linksmaster Member's bag with the Chechessee Creek logo (which is a nice, understated gold feather).

I have been playing with the SL-2 for a few months and now have the Linksmaster side-by-side for comparison. Looks: I think both bags look great, but I will give the Linksmaster the win on this one by a thread. The SL-2 is clean, has great lines, I like the two-toned color. The Linksmaster I was a little worried would have a pleather look but I think it looks fantastic in person. My personal opinion is that the Linksmaster's metal and leather detailing (dark metal for clips/straps/buttons/etc) is classier looking than the more prominent plastics of the SL-2. Winner: LinksmasterStrap System: I have not walked a round with the Linksmaster, but I think the straps on the SL-2 are more comfortable/padded and weight feels more evenly distributed. The Stitch has more of a true dual strap vs Linksmaster being 2 straps on a harness. Both come with single straps as well. I use a pushcart so this was low on my priority list personally. Winner: SL-2Stand: Linksmaster has the same stand build as a regular Titleist bag, no complaints so far. SL-2 stand - I haven't had issues but reading other reviews had heard concerns for it tipping over/slipping. Winner: LinksmasterWeight: No scale here but equivalently loaded they feel very similar subjectively. Titleist doesn't have a listed weight for the bag on their website or brochure that I can find. Winner: Subjective tie, maybe others have weighed these bags...Function/design: The stitch is pretty minimalist. 2 pockets, water bottle sleeve, and a lined valuables pouch. The left sided ball pocket will accommodate plenty of balls and a range finder. However, if it is more than 4-5 balls I have had a lot of problems with water bottle fit. The right side has one full length pocket with no dividers. This can accommodate light rain gear and a cover and seems like it has some reasonable room to expand. I use it for sunscreen, and I keep a separate pouch in there with tees and ball markers. Linksmaster is clearly better for function. It has 3 pockets instead of 2 - a left side half-length pocket, a front ball pocket with a top/bottom divider (current set up - top for range finder and tees, bottom for balls), and a full-length right sided pocket , and a lined valuables pouch. Water bottle pocket is more roomy and I have less stuff over there anyways since the balls are in the front pocket. Other things I like are that the insides of the pockets have some elastic mesh that can be used to separate/secure things. Both have a pencil holder, the stitch one is borderline unusable, the Titleist one is much better located - I've never used those things though. Last note on function: Titleist has a zipper on the INSIDE of the big pocket, so that if something falls down your bag in the club slots you can reach it without having to turn your whole bag upside down. Genius! Winner: Linksmaster by a lotClub storage: Titleist is a 3 compartment, stitch is a 4 compartment. Both are fully lined. Winner: SL-2Quality/Durability: This is a little unfair since the Linksmaster is basically brand new. But the Stitch has been frustrating me. I've got one zipper on the fritz already, this appears to be a widespread problem based on posts on this site and elsewhere. Also while Stitch hasn't outright said it, they have soft rebooted this bag twice already since its initial release. Gen 1 was the original release (with the light blue option) - had issues with strap security, the stand system, the water bottle placement, and zippers. Gen 2 was the ~Thanksgiving/Christmas release which is my version (moved the water bottle pocket - still not good, fixed the stand and straps, zippers still suck). Gen 3 is the latest release (it has a light grey plaque on the right with the new logo) - I don't know exactly what changes have been made with this newest bag. Linksmaster feels much more solid, heavy-duty zippers and seems very well-constructed on initial inspections. Winner: Linksmaster by a lotSummary: Both are visually appealing, stylish, lightweight bags. Linksmaster is a clearly better choice for functionality unless you are okay with being a minimalist. SL-2 may be slightly more comfortable for the walkers, but I would certainly not call the Linksmaster uncomfortable. My frustration with the quality of the SL-2 is rising and my confidence in its long-term durability has ultimately led me to declare the Linksmaster the winner here.

Oh yeah, I bet you wanted some Pics:

Side-by-side:

HTRDBELCTHED.jpg

Stitch SL-2:

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ZJ4DAE2JQSWD.jpg

Titleist Linksmaster:

YUS0TJP7DRAV.jpg

YRVJAWQQADNS.jpg

MWJCN69KOLV8.jpg

Water bottle...yep that's as far as it goes...

9NDSZ6IGMDPZ.jpg

9CD5GEXOBUD1.jpg

Club organization:

QMDE881VJKA5.jpg

06CCCT5IL4QP.jpg

Detailing/close-up of materials:

5NQJEBGPRCBJ.jpg

D5NP8I6M942T.jpg

Other details:

Set in the SL-2 is my regular set, I threw my beautiful "save them for a rainy day" VR-pros in the Linkmaster along with some swaggy headcovers for visual comparison sake.

Callaway Rogue, AD-TP 6S
Callaway Epic Flash 3W        
Titleist U500, Tensei White 90 S
Miura Y Grind, Nippon Modus3 120S
Vokey SM7 52, 56 Callaway PM 60
Artisan 0217, Customer #62

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Agree on both. I don’t understand the 3 divider choice

Lots of guys and gals using both of these bags at my club. We sell both of them in the golf shop. I think they both look nice but I would probably give the nod to the Linkmaster on appearance. We also sell the Vessel bags which look really nice. I have been carrying the Titleist Players 4 Stadry.

Titleist TS2 10.5* Kuro Kage 60X
Titleist TS2 16* Atmos Blue 8X 
Titleist 718 AP3 3-iron
Titleist T100S TT DGX100 4-PW
Vokey SM5 50*, 54* and 60* TT DGS400
SIK Pro Custom

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Would love to know the weight of the Linksmaster. Haven't been able to find anywhere.

"We're not here for a long time... we're here for a good time." 

Mizuno JPX 900 Driver w/ Speeder Evo II 661 Stiff
Mizuno JPX 900 3W, 5W w/ Speeder Evo II 661 Stiff
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Callaway Jaws Tour Grey 54S & 58x w/ Project X LZ 6.0

Edel E3
2021 Titleist StaDry Players 4

Clicgear 4.0

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Good review, thanks the detail and taking the time to write it up.

 

I have had the Linksmaster bag since February 2020. From a looks and functionality standpoint, it’s the best bag on the market.

2 small improvements could be made to the next Linksmaster

make the tee/rangefinder pocket about 20% bigger or allow the pocket to open wider - that would make getting the rangefinder in/out much easier Put a full length divider in the center of the middle row. I think 4 dividers are better for reduced club tangle compared to the the current 3 divider setup.

Taylormade M1 10.5*
Callaway GBB Epic 15*
Callaway XR 19*
Taylormade p790 5-P,A
Titleist Vokey SM6 54*, 58*, 60*
Titleist Scotty Cameron Golo 3
Srixon Z Star
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Thanks a lot for this write up!
this has been incredibly helpful, and I think shows that the SL2 might not quite be the everyday bag many were hoping for.
looks like it’s clearly linksmaster vs probably vessel lite stand to fill that spot.
@bub72ck how do you compare the linksmaster to the vessel lite bags at your shop?

TaylorMade SIM2 10.5 VA Drago 65

Cobra F8+ 3W / 5W VA Slay 75

PXG Gen2 0317x 4H VA Slay 85

PXG Gen3 0311T 5-GW Oban CT 115

Titleist Vokey SM8 56/60 Oban CT 115

TaylorMade Spider X

-----------------------------------------

PXG Gen2 0317x 3H VA Slay 85 and Gen3 0311T 4i Oban CT 115 for sea level trips

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