Referring now to FIG. 1, the invention provides a flexible golf bag cover 10 of fabric for protecting the interior and contents of a golf bag 12 from dust, contaminants and precipitation. The golf bag cover 10 includes an openable top (closure) flap 14 that is in parallel alignment with an opening in a golf bag 12, and a cuff with elastic 16 and strap assemblies 18, 20 to accommodate golf bags and strap handles 22 of varying configurations. Velcro 24 strap closure means and associated flap 28, 30 arrangements allow access to specific sections of a golf bag 2 and accommodation of all bag types. A golf bag 2 is shown as a common type with an open top surrounded by a peripheral rim 32 and a carrying strap 22 extending approximately laterally from the rim 32.
 As shown in FIG. 2, the main portion of the golf bag cover 10 according to the invention is manufactured from two substantially rectangular sections of fabric 34 and 36, which are affixed to each other along the lengths of each rectangle. This creates an opening that is aligned with the opening in the golf bag. Preferably, the second section 36 of fabric has a greater length than the first section 34 so as to form a flap, such as depicted at 14. For instance, the second section 36 of fabric may be about 1.5 times the length of the first section 34. Manufacture of the cover 10 from substantially rectangular sections results in fabric blanks that are extremely efficient, and reduces material waste from the pattern cutting process.
 The first rectangular section 34 of fabric preferably contains a recessed portion or “notch” along its top edge 38 that allows a golfer easier access to clubs when the closure flap 14 is raised in use. These geometries result in an enhanced functionality over conventional covers, in that the opening 40 created by the instant invention is generally parallel in a plane with the golf bag 2 opening. In contrast thereto, the opening in the Doig cover, for example, as a result of its more complex geometry and blank patterning, is directed generally perpendicular to the direction of the bag opening.
 Preferably, the standard width of each rectangular section 34, 36 is such that the cuff, once sewn together, will accommodate an ordinary tour bag with an eleven (11) inch golf bag opening. However, other sized covers can be envisioned to accommodate larger sized club bags and smaller sizes can be envisioned to accommodate junior golf bags or “summer” golf bags. The preferred closure means, depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5, allows the cover 10 to accommodate virtually all bag sizes.
 Many bags are now equipped with retractable legs that are mechanically activated to extend from the base of the bag when it is placed on the ground. Many of these devices are patented, some examples of which include: U.S. Pat. No. 5,593,077 to Izzo. There are numerous designs and mechanical devices to activate these “walker bags.” One preferred embodiment of the instant invention is to include one or more small, detachable auxiliary flaps, shown at 28 and 30 in FIGS. 4 and 5, positioned opposite from the closure flap 14 of the bag cover 10 and/or on the same side as the top flap. The auxiliary flaps 28, 30 are of sufficient size to accommodate most leg assemblies and carrying handles. Unlike golf bag covers of the prior art, which have a slit extending through the bottom of the cuff, the instant auxiliary flaps 28, 30 for accommodating retractable legs and carrying handles 22 are wide enough to accommodate some of the recently developed mechanisms to engage the walking bag legs, such as those set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 6,435,345 to Wang.
 As a preferred embodiment, the closure flap 14 that protects the golf bag opening 40 may be designed of a sufficient size and breadth as depicted in FIG. 6, to allow for unfettered access to a dedicated well (such as a putter well), permitting easy removal of a putter at the green, without opening the entire cover 10 in the elements. The closure flap 14 may be larger than depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6, to allow access to a larger portion of a golf bag 2 and/or to more than one club. In addition, the auxiliary flaps 28, 30 may also be sized to allow access to a well dedicated to sand, lob, gap and pitching wedges, etc. The auxiliary flaps 28, 30 provide increased protection for the majority of clubs.
 For instance, as depicted in FIG. 6, front and rear auxiliary flaps 28, 30 are shown as sufficiently large to provide access to several clubs located at the perimeter of the golf bag 2, such as wedges, high irons, woods, rescue clubs, or a putter from a putter well. In total, the golf bag cover 10 according to the present invention allows access to a golf bag 2 at a minimum of three different locations 14, 28 and 30, facilitating easy access to clubs and maximizing rain, dust and contaminant protection for clubs not in use.
 Also shown in FIG. 6 is an elastic strap 16 to roll and bundle the golf bag cover 10 when it is removed from the golf bag 2. A scorecard pouch 44 and a seam 48 formed for retaining a scoring pencil are also depicted. Preferably, Velcro attachments 24, 26 are used to secure the closure flap 14 to the main bag assembly. FIG. 6 also demonstrates the capability of the golf bag cover 10 to allow unfettered vertical access to the longer shaft clubs, such as depicted at 58. In general, the closure flap 14 is large enough to allow access to over 100% of the top surface of a golf bag 2. Similarly, the front and rear auxiliary flaps 28 and 30 of the bag cover 10 may be constructed large enough to allow access to up to about 40% of the top surface of a golf bag 2.
 Referring now to FIG. 4, a bag cover pattern allows for the efficient construction of a cover 10 that provides complete flexibility in accommodating various bag shapes, sizes and carrying means. In a preferred design, the cover 10 generally comprises seven patterned sections. The elongated, rectangular section of fabric 36 with associated top flap 14 is sewn to the shorter rectangular section 34. The score card pouch 44 is sewn to the shorter section 34 of fabric, below the notch abutting the fabric's top edge 38. There are two strap assemblies, 18 and 20, that are sewn to the bottom of sections 34 and 36, such that Velcro fastened 54 to the ends of the straps 18, 20 will meet at the front and back of the golf bag 2, to accommodate carrying straps and retractable legs. Each strap assembly 18, 20 is protected by an auxiliary flap, 28 and 30. The patterned sections when sewn, are generally as depicted in FIG. 5. Elastic 52 is sewn into the middle section of each strap 18, 20 to provide a secure fit onto the top of the golf bag 12.
 As depicted in FIG. 3, yet another benefit to the golf bag cover 10 of the present invention is the ability to affix a band of elastic 16 along the outer seam strategically toward the “top” third of the cover 10 and closure flap 14 that may be used to bundle and store the rolled cover. A cord with a common tightening device may also be stitched to the seam at the same location for this purpose. This elastic 16 storage feature is made practical, and derives its function from the construction of the cover 10 from substantially rectangular sections 34, 36. In contrast, use of such storage means with conventional covers would be difficult and much less practical given the curved and irregular geometries of existing covers.
 The substantially rectangular folded shape of the present golf bag cover 10 allows the cover to be easily folded, rolled and stored in a neat and compact shape with the elastic loop 16 design strategically located on the cover 10 to allow bundling. Some commercially available bag covers include pouches or other means to store the cover after use; however, these storage means are frequently displaced or separated from the cover itself, and are not convenient to use.
 Yet a further embodiment of the present golf bag cover 10 is the location and design of the score card pouch 44. It is desirable to locate a score card holder in a location where it is immediately accessible, and is also shielded from the elements, especially precipitation. Similarly, in the case of a carry bag, the score card holder should be accessible to retrieve and restore while a golfer is walking with the bag. No bag cover currently satisfies these useful features. With the instant invention, as depicted in FIG. 1, the score card pouch 44 is located in a protected fashion underneath the closure flap 14 and can be easily accessed. The closure flap 14 is held to the base of the golf bag cover 10 by two Velcro or snap attachments, 24 and 26.
 Unlike other golf bag covers, such as U.S. Pat. No. 5,131,442 to Bevier, the score card holder 44 of the invention is not located on the flap 14 itself. The card holder 44 is advantageously located underneath the closure flap 14, where it can be readily accessed by a golfer and is protected from the elements. In this manner, the present invention allows the entire surface of the closure flap 14 to be used for embroidering or printing of logos and graphics (including large scale designs). This is also a function of the seamless pattern design of the invention.
 As shown in FIG. 3, seams are used to affix a third substantially rectangular section of fabric to the golf bag cover 10. The seams are sewn to accommodate storage of a golf scoring card, as well as a scoring pencil, such as depicted at 48.
 Although the above description and accompanying drawings relate to specific preferred embodiments as presently contemplated by the inventor, it will be understood that the invention in its broad aspect includes mechanical and functional equivalents of the elements described and illustrated.