If you consider yourself an avid golfer, you better review this list. Over my many mishaps I have compiled a list of the 10 “must haves” for any golf bag. They are readily available but certainly much more expensive at the course than out of your bag.
First of all, we will not be covering the basics like clubs, balls, tees, ball markers and money to pay off your bets. I am simply going to assume you know enough to bring this stuff and if you don’t – tough luck!! I also do not plan on covering the hardcore one off items like a rain suit. Keep this in your trunk or pack it if the weather report calls for rain. I know most of you do not use rain gear much but you should still invest in a nice Gore Tex rain suit – it pays for itself the first time you wear it. Have you ever tried to golf in a poncho? I thought you said you were a serious golfer?
This list will not only help you through the woes of your day but could actually help you to become a better golfer or at least not handicap you any further. And here we go:
1. First Aid Kit: This does not need to be fancy or even official. A nice Ziploc bag with some band-aids (the sports or flex fit work best), ibuprofen, chapstick, adhesive tape, sunblock and any emergency drugs you might need. My dad for example carries a couple aspirin and a “quick” relief drug his doctor prescribed. Some extras you might want to include is some antibacterial lotion, sting relief pads and a pair of nail clippers.
2. Cell Phone: The phone is not to play angry birds or take calls from the office or wife. I can not stand hearing someones phone ring on the course. We actually added a penalty to our league that if your phone rings and someone hears it (your group or not) you occur at 1 stroke penalty and a $10 fine that days betting pool. If you for some strange reason win that days pool – it gets added to next weeks pool. You are not eligible to win our own fines. That being said, put your phone on vibrate but it is great to have for:
Medical Emergency: Like I mentioned earlier, my dad has had a heart attack and carries pills just in case. While I carry the phone just in case as well. That call could make the difference and certainly could help save someones life.
Rules Dispute: during regular or tournament play if you have a dispute or question it is often easier to call the pro then try and look up the rule and interpret the call. Since the pro has likely heard the question before they will give the answer or come out to make a ruling.
3. Snacks: There is something about the golf course that even if you ate before you got there or even had breakfast or lunch at the club, you will get hungry during the round. It is great to have something quick and easy that you can grab and go with. Leave the ham sandwich or turkey leg for the turn. Stick with trail mix, granola bars, cliff bars, raisins or something similar that you can grab a handful and go. This way you do not slow up play trying to eat a 4 course meal. Avoid the high sugar snacks if possible. That candy bar might taste great now but you will likely crash before the round is over and is never fun. I always try to carry a bottle or two of water. Most courses will have water on the course but sometimes they are out and you want to stay hydrated.
4. Extra Glove(s). I personally do not wear a glove buy my dad swears he can not play without one. From looking around I am one of the few that does not wear a glove. But I do know that you do not want to wear your glove until it is falling apart. Before your glove is ready for the graveyard, pack it up and break out a new one. This way you will always have an extra that is ready for that day you get some rain and need to keep switching out gloves to stay dry.
5. Microfiber Towel: The days of the golf bag towel that clipped to your bag are long gone. Since many places do not allow you to carry it is easier to have a loose towel to wipe down clubs, dry off your clubs or even yourself. They are super versatile and can serve many different purposes through the round.
6. Extra Socks: I always have an extra pair of socks. There is nothing more uncomfortable then wet feet. Weather you are fighting the elements or sweating your opponent a fresh pair of socks can make you feel a whole lot better. Not to mention they take up very little bag real estate and will be a life saver when you really need them.
7. Toilet Paper: Go ahead, laugh all you want. But the next time that burrito sneaks up on you and you swing by the bathroom out on the course and they are out of TP, you will thank me. Sure you could also yell at the pro once you get back in to the clubhouse with brown stains down your golf pants. Not to mention they come in really handy if you have allergies and the trees are blooming. Blowing into your towels will work but it will be hell on your nose. You can either buy the travel rolls, grab a wad of tissues or a small roll of TP and put it into a plastic bag.
8. Business Cards: There are always opportunities to network. Whether it be for a new company or bring business into your existing company. You never know who you might run into or what that might be able to do for you. This is probably the high ROI in baggage real estate to potential.
9. Hat: Whether it is your lucky golf hat or a sombrero it never hurts to have a hat. It can shade your eyes from glare, protect you from the sun or just make you look that much better than you already did (if that is even possible). I live in Florida and have played in Arizona and had my head (scalp) burnt a couple times and quickly learned my lesson. I promise you, the first time your head peels from a burn, you to will never forget a hat again.
10. Shoe Laces: I know another odd sounding one but if you ever decide to re-tighten your shoe laces mid-round and one of them breaks, you are screwed. Breaking a lace and trying to tie it back together is like having a Frankenstein foot. I guarantee it will bug you for the rest of the round and likely cost you strokes in the process. This is a lot like the socks and business card suggestion. Small real estate and maximum return when you need them.
Odds and ends that are mentionable but might be user specific or just too odd for the average golfer:
Glasses or extra set of contacts: If you are a contact wearer then you will want an extra pair or your glasses as a back up. If you pop a lens on the course, you will want to get a new pair in as playing one-eyed is not suggested. If you do not want to carry an extra set than throw your glasses there for good measure.
Range Finder: I do not carry one but my golf whore dad does. I have more equipment than you can shake a stick at. You can also look into golf app or watches that will serve the same purpose.
Extra Card: Never hurts to have one for reference especially when there is no starter and the box at the tee is out.
I would love feedback if you think something is missing or I am crazy for including on the list. This is simply my take on what you need to be a serious golfer. Leave me a comment or shot me an email if you have anything or would like to make a suggestion for a future post.