Checklist of Golf Bag Essentials
Much like a woman’s purse, you can tell a lot about a golfer by looking inside their golf bag. I tend to over-pack my purse but hey, you never know when you might need three pairs of sunglasses, ten pens, or a #3 candle! What’s my point? While it is imperative to be well-prepared, there is also a fine line between carrying the imperative golf bag essentials and carrying so much in your bag it looks like you are gearing up for Armageddon. Because golf is such a mental game, it is essential to be prepared at all times (well in advance for your next round) by keeping essential items on hand and replenished.
There is no doubt that golf is very much a mental game. Your body’s muscles rely on your brain’s memory and its capacity to communicate with the rest of your body in order to execute the physical aspects of the game and help you play well. No matter how much you practice your golf swing or work on your putt, if you don’t have a clear mindset going in to your game, the ability for your mind and body to be in sync will suffer. Thus, your golf game will reflect that.
Knowing how important a sharp mind is for your game, the best way to take some of the pressure off is by being prepared in other ways so you don’t have to worry about various other factors. The easiest way to do this is by keeping your golf bag prepared and well-stocked with the best golf bag essentials for your day out on the course.
Of course, there are the obvious items that you will need every time you golf. These items include: clubs, balls, tees and gloves (have a couple extras on hand as they take up no space and are as light as a feather). These are essential so just make sure to restock any balls and tees after you finish each game.
We would suggest revisiting your golf bag after every golf game (or the next day!) and replenishing anything that may have been used. This way, it is one less thing to think about when preparing for your next outing. If you make a habit out of doing this immediately post-game, you won’t be scrambling the morning of a high stakes game with your buddies or even a leisurely round with the family. Trust me, getting it done when you aren’t in a rush will take so much stress off of yourself when you are waking up for an early tee time and scrambling to get out the door. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Also, if you get a last minute invitation to play or decide on your way home from work to play a twilight round, your bag will be all set to go!
So here it is…
Golf Bag Essentials
- An insulated water bottle. The key is making sure your bottle is insulated to keep your drink cold (or a hot drink hot) throughout your entire 18-hole golf game and also prevent condensation from forming on the outside. Bring the bottle filled (if that wasn’t obvious) because you never know how long it will be until you reach the next water cooler or fountain so better to be prepared.
Staying well hydrated is important on any occasion but especially when you are out in the sun all day and performing a physical sport, such as golf. Make sure to fill up when you get the opportunity to prevent you from experiencing dehydration or headaches. Most golf bags have a special sleeve or compartment designed to hold a bottle.
Here is the bottle that we highly recommend: Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Although a bit pricey, it far exceeds the average water bottle when it comes to keeping your drink cool/hot and offers a wide range of other benefits!
- Sunglasses. A good pair of performance lenses block harmful UVA and UVB rays (which can damage your eyes), keep colors true to life, enhance depth perception and bring out undulations on the greens and fairways. Investing in a decent pair that you can use on and off the course would be a good idea. If you golf often enough, keep a designated pair in your golf bag to avoid forgetting them at home.
We recommend: Oakley Unstoppable Prizm Golf
- Sunscreen & Lip Balm with SPF. Playing a round of golf without sunscreen is like playing without shoes (ok maybe that’s a stretch but it’s a big no-no). Protecting yourself from the sun’s damaging radiation is critical for golfers in helping prevent the risk of skin cancer and the rate at which your skin wrinkles and sags. Do yourself a favor and do not mess with the sun. Always keep sunscreen on hand and apply before your round and again at the turn (every two hours is ideal!).
– Thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+, $24 for six ounces
– BADGER Sport Sunscreen
– Z Blok Clear Zinc, SPF 45+, $10 for .5 ounces
– Kiss My Face Sport Lip Balm – SPF 30
- Light rain jacket or portable rain poncho. Bad weather can certainly put a “damper” on things but don’t let it ruin your golf game. To keep your bag extra light, keep an emergency poncho in the side pouch at all times for those unexpected rain showers. If you are heading out and see that the weather looks iffy, maybe consider bringing a more durable lightweight water-resistant jacket to keep you dry.
- Small Emergency Kit. You never know when you’re going to need something from this little kit and you may be thankful you had it when something does come up. We suggest keeping bandages, antibiotic ointment, alcohol cleaning pads, aspirin, antiseptic towelettes, hand sanitizer and insect repellant. It is easy to make your own or you can purchase pre-made packs.
- A couple of golf towels. These should retain water and allow you to dig in and get dirt out of your iron grooves. Also, not a bad idea to have one to wipe away sweat when you are in the heat for hours or for dewey mornings.
- Energy Bars.You never know when you’ll see the cart girl. Last thing you want to be is stranded in a six-hour round without fuel. We recommend: LÄRABAR or Clif Bars
- The Imperative Odds and Ends.Divot repair tool, ball marker (c’mon, you’ve got a lucky coin, right?!), scorecard and pencil.
- Mini-Sharpie. The “sharpest” way to keep track of your ball.
**Non- Essential but a “Good-to-Have” Item**
– A laser rangefinder or GPS device. While some think you have to be a pro to use a rangefinder, you might find it is just the opposite! Using a decent one will help your round moves quicker, give you more of a chance to hit your shots closer to the hole, improve club selection and give you a boost of confidence..
So there you have it, the essential items your should always keep in your golf bag and prepare your bag well in advance of your game. Now, if only these items directly affect your swing, am I right?!
Did we miss anything? If so, tell us what essentials you keep in your bag!