Confession: I tend to be a bit of a pack rat, especially when it comes to my golf bag. The inclination to save things can be irresistible when it comes to logoed course items. I mean, really, who can bear to part with a Cypress Point pencil or a Maidstone Club bag tag? Not this girl! And forget about the multitude of tees, ball markers and balls I like to stash by the handful in every available pocket of my carry bag. Unfortunately, too many rounds of cart golf have desensitized me to my bag's outrageously heavy weight, and I nearly collapsed when I picked it up the other day. Thus, I decided it was high time for a complete cleansing. Is your bag in need of a pre-season pick-me-up too? Follow these five easy steps to make your bag a lean, clean and organized machine.
Step 1: Evaluate your mess
To start, I emptied each of the pockets of my golf bag, and what I found is on display in that unsightly pile in the photo above. Ugh...So. Much. Stuff! I'm not proud of this, people! And so many golf balls! Why? Truly, there's nothing in your golf bag that will tip the scales more prominently than golf balls. Individually, they're light as air. Together, they feel like a sack of potatoes. It's no wonder my bag felt so heavy.
Step 2: Consolidate your necessities
Place everything into piles so you can get a clear picture of exactly how much you have of each item. This is also valuable because it will show you what you don't need, like course yardage books and pin sheets from a tournament you played well over a year ago. And four granola bars! C'mon, Jess!
Step 3: Decide what to keep
Once you have your piles established, it's time to purge. I cut out about half of the stuff I was carrying. Do I really need over 20 golf balls? I hope not! I'm going to stick with two sleeves. And all those gloves were old and in need of replacement. I just need two gloves: one to wear and one for backup, as well as a pair of rain gloves. Three towels are completely unnecessary, so I pared it down to one. Tees are always welcome, you can never have too many, but they need a nice drawstring pouch to call home so they won't be scattered in every single pocket of my bag.
Step 4: Choose a pocket
The key here is convenience. You want to put things you use the most, like balls and tees, into a pocket that is easily accessible. I like using the largest external pocket for apparel and the bag's rain hood, and the deep bottom pocket for balls. The side bottom pocket is useful for things like sunscreen and my trusty Rules book.
Step 5: Order your clubs
I like having a rhyme and reason to my club organization. Every club has its place, so it makes it obvious when one is missing. The driver goes at the top, and every other club follows from longest to shortest, ending with the putter in the bottom compartment. Some players like to have the putter up top with the driver, but I'm not among them.
Well, there you have it! Every essential is accounted for, and bonus: My bag is actually light enough to carry now!