Pack smart: 23 essentials you should always keep in your golf bag

July 11, 2019

Whether you usually walk or prefer to play your rounds in a cart, it’s important to keep your golf bag stocked with on-course essentials. Here’s our list of 23 items you should always keep in your bag.


1. Balls

Yeah, this is an obvious one. But running out of balls can happen to anyone. Depending on your skill level, three to four sleeves should always do the trick. If you need more than that in a given round, you might want to spend some time on the range before playing again. Or, do your best to collect some strays while you’re playing. Otherwise, your bag will be like a lead weight.

The FootJoy DryJoys Tour LTS rain jacket.
Travis Rathbone

2. A jacket

Chilly mornings and evenings can sometimes come as a surprise, so make an extra layer a permanent fixture in your bag so you’ll never be in need. Better yet — make it a waterproof jacket, so a stray shower doesn’t slow you down.

USA Today

3. Umbrella

And speaking of showers — we’ll leave the decision of whether to pack a full-on rainsuit up to you — the extra weight can be annoying and depending on where you live, you can be the judge as to whether or not you need it in the bag full-time. But a non-negotiable item for every golfer is the tried-and-true umbrella — great for sun protection and a must for an unexpected storm.


4. Band-Aids

From covering cuts to providing abrasion protection, Band-Aids are worth their weight in gold. You never realize how much you wish you had one until one day, you don’t. Avoid that feeling at all costs by keeping a box in your bag at all times!


5. Bug Bite Thing

This nifty device can remove poisonous venom from biting insects to help relieve pain and swelling. And it’s only $9.95 on Amazon!


6. Adhesive tape

If we can’t play like Tiger Woods, we can at least wrap our fingers like he does, right? Plus, if a Band-Aid feels too bulky, this thin adhesive tape works like a charm.


7. Nail clippers

Beacuse a hangnail — or a even a scratchy tag — should never detract from your round.


8. Instant ice pack

Not only will this handy pouch provide immediate relief if you accidentally slam your putter into your ankle, it can also give the back of your neck some cool respite on a hot day.


9. Sunscreen

Sun protection on the course is pretty much mandatory, so make sure you have at least one bottle with you at all times — and don’t forget to reapply!


10. Sharpie

Add some personality to your golf ball with a custom mark, courtesy of your always-in-the-bag Sharpie.

A colorful Leus towel can add pizazz to any bag.

11. Towel

If you don’t have a caddie, packing your own towels is even more important. Use one to clean your clubs and another to wipe your face and hands.


12. Tees

Don’t be that guy (or gal) who runs out of tees. Keep a hefty handful in the bag.

Jesse Reiter

13. Extra socks

An extra pair can really come in handy when your “waterproof” shoes let you down after a round in morning dew, or your feet just get really sweaty and you want to refresh them.

FootJoy Pure Touch Limited golf gloves.
Courtesy

14. Extra glove

You can’t go wrong by keeping an extra glove in the bag, for the same reason extra socks are useful.

Birdicorn Divot Repair Multi-Tool.
Jesse Reiter

15. Divot repair tool

A spare tee doesn’t always get the job done. Do the greens a favor and repair those divots with a proper tool.


16. Lip balm

Avoid dry, cracked lips with a liberal application of lip balm. Bonus if you use one with SPF!

Energy bars are a smart way to keep a good round going.
Fred Vuich/SI

17. Sustenance

There are sometimes long stretches without access to a beverage cart, and it’s important to keep your energy up. If you pack a long-lasting granola or energy bar, you’ll be golden.


18. Rangefinder

Technology has come a long way, and a rangefinder can dial in your yardages in the blink of an eye, helping you play faster and more efficiently.


19. Pouch

It doesn’t have to be a souvenir from a bucket-list course, but a pouch really comes in handy for keeping all your loose items in one place.

froggergolf.com

20. Wire brush

Keeping your clubs clean and free of dirt and grass is a breeze with a wire brush and groove cleaner that attaches easily to your bag.

Carlos M. Saaverda/SI

21. Ball markers

They’re fun to collect, and an obvious must on the green.


22. Extra pencils

You never know when your course-issued pencil is going to break or fall out of the cart. Keep a stock of others — preferably with erasers — to use in a pinch.


23. Purell

Is there anything worse than getting your hands dirty and being unable to wash them? Stowing a bottle of Purell can help ease the ick-factor.

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