The 9 things you absolutely must have in your golf bag
Golf Culture

The 9 things you absolutely must have in your golf bag


Every good golfer is like a Boy Scout: always prepared for whatever comes their way on the course. That includes having all the right things in their golf bag to get through a round.

So, what should you carry in your golf bag other than clubs and balls? Here are the nine accessories we think you absolutely must have in your bag.

  1. A good, cheap golf GPS unit: If you play the same course over and over, you might neglect the need to know your yardages when you show up to a new course. And since you don't know the layout of a new course, it's a good idea to have a GPS to be your forecaddie for, well, when you're in spots after you've yelled "Fore!" OR....A trusty laser rangefinder: If you're the kind of golfer who keeps the ball in play, you need a laser rangefinder. It can be the expensive kind that does slope calculations or the cheaper kind that just gives you a number, but it's so much easier to use one of those than step off often-wrong sprinkler-head markers.
  2. Vacuum-sealed water bottle: Why be a sucker and use those paper cones at the golf course water containers? Come prepared with a vacuum-sealed flask that will keep any liquid the temperature you want for not only your round but your whole day. They're around $20, and they can keep water, soda or beer cold, and they can keep that dewsweeper's coffee warm, too.
  3. Some money for tips: This is a genius one I didn't think of, but rather the credit goes to Twitter follower @backsidegrind85. Carry some small bills in the area of $15 that will handle tips on the course: the bag guy, the cart server, maybe a small bet. Whatever it is, you're covered and don't need to worry about letting someone down.
  4. Sunscreen: Turns out, it's usually sunny when you play golf. When you're exposed to the sun for that long, you could get burnt. That can rack up and create a melanoma risk. And you don't want that. Get a good tube or spray can of sunscreen and apply before each nine. On a really hot day, every six holes.
  5. Beef jerky or another non-perishable snack: It can get slow out there sometimes, either on public tracks or in scrambles. And when you're nowhere near the clubhouse or a snack cart, you're gonna get hungry. Have a good pack of beef jerky or nuts or trail mix, and you won't get cranky. They'll give you energy through the round, too.
  6. Athletic tape: A lot of golfers blister up and get callouses from playing golf (look at your grips, man!). It's always a good idea to have, at a minimum, some athletic tape to cover up those uncomfortable patches of skin to get through the round. It works for heel cuts, too.
  7. Bluetooth speaker: If you're not listening to music on the golf course, especially when you're riding, you're missing out. Get a good, cheap speaker that's easy to charge and can connect to your phone or an old MP3 player. You'll have a better time.
  8. A travel size vile of Advil: Injuries happen. Hangovers happen. Sometimes in the same day. So, it's always a good idea to have a few tabs of your painkiller of choice in the bag. They last for over a year, and you never know when they'll come in handy.
  9. All-weather gloves: You just never know when it's going to rain out there on the course. Having a good pair of all-weather gloves will have you covered in the event the skies open up or it suddenly gets freezing. They don't take up much space, either.
  10. BONUS: A power pack for your phone: You may not be the kind of person who checks your phone much, or at all, while playing golf. But, if you are, having a charged power pack that you can plug in to your phone when the juice is running low is clutch. That's especially true if you use your phone to video swings, play music or use a GPS app.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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