This is a good blog to read just to think about what’s in your bag, what’s missing in your bag or what has been in your bag. Let’s call it Spring Cleaning and let’s go over what you should carry for certain situations or what you already carry and will you ever need to use it.
The one thing I’ve noticed on amateur golf bags to a golf professional/good players golf bags is that they are always heavier. When I was the Head Golf Professional I would always help out my staff with golf bags when guests arrive and leave the golf club. Carrying an amateur’s cart bag in and out of a trunk is the same as lifting a tire so I always considered that my cross fit workout for the day.
I’ve counted golf balls in a student’s bag before because I saw the dimples of the golf balls protruding into the pockets. I lifted his bag and it was the heaviest bag I have ever lifted. I asked how many golf balls in his bag he had. He had no idea. So I asked if I could count them for him. After sifting through all of his 7 pockets in his cart bag, I counted 57 golf balls and found a ton of other multiple items that were useless and redundant.
I keep my car clean even with two young kids so I keep my golf bag clean and updated. I also have a basket in the trunk dedicated for golf items or reserves that I put in and take out weekly. So use your car as part of your golf bag storage because I rarely go to the golf course without my car.
So let’s go over some levels of necessities of what and how much you should carry in your golf bag and even manage your items better.
Per USGA rules, you are allowed only 14 clubs maximum in your golf bag. Now the majority of golfers play socially so not a big penalty but you should consider the maximum at one point and get rid of any clubs that you barely use or in timeout on a daily basis.
Depending on your ability and course difficulty, carrying the amount of balls in your bag can give you a sense of relief when you arrive at the first tee. I carry about 10 balls max in my golf bag with 6-7 new ones and a few retired balls when I want to hit a second shot here and there for practice. I’d say for an average golfer they should carry no more than 16. If you lose more than that on a regular basis, please consider reading through my instruction blogs at no charge. Replenish or get rid of extra balls before your rounds and use your golf basket in your car as storage. You can always get more balls at the turn.
Keep a towel attached to your bag or between your clubs. No one likes playing with dirty balls!
I keep a taylormade zipper pouch in my bag that holds all of my smaller items and to also hold my wallet, car keys and cell phone when I prepare to play. I’ve seen it before when a golf cart hit a bump and belongings flew out everywhere. Sometimes if you have loose items, you may never know it’s gone until it’s too late. I also keep my coins, ball-mark repair tools, and markers to mark my golf balls in them.
Range Finder / GPS
Keep this secured and in a spot you would check before you leave the golf course. The most common costly item that is forgotten at golf courses is the yardage device. I have a sticker on my range finder with my phone number on it and I always put the cover by my valuables pouch to remind me to put my range finder in my bag when I collect my belongings when I empty the golf cart.
Keep it a handful
I always keep two or three active gloves I rotate through. When I’m practicing on the range, I usually use my older glove and wear it down til it has holes.
I keep that slender stick that first was used for your driveway when it snowed but now, avid golfers use it to align themselves all the time on the driving range during practice or warm-up sessions.
Using leather gloves in the rain will most likely ruin them or shorten the usage of them. That’s why a pair of rain gloves is essential for players that will still play in the rain or players that play in tournaments.
You ever know when you get a headache or a muscle being sore. Many golf courses are reluctant in selling medicine for liability purposes or just don’t overall so keep a small bottle of unexpired OTC pain-killer in your bag. I also keep OTC allergy pills and anti-acid pills in my golf bag.
I play golf at an elevation of 5,400 ft and I tan easily so I have to put on sunblock unless I want to look like a zebra but most importantly to keep my skin safe from UV rays.
If you live where I do in dry elevation heat, the beverage cart can’t come around enough so I always carry a 28 oz cold flask of water. I usually refill it at the turn or when it’s available for purchase.
I’ve seen some seriously wrinkled jackets come out of cart golf bags but whatever works to keep you somewhat dry
Bandages / First Aid Kit
Golf can be a dangerous sport while looking for your golf balls in the thorny bushes
Only experienced golfers have…
Getting yardages and saving time are crucial so I carry a backup battery for my range finder.
I don’t rely on the beverage cart to come around when I’m hungry because when you are, it never comes by so I carry a bag of honey roasted nuts, a bag of goldfish crackers and a bag of Korean BBQ pork jerky which I have everyone around me hooked on now.
Waterproof Rain Gear
I always have Gortex rain gear in my car and only take it with me on the course if there is any chance of rain. It is essential for me to have this if I were playing in a tournament
Same as the Rain Gear but hard to manage while playing golf. I usually just use this for downpours or if I’m walking in the hot Colorado sun.