Most golf bags contain the same things – a glove, some tees, a couple sleeves of balls, a divot tool, and a few ball markers. Scattered among the pockets, you might find a few random items like old receipts and a scorecard from 6 years ago. However, there are always a few things that we find ourselves wishing we had in our bags when we need them the most. They’re often overlooked, but keep these items handy and you’ll be glad to have them when the moment comes.
If it’s broken, it can more than likely be repaired with tape. Did your old worn-out grip on your pitching wedge from 1972 just tear off the shaft? Tape it. Do you have a blister on your finger from practicing feverishly on the range before a round with your boss/father-in-law/someone-you-really-don’t-want-to-embarrass-yourself-in-front-of ? Tape it. Did the sole of your golf shoe suddenly fall off, attempting to escape your rather pathetic version of a golf swing? Tape that sucker on for good. You’ll probably never go through an entire roll of tape in your entire golfing career, but you’ll be glad you have it when you need it.
It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon so you decide to hit the links. After 5 hours in the sun, you show up to work on Monday looking like a lobster. This is not the path to promotion. Keep a small bottle of sunscreen in your bag to protect yourself on unexpectedly warm days. Sunscreen does have a shelf life, so be sure to switch it out for a new one from time to time. Also, being the rough and rugged golfer you are, the bottle can tend to explode from the bag banging into things. Keep the bottle in a ziplock bag and in a separate pocket to prevent a mess.
Just as the weather can get unexpectedly hot, it can also cool down quickly. For that reason, keep a thin, waterproof windbreaker in your bag that can fold up compactly. If the wind kicks up and the temperature drops down, bust this thing out and laugh at your playing partners while their hands turn blue. It doesn’t have to be stylish – just functional. This is an emergency item, so no need to break the bank and feel guilty about it getting wrinkles while it sits in your bag.
We’re all getting old, and getting old hurts. Getting old means hurting your wrist from a divot or twisting your knee from an awkward lie. Pop a couple of these to keep the swelling down and the pain at a minimum. Ibuprofen also comes in handy if your boss/father-in-law/someone-you-really-don’t-want-to-embarrass-yourself-in-front-of is giving you a headache from all the swing tips and reasons why they’re “not playing like last week.”
If the headache won’t quit, you need stronger medicine. Truth is, you’ll have terrible days on the golf course. This item won’t make you play any better, but you’ll probably care a lot less about your lackluster effort.
It’s always a good idea to keep a couple granola bars or some beef jerky in your bag in case your big guts start to eat your little guts. Avoid anything that will rot because you’ll more than likely forget about this item until you really need it. The last thing you want is to wonder, “What’s that smell?” only to realize it’s that egg salad sandwich you packed last month.
USGA Rule Book
Golf has a lot of unique situations and complexities, and if you’re playing for money, the last thing you want is to be uncertain. Lucky for you, the USGA will send you a pocket-sized rule book to keep in your bag for free. Now, next time your boss/father-in-law/someone-you-really-don’t-want-to-embarrass-yourself-in-front-of tries to pull a fast one, you’ll be able to impress them with your knowledge and preparedness.