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Must-haves in Your Golf Bag

If you take a stroll through your local golf equipment shop, you’ll notice that there's no shortage of imagination on the part of marketers. From GPS distance gauges to portable, golf-club-shaped urinals (yes, seriously), they’ve come up with it all.

But no matter how many of these luxury-items you pick up, there are always those old-fashioned staples you’ve just got to have in your bag at all times. Here are eleven:

1. Clubs

Since you can’t just kick your ball toward the hole, you’ve got to have a set of golf clubs. Remember, you can only carry a maximum of 14 clubs in your bag, so choose wisely.

Good beginner combination (13 clubs):

  • Driver
  • Three-wood
  • Five-wood
  • Set of irons, three through nine (Seven clubs)
  • Pitching wedge
  • Sand Wedge
  • Putter

2. Balls

This one is another essential element of the game of golf. Keep a good number of golf balls in your bag. You never know how many you might lose during a round, and you do not want to run out.

3. Tees

These short, wooden sticks help you send your ball flying down the fairway from the tee box. They’re extremely inexpensive, and you’ll break or lose many during your golf career, so stock up.

4. Glove

A single leather or synthetic glove for your off-hand will come in, er, handy. It will help you control your grip on the club, and prevent some painful friction between your hands.

5. Ball Marker

When you get to the green, you should always pick up your golf ball to clean it and get it out of the way of other golfers’ shots. Of course, before you can pick up your ball, you’ve got to set a flat ball marker down in its place. You can buy a colorful plastic or metal ball marker, or you could even use a quarter if that’s what you’ve got.

6. Divot Tool

The higher your ball flies, the harder it lands. And when it lands on the green, it’s going to make a dent in the grass known as a ball mark, or divot. It’s your responsibility to repair your divots, and a divot tool in your bag will make it easy. Usually made of metal, it’s a pronged device that you stick into your divot and lift up to flatten out the dent.

7. Towel

Every golfer should have a towel hanging from his or her bag proudly, like a flag. If you buy a golf-specific towel, it will have a ring which you can attach easily to your bag. Clean club faces and golf balls won’t only look better; they’ll work better, too.

8. Bandages

A lot of golfers grip their clubs too firmly. Whether this is the case for you or not, a blister in the right spot of your hands can ruin a round of golf. Keeping some bandages in your bag for any sort of hand or foot blisters, cuts, or scrapes is a small idea that can help in very big ways.

9. Permanent Marker

When you’re playing in a group of golfers, especially if you’re all using the same brand of ball, it’s a great idea to mark your ball with a unique signature. A permanent marker in your bag will let you draw your initials or a few strategically placed lines to let you and your playing partners know that, hey, that’s my ball!

10. Water Bottle

A round of 18 holes can take up to six hours, depending on the pace of play. Even if you rush through your round in a couple of hours, you’re spending a lot of time sweating under the sun. Staying hydrated is one of the most important duties you have while playing any sport, and keeping a water bottle in your bag is an easy way to get it right. Most golf courses have water stations set up on every few holes, so fill up as much as possible.

11. Snack

Whether it’s a granola bar or a piece of fruit, a small snack or two for your round of golf will provide you with the energy you need to score and feel your best.

Customize Your Bag

Remember, this list is a starting point. Golf bags come with a lot of spacious pockets for all of those extras you’ll find in the pro shop. Add to your bag whatever good luck charms, training aids, or accessories you think will help you out on the course. After all, it’s your bag, and you want it to be a good representation of the kind of golfer you are.

From golf clubs to snacks, keeping these essential items in the bag will help golfers of all skill levels feel and score better on the course.
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