Everything we can possibly think of that should go in your golf bag

Did you ever stop and think about all the junk essential items you actually put in your golf bag? Folks have climbed Mt. Everest with less.

This spring, while swapping out my bag (the Sun Mountain K-2, which endured five years of wear and tear heroically) with a new Sun Mountain 3.5 L.S. ($229 MSRP), a lightweight carry bag that weighs 3.5 pounds, I decided to legitimately tally up everything that comes in handy during a round of golf.

This list hopefully serves one of three purposes: a checklist for the beginner or first-time golf traveler; a backup for those Type-A golfers out there; or perhaps a brainstorm for a golf gift around birthdays or holidays.

So here's a drill-down into quite possibly everything you may need during a round of golf.I'm curious if I'm missing something that is essential to you. So let me know @brandontucker on Twitter.

What's in the bag: The Essentials

  • 14 Clubs
  • (At least) Six golf balls: If you're golf game is a little loose like mine, maybe keep your stash 50/50 between new and used. Personally, any fewer than six balls in my bag and I'm dripping sweat while clutching my driver.
  • Three headcovers for woods and hybrids
  • A dozen or so tees
  • One golf glove


  • Bag tag with your name: It certainly helps at the bag drop, especially for group outings).
  • 2 towels: a big one for clubs and a small towel to keep in your back pocket for the green is handy on dewey mornings.
  • Divot repair tool
  • Ball marker: if you don't have a lucky coin by now, you're doing it wrong.
  • Mini-Sharpie: Or else how will you truly know if it's your Pinnacle in the fairway?
  • Protective pouch: For watches or other items that could scratch when in a golf bag.

- Driver adjustment tool

First Aid

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm (especially for the desert or mountain courses)
  • Band-Aids (for blisters)
  • Bug Repellent
  • Bottle (or travel pack) of painkillers
  • Packaged foods (nothing that will spoil)

Foul weather preparedness

Optional depending on the season and forecast. If you don't want to keep it all in your bag, consider keeping these items together in a smaller, easy-to-access bag.

Wet weather

  • Set of rain gloves
  • Rain club cover
  • Rain jacket
  • Pair of rain pants
  • Umbrella (This is the subject of much debate: I say for links or cart golf, you don't need it, but if walking a parkland, yes).
  • Waterproof baggie: Good for valuables, phones, wallet, etc.

Cold weather

  • Set of winter gloves
  • Under shirt or arm warmers
  • Jacket
  • Handwarmer packs
  • Wool cap that covers the ear

Social golf novelties

These items are particularly useful for social golf and buddies trips.

  • Koozie: We don't condone "packing in" your own booze but B.Y.O.Koozie is essential.
  • Insulated Cup: Yeti and Tervis do good work.
  • Softcover cooler bag: Some courses provide their own, but many don't.
  • Pack of business cards: Because you never know who you'll be paired up with.
  • Some cash in small bills. For tips, beverage cart and bets.
  • Bottle opener


Now we are getting into some novelty items, some of which can cost as much as your driver.

  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Rangefinder (or wearable GPS unit).
  • Mobile Swing analyzer/trackman: In some cases, this could simply be an app on your phone.
  • GoPro and selfie stick
  • Portable phone charger or Extra USB cord for golf cart: More and more golf carts are installing USB outlets, but I've realized it's pointless if you leave your USB in the car.
  • Driving range training aid: The Orange Whip seems to be a pretty common sight these days in golf bags, or alignment sticks.

Alright, be That Guy if you must and pack:

  • Iron covers: But seriously, I think they'll be fine without them.
  • Ball retriever: If you're using one, you probably don't even play new balls to begin with.
  • More than 14 clubs: Because aren't 14 enough?
  • Banana: Be warned, everyone forgets about the banana in the golf bag.

Lastly, we all have a few items we keep in our bag that are rare. Whether they are personal medical, nostalgic or miscellaneous. Personally, I keep a collapsible dog dish and poop bags in mine since my munis allow dogs.

So, let's check in on the weight of my now that my LS is fully packed (perhaps absurdly so) for my next round:

Weight empty: 3.5 lbs.
Weight fully-loaded: 23.6 lbs.
Carry weight: 19 lbs.

Okay, That should do it. That's all you need to play a round of golf.
What did I miss?

Newsletter Sign Up - Subscribe Today!
Sign up for the best golf travel news, tips and offers delivered directly to your inbox, for FREE!

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
Default User Avatar
Commented on

A copy of the rules of golf... if playing competitively, no electronics allowed.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

7 clubs...6 balls...tees...rosin bag...gps...ball marker...divot tool...sunglasses..Energy bars..water.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

I would make one rather significant correction to your list. This correction will add no weight to the bag is at times will prove indespensible. I carry 3 gloves. In hot weather, I usually change my glove at the turn because it is soaked with sweat. Also, you never know when a glove will tear or split. Hit'em straight!!

Default User Avatar
Commented on

You're taking your dogs golfing?

Commented on

Austin munis allow dogs on a leash. You bet.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

how about any meds that you may need and perhaps antacids, extra scorecard, sunscreen pouches, sunglasses

Default User Avatar
Commented on

How did you forget a bottle of water? spare pencils, extra scorecard. portable phone charger

Default User Avatar
Commented on

Obviously doesn’t play in the south! Lol, need at least 2 gloves, unless you like playing with squishy gloves. But otherwise a good list.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

a small bottle of hand sanitizer - rub a little on ant or mosquito bites and it takes away the itch - works great!

Default User Avatar
Commented on

How about a wire brush/ groove cleaner.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

Pencil sharpener and eraser ✏️

Related Links
The game of golf can be as expensive as you want it to be. If you're a beginner, you don't have to go broke getting a bag and swing. Here are some tips on saving money gearing up for golf.
8 Min Read
If you're on a budget, buying used golf clubs can make a lot of sense. It can be tricky, however. Mike Bailey offers some tips to consider before you buy.
4 Min Read
What device should you use to find your yardage on the golf course? We compared the golf and activity tracker Garmin Vivoactive HR and the Leupold GX-5i3 rangefinder to see which is better on the course.
4 Min Read
More from the author
9 Min Read
September 23, 2021
We've crafted a Dream 18 from the most exciting holes in American public golf.
7 Min Read
September 21, 2021
Large buddies groups love playing Ryder Cup-style, multi-day team events on their golf vacations. And what could be more epic than playing a Ryder Cup match on a former (or future) Ryder Cup venue?
2 Min Read
September 21, 2021
Bernhard Langer recalls the turning point that led to a European wave at the Ryder Cup matches
4 Min Read
September 10, 2021
Pete Dye's golf course designs set the bar for innovation, creativity and challenge. We've compiled his top courses as rated on Golf Advisor by regular golfers like you.
4 Min Read
September 7, 2021
A recent visit to a trio of Midwest courses was a reminder that there's a lot to love about playing golf on campus.
3 Min Read
August 27, 2021
USA and Europe's finest women prepare to face off on a Donald Ross Midwestern classic. Here's a hole-by-hole guide to venerable Inverness.
4 Min Read
September 1, 2021
While the boom has been great for the industry, it's been tougher on golfers looking for tee times.
1 Min Read
September 17, 2021
R.I.P. to a legend.
4 Min Read
September 13, 2021
With a radical concept and engaging design, The Match golf course at PGA National Resort & Spa points toward a more creative future for the game in America.
1 Min Read
September 10, 2021
Play early, play often.
Load More
Now Reading
Everything we can possibly think of that should go in your golf bag