What is in a golf bag?
To a golfer, his or her golf bag is their lifeline. What their golf bag contains is everything they need to play a 4-5 hour round of golf. Lets review what is in a golf bag:
The most important thing in a golf bag is the clubs. Make sure there is adequate room for 14 clubs. Some golf bags have dividers to help you separate your irons from your fairway woods. There are even slots for your driver, hybrids and putter. These bags help you organize your clubs and promote fast play because you learn exactly where to find a particular club in your bag instead of searching for it. I think it is a good idea to have your clubs organized in your bag. If you took out a club and forgot to replace it, you would instantly know that you are missing a club.
The second most important thing in a golf bag is the golf balls. Make sure you have a good supply of golf balls in your bag, especially if you are playing by yourself. Golf bags usually have a compartment specifically for golf balls but if your golf bag lacks one, you can keep balls in the sleeve and store them in another compartment.
3. Golf Tees
The third most important thing in a golf bag are golf tees. Unless you are John Daly or Laura Davies (who uses natural tees), the rest of us have to carry a supply of golf tees. Make sure you have an adequate supply of golf tees, either the plain variety types or the special tees that give you extra distance. Some golf bags have a special compartment for golf tees or a cloth band that holds a few tees outside of the bag for easy access.
4. Golf Glove
The last essential item in a golf bag is a golf glove. Store an extra pair in your bag in case you tear or lose the current one.
5. Rain Gear
Up to now, the list of things in a golf bag make up the essential gear that should be in every golf bag but to make your round more comfortable, let me advise you to pack some rain gear. You may argue with me that the sun is shining and there are no clouds in the forecast for miles but weather is unpredictable, especially when you are outdoors for 4 to 6 hours. Weather can change at anytime. The wind can kick up, bring rain clouds in and thunderstorms can develop. Packing a waterproof jacket, rain pants and a hat will suffice but don't forget to pack a rain hood for your clubs. All golf bags sold come with a rain hood that youy can attach to your bag to protect your club from rain. Just look for it in one of the compartments in your golf bag. It will be folded up neatly and is part of the golf bag. Optionally, you can pack a pair of rain gloves that are designed to be worn in the rain. It provides the necessary grip to both hands even when they are wet.
6. Water Bottle
To keep hydrated, bring a water bottle filled with water. Some of the premium golf bags have an insulated pocket to keep your drink cold. I would rather spend my money on a good insulated water bottle than to pay extra for a golf bag with an insulated pocket that doesn't work. Find a stainless steel one with double walls that can keep your ice cold water cool or hot drinks warm throughout your round. Note that most push carts have a cup holder to store your water bottle.
7. Retracting Legs
Not all golf bags have retracting legs but given the choice of a carry bag vs a cart bag, I would choose one with retracting legs so that the bag can stand on its own. A golf bag with retracting legs is the most versatile bag you can buy. Without legs, a golf bag has to lie on its side to prevent it from tipping over.
8. Ball Retriever
Get yourself a telescopic ball retriever to fetch your golf ball from the water or outside of a fence. A ball retriever is lightweight and fits in with your club and can save you money over time. Not only that, if your ball rolls into a water hazard, it is your responsibility to identify it before dropping another ball and incurring a stroke penalty. A ball retriever will help you fetch your golf ball out of the water so that you can identify it.
Here is an optional item to attach to your golf bag. At some golf clubs, they provide a towel for you to carry around the course to clean your clubs and golf ball. Carrying your own towel may be a good idea. It allows you to keep the club face clean and your grips dry. Bring a wet face towel with you (and store it in a ziplock bag) to wipe your face or arms during a round. It will keep you refreshed and feeling good.
The last but most overlooked items in a golf bag are a first-aid kit and an energy bar. The first-aid kit doesn't have to be elaborate but it should contain at least some bandages, insect repellent spray and aspirin or tylenol for headaches. And for energy, don't rely on the beverage cart lady to visit you during your round. Instead pack an energy bar or a chocolate bar to give you a mid-round boost.