Everything you could possibly think of to put in your golf bag.  (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)

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


Lip balm (especially for the desert or mountain courses)

Band-Aids (for blisters)

Bug Repellent

Bottle (or travel pack) of painkillers

2 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


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 collapsable 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?

Apr 10, 2017

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Patrick's avatar
Patrick wrote at 2017-12-21 22:29:00+00:00:

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

the Commish's avatar
the Commish wrote at 2017-12-19 20:54:01+00:00:

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

T D's avatar
T D wrote at 2017-12-19 12:45:36+00:00:

Alignment sticks for the pre-round warm up!

GolferPete's avatar
GolferPete wrote at 2017-12-19 12:33:38+00:00:

If you’re playing a Pinnacle don’t bother marking it, you’re the only one playing one! While I’m at it why do people call it a divot repair tool? You’re repairing ball marks... maybe that’s why so many people don’t use them! LOL. Merry Christmas!

Kevin 's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2017-12-19 07:28:14+00:00:

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.

Dianna's avatar
Dianna wrote at 2017-12-19 03:23:33+00:00:

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

Jamie's avatar
Jamie wrote at 2017-12-19 02:57:27+00:00:

How about a wire brush/ groove cleaner.

Ray's avatar
Ray wrote at 2017-12-19 02:03:51+00:00:

Pencil sharpener and eraser ✏️

Doug Redding's avatar
Doug Redding wrote at 2017-12-19 01:43:00+00:00:

Spare battery for rangefinder.

1puttzoneZa's avatar
1puttzoneZa wrote at 2017-04-24 09:38:41+00:00:

Aiming sticks and toilet paper

Fortheloveofgolf71's avatar
Fortheloveofgolf71 wrote at 2017-04-23 23:50:21+00:00:

I know this is going over the top but I keep a pink ball, pink tee and a pair of pink panties for any of the buddies that fail to make it past the up/ladies tee box on the drive. Makes for good laughs. 

u000001386464's avatar
u000001386464 wrote at 2017-04-23 13:12:11+00:00:

In Az you have to carry a cooling towel and mister

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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 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 BrandonTuckerGC.