Things You Need For Golf - A Master Checklist

When I first started out playing golf I had a bag with random clubs, some balls and a few tees. I knew it wasn’t the best equipment, but I was happy and totally unaware about the things you need for golf if you’re into it for the long run. That’s kind of the beauty of it all though - you actually don’t have to have much gear. 

The essentials for getting started with golf are basically a few clubs and a bag to put them in. Everything else you can pick up as you go along in your thrive and many things are also about personal preference.

But before I jump into the details…

In this article you will learn about golf essentials for beginners and some must have items for your golf bag - these are ‘must have’ stuff that every golfer needs. You will also learn about some weird things you can have in your golf bag, but that you don’t really need. 

From now on you will no longer find yourself in a position on the course where you get annoyed for not having the things you need for golf.

When I played in my early years I often found myself in a position where I was missing things that I needed and sometimes this put me in some embarrassing situations that made me feel like a total newbie (which I was, sort of).

A troubling thought, isn’t it?

From there I learned what I needed in order to enjoy the game and not freeze to death when the weather turned from sunny and warm to rainy and chilly on the 10th hole… I also saw what essentials others were having in their bags and from there I've always felt comfortable when playing...

What Equipment Do You Need For Golf?

In order to truly enjoy the game, there are some things you need and we will go through it below. The things listed can be used as a master checklist when you are packing your bag.

What do beginner golfers need?

Below we will go through, in order:

  • A few thoughts on golf clubs a beginner can have in the bag
  • Items you should have in the bag and some ideas on where to put them
  • Different types of bags and what might be best for your needs
  • Some ideas on clothes to wear when golfing

And we begin with…

What Clubs Should I Have In My Golf Bag?

Among the things you need for golf are of course the clubs…

Pretty hard to play without them, eh?

But, what are the best golf clubs for you when you are first starting out?

There are many different ways to answer that question and for this article I give you this:

The fewest clubs you need include a putter, a sand wedge, a short iron (say a 9 iron) and a longer iron (say a 7 iron) - with this setup in your golf bag you can play the game.

If you are really new to golf...

Put whatever clubs you have available in your golf bag. The most important thing for you is to get golfing!

If you have played for a little while and feel that you need some better clubs but don’t know if you will continue to play for the long run…

Buy a half set of the easiest to hit golf clubs for beginners. This option will give you good and easy to play with clubs without having to pay much money. You can also go for a second hand golf set.

If you have played for a while and gained some experience...

Go for a custom fitting with a professional. They will help you find the best clubs for you. And the best clubs for you doesn’t have to mean the most expensive clubs. The best clubs for you include the golf professional setting you up with clubs that have the best club head, length, shaft flex, grip size and lie for your swing and skill level. This is also what will let you enjoy the game the most.

What Should Be In A Golf Bag? - Here’s A Master Checklist

Below we go through some things you need for golf and you can consider it a golf bag checklist, even though I personally consider the list to contain some weird things in the bag as well.

What should I have in my golf bag? 

The list below covers what many have in the bag. I don’t have all the listed things in my bag and you will do just fine without many of them as well.

Some items really are things you need in golf, some are just weird. But it’s a lot about personal preference, so get golf accessories that are right for you…

Alignment Sticks - Maybe not the first thing you buy, but it’s something you will feel that you need as soon as you begin your quest for a proper golf swing. Couldn’t live without them… 

Band-Aids - You won’t need’em every day, but when you do… A small package doesn’t take up any space in your bag either.

Brush - A brush or groove cleaner is always good to have in your bag and something you will miss if you don’t have one. In order to hit pure shots you must have clean grooves on your club heads. Should you decide on not having a brush it is always possible to clean the grooves using a tee.

Divot Repair Tool - Also called pitch fork or pitch mark repairer. We all want that nice smooth surface when we putt, so make sure you use yours. Keep it in your pocket during the round. A good rule of thumbs is to always repair your own pitch mark along with one more on every green.

Drink - My favorite drink is water on the course. Make sure you have something to drink in the bag when you are out there. And make sure to refill your bottle whenever you can along the course. It’s tough to have eight holes left on a warm day and nothing to drink.

Glove - Many players use a glove,but for some it’s not that important. Some even want an extra glove in the bag. Even if you don’t normally play with a glove, you should be aware that there are also many good weather gloves designed for special conditions like cold and rain. Personally I got good grips on my clubs and therefore feel no need for a glove. But I use rain gloves for both cold and rainy days.

Golf Ball Marker - If you aren’t playing by yourself, you will need a ball marker. When playing with others you get a penalty when putting and hitting someone else's ball on the green. Make sure you mark your ball, it’s a polite way to make sure your playing partners don’t get penalty strokes because of you. Coins are good as ball markers and there are many fancier markers you can buy as well.

Golf Ball Retriever - Some golfers do like to have a ball retriever in their bag, but most don't. Personally I've never had a golf ball retriever. I like to carry my bag and the retriever puts some extra weight in it that I can do without. I know I've lost a few balls in the water over the years, but ball retrievers ain’t my cup of tea.

Golf Pouch - Always good to have one or two pouches in your bag. Keep your tees and ball marker coins in one. Have a second one that is waterproof for your phone and car key?

Golf Rule Book - You will end up in some tricky situations once in a while where you need to reference the rule book. These moments aren’t many, but when you need it you want to have the rule book nearby. Or use your phone?

Pen For Marking Golf Balls - When playing tournaments you need to mark your balls in order to be able to identify them on the course. When playing a friendly round with someone you know this might not be that important. But you will stumble upon new playing partners every now and then for whom this is very important.

Pencil For Scoring - Many courses offer digital scorecards that you fill in on your phone these days. But paper scorecards are still common and I prefer them over digital. Have one or two short pencils in your bag. Make sure they are pencils and not pens. Pencils work in rain, pens most often don’t.

Rangefinder - When you have played for a while you get a good feeling for how long you hit each club. When you get this knowledge you will also feel the need for a rangefinder or (smart-) watch that tells you the yardage to traps, water and pin.

Snack Bar(s) - If you know you are hungry, put two snacks in your back. Not so hungry? Put one snack in the bag. Because when playing 18 holes you burn a lot of calories and you do get hungry.

Something That Keeps The Mosquitoes Away - Mosquitoes might not be a problem at every course and every hole. But when they become a problem you regret it big time if you don’t carry a scent or something else that keeps them away. Here's an article from Golf Digest where you can learn about the best insect repellent things you need for golf.

Golf Balls - You know you need more than one ball for your next round. But how many spare balls are enough? A good rule of thumb is to carry a few more than you think you will use. If you are having one of those days you will wish you didn’t stock more.

Spare tees - Long and short, grab a handful of them and put in your bag! They won’t add extra weight to your bag either, if you like to carry that is. If you don’t add tees to your bag regularly, you will find yourself standing dry one day soon.

Sunscreen - Depending on where you live this might not apply for every round. But it’s always a good idea to protect yourself from the sun and on a sunny day you spend many hours in the sun when golfing.

Towel - Some say you should have one towel, some say two and some say three. I carry one because I have never figured out what to do with the rest. One towel at least is a must for cleaning the clubs and wipe the sweat from your hands.

Umbrella - I attach an umbrella to my bag when I’m using a push cart and no umbrella when I’m carrying my bag. When I carry I go for a thin rain jacket instead. But an umbrella is good for those rainy days on the golf course and they can protect you from the sun on sunny days as well.

Where To Put Things In Your Golf Bag

How you stock your golf bag is all about personal preference and the type of bag you are using. After a few rounds you will have figured out where to put things in your golf bag so you know where it’s at when you need it. Depending on the type of bag you choose to use, how to put the things in your golf bag will be easier with some models than others.

What Are The Different Types Of Golf Bags?

Among the things you need for golf is a bag for your clubs and stuff. There’s nothing right or wrong when it comes to the type of bag you decide to play with.

Which bag is the best fit for you? 

There are basically four different types of golf bags to choose from:

Tour Bags - This is the largest type of bag and what the caddies carry on tour. Unless you are always driving a golf cart when playing, this is not the type of bag you want. When driving a golf cart, these bags are the best.

Trolley Bag - Also called  (push) cart bags. This is a popular type of bag among most golfers. It’s a full size bag with enough space and pockets to fit everything you want to pack for golf. A good trolley makes it easy to push the bag, even though you have packed more than you need for the round.

Carry Bags - Also called stand bags. Not as big as the trolley bag, but big enough for most. Yes, you have to carry it. But, many actually prefer this over a trolley bag when playing. Usually you have to walk less with a carry bag than with a trolley, but you probably burn more calories with a carry bag.

Pencil Bags - This is the smallest type of bag. Many of these bags won’t let you carry a full set of golf clubs and the space for clothing and pockets are very limited. Usually you also have to put the bag down on the grass, because most of them don’t have legs. The benefit though is that they provide a very easy way for you to grab a few clubs and go golfing. But many models are actually big enough to fit your full set of clubs, some clothes and other items.

What To Wear Golfing?

Golf can have a somewhat bad reputation among non-golfer for having strict rules (spoken or unspoken) when it comes to what to wear for golf. I think you should be able to play in functional clothes without having to think too much about dress code within some broad limits. 

The section below will focus on some things you need for golf in order to enjoy the game no matter the weather. There are some things that are better than others to wear when the weather is tough on the course:

Rain Gear - A light rain jacket at least, maybe rain pants as well. Today many golf trousers are made from quick dry material, so personally I do just fine with that. I don’t own a pair of rain paints, but I couldn’t live without my water resistant jacket that I also use as a windbreaker. 

Golf Shoes - When you are a beginner starting out to play, sneakers will take you a long way. Even low handicap golfers can play in sneakers when the grass is dry without sliding. At some point though you do want to get yourself a nice pair of waterproof golf shoes. Anyone who has played 18 holes in the rain knows what I’m talking about. Golf shoes will also help your balance when you swing.

Rain Cover For Your Bag - A cover for the top of the bag is nice and keeps your clubs drier when it rains. Most bags do come with a rain cover. Many bags also have a dry-pocket where you can keep your wallet and phone during a round.

Golf Hats - Good to have when playing golf. Will shade your eyes so that you can see the ball when hitting into the sun. Also protects your head from the sun as well as from rain. Personally I feel more comfortable playing golf in a hat than without.

That was it about the checklist and all the things you need for golf. Now keep reading in order to learn more about how to improve your swing.

Related Pages