Packing properly can make or break any golf trip. The obvious stuff — clubs, golf pullovers, pants and shorts — is easy to remember. It’s the little detail-oriented things that get forgotten. Golfers who don’t have the proper tools to travel comfortably make life harder on themselves. They can’t make pars in the rain without rain gloves. Those who end up as the group mooch — borrowing sunscreen, balls, tip money and tees from everybody else — endure relentless heckling. Pack light, but pack right. Here are the things golfers too often overlook…
Shoes, shoes & more shoes
You should bring at least two pairs of golf shoes with you on any trip that’s two days or more. Why? Well, fashion for one. You don’t want to wear white shoes with black pants and a black shirt, do you? But more important is comfort. You need to bring an extra pair of golf shoes in case the first pair gets wet from rain or temporarily ruined by water or mud.
If your golf itinerary involves a day off, make sure to bring walking/tennis shoes, too. You can solve both needs by wearing street golf shoes to the airport. That way you don’t need to pack a backup pair of walking shoes. Consider keeping a pair of flip-flops permanently in your golf travel bag. That way you’re always ready for a sandy beach or an indoor pool.
Prepare for any Weather
It doesn’t matter how many times you check the weather, it can change in an instant, especially in coastal or mountainous destinations. Bring the rain gear, umbrella and rain gloves every time, even if the forecast indicates otherwise. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
And always keep sunscreen in your bag along with a knock-around pair of sunglasses, the weather might be better than expected sometimes!
Golf trips are supposed to be escapes from computers and e-mails, but in reality, everybody needs to stay in touch with work and family back home. If your golf trip involves a lot of driving back and forth to golf courses, make sure you have a cell phone charger that plugs into a car lighter. Make sure you have multiple phone charges in the group just in case one goes missing.
How much money you keep in your wallet on vacation remains a personal preference, but here are a couple of key cash tips you should consider… Bring lots of singles and some fives. Single dollar bills (and sometimes fives) come in handy for the onslaught of airport shuttle drivers, golf cart girls and club cleaners looking for a tip. Golfers who don’t carry singles end up giving out a few more $5s than they’d like.
When it comes to getting foreign currency, did you know that most banks you have an account with will exchange money at no extra cost? Stop into your local bank or credit union branch, and if they don’t have the currency you need, they can order it to pick up within 24-48 hours. The hassles on the front end tend to be worth avoiding the extra charges of exchanging money at the airport or an overseas hotel.
Bringing a printed copy of stuff makes a lot of sense. It’s especially wise to bring a printed schedule with tee times, phone numbers of courses, resorts and head pros, and confirmation numbers in case your phone dies or key e-mails accidentally get deleted.
If you are traveling internationally and your passport gets lost or stolen, a hard copy might be the difference between getting home on time or an unwanted extended vacation. You should consider making a copy of your passport, driver’s license, medical card, and a few major credit cards just in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Just keep it in a safe place, not in your wallet!
Know Your Pills
If you’re on a marathon golf binge, like extended trips to Scotland or Ireland, you’ll need plenty of medication for aching golf muscles and feet. Bring extra Advil/Motrin because everybody will be begging for it at some point. And don’t forget your personal medication if you take any, travel with enough in case you stay a few extra days. Even if you don’t have allergies, take some Claritin or Benadryl with you. You don’t know what foreign plants, odors or animals you may be allergic to.
Bring enough golf essentials
Before any golf trip, take stock of how many golf balls, gloves, tees, whatever you have in your bag. Buying these away from home at the course is like giving your money away… pro shops are money pits.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Eating healthy is virtually impossible on vacation, especially with golfers who have a spirit or two after the round. Throw a few granola bars or nutrition bars in your golf bag. They’re ideal for days when you get tired mid-round or sleep in late and miss breakfast.
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you should leave the business cards at home. Stuff a few extra in your golf bag and wallet. Who knows who you might meet in the Tap Room at Pebble Beach Resorts or the Ryder Cup Lounge at Pinehurst Resort? Maybe that person could be a great business contact or, better yet, a member at some swanky private club. Don’t miss your chance to impress and stay in touch.
I always bring my swimsuit, even to colder climates such as the British Isles, just in case there’s a hot tub to soak in after golf. I also bring an extra set of gym shorts and a comfy T-shirt: Not necessarily for a workout, but in case I need them as pajamas if I have to share a room unexpectedly.
Call the Experts at Epic Golf Travel
We know what to pack, what to leave behind and what to buy when you get there… we’re experts when it comes to knowing all the details about any location you want to visit! Give us a shout to help with your next Epic golf trip…