Golf Essentials (What To Always Have In Your Bag)

What to always have in your golf bag is a very open-ended question and it will differ from one golfer to the next, but these are some essentials that all golfers need to have in their bags at all times. Below we will take a closer look at the essentials and we will also look at the “nice to haves”. 

Golf Essentials

The following items are must-have items. If the below isn’t in your golf bag when you step onto the first tee you might as well turn around and head straight to the 19th hole. 

Golf Clubs

The most important items to remember are your golf clubs. I know I am stating the obvious here but leaving a club or your clubs at home is easier than you might think. Always check that your clubs are in your trunk before heading to the golf course, someone else in your household might have taken them out of the trunk. 

In addition to making sure that your golf bag is in your trunk always make sure that all your clubs are in the bag. If you are a golf nut like me putting on your carpet or hitting chip shots in your garden is potentially a regular occurrence. Always make sure that your clubs are back in your bag before heading out to the golf course 

Golf Balls

In addition to your golf clubs, golf balls are also essential. Before every round always make sure to check how many golf balls you have in your bag. The minimum number of golf required differs depending on your skill level, but regardless of what your handicap is, aim to have at least 6 golf balls in your bag before each round. 


Not all golfers wear a glove, but if you do prefer the feel of a glove always make sure that your glove is in your bag before every round. Dropping and losing your glove out on the golf course is easier than what you might think if possible keep a spare glove in your bag to avoid getting stuck out on the golf course without a bag. 


Technically tees aren’t essential, but you don’t want to be that player that keeps on asking your playing partners for a tee. Tees are inexpensive and you shouldn’t have an excuse for running out of tees. Do yourself a favor and buy a big bag of tees, this will put your tee worries aside for a very long time. 

Ball Marker

As is the case with tees, ball markers are technically not essential but it is good golf etiquette to always have a ball marker close by. If you are that person that’s always looking for a ball marker on the first green grab a handful of coins and throw them in your bag. Ball markers are a must to ensure that you can mark your golf ball in a way that doesn’t distract your playing partners. 

Pitch Repairer

A tee can also be used as a pitch repairer but nothing fixes a pitch mark quite like a pitch repairer. Repairing your ball mark on the green is not just good golf etiquette, it also ensures that the greens recover optimally after every round. Many golfers are guilty of not fixing their pitch marks, do yourself, and the superintendent, a favor and fix any unfixed ball marks on the green, just because it’s not yours doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. 


Keeping score is an integral part of the game of golf. Scoring mobile apps and other devices are becoming the norm in terms of scorekeeping, but the traditional scorecard will continue to have a place in the game for many years to come. Always make sure to have a pencil in your bag for scoring. 


A towel is an essential item to have out on the golf course. Golf is difficult enough as is, trying to hit a dirty golf ball with dirty clubs will only make the game harder than what it should be. Make sure to keep your towel wet to ensure that you can clean your golf ball and clubs with ease out on the golf course. 


Hydration is very important out on the golf course. By the time you get thirsty, it is too late already. Always make sure to have some water in your bag and make sure to drink water throughout your round to avoid losing concentration as a result of dehydration. 

Nice To Haves

Clubs, golf balls, and tees are all essential items to always have in your bag but in addition to the items that I listed above, some other items aren’t necessarily essential but that are nice to have in your bag at all times. 


18 Hole rounds take at least 4 hours to complete, getting hungry out on the course with 2 hours of play still left isn’t ideal at all. Snacks are nice to have in your bag in situations like these. Protein bars and nuts are examples of good snacks to keep in your bag. Not only are these snacks healthy but they are also non-perishable and you can keep them in your bag for a week or two. 

Energy Drinks

Water will provide adequate hydration out on the course, but occasionally and especially when it is very hot, an energy drink will be very nice to have while out on the course. A variety of different sports drinks are available in sachet form, all that is required is water to mix it with. Keep a couple of these sachets in your golf bag, you never know when you might just need one to get you through those last few holes. 


Sunscreen is a must-have item out on the golf course. The majority of golfers spend most of their time in an office and their skins aren’t used to being exposed to the sun for extended periods. Even if you do spend a fair bit of time in the sun make sure to protect your skin by applying sunscreen intermittently throughout the round. 

To learn more about how to protect your skin out on the golf course click here.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit might seem like a bizarre item to have in your golf bag, but trust me, you will be very grateful when you need something from it out on the golf course. There is no need for a comprehensive first aid kit, the necessities in the form of band-aids and some painkillers will do the trick. 

Distance Measuring Device

Distance measuring devices such as rangefinders, GPS watches, and handheld pocket caddies are becoming increasingly popular amongst golfers. If you own one of these devices make sure that your device is in your bag or on your arm if it is a watch before every round. Additionally, also make sure that your device is charged or have a spare battery handy in your bag if the device doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. 

Umbrella & Rain Gear

Getting caught out on the golf course without an umbrella is less than ideal. Just because there are clear skies before your round doesn’t mean that it will stay that way for the remainder of the day, to avoid getting caught in the rain always have an umbrella in the bag. 

In addition to an umbrella make sure to pack your rain gear if rain is forecasted. An umbrella is great but if it rains continuously throughout your round a rain suit is a must to ensure that you stay warm and dry. 

Warm Gear

Depending on where you live golfers can sometimes experience all four seasons in one day. During the summer a warm top probably won’t be necessary but in winter it is always a good idea to keep an extra warm pullover in your golf bag. In addition to a pullover, other warm gear items that are nice to have in the cold include gloves, ear warmers, and hand warmers. 

Club Brush

A wet towel normally does the trick when cleaning your clubs, but now and then getting mud out of your grooves can be a problem. A club brush is a very nice item to have to get mud and grass out of your grooves. 

Final Thoughts

Some golfers prefer to keep the bare minimum in their golf bags, for others that list of essential items is a long one. Regardless of which one of these golfers you are, there are some items such as golf balls, tees, and a ball marker that are must-haves. 

Umbrellas, warm gear, and distance measuring devices are nice to have items, if you forget one of these at home you will still be able to finish your round, without golf balls however you will be stuck. 

Still looking for an additional item to add to your golf bag read our Best Golf Gadgets article.

This article was last updated on November 16, 2020 .

Bertine Strauss
Written by
Bertine Strauss
The Golf Blog