What do you need in your bag for a good round of golf? Obviously your clubs! But after you check the most obvious item off the list, what else should you pack before heading out to play a round?
Tees and Balls
Don't be the golfer who forgets tees. The rest of your group does not want to be responsible for your gear, and you can expect tee time invitations to dry up if you consistently forget such basic equipment. In addition, always bring more golf balls than you think you need. That way, when you hit 6 balls into the lake you still have plenty in reserve for the back 9.
Golf gloves have become standard in the sport and packing a pair or two will ensure you have proper grip throughout the whole round of golf.
Any golfer can expect to be caught in the rain at some point while in the middle of a golf course. Whether a downpour or a pop-up shower, proper rain gear will allow you to weather the storm. Rain ponchos can be folded into a a very compact shape and easily stored in your golf bag.
Permanent markers are needed to mark your golf balls and it makes sense to keep a few tucked into your golf bag.
A good towel is necessary to keep your clubs clean and in good condition. It is a good idea to carry at least two towels, one for cleaning equipment and another to wipe away sweat.
Water and Snacks
Make sure and pack water and snacks before heading to the course. While many courses employ a snack and beverage cart, it's best to pack your own food and water to keep hunger and thirst away. Some good snacks to pack would be trail mix, protein or granola bars, and dried fruit.
Coins, or whatever else you use for a ball marker, should always be on hand. This assures you don't have to sheepishly ask to borrow a nickel from your playing buddies and the pace of play can continue on uninterrupted.
There are multiple reasons to keep cash in your golf bag. First, so you can tip any caddies or other course employees whose services you use. You might also need cash to purchase items from the snack cart. But perhaps most importantly, the cash can be used for making side bets with your playing partners. While not necessary by any means, many golfers enjoy betting and it's a good idea to have some cash on hand just in case.