The best summer-golf essentials for every round

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Updated on June 08, 2023

Summer golf is upon us, which means golfers everywhere are sneaking off to the course at every chance to squeeze in a quick round or range session between scheduled weekend rounds. Whether you are an avid golfer or new to the game, it’s always a good idea to take inventory on your gear and apparel setup to make sure you are prepared at a moment’s notice, when the opportunity to play comes. You may have the bag packed well for your standing Saturday morning tee time, but you may need to simplify your setup if you are sneaking in a quick nine between work calls and certainly will have to pack an extra bag if you’re bringing the kids along. We polled some of our editors to roundup the top essentials for every type of golf outing, so you can be ready to tee it up at a moment’s notice.
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Every golfer staples

Let’s start with the basics. These are the items every golfer needs to have in their bag for every round. Get into a habit of clearing out your bag on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to make sure you have the essentials and replace torn golf gloves or melted sunscreen sticks with fresh inventory. Golf balls seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve all experienced the panic of opening that pocket only to find some wrappers and tees where the balls should be. Keep a steady supply in your bag for regular use, and then we’d recommend putting a back-up sleeve of balls in a deeper pocket just in case.
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BONUS TIP: Do yourself a favor and pack a backup snack that won’t go bad and keep it in your bag for when you need a little boost of energy that’s not a hot dog at the turn. We’re not telling you that you can’t indulge a little during rounds, but a high-protein, low-sugar snack like almonds, certain protein bars or peanut butter crackers will go far in a pinch.
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Quick round at lunch hour

We’re not saying that you should put your job at risk to sneak in a few holes during your lunch hour or between calls, but if you happen to be in the situation to play during the work day, we may have some tips on how to be more efficient when there are time constraints.

Raucous rounds/College buddies in town

As long as you are the right course and stay mindful of pace-of-play, there is nothing wrong with having a party environment as you play golf. To help the party go smoothly (and not feel hungover by the last hole) be sure to mix in some water between drinks, apply a liberal layer of sunscreen before you leave for the course and pack a golf-appropriate speaker that will bring the tunes without distracting other groups.

Family Rounds/Playing golf with kids

Golf can be a great family activity this summer—as long as you are properly prepared to bring the kiddos on the course. If you are well stocked on most of the day-to-day golf essentials on this list, that’s a great start.

Pack extra snacks and maybe even some candy for motivation. Artist and avid golfer Macklemore gets his daughters involved in the on-course competition by awarding them with gummy bears if they can five-putt a green. It’s a great way to make the game fun and approachable for new golfers and the last thing you want is to be caught several holes away from the clubhouse with a tired and hungry tantrum-ready kid.

Guest of a member at a private club

Getting the call to play at a private club is always an exciting one. Whether with friends or for business, it’s a great opportunity to play a new course you may not typically have access to. Be sure to ask your host of any dress codes or rules you should know before you go. It’s always best to have a collared shirt on hand, a fresh pair of clothes to change into for dinner or drinks in the clubhouse and cash for tips.