If you had to pare down the contents of your golf bag to the bare essentials, what are the accessories you just have to keep in there? Fergus Bisset runs through the 10 most essential bits of extra golfing kit.
With so many items of golfing equipment on the market today, it’s possible to take a golf bag onto the course crammed full of more kit than the average Artic Explorer would pack for a 12-week expedition. Whether you’re trolleying or carrying, it’s good to be prepared but there’s no need to overdo it. Here are the 10 most essential golf accessories that every player should always have to hand...
Not all golfers wear a glove in normal conditions but all will benefit from being in possession of one, or a pair of the best rain gloves, when the weather turns wet. Without this innovative product, your grips are liable to become like cylindrical bars of soap after the heavens have opened. Simply holding on to the club through the swing will be an achievement, let alone making a reasonable pass at the ball. A good rain glove actually becomes more grippy as it gets wetter meaning you can focus on the usual worries: ‘Don’t duff it,’ ‘Don’t shank it’ and ‘Don’t miss it,’ without the fear of premature club release clouding your thoughts.
White wooden tees
It’s crazy to venture onto the golf course without a goodly supply of white wooden tees in your pouch. Yes, there are various novelty tees out there that purport to help you achieve more consistency or a better ball flight, but if you watch The Open, how many of them do you see on show? By all means try a new teeing option, but make sure you have those little white wooden ones as tried and tested back-up.
How oft heard is this utterance on the 1st tee in the Saturday Medal: “Sorry, but could I borrow a pencil?” Don’t be the one to have to say it – Make sure you have a few pencils mixed in with those white wooden tees.
If you don’t have one of these in your pocket when you tee off for any round; you are a bad person! It doesn’t matter what standard or type of golfer you are; you will make pitch marks. If every golfer repaired one pitch mark on every green, there would be no more visible pitch marks to contend with, we would all therefore hole more putts, and the world would just be a better place!
Another one for those unexpected rain showers that are prone to test us in this country. It might only last for a few minutes and, if you’ve got one of the best umbrellas you can quickly sling up, you’ll avoid a soaking that could otherwise have left you feeling decidedly miserable for the rest of the round.
Dark coloured towel
You’ve got to clean your balls and it’s always best to do this on a dark towel so the evidence is less obvious. Yes, a white towel will do the job and this is what the pros generally use. But they’ve got a caddy to wash the towel after every round and you don’t. A dark towel can keep functioning with brown streaks on it as they’ll be camouflaged so as to save your blushes. Also when playing golf in the rain, keep some more towels in your bag to use sporadically throughout the round. Using one of the best golf towels to keep those grips dry is of paramount importance.
It might not be sunny when you set off but if the clouds part mid-round you’ll be grateful of one of the best golf hats to provide your delicate face and noggin with a little shade. It might also just help you see where exactly that errant shot into the sun ended up.... Although you might rather not know!
Distance measuring device
This wouldn’t have made the list 10 years ago as we were all still able to use our eyes. But, much like the mobile device has taken away our ability to recall any fact or figure without furious googling, the “DMD” has totally destroyed our confidence in judging distance. 25 years ago most golfers could look at anything in the near distance and make a good estimate of how far away it was. Now we stand on a fairway staring blankly at the pin, unsure if we need a wedge or a 5-iron until we get some concrete evidence to guide us. Be it a laser or a GPS, the distance measuring device has become a crucial tool.
Marking your golf ball is important so you can identify it if and when you hit a bad shot. A pen takes up no room in your bag, so get one in there!
Whether you’ve purchased it in the pro-shop or filled up a “Bidon,” Tour de France style, it’s important to stay hydrated over a four-hour round of golf. Even if it isn’t a hot day, you’ll become more tired and lose concentration if you don’t drink enough water. Also, if you happened to over indulge the night before, it could just save your life.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
- Joe FergusonStaff Writer
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