As my neighbor told me on Sunday, after a round of golf at Torrey Pines in San Diego, golf is “wicked expensive”, especially on the west coast. When I asked him what five things he needed when he travels to play golf on other courses, he gave me the list of items in this article, but the most important items he says he never forget is his wallet!
First, always bring your own clubs. Golf clubs are very personal to every golfer. Though it is fun to try other clubs, models or brands of clubs besides your own, the ones you are use to are the ones that will generally give you the best game and lowest score. Especially if you are a lefty or swing a little bit differently than clubs are designed for. Every club, like every bat, is unique to the one using it. Remember to bring your clubs with you, or your score may be very disappointing.
Protect your clubs when you travel. Always use a travel bag/hard case for clubs. We all know how airlines handle luggage. If you are flying and you check your clubs with your baggage, you must use a hard case for your clubs. Hard travel cases are available on-line, in pro shops and in sporting goods outlets. They run from $100 and up, depending on the style, the size and what size of bag you are putting inside the travel case. Shop carefully for a hard travel case and it will last you for a very long time.
Don’t forget your sun glasses with your prescription. If you have selected your travel destination with care, the weather will be sunny and warm and a pair of sun glasses will be a required item. As it is difficult to get prescription sun glasses on the spur of the moment, it is best to have an extra pair stored with your golf clubs.
Never forget your golf shoes. Golf shoes are also a no-brainer, but you may be surprised at the number of golfers who in their anticipation of a fun weekend on a new course, forget to pack their golf shoes! As shoes are usually the most comfortable after they are worn a few times, and buying new shoes at the pro shop when you get to where you are going can be expensive, remember to pack your golf shoes. To protect your shoes during the trip and to keep the spikes from damaging anything else in your suitcase, it would be wise to purchase a golf shoe bag to store your shoes in during the trip. Many golfers, even those who only play near home, purchase a shoe bag for their golf shoes as it is easier to throw them in your car on the way to the course if they are together and in a zippered bad. After all, who wants to drive to the golf course in golf shoes?
Finally, bring lots of cash. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, bring cash whenever you travel to a new location. First, you will want to be able to cover all the green fees and cart rental tolls without having to worry about if they will take your particular credit card. And even if they do take your card, you may need cash to pay for drinks along the course or in the club house at the end of the round. Snacks, tips and other essentials may be easier to pay for with cash, instead of credit cards.
Traveling around the world to pay golf is a favorite dream of many golfers. To totally enjoy your trip, don’t forget to bring your well-protected clubs, golf shoes, sun glasses, and lots of cash. Other things you might want to pack are sun screen, extra balls and tees, a hat, your golf gloves and of course, a light weight jacket. Check the weather before you go and go on-line to check the fees at the course. If you are prepared to have fun, you will enjoy your fun no matter where you go. Have a great trip!
T.K. Kisiel, Esq.