Golf Tournament Preparation Tips (#7) – Preparing Your Golf Bag

How to Prepare for a Golf Tournament (Tip #7) – Preparing Your Golf Bag

Preparing yourself for a golf tournament can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. However, one thing that you cannot overlook is getting your golf bag prepared for battle. Every serious golfer should have a checklist of items that they should carry in their bag every tournament round. In Tip #8, we will discuss the extra equipment you may need, depending on the weather conditions you will face, but for now, we’ll keep it to the essentials of a typical tournament round played in reasonably good conditions.

What should you always have in your golf bag during a tournament?

We spent some time last year compiling a list of items that a tournament golfer should always have in their bag. Ideally, each item would have a typical home in one of your golf bag’s pockets. That should make it easier to find if/when you need it.




The Essentials:

  • 14 Golf Clubs – make sure to count them before leaving your car because the penalty for having more is severe and will definitely ruin your day.
  • Alignment Stick – in case you want to use it on the range before your round to check your setup
  • Dozen Golf Balls – bring about a dozen golf balls; if you lose or damage any more, you probably shouldn’t be carding a score that day anyway and would deserve a DQ; remember to mark these in advance in your personal style so you can identify them to you playing partners
  • Golf Tees
  • Golf Towel – some people like two – a large one for your bag and a small one to help clean your golf ball on the green (small enough to fit in your back pocket comfortably)
  • Ball Markers – several quarters or other flat markers
  • Bottle of Water – you can reuse this throughout the day to stay hydrated
  • Divot Repair Tool – you could use a tee, but sometimes a good repair tool can do a better job
  • Rangefinder – purchase a legal, non-slope version for use in almost all tournaments; great way to reduce indecision in your shot selection; note: the slope version of a rangefinder is against the rules in almost all big golf tournaments
  • Replacement Battery – nothing worse than having your Rangefinder die during a tournament round
  • Sharpie – in case you forgot to mark your golf balls or just to mark them at home
  • Pencil(s) – to keep score
  • Course Scorecard – contains local rules plus you never know what information might come in handy
  • Yardage Book with Strategy – this should contain your game plan (See Golf Tournament Preparation Tip #1)
  • iPhone or other Cell Phone – in case you have an urgent question for the pro shop, need help, or have a medical emergency
  • Snacks – healthy and energy-filled snacks like granola bars, bananas, apples, or some combination of these types of food; it’s good to eat a little bit every 3-4 holes to sustain your energy levels without a big sugar spike

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Medicine Kit (for the unexpected event):

  • Band-Aids – to cover a blister or cut
  • Ibuprofen – for inflammation and pain/stiffness
  • 2nd Pair of Contacts – it’s not unheard of to lose a contact on a dry, windy day
  • Contact Solution and/or Eye Drops – for after you hit an into the wind bunker shot (ouch)
  • Sunscreen and Chapstick
  • Toilet Paper – works better than poison ivy
  • Shoe Laces – if you ever had a shoe lace break, you know how it feels to lose solid footing
  • Bug Spray – watch out for those mosquitoes

Once you pull these items together the first time, it’s much easier to maintain or replace any used items after a round. It’s good to be prepared and with the right equipment. You’ll never be surprised or thrown off your game no matter what the situation. In our next post, we’ll talk about special equipment that you may need depending on the conditions. It goes without saying that you should get smaller versions of the above items so they will fit easily in your golf bag and not weigh you down.

If you like this list, please check out our Golf Improvement & Preparation Center. We receive a small percentage of any items purchased which helps defray some of the maintenance and hosting costs for the website. As always, we appreciate your support and hope we’re providing you valuable information to help you improve your golf game.

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#1 Yardage Book
#2 Course Map
#3 Weather Conditions
#4 Pin Placements
#5 Green Speeds
#6 Green Breaks
#7 Golf Bag Essentials
#8 Special Golf Equipment