Golf is a sport that requires timing, skill and control. In order to be good or perhaps even great, one must first have all the right equipment. Many new golfers tend to believe that being over-prepared is the way to go.
For example, they bring rainy weather implements with them on hot, sunny days. A new golf bag always seems to be begging its owner to fill her up. However, just because the bag has a hundred pockets doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Unless you plan on using a golf cart, lugging an extremely heavy bag across the green is less than ideal. After all, golf is about getting a hole-in-one, not weightlifting.
A ball marker is an essential tool to mark the position of your ball on the green. It doesn’t have to be anything special. The easiest and most commonly used item for this purpose are coins. All you need to do is ensure that you have a coin on your person at all times. Or better yet, use the same coin as the ball marker and always keep it in your bag. This might seem like a minor detail but no one appreciates having to play with someone who uses a tee to mark the position of their ball.
This is a must-have tool in your arsenal. A divot tool is used to fix the unsightly and bumpy marks your ball leaves on the grass. There is absolutely no excuse not to have one in your bag because it weighs practically nothing. Plus, it has the added additional benefit of making you look good. When the players behind you see that you’ve taken such kind consideration, you may gain some new friends and definitely some golf buddies.
USGA RULE BOOK
The rules of golf is confusing for pro-golfers, let alone a rookie. With so many different scenarios and complexities, it can get difficult to keep track of what is what when you’re playing. The rules become particularly important if your money or pride is at stake. Thankfully, the USGA will send you a pocket-sized rule book for free and you can keep that in your golf bag at all times. It is worth pointing out that if you take the time to occasionally peruse through it, your understanding of the rules will put you at an advantage when a situation arises.
GOLF GPS RANGEFINDER
Yes, you do need this. The markers set up along the course are sometimes not easily spotted or may look quite shoddy and unclear if they haven’t been maintained well. Having a rangefinder of some kind on you will help you navigate around hazards and be aware of the distance between your ball and target. The commonly used ones are the golf GPS rangefinder and the laser rangefinder. However, they’re both pretty pricey and if you’re looking to make a smaller investment then you can always just download a GPS rangefinder mobile application into your smartphone. You’ll get all the same benefits with the added bonus of not having to lug around an extra item.
BRING A BOTTLE OF WATER AND SNACK
This might sound like advice one would give a kindergartener but it’s a tip that is unanimously agreed on. Golf is played in open conditions and the sun can be brutal. It is important to stay hydrated. Having a snack on hand – perhaps some fruit or a granola bar – will also help to keep your energy levels up through all 18-holes.
Just to be safe, have a self-assembled medical kit on standby. This could just be some Band-Aids, sting-relief, ice packs and ibuprofen tucked neatly into a Ziploc bag. Whatever it may be, having some supplies to take care of minor health-related incidents will help keep you focused on the game.
Perhaps the biggest rookie – and most embarrassing – mistake made by new golfers is having all the unnecessary equipment but none of the critical ones. Apart from the absolute basics such as clubs, the right golfing attire and shoes, there are a few other tools that would come in handy. Listed below are a few tips and tools that you should be aware of and have ready; and hey, if you follow them down to the letter, no one will suspect you of being anything other than a seasoned golfer.