How to pack for a golf trip, according to a golf gear junkie

Trying to bring only 14 clubs on a golf trip can be tough

Ryan Barath

Packing for any tough trip. But packing for a golf trip As a gear addict with a fleet of clubs to choose from? This is frankly terrifying.

Well let me go back for a minute and concede that “the problem” isn’t a big deal, but as anyone who is a gear geek knows, there can be quite a bit of hesitation when it comes to which clubs to put in the bag any given round.

Packing everything in a suitcase can be tricky.

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For most golf travelers, especially those traveling by plane, decisions are made for you thanks in part to baggage weight restrictions. But for anyone that leads to a golf destinationThe options are many. Let’s talk our way through the process.

the problem’

As someone who plays the majority of golf in the same conditions all year round, just thinking about the different playing conditions and types of grass It’s hard to plan. Sure, you can just ‘wing it’ with what you have – but speaking as someone who has spent his life putting together players suitable for different circumstances, the ‘what if’ all drives me crazy.

The first hole in St Patrick’s Links in Ireland.

Clyde Johnson

Do I carry an extra wedge with more bounce? Should I bring one with less bounce? What is the shape of sand? What if it’s windy – should I pack a driving iron? If it’s soft, maybe I should bring in a suitable wood instead for an extra load? What if the greens are fast and my racket doesn’t work? How many balls How many balls is too much?

They are all questions I ask myself over and over again.

The solution

Start with the basics: balls, gloves, plenty of socks, shoes, and sunscreen. No, they are not clubs but you will need them somehow.

Next, you need to know the position of the ground when it comes to where you play. Do the courses have trolleys? Do they just walk? Will there be cans? If you have a pair of golf bagsBring the one who will be most suitable.

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I suggest a small to medium sized carrier bag, as it is the most versatile. If you carry it, it is light enough to carry around on your own.

For very important clubs, the best advice I can give to players who are unsure about which clubs to bring on any specific tour or trip is to use what you want. I know It will work. Don’t go out of your way to buy a specific club based on “just in case” Use the gear you feel comfortable playing with. You don’t want to be standing on a tee at your dream golf destination, playing in a big game, and not feeling confident about the shot you’re trying to hit.

So what’s a nerd in gear to do, with infinite cubic feet and enough clubs—old and new—to outfit a high school golf team?

First, we have the “players”, the clubs I don’t get to experience with. It’s the 14 tools I know will be in the bag when I come up to play.

Different sands can require different wedge grinding.

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Next, we have an extra wedge lob with a different bounce and grind compared to those in the player group, because, if the pros change wedges before the open tournament, I can, too, for a guest member. I also have an extra driver – that’s only because it’s the same brand as my players, and I only need to bring the head thanks to the interchangeable adapter.

Last but not least we have an extra set of irons – they don’t “need” to come in but since I have space and haven’t had a chance to use them since they were built they might as well make the trip for 18 holes. My job is to test equipment and write about it after all!

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Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine Editor and Senior Equipment Editor at He has an extensive background in club fitting and building with over 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Prior to joining the staff, he was the Principal Content Analyst for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.

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