What's in Your Bag?
By DougE on 1/11/12
I've never given the contents of my golf bag much thought, until I read Doug "DougE" Ely's guest column. Come to think of it, my bag is pretty boring. I don't have anything really special or unique inside. However, I do keep a mini grocery store in the side pouch because you never know when you're going to get hungry on the course. Enjoy!

Yes, I know, you have a set of shiny irons, those hot hybrids, the greatest new driver, and balls, tees, ball markers, etc. We all carry those. What I’m interested in are the somewhat out of the ordinary or unique things in your bag that might make some of us say “Hey, great idea, why didn’t I think of that?“ Or maybe “I didn’t know that was legal,” USGA rules….or otherwise.

Last fall, I played with a guy who had some sort of battery-operated mini-leaf blower sticking out the long pocket on the side of his bag. He was determined to have no stroke and distance penalties due to lost balls hiding under fallen foliage which can often overwhelm the fairways and rough at that time of year. I agreed with him, it certainly can be frustrating to hit a ball perfectly down the fairway and then arrive at the area and you can’t find the ball anywhere. Though his solution seemed a bit extreme, it did pay off for him more than once during the round. He also used it on the greens to clear his line of all the little whirlybird seeds/leaves (or whatever you call those little things that twirl down from the trees) which covered a number of greens. I did not mention to him that he might be pushing the limit of the rules a bit (See Rule 14.3). It was a late season, non-competitive round, with no one behind us. Plus, I had just met the guy, who was a good 20 years my senior. Who was I to tell him what he can and can’t do?

For me, I don’t think I carry anything too outrageous, like the guy above. However, I’ve had many a golf partner comment on some of the stuff I’ve pulled out from my bag. Maybe there’s something on my list you think might work for you too. And hopefully, you’ll list some of your unique stuff to give me a few ideas. Here are just some of the things you’ll find riding along in my bag or on my cart:
  • Ace Bandage
  • Elbow Wrap (for tendonitis)
  • Advil
  • BenGay Roll-on (It sucks being over 50)
  • Band-aids
  • Tape
  • Sunscreen
  • Deep Woods OFF
  • Anti-Static Dryer Sheets (keeps SOME bugs away and they smell nice)
  • Business Cards (Hey, you never know who you might meet out there)
  • Reading Glasses
  • Hair Brush ( Yes, I’m vain, I admit it.)
  • GPS
  • Rangefinder
  • Batteries (for GPS and rangefinder)
  • Sharpened Pencils (with erasers)
  • Pr. of Tour Stix
  • Stick-on Lead Weights
  • Weighted Donut (for warming up)
  • Various Ball-mark Repair Tools
  • Rain Suit
  • Rain Gloves
  • Large Towels (for my cart seat if it is raining)
  • Under Armour Vest
  • Nike 1/2- zip Pullover
  • Frogger Brush Pro
  • Ballzee (pocket ball cleaner)
  • Customized Spec-tracking Cards (I record club, distance, and rate every shot)
I suppose the most unique thing I bring, other than maybe the anti-static dryer sheets or my custom-made spec-tracking cards, is not actually something I carry in my bag at all. But, I do carry it with me attached to my cart, next to my bag when I’m riding alone or under my legs on the floorboard if I’m sharing the ride. It’s a ball and club washer. You know the type with internal brushes where you put in the ball, then pull up and down on the handle to clean it up, just like you see at every couple of tee boxes on most courses (think Carl Spackler in Caddyshack). It’s filled with cleaning solution and also has a place to stick your club head in for a good brush scrubbing. I often see these mounted on carts at some of the resort courses I have played, which is where I came up with the idea to do it myself. I have mine rigged with a permanently attached, adjustable bungee cord, which I designed to hook in easily at either location I mentioned above. It works well under normal conditions, but I went to put it on my cart when I played one day earlier this month and found the water/solution had frozen solid. I’ll have to remember to take it out of my car at night as the temps dip into the teens here in the northeast.

Anyway, that’s just some of the stuff I carry on a regular basis. With all that crap, I bet you can figure out by now that I never walk 18 while carrying my bag. It‘s a push/pull cart or riding cart for me all the way. I think I‘d collapse by the 5th hole otherwise. Not to mention my bag is one of the heavier type cart bags.

So, what about you guys? Anything interesting lurking in your bag (of which you’ll admit to) that might not be found in the rest of our bags. Firearms? Cuban cigars? Your stash of…..?

This was written by DougE, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by jason.odonnell

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
The oddest thing about my bag is a battery powered LED reflector tag. I ride my bike to and from the bus stop/subway station.
bkuehn1952 says:
Unique take on a golf-related subject, well done! I load up with as little as possible as I tend to walk and carry. My empty bag weighs under 4 pounds and I make day to day strategic decisions on what goes in. Little chance of rain? Umbrella and rain gear stay in the trunk.

Right now I have: ratty towel, ball mark repair tool, 6 pennies for ball marks (all 1979 or earlier), a red Sharpie, several golf pencils w/erasers, a first aid kit (couple bandages, aspirin, white athletic tape), a small cleat wrench, extra glove and sun screen. Bug spray goes in around May. The one unique item is a small bag of cleats. I pick up cleats that people lose from their shoes if they are in good shape. Anyone playing with me can get a replacement cleat no matter what style of shoe.
SteveMM says:
Very cool article. Here's what's in my bag that I can remember off the top of my head. Nothing terribly exciting...

Business cards
Glasses case (I wear glasses, but not while playing)
Cigar cutter
Multiple clip-on ball markers (the type that clip to your hat)
Knee brace (rarely needed, but good to have)
Combo sunblock/bug spray
About 100 tees (can't ever have too many)
Two or three green repair tools (see above)
An extra glove (also see above)
A full rain suit (rarely worn, but the jacket comes in handy)
Two towels (one that stays on the bag and one that comes with me to lay my grips on when putting a club down in the fairway)
One kitchen sponge (for practice in eliminating my chicken wing)
At least one smooshed granola bar
birdieXris says:
I don't know about unique. my bag is pretty lean since i walk a lot. Out of the normal sticks and balls, i carry:
3 Gloves (counting the one i'm wearing at any given time)
one swing donut
My Bushnell V2
My club caddy for propping my clubs up so i don't lose them.
Snacks and a drink.
If it looks like rain, i'll throw the wet weather gear in, but generally i don't carry that stuff.
Misc bag tags from the USGA and Clubs that i've played.

boring :(
Mr_X says:
Right now there is way too much stiff in my bag!
Wool hat (Golfing in Chicago is brutal in the winter.)
Warm gloves and 3 golf gloves
Cliff Bar or two
Wind shirt
Weighted donut
Range tokens (I buy them in bulk for a discount)
Scorecard holder and generic stat/score cards which stays in my back pocket on the course
Golf club brush
Alignment rods
Two towels
The one item in my bag which is unique is a plastic business card box I got 10 years ago with new cards from work. It is big enough for about 50 business cards.I keep my tees, ball mark repair tool, ball markers and pencil in there.
-And probably 15 golf balls.
I am flying to San Diego to play in February. I need thin the bag out and weigh it!
mjaber says:
Oddest thing I have in my bag is eye-drops. I wear contacts, and they can dry out sometimes while playing, so I keep a small bottle in my bag, just in case.
Dusty23 says:
Nothing unusual in my bag, tees, balls, couple of pencils, ball mark repair tools, ballmarks, tape, bandaids tylenol, eyeglass case, cigar case, cutter and lighter, snacks, extra glove, rain gloves, (right now, warm gloves & wool hat) rain suit (if it looks needed). My biggest complaint has always been that most carry and cart bags apparel pockets were not designed to carry much beyond one thing. I'm 6'4" 230lbs and wear mostly XXL gear and after I put my rain suit in there's hardly any room for an extra pullover. Up here in the NE, you can start the day at one temp and by the time your round is done, you could add or peel off two or three layers. I'd use a staff bag, but first I need to get the game to back it up.
askarzy says:
Wooden skull staff, enough said.
falcon50driver says:
Doug, your last sentence, yep.
falcon50driver says:
The stash, though, is rum.
mmontisano says:
I'm surprised no one said Chapstick. I do have a couple Cuban cigars (Montecristo No. 4's) in my bag though. no embargo in Singapore!
SpaceMaNy0 says:
So far, no one has said: sunblock, a lighter, toilet paper, or tampons. All these things are in my girlfriend's golf bag.

I have a deer antler in my bag that I found on my first round last year.
Joness says:
A flask with Stones Mac in it - (a combination of whisky and green ginger wine) and 4 little aluminium tumblers. A quick nip after 9 on a cold day for all in my group.
Tim Horan says:
I play on some pretty slow tracks during the year and it is darn hard keeping loose in the colder weather. I always carry air balls in the bag so when waiting on the tee we knock a few back and forth between us. It stops us getting frustrated and screwing up.
homermania says:
Balls, tees, clubs, stash.
homermania says:
I might have missed it, but has anyone said the rule book? I always keep the current rule book in my bag to settle any debate that comes up among playing partners.
windowsurfer says:
A toque, extra vest or jacket, winter/rain gloves, usually several partial ziplock bags of trail mix. Aspirin. A little silicon shoe shine puck.

Nice job, DougE!
Joness says:
I also carry an 8 metre builders measuring tape for the nearest the pins. Our club you have to measure and write on your card. The flag has measurements on it but if you are 5 metres away it is a lot of end to end on the flag. Much easier with a tape measure. Won be $53 a little while ago on our "Pro Pin" hole.
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