Golf vacation season is coming up–indeed, in some places it’s already in full swing. If you’re one of the lucky few, you’ve already booked your hotel and planned games for your entire stay. But if you’re like most golf holiday travelers, chances are you’re leaving the packing to the last minute. That’s not the best of ideas: you don’t want to scramble for essentials half an hour before your flight, or worse, realize you forgot something upon arriving.
A common mistake is not bringing enough sets of clothing. Playing 36 holes a day can get sweaty, so it’s usually best to bring one set for each round you’ll be playing. Take a cue from your hotel: regular shirts might be okay for some, but for others you may want to bring more upscale gear. It’s always a good idea to check weather forecasts before leaving, so you can bring extra layers if needed.
Your mode of transport will also affect how much you bring. If you’re driving to your destination, you’ll have more wiggle room in terms of volume; you can probably bring two large suitcases and then some. On a plane, it’s a bit more complicated. Try booking a hotel with laundry services so you can manage with fewer clothes.
Besides clothes, you’ll also need your club set–make sure you clean them in advance–as well as an extra pair of shoes in case one gets muddy or wet. Extra balls and tees are always useful. You’ll want to bring sunglasses or hats to protect against glare, sunscreen, and an umbrella and raincoat. If that’s too much for your suitcase, you can usually squeeze some items into your golf bag.
A good travel bag is essential considering you’ll be packing some hefty equipment and a lot of clothes. On a plane, a hard-shell suitcase will give your clubs the most protection, although they tend to be heavier so you’ll need to pack carefully to avoid exceeding the weight limit. Padded interiors are also useful, both for plane and car travel. Wheeled bags are easier to carry around, something you’ll have to keep in mind considering you’ll be hauling golf clubs.
Of course, you’ll also want to pack for non-golf activities. Bring casual clothes for sightseeing and bar-hopping. You may also want to bring a dressier ensemble, as most golf hotels have exclusive areas (such as bars and restaurants) that require formal wear.