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Well folks, I’ve almost made it to one of my favorite times of the year: Golf trip time.
The classic three-to-five round golf trip is a post-grad staple for anyone who loves to swing the sticks. Travel a bit, go play a couple somewhat competitive rounds at some new courses, and toss back some drinks with some friends. It makes for a great tradition and reunion weekend, serving both as a fun time and way to stay connected with people you might not see very often.
This will be my third year embarking on this upcoming trip, and between my experience gained from previous years and some insight from a few other trips, I’ve learned some do’s and don’ts when it comes to what to pack.
Naturally I’m not here to tell you the obvious things; you should already know to bring your clubs, clothes for all-weather, Callaway balls, and two pairs of shoes. Also, at least one person will say “lol you better bring your A-game” when you ask them what to take, so make sure you punch that individual in the mouth. No, there are a few other necessities that need to come-with in order to make the most out of your golf excursion.
A Dozen Or Two Of Balls You Don’t Care To Lose
It’s pretty easy to be loading up your travel bag and say to yourself, “Well, two dozen Chrome Softs should easily last me 3-4 rounds.” Hopefully, more often than not you’d be right.
However, that’s easy to say until your game is completely falling apart in the middle of a Myrtle Beach golf course on Day 2 and you’re sinking golf balls into the bottom of a lake with more frequency than a mob henchman disposing of bodies the same way. On a golf trip you could find yourself with a game (or a breath alcohol content) that’s leading you to run through the balls in your bag with reckless abandon, and you might still be staring at 36+ holes you need to finish. That Chrome Soft is too good of a golf ball to desecrate it with your game at its worst.
I’m no scratch golfer, which is why I always bring at least a dozen of lower tier or even refurbished golf balls that I care less about. That way if/when things fall apart on me, or I just decide to turn this into a binge-drinking trip, I’m not flinging $3 golf balls into the water every other hole and not having to buy a 50 percent marked-up sleeve in the pro shop.
A Cocktail That’s Easy On Your Body
You know what you’re probably too old for now? Drinking beer heavily for multiple days in a row. Heading out and playing 18 (plus drinking each night back at the residence after) is an endurance race; kind of like an Iron Man but for dudes (or ladies, ladies golf too) who are washed up. I myself made the mistake of sticking to beer on my first trip. Not the move. I love a few beers on the course as much as the next guy, but there’s only so much a body can take.
You need something that’s not going to leave you dragging ass for multiple days, and this also applies to cocktails with a ton of sugar in them. I’ve gotta point right to the patented “Dave”: Topo Chico, vodka, & lime. Solid, refreshing on-course beverage. Even grabbing just a LaCroix and clear liquor of your choosing works great. Whichever way you go, just get something that’s refreshing and not going to leave you looking like John Daly on his worst day out there.
Learned this one the hard way. Your lips and face are going to take a fucking beating out there. From the second you tee off, you’re staring at at least 10+ hours on a golf course for any trip, and that’s probably a conservative estimate. One simply doesn’t spend hours in the sun, with wind whipping your face while driving a golf cart, and feel 100 percent. Don’t be too proud to spray on some sunscreen. Deferring from wearing some on your usual Saturday morning round is one thing, but back-to-back-to-back days is definitely another.
Don’t be the person trying to find a CVS one night because you look like a strawberry and your lips look like you got stranded in the desert. Make sure your go-to chapstick or lip moisturizer are in your travel bag, and grab something to bring the life back in your face, because this will be the longest it’s been exposed to a non-computer screen light in years.
A Sense Of Realism About Your Game
Obviously, professional golfers are incredible. The 1 percent. The big dogs. But one aspect of their game that I always overlooked, however, was the endurance and consistency it takes to bring a quality game to the tee box four days in a row. Taking 200-300 cuts over a four day span is going to be a beating on any amateur golfer’s body. That’s just the physical side; golf is very much a mental game, and the generic casual golfer isn’t used to dealing with the highs and lows of multiple rounds.
On almost any golf trip, you’re playing unfamiliar courses and asking for more out of your body than you’re used to. There’s a real good chance that you might not be playing to that handicap of yours for the entire weekend. Don’t let not having your A-game for 36 to 72 holes ruin your trip. I’m as competitive as anyone out there, but even my stubborn ass has to realize that the number one reason I’m out there is to hang with my buddies and play some golf. You’re not taking this trip to get your tour card, you’re taking it to enjoy your damn self. .
In case you needed a reference point, here’s how not to act while out on the links:
Also, Tiger. Is. Back: