I am not going to tell you to make sure you have paid your electricity accounts or told the neighbours you are away and collect the mail please. We are sure you have done that before with family holidays. These tips are for a different beast. The golf holiday.
1) Attach a name, address and phone no. label to your golf bag
We have all had stories of golf bags not making it to their destination. Keep your baggage tickets for that stuff. If it is a popular golf destination and you have a a common bag, your bag could be picked up by mistake at an airport or bus terminal. A contact details tag will make the reunion a lot faster and you won’t miss out on any golf time.
2) If you have a smaller, lighter bag ...take that!
Particularly if you travelling through airports or using public transport, leave the tour bag behind for Saturday comps and take your smaller bag. If you are travelling to warmer climes, you won’t be needing the pockets for jumpers and jackets you will never use.Economise, I take a stand bag when I am travelling particulary if fitting in some golf with a family holiday . It fits in easier into the boot with all the other family stuff and I hire a buggy or cart when I get to the course. A stand bag makes it easier for exiting terminals or finding out you have a long walk to the pro shop from the car park. If you are not taking a golf bag and hiring when you arrive, take a little bag that contains all your golf balls, markers, tees, pitch repairers, suncream and range finders. It means you won’t have to buy them when you arrive. On second thought, better take plenty of balls.
3)Take a spare pair of golf shoes (particularly spikeless ones)
If you are a serious golf traveller, you should have two pairs of shoes. You can economise with other clothing but taking care of your feet is essential. You can never book the weather on a golf holiday and if your shoes get wet playing that “must play” course, this will mean your feet will get wet too which is not good. Having a second pair (particulary spikeless) means you have something to change into and wear on the course the next day. Carry a shoe bag with you if they smell or try putting cedar tree shoes inside your golf shoes. These will protect them whilst travelling, help dry them out and reduce the odour.
4) Use your golf towel inside the golf bag
You can use a golf travel bag but you should also consider taking the towel off your golf bag, tying all your woods and hybrids together and wrapping the towel around the heads. This is extra protection will work in case some baggage handler decides to javelin throw your bag onto your next flight.
5) Put your range finders into your carry on
Range finders are great for golf and are now being used in professional golf tournaments. However they are also used in hunting, security and defence and overzealous airport security may confiscate if they are in your golf bag. Better be safe, put them in your carry on so you can explain what they are for.
6) Clean your grips before you leave
Overtime your grips may become shiny from your sweating palms. This would become even more of a problem if your golf holiday is in a warm, sweaty location. First of all, soak your grips in warm water with detergent, then rub them down with steel wool and dry them off with a towel. Let them dry some more in the air and they will roughen up and become easier to grip when it becomes slippery.
7) Take the Stick or a massage ball with you
If you are playing a number of days in a row on a golf holiday, you normally don’t do that. Chances are you will get a little sore as your golf muscles react to the extra work. Whenever I golf travel, I take the Stick with me . It was sold to me 20 years ago by a Canadian who said Lance Armstrong took it with him on the Tour . Little did I know at the time, that Lance was taking something else with him that was even of greater assistance! But the Stick has been great for massaging over my body at the end of a golf day. You could also take a massage ball and let that roll over your back and hips to relieve the soreness and tightness as you lie on your hotel floor.
8)Take a snap cold sports towel with you
As seen at the T okyo Olympics, athletes were drapping these cooling microfibre towels over their necks whilst they were competing. They don’t interfere with your golf swing and they will aid in the cooling process if your golf holiday is in a very warm and sweaty location.
9)Get the jab and have your immunization records with you
It is obvious now that it going to be important to be fully vaccinated to COVID-19 whether you are doing interstate or international travel. You are also going to need to prove that easily so have your immunization records available either in your personal documents or in an app on your phone.
10) Make some new golfing friends with gifts
The great thing about a golfing holiday is that you can have fun without really worrying about how you are going. You are on holidays! One way to make it even better is if you are playing with a group from another club or location, you could give them some gifts from your home course or club. Some logo ball markers or tees are inexpensive and may result in a new connection or offer of help in the future. It always goes down well.
Thanks also to John Powers from Royal Canberra Golf Club and Bruce Gibbon from Golf Creek Country Club for some extra tips as well.