The game of golf is different than most sports … for a lot of reasons.

One reason … you carry everything you need with you. Or you should.

Hockey, Basketball, Tennis are sports that people play. But because they are team sports and there is little downtime if you are playing. You may have to wait until a whistle, a period break or stoppage of play.

In golf, there is downtime between shots. There is also a reason to carry more with you. Either in your bag, on your person or in the golf cart. If your golf bag is stocked with clubs, a few tees, and little else, it might be time to step up your game.

Arnold Palmer said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” Better err on the side of caution and come prepared: here are 10 essentials you should never leave the clubhouse without.

Tees

One of the least expensive things you will need. So buy lots of them. Nothing worse than hunting for a tee on the course or constantly borrowing from a buddy.

Extra Golf Glove(s)

Having an extra golf glove in your bag is crucial. A golf glove prevents a lot of abrasions on your hand in the golf swing. But they also wear out making it rough on the hand. As well, if the course is damp, or you sweat a lot, or it is lightly raining. An extra glove will just provide peace of mind and allow you to finish your round in comfort.

Water

You’re more likely to sip water throughout the day if you’re drinking from your own bottle. Avoid dehydration. You can still have other drinks on the course but having your own water with you will get you through a few holes until you can get another drink.

Extra Socks, Spikes, and Shirts

Remember you are playing outside. The weather can change and so can your luck. You may need to play out of some tall wet grass or walk through some standing water on the course to retrieve your ball. Playing in wet socks is no fun. It takes up little space in your bag. At the very least, pack a backpack in your vehicle. Towels, shirts, long sleeve shirts, etc. Even if you just want to change after your round and sit in comfort in the clubhouse.

Golf Towel

Find a golf towel made of a microfiber (for fast drying) or soft cotton (for versatility) to help keep your clubs clean from drive to putt. It’s also helpful to have extra towels to wipe your face, hands or dry your feet if they get wet. There are times when you need to wipe down the golf cart seat when it is spitting rain.

Divot Repair Tool

Replacing large divots on the fairway or tee is just common sense. Most courses have a mixture of seed and sand/dirt on the tee box to help replace divots. On the fairway, if you take a divot (beaver pelt), just walk up and pick it up and place it back in the divot. It takes but a moment and it helps the course stay nice.

But on the green, it is even more important. Even a long tee can help fix a ball mark on the green. When you hit to the green, you usually come in with a high shot and when it lands, it leaves a ball mark on the green. If unrepaired, the green becomes pitted with lots of ball marks. Making it hard to have a smooth putt.

Ball repair tools can be less than $1 and others can be more expensive. If you appreciate the game of golf, help every golfer who follows you by fixing your ball mark and one other that you might spot.

Sun Protection

Staying out of the sun isn’t an option in golf. You might get some shade from a tree or in the cart, but it won’t be enough to keep you from burning your forearms, nose, or even the top of your head. Sunscreen and a hat is a great start.

Bug Spray

Depending on where you play, it’s best to treat the golf course like the backwoods and go for the heavy protection. You will stir up bugs in tall grass or bushes or trees. Its bad enough to go hunting for a lost ball. Keep the bugs away too/

Golf Umbrella

Always pack for a day on the course with your local weather conditions in mind. Better yet, keep an umbrella on you at all times.There is usually a spot to put it in your golf bag. Better to have it than not.

First Aid Kit.

It’s always better to be prepared for injury. Even its just a sandwich bag with some band-aids and pain relief pills. Just a simple first aid kit equipped with everything you need for blisters, cuts, or scrapes.