I decided to clean out my golf bag the other day, and it was well over due. I needed to get rid of the old balls I found on the course and food wrappers.

All golfers should clean out their bag periodically. The first thing you need to do is get rid of those golf balls you will never use.

Below are items you should have in your bag:

  • A bag tag with your name on it so that the cart attendant knows where to put your bag.
  • Extra dollar bills to tip cart attendants and beverage cart drivers.
  • At least 6 to 10 golf balls, half of which are new and the other half seasoned.
  • Sharpie marker for marking golf balls. You need to be able to identify your ball when it’s mixed among others.
  • Tees of all sizes. Tall tees for your oversized driver and short tees for irons used on par 3’s.
  • Extra glove in case your glove gets wet or ripped during the round.
  • Large golf towel to wipe off grips and to lay extra clubs on when chipping.
  • Golf umbrella for rainy days or extreme heat.
  • Rain jacket, pants, socks and hat in case of rain.
  • First aid supplies for pain relief, band aids and elastic wrap for sprains.
  • Sunscreen, which must be re-applied every few hours even if cloudy. Remember to replace the container once a year.
  • Insect repellent for mosquitos and no-see-ums.
  • Snacks, preferably fruit, nuts and energy bars. Stay away from sugar items.
  • Water, either bottled or in an insulated tumbler. You need to drink water on every hole, especially in the heat.
  • Ball markers that can be used without delay on the green. A magnetic clip on your hat is preferable.
  • Extra scorecards and pencils in case you lose one during your round.
  • Protective pouch for your cell phone and wallet.
  • Business cards. Golf is a great time to network.

As you can see, the golf bag does a lot more than hold your golf clubs.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com