Many golfers do not think about what you need to bring to a golf school until it is time to pack for their experience. Let’s apologize now… as you go through this list, at some point you will hear either your mother’s or your father’s voice in your head. We are sorry.
As long as I have done this, I think I have seen it all but I am sure one of you will surprise me. It is kind of like when you read a label and wonder why it has recommendations on the product label and you wonder “Is that not just common sense?” Well, it is because somebody did it! Haha Just like number nine on this list.
Here is the minimum that you should pack to attend a golf school:
1. Sun Block (and plenty of it)
Who Needs Sun Screen?
Every single golfer needs to apply sunscreen. So… YES… that includes you! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) claim that it can take as little as 15 minutes for ultraviolet rays to damage your skin. They also say that you should apply it every two hours.
Do I need to apply sun block on cloudy days?
The American Academy of Dermatology days… yes, you do. I know my wife has fair skin and some of the worst sunburns that she has ever had have come on cloudy days.
Do the SPF number really matter?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sun block product that has an SPF between 30 and 50. Studies have shown that there are no extra benefits of using a product with an SPF above a 50. Applying a product with a 30-50 SPF will block 97% of the sun’s rays.
2. A Large Comfortable Hat
Let’s face it, when you talk about a golf hat most people think about a baseball-type looking hat. Although these are comfortable and good looking hats, a baseball hat does not give you the protection that you need from the sun on your ears, cheeks or the back of the neck.
The Cancer Council suggests that you wear a hat with a brim of at least 7.5cm for best protection. The size really does not matter as long as it covers your face ears and neck.
3. Polarized Sunglasses
As we have already discussed, wearing a large brimmed hat can help protect your eyes from sun damage. The Cancer Council claims that wearing this type of hat can reduce UV radiation by 50%
There are many different popular brands of sunglasses on the market but they are not all created equal. While outside on the golf course, you need to wear a pair of polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses will reduce glare off of bodies of water as well as protect your eyes from horizontal light rays that can lead to visual discomfort and eventually headaches.
4. Band-aids or Athletic tape
There are various reasons to wear band-aids or athletic tape. Obviously, you should discuss any injury that you have prior to your golf school experience. Depending on the nature of your injury, more and more golfers are taking advantage of wearing Kinesio tape. This is the colored tape that you may see going up, down and around a leg, arm or should of an athlete.
5. Insect Repellent
This may depend on where your golf school destination is located. You should be carrying some sort of bug repellent in your bag anyway because… you just never know! Haha
From the CDC website:
Always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label. EPA recommends the following when using insect repellents:
• Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not apply repellents under your clothing.
• Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
• Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using repellent sprays, do not spray directly on your face—spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.
• Do not allow children to handle or spray the product. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths.
• Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. The heavy application does not give you better or longer lasting protection.
• After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days.
• If you (or your child) get a rash or other reaction from a repellent, stop using the repellent, wash the repellent off with mild soap and water, and call a local poison control center for further guidance. If you go to a doctor, it might be helpful to take the repellent with you.
Find out more info at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html
Let’s start with the easy ones first. You will probably not be used to the amount of activity or repetitions that you will make during a golf school. Packing some over the counter medications such as Aleve or Tylenol are popular choices to help mitigate aches and pains.
If you are currently taking any medication prescribed by a doctor, you should consult him or her prior to leaving on your trip. When players get in trouble, it seems to be because they are out of their regular routine and may miss taking some of their usual medications or they are eating some different foods that are not in their normal diet and that gives them a problem. In addition, the player may not be used to the heat and they do not properly hydrate themselves or their body just cannot take it.
7. A Rain Jacket and Rain Pants
Of course, a rain jacket and rain pants are not something that you want to think about before you go on your golfing adventure. They are something that you NEVER think about until you need them. Sometimes… life happens, though.
I have even had to wear these in order to try to keep warm when unseasonably cold temperature blow through. Like… 40 degrees and wind is not typical for Texas in April… but I know it happened because I just recently thawed out!
There are many different products on the market to keep you dry. The cost varies substantially but, so does the protection that the garment gives you. You should also realize that there is a difference between water resistant and waterproof. A very big difference! Do your research.
8. An Umbrella
A golf umbrella is something else that you do not put much thought into until you need one. I will say… Size matters. There, I said it. The small little single umbrella that you use when you run around town is not going to cut it on the golf course. You will need one much bigger.
As you look into the bigger golf umbrellas, you will want to make sure that it has vents built into it. The vents allow air to flow through and do not make it as vulnerable to flip inside out. In addition, you will want to try the grip or handle out and make sure it is comfortable to carry.
9. Your Golf Clubs
I know… you should not have to say pack your golf clubs when going to a golf school but players have shown up on more than one occasion without them. Just put it on your to-do list to make sure you do not forget your set. If you do not own golf clubs that is a different story. Call ahead and make sure that rental golf clubs will be available for you to use while attending the golf school.
10. Multiple Golf Gloves
Especially of you are a new golfer, bringing multiple gloves may not be something that you think about bringing. I know while playing golf during the dog days of summer in Houston, we would be using one golf glove and have three or four more attached to the golf cart drying out!
The reason to wear a glove is to be able to stay connected with the golf club during your swing. Humidity increases the moisture and along with your hand sweating, it becomes more and more difficult to securely grip the golf club. In addition, it just feels good to have a fresh glove to put on your hand and when you feel good… you play good.
Companies also offer rain gloves for golf. You may laugh at this at first. I did until I used a pair in a rainstorm. I will never laugh at them again! They are another item like your rain suit. You never think about needing one until you do!
11. Plenty Of Golf Balls
This tip may seem like a no-brainer like remembering your golf clubs but, it still happens. I know I have not packed extra balls to go on a golf trip and then get caught having to buy them on site.
You will want to determine how many balls that you will need to take for your experience. It will depend on few different things such as: How often you are going to be playing on your trip, your current handicap, will you be receiving any golf balls as part of your package and how difficult the courses that you will be scheduled to play are. You can often go online to find out the difficulty of a course by either finding an online scorecard or by finding reviews of the facility.
12. Comfortable Golf Shoes
Depending on which school you attend, it could be that you will be taking instruction for three to four hours in the morning and playing a round of golf in the afternoon. Typically, this is more than people are used to being on their feet.
The phrase comfortable golf shoes comes with a different definition for every player. The important part is that they are comfortable to you and that you have worn them prior to your arrival. Many times, I have seen students take their new shoes out of the box early that morning, only to have blistered feet by the end of the day.
13. A Great Attitude!
Not all golfers are looking for the same golf school experience. Some are wanting to learn hardcore while others are looking for it to be vacation-like. You will need to do your research before making your selection.
Now that the golf school aligns with what you want, you can bring a smile and an open mind to try some new things to improve your swing and more importantly lower your golf scores. Be ready to meet a few new people and have a good time!
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