It’s a Tough Job…
…but someone has to do it.
I was recently invited to travel to Washington to play golf at Chambers Bay and Salish Cliffs. Despite knowing the dangers of traveling to the west coast (I played a lot of Oregon Trail growing up), I accepted the invitation and immediately started compiling a packing list. Outside of the obvious things – spare wagon parts, ammunition, equipment for fording rivers – I came up with seven golf travel essentials for a trip to the Pacific Northwest.
Travel Essential #1 – A Versatile Golf Bag
At home, you may be a one-trick pony: you always ride, walk, or push. On the road, however, you play by the house’s rules whether that means taking a cart or a caddie. Be smart by bringing a bag that can work in all situations like the Projekt Kozmak or the Sun Mountain Three 5. These bags have backpack straps and legs for easy carrying, but they work well on a cart, too. Importantly for a long trip, neither one skimps on storage space.
Travel Essential #2 – All-Purpose Apparel
When you go on a golf trip – particularly one to bucket list courses – you’re not going to let weather keep you off the course. That means that you need clothing that will keep you comfortable when it’s warmer or colder than expected. And don’t forget that you want to look great, too.
The latest collection from Puma Golf checks all these boxes. Despite the company’s connection to young, flashy players, there are plenty of pieces that will resonate with more traditional golfers. More importantly, the technology in the shirts and pants will keep you focused on your game regardless of the temperature.
Travel Essential #3 – Reliable Rain Gear
Rain is a fact of life in the northwest, so you better come prepared. That doesn’t mean buying a new rain suit, it means bringing one that you know will keep you dry without ruining your swing. There are tons of companies that produce great rain jackets – Galvin Green and Sunice come to mind – but I keep reaching for my Nike Hyperadapt. Maybe I’m just sentimental about the laughs I get watching that review video, but the jacket does its job like a champ.
Travel Essential #4 – Comfortable, Waterproof Shoes
You didn’t fight off dysentery on the Oregeon Trail just to sit inside and watch the rain fall, but playing in the wet means having good waterproof shoes. However, waterproof shoes are no good if they chew up your feet. Stay comfortable and dry with the TRUE Linkswear Elements golf shoe. They also have Outlast which regulates the temperature inside the shoe.
Travel Essential #5 – Blister-Proof Socks
Great shoes are key, but without great socks, your feet are going to be miserable. As I have countless times before, I’m going to recommend Kentwool socks. They’re soft and cushioned and they keep your feet bone dry whether you’re sweating in the heat or walking through puddles.
Travel Essential #6 – Sunscreen
Seattle has a reputation for being foggy, but the fog is not going to stop your skin from frying. Be smart about the sun and protect yourself. The PIG staff, and much of the PGA Tour, uses Skin Sunscreen. It’s odor free, is light on your skin, and leaves out a bunch of the unnecessary chemicals that you’ll find in cheap sunscreen. Oh, and it does it’s damn job – I’ve never burned while using Skin.
Travel Essential #7 – Eye Protection
Channeling my inner Norm Abrams, I need to remind you that the #1 rule of golf travel is, “Always wear safety glasses.” Ok, so it’s not the #1 rule, and you don’t need safety glasses, but you should protect your eyes from the sun just like you protect your skin. You’ll also want to be able to adapt to varying light conditions and environments. The solution? Interchangeable lenses like the ones from Revant. Their new Elite lenses are amazing, and, if you have a good set of frames, changing lenses takes just seconds.
Don’t Forget the Basics
If this is your first rodeo, check out my previous article HERE on golf travel for some basic tips like how to pack your clubs. And for you salty veterans, feel free to leave your own hard-won travel wisdom below.