In another week or so, I’ll be heading off to south Florida for for 9 rounds of golf in 7 days with a bunch of guys from around the country.  Other than lugging my sticks with me (which is a big caveat, I suppose), this is a perfect opportunity for one bag travel.  All I need are two or three pair of golf shorts, a pair of jeans, and about a dozen golf shirts…  and of course, tons of golf socks, underwear, and a few tee shirts.  Wind shirts, my rain suit, and golf shoes will ride along in my golf travel bag.  I’ll be basically out of pocket as far as work is concerned, but can check emails in the evening with my BlackBerry or loaner iPad.   So:  no need for multiple bags, and no need to check a bag.  Perfect!

Given the fact that the mean temperature in January here in The Middle of Nowhere was approximately 1°F, I am a bit anxious for this trip.  I’ve begun thinking about packing, and went as far as getting my Sub-0-G out already.  This will definitely be wheelie time, as I don’t want to risk messing up my back with an over the shoulder bag.  (Yes, I am getting old, er, older.  I’ve reached the point where I get mildly apoplectic whenever the subject of The Jersey Shore comes up, but that’s another post. My father was right.)

I haven’t played golf since Thanksgiving weekend, when we spent a few days in Palm Desert.  Honestly, I’ve been patient with the subsequent lack of “golfage,” and have even somewhat enjoyed having a bit of a break, but as this trip nears, I can taste it.   I can’t wait to be on the first tee.  I ended last year on an absolute tear, breaking 70 for the first time ever, and (warning:  big mistake) my expectations are high.  This is usually the kiss of death, so we’ll see…

I’ll bring along a camera, and if I have a chance I may post a few “on the road” shots during the trip.  I’ll be around for a bit yet, so expect a post or two next week.

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9 Comments on Gearing up for the mother of all golf trips

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  2. Forest says:

    Kevin, Maybe this is the time to consider minimalist one bagging. How about taking 2 polo shirts, two pairs of socks, two pairs of underwear, two short pants, one pair of jeans and a fleece jacket. You may even be able to pack it all in a small messenger bag.

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  3. Berg says:

    Do you really need 12 golf shirts? Those things dry pretty quick, don’t they? Maybe you could at least cut it to one per day if you are looking to scale back.

    How are you carrying on your clubs? I don’t think my golf bag would fit in the overhead…

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    Kevin Reply:

    Berg,

    as I said, “other than” my sticks, I’ll use one bag. Yes, you’re right – most of the shirts I’ll bring are fast drying… but this is a trip where the emphasis will be on golf and camaraderie, not on washing out stuff at night. 12 is probably excessive – but I’ll definitely bring 8 or 9 shirts, to accommodate those nights when we go back to the hotel before finding something for dinner.

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    Berg Reply:

    Fair enough on the shirt-front.

    You wrote that you weren’t checking any bags, so I got confused. I guess you meant besides your golf bag, then.

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    Kevin Reply:

    Right… other than shipping them ahead, no way around that. :-(

  4. Lee Wilder says:

    So, for your golf clubs, hard-sided or soft-sided case? If soft-sided, I see some potential to reduce what you carry on while still carrying all the clothing you might want. My first travel case was a bear–a hard-sided case without wheels. That case is now sitting somewhere in my attic gathering dust.

    After that experience, I converted over to soft-sided bags with wheels. People I trust swear by Club Glove, but I’m always looking for a good copy. My current bag, a Chauffeur 3 from Golf Travel Bags, has four compartments, two mesh on the inside for shoes and two outside with regular zippers. Although their exact capacity is somewhat hard to measure, I’ve found that I can stick one 15″ packing folder and one medium packing cube plus some miscellaneous stuff in each compartment.

    I’m estimating that the combined capacity of the two outside compartments is about 1500 cubic inches (or just over half the capacity of a regulation carryon). Since I use a light carry bag for my clubs (about 3.5 pounds), I figure I can pack 2 sets of golf shoes in the interior compartments and about three days worth of clothes in the outside compartments and not exceed the 40-50 pound limit generally imposed by the airlines for golf travel bags. I’m going to use this bag this summer for an eighteen-day trip to Scotland and hope with these compartments to use either a regulation carryon or maybe even a smaller bag. I’ll take some clothing that’s washable in the sink at night and drop any other type of laundry at a hotel midway through the trip for cleaning.

    And are you as minimalist in your golf bag packing as in your travel packing? I’m always amazed at the things we stuff into golf bags and then promptly forget about for years until we clean the bag or are transferring all the stuff into a new bag (like the yardage books from my trip to Bandon Dunes six years ago).

    Enjoy your trip. Golf and friends can make for a great time, especially when trying to recover from the generally miserable weather we’ve had this winter!

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    Kevin Reply:

    Lee:

    Soft sided; a Club Glove Burstproof. 2 interior pockets, each with a pair of shoes. A rain suit, windshirt, and vest packed around the sides of my carry bag. I also use the Club Glove “Stick” for a little extra protection for my driver. Packed, it weighs about 41 pounds.

    Enjoy your trip to Scotland – I’m jealous!!

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  5. Lee Wilder says:

    With you on the Club Glove Stiff Arm. I’ve seen recommendations for a cutoff hockey stick or a broom handle, but for me, the Stiff Arm is the best $20-30 protection you can buy, and one of the reasons that although I haven’t bought a Club Glove travel bag, I think I’m going to have to buy one myself one of these days. By the way, if you haven’t tried the Train Reaction that they sell on their website, I’m a big fan of that. Great item with a rolling carryon!

    I went to Ireland last summer and bought a couple of bottles at Bushmill’s–a little bit of bubble wrap (much harder to find than I expected in Ireland) and a couple of golf towels around that, and I had no problems getting it home in the travel bag. Just as with the carryon bags, always leave a little extra room and weight–you never know what you might want to bring home.

    Keep ’em in the short grass, and I hope somebody in your group gets to buy a round in the clubhouse for a hole-in-one!

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