Clubs aside, what else to pack

SuitecaseSurprises are usually the last thing you’re looking for on a golf trip. No matter where in the world you’re lugging your clubs, and regardless of the time of year, you can never be too prepared for the likes of ugly weather, snarled traffic, allergy attacks, lost luggage, stolen clubs and more. That’s why what you pack for your golf trip should consist of more than just clubs, balls and golf clothes. Other staple items may make your vacation a lot more enjoyable and easy.

Digital Camera
Face it: Your cell phone camera takes fuzzy snapshots, as do disposable cameras. However, a powerful, compact digital camera, such as Sony’s new Cyber-shot DSC-N2, takes vivid 10.1-megapixel shots and high-quality video and can be tucked away in your golf bag or shirt pocket. With it, you can capture that ocean view crisply from the clubhouse terrace or amass footage of your wife’s swing. ($449,

When it comes to golf travel, smart vacationers print out and staple together details of their plane, tee time, rental car and hotel reservations, directions to every course they’re playing and maps. But who wants to lug a stack of papers around, risking them getting ruffled or, worse yet, flying out of the car window? Instead, pack a PDA with all of that information stored on it. Preferably, you can get one with built-in WiFi access, such as Palm’s TX handheld. Add GPS software and a course-mapping program, and you’ll always know where you’re headed. ($299,

Because weather can get ominous quickly, pack versatile rainwear—something that can easily convert between a jacket, vest or half-sleeves. Fully waterproof, Zero Restriction’s Featherweight Traveler’s Jacket is just that, featuring a high storm collar, zippered, waterproof hand pockets, two-way zipper to release zipper pucker, elasticized waistband, dual-motion cuffs and expansion back pleats. ($300,

Insect Repellant
Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your golf vacation. For excellent nonspray protection, take along Bug Band plastic wrist bands, which give off vapors that form a 15-foot protective shield around you for 120 hours, allowing you to swing in peace. ($4,

Video iPod Loaded With Instructional DVDs
While it isn’t practical to bring along your entire collection of instructional DVDs, you can easily download them onto a portable video player. The latest iPod comes in an 80-gigabyte model, allowing you to play 6.5 hours of video—or 20 hours of music—on one battery charge. It will also take up little room in your carry-on. ($349,

Extra Gloves
Always bring two or three extra golf gloves, especially if you’re going to a hot or humid climate. There’s nothing worse than putting on the same glove you wore yesterday, only to find out it’s still drenched in sweat. Try PING’s new M-Flex glove which is made of tightly woven, flexible microfibers. An advanced polymer coating surrounds the microfibers, providing a firm grip in all weather conditions. ($15,

Sun Mountain PulloverCold-Weather Clothes
Weather can turn cold quickly. So it’s always a good idea to bring a golf-specific thermal jacket that’s lightweight and moves with your body during the swing. Sun Mountain’s Cascade half-zip pullover is ideal. Its generous cut gives you full swing range, while the lightweight fleece eliminates bulk. It also has a spill-resistant coating, drawstring waist and two zippered hand pockets. ($60,

Etonic G>SOK GT Extra Shoes
Always bring two pairs of golf shoes, especially if you’re heading to the likes of Ireland, Scotland or even Pebble Beach. That way, if it rains, you can give your shoes time to dry out, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. Try a pair of black Etonic G>SOK GT shoes. Why black? Their traditional look, combined with the fact that they’re comfortable, spikeless golf shoes with incredible traction, means they can double as nice casual shoes at dinnertime, so you can pack less. And they feature the GORE-TEX waterproof system. ($125,


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