Essentials you need to play golf (other than golf clubs)

Thomas Tanner
Sep 22, 2023
17 minutes
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There are literally hundreds and thousands of guides out there for new golfers helping them pick the golf clubs they need as a beginner. But what else (other than golf clubs) do you need to play golf and get the most out of your game? 

Golf is a simple game, get the ball in the hole, and because of this, other than golf clubs there is only one true essential you need.  

So, item #1 on our list is:

  • Golf balls

However, there are other products we would consider essential. Below is a list of these items we’ll cover, all of which will make your life on the course far easier.  

Other essential items for playing golf: 

  • Golf bags 
  • Golf shoes 
  • Golf gloves 
  • Golf tees 

Finally, the third section of our essential guide are the nice to haves and other considerations. The items will make the game more enjoyable and your time on the golf course more comfortable.  

Our items to make playing golf easier and more enjoyable: 

  • Golf clothing 
  • Golf headwear 
  • Golf umbrella 
  • Golf trolley 
  • Golf range finder 
  • Golf training aids 

Golf balls: Is the ball you choose important?

The object of the game of golf is to get the ball in the hole, so the ball you use is going to be important.

There are hundreds of different brands, models, colours, and technology in golf balls, and we've also done a separate golf balls buyers guide explaining them all.

As a beginner though, you want a ball that goes a long way when you hit it, one that is durable, and is not expensive.

Sticking to the recognised brands, like Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, they all have balls designed for beginners while other brands like Pinnacle and Wilson almost specialise in this market. Approximately £1-1.20 per ball gets you excellent quality and solid performance, and it won't be the end of the world if it gets lost.

But speaking of lost balls (or lake balls) there's also a whole category of balls that are basically these! Lake balls give you super value and and entry into premium quality golf balls. We would use these all day long and they're a perfect alternative to brand new balls for a beginner.

Things to consider when buying golf balls:

  • As a beginner, look for value as you’re going to lose some
  • Consider lake balls as an alternative to new balls
  • Don’t be swayed by softness as this impacts distance

What is a good golf ball for a beginner?

A great example of a golf ball for beginners is the Titleist TruFeel. Retailing for around £20 per box, it offers a soft feel and excellent control around the greens, providing golfers with enhanced accuracy and confidence in their short game. Its low compression core and aerodynamic design promote distance and accuracy off the tee, making it a versatile choice for golfers of varying skill levels.

You can read more about all the different kinds of golf balls in our golf balls buyers guide.

What you’ll love about the Titleist TruFeel golf balls:

  • Its ultra-soft feel
  • Longer distance
  • Trusted quality and consistency

Get yours now from £19.99

What you’ll love about the Titleist TruFeel golf balls:

  • Its ultra-soft feel
  • Longer distance
  • Trusted quality and consistency

Get yours now from £19.99

Golf bags: What to look for when buying a golf bag? 

Another item you’re going to need is a golf bag to carry or wheel our clubs around the golf course, and importantly protect our investment. There is a huge range of bags you can get for your golf clubs, and we have a whole page dedicated to buying the right golf bag

Bags can go from something super small and lightweight like a pencil bag all the way up to big bags designed for trolleys (and caddies!).  

A super choice for you as a beginner though, is a lightweight stand bag. 

Light gives you the choice of carrying it around the course if you wish. A golf bag can weight up to 10kg once it’s full of golf clubs so every gram you can save it vital! 

Things to look out for when buying your first golf bag: 

  • £100 is a great budget to start from 
  • Straps if you’re going to carry or trolley compatibility if not 
  • Dividers that can keep your clubs separate 
  • Pockets that are convenient for your accessories 
  • A good waterproof material and seam sealed seams 

What is a good stand bag for a beginner golfer?

The perfect example of a lightweight stand bag for a beginner is the Velo SL650 from Masters. This compact stand bag is easy to move around, reduces fatigue during rounds, and means you can go anywhere on the course. It allows golfers to carry essential clubs and accessories comfortably thanks to the double strap, promoting a more enjoyable and efficient golfing experience while helping to maintain energy levels throughout a round.

What you’ll love about the Masters SL650 Velo stand bag:

  • Our most popular lightweight bag
  • Perfect for carrying selected clubs
  • Great in winter months during course trolley bans

Get yours now from £69.99

What you’ll love about the Masters SL650 Velo stand bag:

  • Our most popular lightweight bag
  • Perfect for carrying selected clubs
  • Great in winter months during course trolley bans

Get yours now from £69.99

Golf Shoes:  

The job of a good golf shoe is to provide a solid foundation for your feet when you're swinging the golf club. Without them you can easily slip with all the twisting and movement. You’ll want to feel nice and grounded when you’re at the address position so you can make full and committed swing at the ball. 

Another consideration is the fact that golf is played outside and involves a lot of walking so comfort is key. Your shoes also need to keep your feet cool and aired in the summer, and warm and dry in the winter.  

Things to consider when buying your next pair of golf shoes: 

  • Will the shoes provide a stable foundation for your golf swing? 
  • Do you need anything specific from your golf shoes (e.g. waterproof, etc) 
  • Are they comfortable, you’re going on a long walk in these shoes! 

While you can still go very traditional golf shoes, you can also actually get super golf shoes that would easily double for a pair of casual shoes or trainers! A great example of a pair of modern golf shoes are the Flex range from FootJoy. They have the regular Flex which are super lightweight and could pass for a trainer, and then the Flex XP which is the waterproof version if you want that added layer of protection.  

What you’ll love about the FootJoy Flex golf shoes:

  • Versatile traction for exceptional grip
  • Lightweight performance mesh
  • Athletic profile

Get yours now from £69.99

What you’ll love about the FootJoy Flex golf shoes:

  • Versatile traction for exceptional grip
  • Lightweight performance mesh
  • Athletic profile

Get yours now from £69.99

Golf glove: 

Your hands are the only connection between your body and the golf club, so a solid and stable grip is essential. Almost every golf professional wears a glove on one had to secure this connection and give them the confidence that the club is not going to slip on impact. 

Things to consider when buying golf gloves:  

  • Fit and stretch: The best gloves feel like you’re not wearing a glove at all. A nice snug fit will allow feel and sensation to be unaffected by the added layer, giving you all the benefit and none of the draw back.  
  • Fabric and material: A full leather glove will feel the best but might be tight in places. A synthetic glove will some stretch panels will fit better and mould to the contour of you hand. 
  • Hand: As a general rule right-handed golfers wear a glove on the left hand, and vice versa.  
  • Ventilition: A glove is designed to enhance you grip on the club, no good if the glove is soaked with sweat. A glove will good ventilation and moisture-wicking properties will keep your hands dry on hot days.  
  • Budget: Lastly, factor in your budget. Gloves come in various price ranges to suit every golfer's needs.  

A great example of a golf glove for a beginner is the WeatherSof from FootJoy. This is a great entry level glove thanks to is synthetic construction. Added technology from the #1 glove brand in golf like breathable mesh and leather in high stress area make this feel like a full leather glove.

What you’ll love about the FootJoy WeatherSof golf glove:

  • The number 1 selling glove in the world
  • Premium Cabretta leather thumb and palm patch
  • Comfortable wrist elastic

Get yours now from £9.99

What you’ll love about the FootJoy WeatherSof golf glove:

  • The number 1 selling glove in the world
  • Premium Cabretta leather thumb and palm patch
  • Comfortable wrist elastic

Get yours now from £9.99

Golf tees (and other accessories)  

A little bag of accessories is a must for all golfers. The last thing you want is to be stressing out on the first tee while you hunt for a pencil or ball marker. Keep all this in a little bag to make life super easy.  

Things to always pack in your golf bag: 

  • Tees: If you’re a beginner graduated tees are a great idea as they allow you to make sure the ball sits at the same height, every time. 
  • Ball marker: Any coin is perfect for marking you ball on the green should it be in the way of another player who is putting. 
  • Pitchmark repair tool: A little forked tool can help fix and plug marks you make when your ball lands on the green. Repairing these help keep golf courses in a great condition.  
  • Sharpie: Your required to be able to identify your ball from any others so a few specific marks with a pen will do the job nicely. 
  • Pencil: To mark your scorecard and circle all those birdies!

That's the essentials ticked off, but there are other items, non-essential items which will make the game more enjoyable and your time on the golf course more comfortable. 

Some other items to consider having in your golf bag: 

  • Golf clothing 
  • Golf headwear 
  • Golf umbrella 
  • Golf trolley 
  • Golf range finder 
  • Golf training aids 

Golf clothing & headwear: 

Golf clothing used be highly regulated, but those rules have relaxed a lot in recent years. As a beginner you probably already own everything you need to play golf and adhere to any dress codes which still exist. Remember, to be safe, it's always best to check any dress codes before you arrive at a course. 

The perfect capsule wardrobe for golf: 

  • Polo shirts: You cannot go wrong with a simple, pique polo shirt. 
  • Sweaters: A ¼ zip sweater will serve you well in the early evenings or sitting on the terrace in the 19th hole. 
  • Trousers: Denim is still a no at most courses so a pair of chinos or similar is needed. 
  • Outerwear: Golf is played outside so a jacket to protect you from the wind and/or rain is a good idea. 
  • Headwear: A cap to shield you from the sun in summer and a beanie to keep you warm in the winter completes the look. 

    Golf umbrella: 

    Golf umbrellas generally have a big double canopy to keep you and your clubs nice and dry. There is no greater way to say I’m ready for the elements than a big sturdy golf umbrella.   

    The best quality ones are lightweight yet still structurally strong to be able to handle windy conditions with ease.

    Golf trolley: 

    We have a full guide to buying your first or next golf trolley. We go through whether you’ll want a manual or electric trolley, to the number of wheels you’ll want.  

    By using a trolley you'll save valuable energy compared to carrying and you'll be better able to handle rain and poor conditions on the course by being able to bring more of these essentials with you on a round. 

    But when you start playing golf you can choose to carry your clubs, or rent a trolley at your local club, but in the long term having your own trolley is a great idea. 

    What to look for when buying a golf trolley: 

    • Wheels: the more wheels you opt for, the more stable the trolley will be. The bigger the wheels, the easier it’ll be to push. 
    • Size: You need to transport this trolley to and from the golf course so consider the size when folded if you’re tight for space in your car. 
    • Price: Golf trolleys can range from under £100 to over £1000 so have a budget in mind and stick to it. If you want something specific, like build in GPS, be prepared to pay for it.  

    Golf range finder or GPS device: 

    As a beginner you don’t need a rangefinder, but it is great to know how far the green is when you’ve hit a great drive! There are loads of phone apps out there, some for free that can give you distances to greens etc via GPS. You can also get a dedicated golf GPS watch which will have tens of thousands of courses loaded on to it with more information than some of the free apps.  

    But what is a golf range finder? It’s a laser device you look through to tell you how far a target is away.  They are hugely popular in golf.  Point it at the pin, or a tree, or a bunker, or water, wait a second and you have an exact distance. 

    What’s the difference between a range find and GPS device? 

    • A range finder uses lasers to give you an exact distance to the flag or other features like bunkers, etc. 
    • A GPS device will give you a broader distance to permanent locations, like the front and back of the green. 

    Golf training aids: 

    You’ll no doubt want to get better at golf as you progress more and practice at home or the driving range is the best way to do this! 

    A set of alignment stick is the best value for money practice aids you can get.  We’ve got a guide on 10+ ways you can use these to get you set up correctly, to learning how to shape shots, and even fix problems in your swing.   

    They will set you back around £10 but you'll have them forever and they are great. 

    This is an extensive (and expensive) list of the essentials you need to play golf (other than golf clubs) and we don’t expect you to buy it all at the start of your golf journey. Hopefully though, as you progress you can add to you collection of golf equipment and build a great bag of clubs and accessories which will make the game easier and more enjoyable. 

    If you’re wondering how to fit all these items into your golf bag, then fear not. We have a guide on how to pack your golf bag as well as more guidance on what to carry specifically in the winter.  

    Of course, should you need any more information we have a great guides and advice section, packed full of useful articles, 100s of videos on our YouTube channel you can watch at your leisure. If you want the personal touch, you can reach our to our PGA Qualified Customer Services team who will be able to help you when buying anything from Golfbidder. 

    You can buy in total confidence as all out inventory is back by our own 12-month warranty, as well as any extended warranty offered by the manufacturers. 

    Further reading

    Picking a new golf bag used to be a simple decision - a carry (stand) bag or a cart bag? Now, however, it seems that there are bags for more scenarios than we could ever have imagined - stand, cart, tour, pencil, and even hybrid!

    It's winter, conditions are very different from Summer, so what are the essential items you need to have in your bag get the most from your Winter golf?