Heading South: Golf in North Carolina

Golfing the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina

Rees Jones Golf Course, Brunswick Islands, NC

When you travel for golf, preparation is half the battle. Next week I head out for the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina on a media tour specially designed for women golfers. We’ll be playing 4 courses in 4 days plus sampling the local cuisine, and checking out the cultural highlights. I’m just beginning to think about packing. What to bring? What to leave at home?

Golf Travel Essentials

What to pack…

  • Golf shorts and skorts plus tops for 4 rounds of golf. Choose colors that work well together so mixing and matching is easy. Note: Be sure to check the weather. Hot, humid, cool, rainy? Weather dictates what to bring.
  • Rain gear. I know the weather report says sun every day… but weather is not always predictable. As the scouts say, “Be prepared!”
  • Hats / visors, and sunscreen, of course! I also wear golf sleeves to protect my arms from harmful UV rays. If you have a pair, pack ’em.
  • Golf Balls! – Not too many, though. Balls add weight, so only grab a sleeve or two. You can always buy new ones at the pro shop, but it’s good to have a few in your bag before you begin.
  • Golf Clubs! It goes without saying you need to pack your golf clubs, but don’t bring more than the 14 you’re allowed. And forget about that training club or gizmo you’ve been practicing with. No time!
  • Golf Travel Bag – I have to replace mine this year. Airlines are not kind to golf bags and my golf travel bags has had its fair share of bumps and bruises. Be sure yours is in good shape before you pack your clubs. If there are rips or seams beginning to wear, it might be time to replace the bag. (Check out this post for some golf travel bag shopping advice.)
  • Golf Shoes – I always bring two pair. (Early morning walks on the fairway leave one pair wet.) Warning: bring golf shoes you’ve already broken in. No reason to take a chance on blisters from a new pair of shoes. (Unless the golf shoes are Sketchers!!! I can’t believe how comfortable these are. Right from the get-go! Check out a pair.)
  • For upscale events: One or two nice outfits for an evening out. Don’t overpack in this department! Life while traveling for golf is usually casual. Bring mix and match pieces. A scarf or pashmina works great to dress up any outfit.
  • Money: Credit cards are de rigueur at most everywhere you play. But it’s also important to have cash on hand for tipping the fellow who helps set up your golf cart, cleans off your clubs or goes in search of that pitching wedge you left back at the 12th hole! (Don’t laugh—it happens more than you think.)

Before You Travel

  • Always check the weather at your destination… that will help you decide what to pack.
  • Explore your destination online. Give yourself a chance to find out what’s near where you will be playing. Check out the local culture, museums and shopping opportunities and book dinner reservations ahead if you can. Popular golf destinations are always busy and you don’t want to miss out.
  • Consider shipping your clubs ahead of time. Juggling a suitcase, carry-on plus your golf travel bag can be a real hassle. Not to mention additional costs that often apply. Check out ShipSticks.comThey will pick up and deliver your clubs from and to just about anywhere. I’ve used them and they are reliable.
  • Don’t forget your I.D. / passport. You’ll need it to get past airport security.

I head for the airport in a few days, will keep track of all the highlights and report back in a GolfGurls post, soon after I return. Watch for it.

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