Unless you're going to Myrtle Beach or Pinehurst, where discount golf stores lurk nearby, most necessities will cost you a super-extra coin. The more remote the destination, the more likely you'll be to pay double and even triple your normal cost. Can't blame the resort; it needs to work its pricing model to stay solvent and competitive. The only place to point the finger is at the mirror...unless you read this bit and make a list, ahead of your next golf junket.
1. Golf balls
No, not because we sell the best golf balls for a living. Unfamiliar courses empty your bag of balls quicker than Santa empties his sack of gifts, one night of the year. The number of golf balls you need to bring should take two factors into consideration: the size of your handicap, and of your ego. The higher the 'cap, the more likely you are to stray sideways or short. No matter the handicap, if your ego gets in the way of proper decision, you'll find yourself in the same straits as the aforementioned. What to do? Research the destination. If it's jungle or swamp golf, buy a bunch of used golf balls for narrow tee shots and forced carries. You'll need a fair amount of orbs to survive the trip. If it's links golf, better for you, but be sure that the thick stuff along the edges is, well, thin.
Ever met someone with a sock collection from all the courses that she/he has visited? Nor will you ever. While those people exist, they have no proof of their visit, because of NO COURSE LOGOS SOCKS! Sure, they may have paid extra or double extra for a pack of ankle socks, but only because they forgot to pack enough. Socks are great for cushioning items, which makes them easy to pack.
Not the shower kind, amigo! The kind you put on your bag, to keep your clubs clean, your hands dry, and your forehead sweat-free. Most golfers, if they remember, have exactly one towel on their golf bag at any given time. Similar to the socks, no one has a famous-course towel collection. There is one exception to this rule, and that is the microfiber or dri-soft towel with a killer color. If all the stars align, pick up ONE towel on your trip; otherwise, use the one you brung.
4. Golf gloves
If you're traveling during shoulder season, you need three types of glove. No, not joking. No LOLs here. You need your usual, dry-weather glove. You need a pair of rain gloves (thin, like glove #1, but come in pairs and don't slip on wet grips.) And, you need a pair of warm-weather gloves (thicker than #1 and #2; come in pairs like #2; keep hands warm when the cold wind blows and the snow flies.) We've played in all kinds of meteorological circumstances, and uncomfortable hands can ruin a round sooo quick.
See #4 above. Literally, step by step. Hat for the sun. Hat for rain. Hat for cold. Easy.
So what should you buy?
Souvenirs. Something that you might put on a shelf, or show off on your bag. We are partial to the following, as long as they don't break the bank:
-Logo golf balls;
-And our personal favorite: the stylish headcover for putters, hybrids, or fairway metals. Not the driver. Never the driver.