While no two golf trips are created equal, there are basic rules that apply to packing for a golf getaway no matter the lines of longitude or latitude. If you’re heading out by plane or by car, for two weeks or two days, here are some sure-fire ways to ensure you’ve packed to perfection:
Until recently, I believed that if I had to wait in line at the airport to check my golf clubs, anyway, I might as well pack my largest roller bag chock-full of as many options and variations of outfits as possible. Each outfit would have its own hat, jacket, top, bottom and matching shoes. No item would be recycled. Me an outfit repeater? Never! And then I wised up. What’s that saying? With age comes wiz…ardry at packing?
How often do you actually wear everything you packed for your vacation (golf or otherwise)? We all have our favorite clothing items – the ones that are the most comfortable and the ones that flatter us the best. Why do we think that we’re going to go on vacation and morph into this other person who’s going to wear all these things that have been sitting in our closets for months (*years) untouched? Especially when we’ve brought our favorite items with us?
Even if you’re going on a longer trip and need to check a second bag at the airport, make sure it’s only one roller suitcase and not two. And make sure it’s not already at the weight limit, as you will inevitably make purchases while on vacation. Lugging a golf travel case through an airport and/or around a city is a workout in and of itself. Don’t compound the issue with a second bag that literally weighs you down.
“Sounds great, Bailey, but how do I do this?”
I’m glad you asked…
This is not a new concept in the fashion world, but it might not be as well-known or put into practice in the golf world.
A capsule wardrobe for our packing purposes is one that contains basic pieces in similar colorways. If your favorite golf shoes are black, then you’ll want to pack tops and pants that match. Or maybe you want to work within the family of navy or brown. Make the decision to have all the pieces be interchangeable, able to be mixed and matched and don’t be afraid to repeat outfits, because, as it turns out, there are worse things – like finishing par-par-double to shoot 80. Or so I’ve heard.
If you’re going on a short trip and only playing a couple rounds, do you really need that much? And if you’re going on an extended trip, they likely have laundry and dry cleaning services where you’re going. Trust me – less is more. You can still get that perfect photo for Instagram wearing the same pair of pants two days in a row.
Comfort is Key
Part of the fun of travel is embracing and experiencing the local flavor. Heading to Cabo for a getaway? Amazing! Chilaquiles for breakfast with a side of extra guacamole. Off to Northern California to check out the burger dogs at Olympic? Make sure you also grab some clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Whether you make dining a focal point of your trip (treat yo’ self), or you’re chasing sunset trying to squeeze in as many holes as possible each day (late-night dining options can be limited), it’s very likely you’ll indulge in ways you wouldn’t normally. But that’s OK, because you’ve planned for this. You’ve brought your most comfortable clothing, the items that have a little more room, a little more stretch here or there. You’ve come all this way ... are you really not going to have the dessert?
Match the Backdrop
I’m a firm believer that your apparel on the golf course changes drastically depending on your destination. The colorways and vibe of your golf clothes will be different if you’re playing golf in Florida vs. Oregon, Scottsdale vs. Scotland and so on. On a recent trip to Hawaii, among the Aloha-appropriate outfits that I did pack, I brought an all black-and-white ensemble. While I love the pieces that comprised the outfit (fashion-forward, comfortable, chic) and the look as a whole, it just didn’t fit the vibe of Hawaii. After wearing it and seeing photos of me from that day with the Pacific Ocean in the background and Lanai and off in the distance, it just felt so out of place. Hawaii calls for bright hues, florals and laid-back simplicity. Take a moment while packing to consider your destination, ensuring your outfits compliment the scenery, not complicate it.
If All Else Fails, Focus on ONE Outfit You Love
If you’re going on a golf trip, it’s likely to some bucket list destination or at least to some place you’re going to want to snap photos so you can look back and cherish the memories forever. If It seems too overwhelming to focus on every outfit for every day, just make sure you have one outfit that you absolutely love. If you’re playing the same course multiple times, wear that favorite outfit later in the trip, after you’ve gotten the lay of the land and scouted out perfect spots for photo ops. Or if you’re headed to a place like Bandon Dunes where they have multiple courses, try to wear your favorite outfit on the day the weather looks best, that way you won’t have to cover up with jackets or weather gear. If you’ve absolutely nailed that one outfit top-to-bottom, you can print out and prominently display photos from that day for years to come.