How to Organize a Golf Bag (5 Tips + Bonus)
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To have a good round of golf, you need to eliminate distractions that might steer your mind away from the game. Focus starts with having an orderly environment, and keeping your golf bag organized is a good place to begin. Here’s how to organize a golf bag for maximum efficiency:
When organizing a golf bag, arrange your items in a way that makes it easy to find and retrieve things that are essential to your game. As a general rule, the woods, driver, and putter go at the top of the bag. The irons should go in the middle, while the wedges go to the bottom.
Some unique golf bags break the mold, but standard golf bags have several other pockets in addition to the space designated for your clubs. In the rest of this article, I will discuss the items you should always carry in your golf bag and how best to store them. Let’s get started!
1. Collect All Your Essential Items
Before organizing your golf bag, you should clarify what essentials you’ll be taking with you on the course. Below are the 12 items that you should always carry for a game of golf:
- Golf clubs
- Golf balls
- A water bottle
- Golf gloves
- Writing materials, including a sharpie
- Ball markers
- A towel
- First aid supplies
- Protein bars or any other sustenance of your choosing
- A waterproof jacket for rain or chilly weather
- An umbrella, if the weather forecast suggests it
Only after you’ve comfortably fitted the above items should you consider adding anything else. Stand bags can encourage you to avoid carrying nonessential items as you wouldn’t want to have a lot of weight to carry around.
2. Neatly Roll and Fit Your Rain Gear Into Your Bag
If you have to carry your rain gear, tuck it neatly into your bag to avoid wrinkles. Most bags have a waterproof side pouch where rain jackets can go.
The kind of umbrella you carry is a matter of personal choice and, to some extent, the design of your golf bag.
Many people carry long umbrellas because most bags have two straps — one at the top and another at the bottom — that make it easy to fit such umbrellas firmly onto the side of the bag.
If you carry a short umbrella, you can put it inside one of the side pouches of the bag.
3. Fit First Aid Items and Other Supplies at the Back
You want to put all your first aid supplies together in a waterproof casing (like a plastic ziplock bag) before putting them in the spacious pouch at the back of your golf bag. Some of the items you should consider adding to your first aid kit include:
- First aid tape
- Some lip ointment in case your lips get severely chapped
- Dental floss
- A fingernail clipper
- Super glue
In a plastic bag separate from the one you have your first aid supplies in, put all the other little stuff, such as tees, ball markers, and pens. These items can also go into the pouch at the back.
Your golf bag will also have a pocket to fit a water bottle or other soft drink. It’s crucial to stay hydrated during a game. Therefore, always carry a bottle of water to the golf course.
4. Put Your Golf Balls at the Front of the Golf Bag
The number of golf balls you carry will depend on how many you expect to lose. Even if you’re not that good of a golfer, a dozen balls should be more than enough — six new and six used ones. You can carry only six balls if you are confident in your game.
The golf balls should go in the top zipper at the front of the golf bag.
This setup gives you easy access to the balls when you need them. If you carry more balls than can fit in the top zipper, keep some in the lower zipper, also at the front of the bag.
5. Arrange Your Golf Clubs by Length
Golf bags come in different configurations of 4, 5, 6, 8, or 14-way dividers. A 4-way divider with a big pocket at the top, two pockets in the middle, and another big pocket at the bottom are pretty common. A 5-way with two splits at the bottom is also popular.
No matter the configuration, you want to arrange your golf clubs by length as follows:
- The woods: Your long clubs, also known as the woods, should go to the top. Set the driver, 5-wood, and 3-wood here.
- The long irons: Long irons go in the middle slot — preferably on the right-hand side when using a 4- or 5-way divider with two slots in the middle.
- The mid-irons: The mid-irons should go on the left side of the middle slot when using a 4- or 5-way divider with two slots in the middle.
- The wedges: These should go at the bottom of your bag. If there’s a partition at the bottom, you can put your pitching wedge and gap wedge in one slot and your two highest lofted wedges or lob wedges in another. Still, you should do just fine if you have all your wedges together at the bottom in one undivided slot.
- The putter: Where the putter goes is mostly a personal choice. However, you should consider putting it together with the woods at the top.
This setup will prove the most efficient for the majority of players. We recommend having the putter at the top because you might lose the head cover if it’s down below with the wedges. Also, at the bottom, it will be banging against other clubs with no obstacle below it to prevent the cover from falling off.
A helpful hack you might benefit from is not to clip your towel on the side of your bag but instead wrap it around the long clubs after you’ve set everything up. Usually, your gloves will go into a side pocket, but you can clip these on the outside of the bag for easy access. A golf glove holder case with a hook clip should do the trick.
Further, if you want your carry bag to fit comfortably on your back, adjust it after you’ve set it up entirely. With all the weight already accommodated, you will know precisely where on the small of your back it will sit when you are hauling it around the golf course.
[BONUS] Remember To Account for Your Golf Bag’s Design
Golf bags come in different designs. The tips I have laid out in this article will apply whether you have a carry bag or are riding on a cart with a staff or cart bag.
You can choose a 4-, 5-, 6-, 8-, or 14-way divider. No matter your choice, you should strive to keep your golf bag organized while working within its specific design. For clubs, it’s up to you to decide what goes in the back, middle, and front compartments.
Final Thoughts on Organizing Your Golf Bag
An organized golf bag will keep you focused on the game and improve your pace of play. While your setup will depend on your needs and style of play, choose a setup that makes it easy to locate and retrieve the items critical to your game.