Although the majority of your golf game depends on how you are playing, sometimes the equipment you have tucked way in your bag can help give you the edge. If you're equally matched with an opponent, having the right gear at your disposal can be what turns a draw or a loss into a win. With that in mind, these are ten of the items we believe you need in your bag to keep on top of your game.
Bushnell Tour V4 Shift Laser rangefinder
Knowing the exact distance left to the pin can really help with your club selection. You might feel as though you’re 180 yards away, but getting out a rangefinder you discover you’re actually only 150 yards from the pin - and you know you hit your 8 iron dead on 150.
The Bushnell Tour V4 Shift Laser rangefinder is a really useful piece of equipment. It doesn't take long to lock onto the target, and it vibrates when confirming you've measured the flag, not a tree. It’s quick to use and lightweight, so it won’t add much of a load to your bag. You can even switch between measuring normal distances and compensating for gradients for competition and non-competition golf.
Nike Lunar Control Vapor
Although they might look more like trainers than shoes, these Nike Lunar Control Vapors are incredibly useful on the golf course. They have been used by Rory McIlroy, and the soles take inspiration from snowmobiles. The traction is designed to allow golfers to propel through their swing by decoupling the heel and forefoot areas. The tread is designed to ensure minimal slipping and the fabric comes with a two-year waterproof guarantee.
Your shoes are one of the most important pieces of equipment to get right. An uncomfortable pair that doesn’t offer enough grip when you’re ripping your driver can be off-putting, costing you valuable yards or shots on each hole.
Scotty Cameron putter
Scotty Cameron putters have a reputation for being some of the best putters around, and if you haven't tried one out yet then perhaps you should give them a go. Although they cost a lot of money, around £349, they are right at the top of the market; with the latest model, the Newport 2, in the bags of both Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods. If you want to play like a pro, then you’ll want equipment like the pros.
V1 Golf app
One piece of equipment can fit in your pocket on your round - a mobile phone app. The V1 Golf app is free to download from the App Store or Google Play Store, and it offers you the chance to finetune your golf swing. If you’ve been working on one aspect of your swing for a while, then try filming it using the V1 Golf app, as you’re then able to play back your swing frame by frame.
The app allows you to micro analyse each and every part of your swing, tweaking it and allowing you to work on drills to change your swing if you need to. You are able to draw on the screen which helps to highlight and measure your form, and you can even compare your swing to many of the top tour professionals.
Callaway Epic hybrid
If you find yourself stuck between wood and iron but haven’t tried out a hybrid club yet, then look to give the Callaway Epic a try. The club aims to give golfers better performance by using the incredibly light crown which helps lower the centre of gravity. The Callaway Epic hybrid clubs release the ball early while giving you a long and straight shot. It is forgiving for middle to high handicap golfers, while generating more ball speed thanks to the redeveloped face. The clubs are adjustable, and golfers can alter the loft as well as changing the angle of the face to play normally or with a draw.
Cobra F-MAX game-improvement iron
If you’re looking for a set of irons to help improve your game, then the Cobra F-MAX irons should find their way into your bag. They look sleek with their black and gold design, but offer much more than just looks while on the course. The grooves on the face are cut deep which allows for a fast release and a long launch, while the back has been designed to maintain a lower center of gravity, ensuring a solid connection more often than not. These irons can help remove the slice from your game thanks to the offset club face design, allowing you to find the fairway more often than the rough.
TaylorMade Single Canopy Umbrella
The summer is over and it looks as though the rainy season is upon us again. You’re going to need a durable umbrella to keep you and your clubs dry while on the course, and the TaylorMade Single Canopy umbrella covers plenty of inches to do just that. It measures in at a 60-inch span, with a rubber-coated guard that allows for easy handling and grip while the wind and rain try to get the better of you. This Tour-style umbrella will ensure you finish your wet round as dry as possible.
Macwet Winter Climatec Gloves
Winter is coming and wearing your glove in the rain can often be difficult. As soon as a little bit of moisture appears on your glove, your grip can pretty much disappear. However, Macwet Winter have been working on changing that. Their mission statement is “All grip, no slip” and that’s what they have tried to embody with their Climatec Gloves. Their gloves are used in other sports such as shooting, cycling and horse riding, and their golf gloves are looking like the next best thing in wet conditions.
They are designed with synthetic fibres which allow moisture to be transferred to the natural fabric face, allowing moisture to evaporate quickly. They are designed to make sure your hands don’t sweat either, meaning that even while playing in the rain these gloves are very comfortable.
Galvin Green Argon C-Knit GORE-TEX waterproof jacket
One of the most important things to keep dry when playing a round in the rain is yourself. Your clubs will be slippery when wet, but if you aren't warm and dry, then you have little chance of maintaining control. Although it’s a high price item, the Galvin Green Argon C-Knit GORE-TEX jacket will keep the water off you. It’s made up of three layers of fabric which gives both comfort and freedom of movement when swinging your clubs.
Often golfers struggle to wear a jacket as it proves distracting when swinging. The material used in the Galvin Green jacket is much quieter thanks to the addition of a backer, which makes it softer than other rainproof jackets. It is made of breathable material, can be washed at home and comes with a lifetime waterproof guarantee.
Bridgestone Tour B (X/XS/RX/RXS)
The Bridgestone Tour B range of golf balls offers options for all levels of golfer thanks to its four choices. Better players are encouraged to play with the X or XS as they are firmer and offer less spin from the driver. Higher handicapped golfers who perhaps struggle with mishits should give the RX, or the FXS balls a go. Whatever your level, the Bridgestone Tour B balls offer five-star performance and feel great when striking off the tee. A box will set you back £35, but they might just be the best balls you've ever played with.
Once you’ve filled your golf bag with some of the best pieces of equipment money can buy, it’s time to test them out on a course. What better way to test your new clubs and accessories than on the Old Course at St Andrews? We’ll see you there!