Golf is more popular than ever in the U.S. The National Golf Foundation’s 2019 Golf Industry Report says, “More than one-third (36%) of the U.S. population – over 107 million people in total – played, watched or read about golf last year” (Forbes, 2019). If you have moved on from miniature golf and driving ranges, it may be time to get your feet wet in the “real” game.

If you to plunge in and play golf, there comes a time when you must outfit yourself. Before you dive deep into the high-priced end of the golf pro shop, you should know what you need and what you should look for to make your venture easier.

5 pieces of golf equipment you want to check out:

  • Clubs: A starter set of golf clubs should include a Driver, Fairway Wood, Hybrid, Iron, Wedge, and Putter. This can be a costly commitment. You can add more as you gain confidence in your play, but these clubs should be in your first golf bag.
  • Shoes: Golf keeps you on your feet all day even when you use a cart. There’s a lot of walking and more standing. You want comfortable golf shoes that help you play well. Your shoes should fit well enough to allow you to pivot, twist, and turn. They should anchor your feet well for various terrains and different swings. And, they must be breathable and waterproof.
  • Golf Wear: Many golf courses have strict dress codes. But you cannot go wrong with a quality polo shirt and khaki slacks. You can pick up clues on style by watching the pros on TV. But the average duffer plays on municipal courses or in warm climates where shorts are the norm. You’re not likely to see camouflage fabrics, denim, or sleeveless shirts on any public course.
  • Balls: Golf balls differ more than you think. They can be pricey, so you should think twice about investing in the best quality. Golf Digest recommends you work your way up to the best; “Pay the most you can until you and your skill level stop noticing a difference in performance.” As you get better at play and can judge which ball works best for you in different situations, you can step up to higher grade balls.
  • Golf Bag: You will need a golf bag to carry all your golf gear. You should look for one with lining and pockets for tools and personal items. It must store your wallet and cellphone with room for a light jacket and umbrella.

There’s more, of course!

You should carry a towel for your hands and another to clean the balls. Most golfers prefer to wear gloves, and all golfers need ball markers and tees. New golfers should have extra balls to replace those they lose. And, you’ll want to carry sunscreen, sunglasses, and scorecards with pencils. These are tools you can add as you play more frequently. The equipment will not win your game, but it will help you pay more attention to your play.