When I recently transitioned to my shiny new Sun Mountain Four 5 golf bag, it was a perfect opportunity to inventory and assess all of the accumulated tools, toys, and junk that had become permanent free riders during each round of golf.
In addition to at least two dozen found golf balls that I would never put into play, there were more than 30 golf pencils hiding in various compartments. There were a couple of dollars in change spread across a couple of pockets, despite the fact I have nearly a dozen ball markers in my bag as well.
I also found a lot of souvenirs that had probably outlived their usefulness. I found divot tools of all shapes, sizes, and materials, and ball markers from courses that I hadn’t played in at least a decade.
A couple of yardage books that had curled, torn, and stuck together pages were among the treasure trove too. There were even some ragged old golf towels that were so frayed they’d be better off being converted to pillow stuffing or quilt patches.
More than just an overhaul, this exercise was also a trip down memory lane of times and travels long since passed into the memory bank. Some of the souvenirs, especially ones tied to a specific memory, made the transition to the new golf bag. To some of the more worn items I bid adieu.
All of which got me thinking: going forward, what is my preferred souvenir?
I’ve picked up a few towels here and there over the years (usually a need based purchase). A divot repair tool, whether purchased or complimentary, makes a nice keepsake, though sometimes not all that durable. Ball markers are nice and can live in my golf bag for the better part of a decade.
I wear out a hat after about three months, and I’m too cheap to spend $60 or $75 on a golf polo shirt with the course logo on it, so neither of those is my cup of tea.
The great and powerful Internet will sell me one of those elaborate display cases for logo golf balls, to show everyone who visits the basement all the courses I’ve been to, but logo balls have just never been my thing (I’m not putting a Pinnacle in my display case, no matter how nice the golf course is).
I really used to love to buy a yardage book, to not only guide me through my round but also as a memento. However, I’m afraid the prevalence of laser range finders, sky caddies, apps, and, to a lesser extent, GPS on carts (which I believe is slowly going the way of the Balata golf ball) as just about eliminated yardage book from the popular pro shop offerings.
So, Dear Readers, I’m curious if you collect golf course souvenirs, or have a go-to keepsake that you look for in the pro shop of a course you’re visiting?