Golf vacation planning: How to pack for a trip to Las Vegas

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Traveling to Las Vegas and playing golf is unlike any other vacation in the country. There's a different atmosphere in Sin City, both on and off the golf course.

Las Vegas Strip
Make the most of your Las Vegas experience by coming to Sin City prepared.
Las Vegas StripMandalay Bay in Las Vegas - poolSiena Golf Club - Sixth HoleBadlands Golf Club in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, it's not uncommon to pay $500 to play clubs like Cascata Golf Club or Wynn Las Vegas, and it's even more common to see that much money or more exchange hands at the end of a round.

The weather can also be extreme: scorching hot for the majority of the year and downright brisk in the winter.

There's also a great variety of activities from gambling at Vegas' mega casinos to taking in a show to dining in a formal restaurant.

Here, then, are a few pointers if you're planning to travel to Las Vegas and golf is part of your itinerary:

Light clothing: If you're traveling to Las Vegas in late spring, summertime or early fall, be sure to bring lots of light clothing. Light colors, microfibers and a good hat are musts.

It's often windy in Las Vegas, so baseball-style caps are your best bet. What many people don't realize, however, is that southern Las Vegas can be downright cold in the winter, so if you're traveling then, bring slacks and plenty of outerwear. You could get a perfect day or a raw, windy day where wind-chills can easily get below freezing.

Sun protection: With sunshine more than 300 days a year, bring sunscreen and sunglasses for UV protection. You can't underestimate the sun's effects, especially if you're coming from a cold-weather locale. You'll also want to bring a swimsuit. Some of the hotel pools should not be missed.

No golf clubs: If you're only planning to play a round or two on your trip to Las Vegas, you might want to consider leaving the clubs at home. Most of the golf courses in Las Vegas now have top quality rental sets, and while renting may be slightly higher than airline bag fees, not having to lug your clubs around busy McCarran International Airport might be well worth it.

Small bills: Before you leave for Las Vegas, make sure you bring plenty of small bills. There are lots of opportunities to tip - at the hotel, the taxi and, certainly, at the golf course. There's nothing more awkward than being caught without tip money.

Camera: While what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, you still might want to take home a few memories. So pack a digital camera. If you don't own one yet, there's never been a better time to buy. For about $100, you can get a compact digital camera that does almost everything a $500 camera does, and you can fit in your pocket.

Nice clothes: Vegas can be as casual or formal as you want, but generally speaking, you'll want to bring at least one set of nice clothes for a show or a nice restaurant.

For men, that means a dinner jacket of some sort and a pair of polished shoes and black socks. The same holds true for many of the golf courses. Even if you're wearing shorts, they should be good quality and pressed, along with the shirt.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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