Top 10 Tips for Traveling With Golf Clubs to Make it Hassle-Free
Golfing while on vacation can be one of the best ways to relax while still staying active. But how do you travel with your clubs? Read on to learn the top ten tips for traveling with golf clubs.
Vacation is about relaxation and escaping the real world. There is no better way to do that then by a friendly round of golf.
Did you know, golf has been shown to improve mental well being and reduce stress and anxiety, all while also giving you an excuse to enjoy the outdoors and company?
If you’re planning a trip, then you should definitely add golf to your itinerary. But, you may be wondering how exactly you can travel with your golf clubs.
Keep reading to learn the top 11 ways to make traveling with golf clubs an easy addition to your next vacation.
1. Ship Them Beforehand
While not the cheapest, shipping your golf clubs ahead of time is by far the easiest option for traveling with golf clubs.
There are many companies who provide golf club shipping services. Since these organizations specialize in shipping golf clubs, they handle your clubs will care and diligence. They are reliable and you won’t have to worry about your clubs getting lost, stolen, or thrown around.
You also won’t have to deal with lugging your clubs around as you travel to and from the airport.
Shipping may be more affordable than you think. Do the math to decide how much it will cost you to check your golf clubs. Remember, you will have to check them to and from your destination (so-double the cost). If your golf bag weighs more than the allowance, you may have to pay extra.
These are all reasons why shipping your clubs for an overseas trip is recommended. International trips require more connections and more opportunity for mishandling. For example, if you and your friends are planning on an Ireland golf package (see more here), skip the worry and the hassle and ship your clubs.
2. Choose Nonstop Whenever Possible
Connecting flights have the highest lost luggage rates. Bags can get misplaced or mishandled with moving from plane to plane and airport to airport. Play it safe and book a nonstop flight whenever possible.
Besides, nonstop flights offer an array of additional benefits when traveling. You don’t have to rush to your connection, you have more time to kick back and relax while in air, and you can get to your destination quicker.
3. Use a Durable Carrier
Golf clubs are not cheap and it takes time to master the game with specific clubs (especially that trusty old driver). Clubs should be treated and handled with care to avoid expensive replacements or repairs.
If you want your golf clubs to make it to and from your destination safely, then choose a golf carrier that has a hard shell and padding inside.
4. Add Personal Identification to the Bag
This should be a given. But, with all the chaos that goes into traveling, adding your ID to your bag can easily be forgotten.
If your bag has a place for a card, be sure to include a business card or paper with your information on it. Include your name, cell phone number, and email.
If you are not too keen on displaying your identification to the public, there are other ways you can make your bag identifiable. Adding bright color tape, string, or tassels to the bag are just some options.
5. Understand Your Airport’s Baggage Check Procedures and Regulations
Before you get to the airport, do your research. Understand the weight limits for checked bags and try and weigh your golf bag beforehand.
You’ll also want to find out how each airport transports your bag. Some airports place golf bags in the over-sized section while others check them as regular luggage. You will want to know where your bag is being placed so you know where to pick it up.
Once you know which category your bag will be in, research where exactly the pickup locations are at each airport. You will want to get to the baggage claim area as soon as possible after your flight to ensure your clubs are safe.
6. Add Golf Club Protection
If you don’t have a hard-shell golf travel bag, be sure to add a club protection device into your soft carrier when traveling with golf clubs.
A club protector is an aluminum stick that goes into your bag and helps keep your clubs straight and prevents movement. It is also a protector against bending the bag, which can lead to broken clubs. Essentially, a club protector adds extra vertical strength so that if the bag is dropped or hit, the clubs will not move, bend, or break.
Club protectors are very affordable, averaging around $29 online. There is really no reason not to have one, as they can be beneficial even when you’re just taking your clubs to the local course.
7. Stuff Your Bag
Another tip for extra protection is to stuff your golf bag with soft materials for extra support. It will further keep them from moving around and pad them upon impact.
You don’t have to use packing materials, either. Use your bag as extra storage and throw in your sweaters, jackets, and other soft materials you were planning on taking along. You can even use towels– you never know when you may need an extra golf towel while on the course.
8. Use Your Bag for Extra Storage
Along those same lines, you can use the extra pockets of your golf bag to store your travel necessities. Besides the normal golf essentials like golf balls, tees, and gloves, golf bags are great carriers for toiletries, chargers, and small clothing items.
Things you should never include in your golf bag are expensive electronics, money, wallets, and important identification materials.
If your bag is lost or stolen, you will essentially be stranded without these items. It won’t be a fun golf trip if you have no way to buy a round of golf (or beer).
9. Look for Airlines that Offer Free Checked Bags
Certain airlines will allow you to check one or even two bags for free. Since you’ll likely need at least one more bag beside your golf bag when traveling, finding an airline with this perk is a great way to save money and lessen the burden of travel costs.
Another tip is to try and only travel with your golf bag and a carry-on when possible. Most airlines allow one carry-on item for free. Check out more of our tips for traveling on a budget here.
10. Stay Calm
Just like when on the course, staying calm in stressful situations can make all the difference. If you ship your golf clubs and find they are not your destination when you arrive, don’t freak out.
Many times bags may be there but in a different area of the location. Other times, the clubs are still on their way. Luckily, shipping companies allow you to track your clubs at all times. You can calmly pull up the tracking information and talk to the venue about solutions.
In addition, if you find that your clubs have been lost during traveling, check with the golf course you will be visiting on how they may be able to accommodate you. Of course, you’ll do this after you file a claim with the airline or shipper that lost your bag.
You will find that most golf courses, resorts, and hotels will be happy to help you with your golf and luggage needs.
11. Add Wheels
Wheels make any type of luggage easier to transport. Golf bags are large and can be heavy and hard to carry. To make traveling with golf clubs easier, choose a golf travel bag with wheels.
You can find both hard cover or nylon golf travel bags with wheels online. Some models even rotate 350 degrees, making traveling with a golf bag through narrow and crowded spaces (think airports and parking lots) even easier.
Another option is to rent a small dolly at the airport. Most airports have dolly carts available for a small fee. You can also buy your own luggage cart. They are affordable and the standard size will fit a golf travel bag.
The Takeaway– Traveling with Golf Clubs Doesn’t Have to be Hard or Scary
It’s hard to completely have a peace of mind when traveling with golf clubs. After all, clubs are extremely important to most golfers and their game.
With these tips, though, you can take every precaution to make sure your clubs arrive safely and in one piece to and from your destination.