Traveling with golf clubs is like taking your large dog with you. You don’t want to be away from your pet, but the journey may get cumbersome. Yet, playing with your golf clubs on a far-off course is a beautiful experience.
Golf clubs are also expensive, making it necessary to carry yours if you are on a golfing trip. If you are an experienced golfer, you cannot imagine using anything else. If you are a beginner, you are still building a bond with your kit. Either way, you need to learn how to travel with golf clubs to really capture the mood of the sport.
Before taking a golf tour, you need to figure out how to travel with golf clubs. They need extra care to prevent damage in transit. Plus, a fully stocked golf bag is blocky and expensive. Hence, you might need to do some re-arranging before heading out. This guide will help you get your clubs to your destination safely and conveniently.
Ten Things to Keep In Mind
#1. Invest in a Proper Case for Your Golf Clubs
There are hard and soft golf club cases. Hard golf club cases are difficult to pack but offer the best protection in transit for your golf clubs. Soft golf club cases may be easier to pack but put your golf clubs at somewhat of a risk.
Soft cases are made of a material like nylon, making them easier to carry. Hard cases incorporate sturdier material in their design to prevent golf clubs from breaking. Airlines accept liability only for damage to golf clubs in hard cases.
So, if you are traveling a short distance, pack your golf clubs in a soft case. For longer distances, the clubs are safer in a hard case.
#2. Check the Size of Your Bag
Golf clubs and golf bags come in different sizes. You need to pick the most suitable size for your clubs and other accompanying items. Aim for a snuggle fit for the clubs. A loose fit will have the clubs clanking in there and the bag unwieldy and exhausting to carry. The bag may also not fit in the trunk.
On the other hand, a small bag will limit the number of items you can pack. As a result, any items that won’t fit are nothing but an extra cost without a purpose. Hence, consider its capacity when opting for a smaller bag and buy accordingly. Naturally, double-check this aspect before settling for a bag.
#3. Opt for a Non-Stop Flight
The time you connect to your next flight presents an opportunity for baggage handlers to damage your golf clubs. To avoid such risks, look for single-trip flights. Additionally, a non-stop flight will be less tedious since you don’t have to carry the clubs so much manually. Even though the cost of a non-stop flight is higher, it’s still much cheaper than replacing damaged golf clubs.
#4. Pack All Your Golfing Essentials
Apart from your golf clubs, you have several other items to pack. Don’t forget about putting shoes, towels, socks, tees, and golf balls in the golf bag. If you are traveling to a rainy region, also take your rain gear with you.
Do not include non-essential items. An expensive watch or jewelry, for instance, should not be carried in a golf bag. If you must have them at the destination, carry such valuables in your personal bag. That way, you’ll keep an eye on them separately.
#5. Pack With Cushioning in Mind
Pack the golf clubs and other items together to keep the clubs safe. Your rain gear, towel, socks, tees, and such clothing can cushion the golf clubs. Using clothes as cushioning eliminates the need for other soft materials while keeping the bag easy to handle.
After setting aside all items to pack, take pictures of each item. Once you finish packing, take a picture of the bag as well. Make sure the pictures are clear, have a date and time stamp, and are of high resolution. If the airline presents a damaged bag, you have evidence of its previous condition and everything in the bag. Presenting such evidence enables a faster claims process.
#7. Remove the Clubheads
The process of removing the clubheads from all your golf clubs may be time-consuming, but it minimizes the chances of the golf clubs getting damaged. Take pictures of all golf clubs to enable a faster reassembly process at the destination.
#8. Position the Clubs Upside Down in the Golf Bag
Positioning the golf clubs upside down helps protect the hosel and lower part of the shaft. That region just before the shaft is susceptible to bending and breaking. By positioning the clubs upside down, you significantly minimize the danger to that part.
#9. Ask About Checking In the Golf Bag
You need to know where to check-in and pick up your golf bag at the airport. It is advisable to ask the airport personnel as soon as you get there. Alternatively, discuss this concern with your travel agent. You also need to ask how much it will cost to ferry the golf bag. You can expect to pick the bag either at the regular baggage belt or at the oversized bags section.
#10. Consider Signing Up for Golf Travel Insurance
Something could happen to damage your golf clubs even after taking all precautions. Golf travel insurance comes in handy in such unpredictable situations. Dealing with different airlines, especially if the destination is far, is a tedious and draining process. Golf travel insurance may be an added cost, but its benefits may prove invaluable.
Final Words on How to Travel With Golf Clubs
Traveling with your golf clubs is made easier when you follow this guide. You get peace of mind when you are sure your golf clubs will arrive at the destination safely. You also get to enjoy playing with your special clubs anywhere you wish. So, next time you receive an invitation to a golf tournament abroad, you’ll know what to do.