As a golfer, you would like to try not only the different golf balls or golf clubs there are but also the different golf courses the world has to offer. To be able to achieve this, you have to travel frequently, whether it be interstate or even overseas. And above all you should know how to travel with your golf clubs.
Travelling with golf clubs can be a very huge responsibility. Since quality golf clubs are definitely pricey, you cannot just travel with it without handling it with care. Unless you are willing to buy a new golf club every time you play in a new golf course. You also have the option to rent a golf club every time but that would however be impractical.
Besides, as a golfer, you have a certain degree of attachment to the equipment that you use. You have a personal preference on your golf clubs and sometimes it’s hard to adjust to new clubs when you already have one that you are used to. There is that different feel to a golf club that you have been using.
Tips To Travel With Your Golf Clubs
For a golfer, it is important to know the travel essentials, including the do’s and don'ts in packing your golf gears and equipment. It may seem easy travelling with golf clubs as long as it fits the storage but there are actually a lot more things to consider other than its height. You have to consider the transfers, the handling that might cause the clubs to bend or break while traveling, to mention a few. Having to know the what-to-dos and cautiously applying it before and during every trip will save you more than half of the hassle during the trip.
Following are some of the most useful tips that have been practiced by traveling golfers to ease the traveling of the golf clubs.
Choose The Appropriate High-Quality Bag/Case For Your Golf Clubs
When it comes to golf club bags or cases, you generally have two choices; the soft cases or the hard cases. Most soft cases are made of nylon that makes it easier to set up and lighter to carry around. This is ideal if you travel short distances and you do not want to carry bulky baggage. Hard cases, on the other hand, are obviously made of stiff and rigid material that are also heavy.
While both actually serve its purpose, the hard cases are preferred more than the soft cases when traveling. Hard cases are more tedious to prepare but it secures your golf clubs better compared to soft cases. All your efforts in packing your golf clubs with the hard case will surely pay off since it will protect your golf clubs from all the impacts while in transit, especially if you will be on a long-distance trip.
Choosing to pack your golf clubs with hard cases is also practical especially when you travel by air since some airlines only refund damaged golf clubs if they are in hard cases. These bags can be expensive as compared to the soft cases but you cannot put a price on worry-free travel.
It is not enough that you choose the hard case for your golf clubs when you travel. It has to be a hard case of high quality. Golf clubs are not easy to replace. They are expensive and you just cannot risk putting it in containers that are not reliable. High quality cases have more inner cushions than the regular cases. It will help lessen the impact and prevent the golf clubs from being bent, broken, or damaged. High quality bags are also less likely to be easily broken in by thieves.
However, if you do not have much choice but to use the soft variety of bag, do not forget to place a golf club protection material. It protects your clubs, specifically the shafts and drivers, and lessens the impact and possible breakage even if it falls upside down.
Use the Right Size of Bag
This may be a commonsensical thing but some golfers forgo this advice thinking that it is just a minor detail. It may be a very small thing to consider but it is an important matter to take note of. Not all golf clubs have the same sizes and every size demands a different kind of storage. Before you start packing, you have to make sure that you have the correct bag size.
Having a small bag can cause too much pressure on your golf clubs that may cause breakage. Also, you won’t be able to pack more stuff in the bag if it is small. As a result, you might end up buying a lot of things at your destination to replace the things that you were not able to pack which is very inconvenient. On the other hand, if you get a bag that is too big for your golf clubs, it will be more difficult to fit in storage bins. That is why, in shopping for golf bags, make sure that it is the right size for your golf clubs. The one that is just the right height for it at the same time with enough space to fill in for other essentials that you have to bring to the golf course.
As Much As Possible Book A Direct Flight
If you are traveling by air with your golf clubs, it is best to book a direct flight as much as possible. The fare may cost a bit much for some destinations but not as much if you have to buy new sets of golf clubs if they get damaged due to mishandling during the transfer.
With just a simple single mistake of the airline baggage handlers, you may no longer be able to play with your golf clubs. The lesser time your golf clubs will be moved from one flight to another, the better. Booking a direct flight not only lessens your worries with your baggage, it also saves you so much energy from the hassle of transfers.
However, if flight transfers are really inevitable, just choose the flight with the least transfers. The lesser flight changes, the lesser movements and lesser risk of being mishandled and damaged.
Document Your Baggage
Documenting your baggage means taking pictures of it. Having a clear picture of your bags from all angles. More importantly, the pictures you take should be dated. Aside from taking pictures of your bag, it is also best that you take a picture of your golf clubs. Documenting your golf clubs’ state prior to your trip will make your claim from the airlines easier if there are damages.
You can never be so sure with the airline personnel that handles your baggage so it is important that you have proof that you transported your items in good condition to back your case for refund when it arises.
This rule does not only apply to your golf clubs but to all the items you carry, especially expensive and sensitive items. It will save you time from arguing with airline management when it comes to your refund claims.
Put Something Personalized To Identify Your Bag
Having something in your golf bag or case that makes it easy to identify will save you time in picking your bag. A ribbon, sticker, or a colored print somewhere obvious can be placed or added to your bag. This will also help identify your golf bag in case it gets lost.
Aside from a marker, it is also important to put your name on your golf bags, and if possible, the address of the hotel you will be staying in and your contact details if you are not very sensitive about it.
Remove The Club Heads
You may think this move is unnecessary and will just add to the already tedious preparation that you are doing but if you really want your clubs to be safe, it is never wrong to be cautious. Removing the heads of your golf club will lessen the chances of it getting damaged. It is always better safe than sorry.
Once your club heads are removed, you can separately pack it safely in your carry-on baggage. You really have to remember how your club heads were originally positioned though. Also, you should not forget to bring with you the adjustment tool for you to reassemble it.
Strategically Arrange Your Golf Clubs In Your Bag
Positioning your golf clubs strategically inside your bag can lessen the risk of damage to it. Parts of the golf club such as the shaft and the hosel are very prone to the impacts of traveling that may cause breakage or bending. By placing the golf clubs upside down, the chances of damaging the golf clubs lessens.
Another option in arranging your golf clubs inside your bag is to pack it with other stuff such as your socks, towels, and other clothing to have an extra layer of protection for your golf clubs. This way, your golf clubs will not be into so much stress during the trip. However, before doing this, you must see to it that the airline you will be flying in allows the packing of said stuff.
Some airlines specify on their fine print rules the things you are only allowed to pack inside your golf bag and any violation of said rules will merit you a fine or worse forfeit your right to reimbursement from the airline in case your golf bag is damaged.
You Can Never Be Too Protective With Your Golf Clubs
Your golf clubs are investments too and you have to protect them at all cost. If you have chosen the perfect bag or case for you, you can still use some extra protection internally. To really prevent your golf clubs from breaking, you can wrap it with bubble wrap. However, if you are environmentally conscious, you can always use socks or towels as another buffer layer.
You can also seek the help of a stiff-arm stick. This will give your soft bags the framework and will ensure that your bag will not get squished. It protects your golf clubs from receiving the impacts during the trip.
Have Your Golf Clubs Insured
If you are a golfer who travels frequently, it is best that you insure your golf clubs. Every time you travel exposes your golf clubs to the risk of getting damaged or lost and golf clubs are not cheap. Having it insured will somehow give you the peace of mind that whatever happens to your golf clubs, you will not be left with nothing.
One major rule in traveling is to travel light. The mere thought of traveling with a golf bag is already strenuous be it a cart bag or a stand bag; adding more bags to it will double the labor required from you. As much as possible only pack what is needed. You can even place some of your stuff inside your golf bag as long as it is allowed by the airlines, as previously mentioned. Just make sure not to place valuable items in your golf bags and better secure it in your carry-on bag.
Consider The Option Of Shipping Your Golf Clubs
If you have trust issues with how the airline personnel would handle your golf clubs, you always have the option to have it shipped to your destination. The advantage of having your golf clubs shipped is that you can choose the shipping company to make the transfer.
There are shipping companies that are already known for their good service when it comes to shipping golf clubs. This way you are assured that you will have your golf clubs reach your destination scratch free. Your golf clubs may even arrive before you and will just be safely waiting for you at your hotel. Also, if you have your golf clubs shipped, in the very slim chance that it gets damaged, your golf clubs are insured and are sure to be refunded.
Booking for a shipment is also just a tip of your finger away since it is online. You can virtually schedule your shipment, print and place the shipping tags on your golf case or bag, then wait for it to be picked up by the shipping company or you can personally drop it off to them. The price of shipping your golf clubs is just almost as much as the amount you pay for your extra baggage.
After reading all the suggestions and advice in traveling with a golf bag, you may confidently bring with you on a trip your most expensive golf club. As long as you follow the necessary things mentioned that should be followed, you will have a worry-free trip and a better mindset for the game.
How to travel with your golf clubs might not be an easy question. We tried to provide ample information for you to take necessary measures and get your clubs traveled smoothly.