Whether you’re one of the fortunate few newbies allowed to enter the field or you’re following the pros, the PGA tournaments are spectacular and well worth traveling to see. Not only is the golf naturally going to be fantastic, but the scenery is to die for! 

If you’re planning on heading out there to watch the pros, chances are you’re going to have some golf on your mind for yourself. And if you go all the way out there and don’t even get to play a round… Well, you’re missing out! 

We’ve put together some air travel tips when going to the PGA tournament this year. If you’re traveling with golf clubs in tow, you need to take a bit more care than you usually would. 

Even if you choose to leave the drivers and putters behind and just bring your camera to catch some shots of your favorite players… It’s essential to travel carefully to ensure both your own and your gear’s safety! 

Choose a Good Airline 

It might be tempting to go for the cheapest air tickets you can find. If it’s just you and your bag full of clothes, then no worries! But if you’re planning on taking golfing equipment or camera equipment, it pays to be a bit more thoughtful… And to spend a little more on an airline that’s more likely to protect your beloved equipment. 

Be aware that golf bags are often considered to be oversized baggage due to their dimensions. This means that many airlines will charge you extra for that one piece of luggage in addition to your regular luggage. 

For example—Hawaiian Airlines is not only reputable and decently affordable, but they allow you to check your golf clubs as standard baggage. No extra fees… As long as your kit is limited to 14 golf clubs, 12 balls, a single pair of golf shoes, and weighs less than 50 pounds. Anything extra counts as a second set! 

You don’t have to fly Hawaiian Airlines, of course. But you should do your own research and find out the golf bag policy of whichever airline you’re considering. Don’t be caught unawares here—double-check beforehand, and give them a call if you can’t find the info on their website. 

Choose the Right Flight 

We highly recommend booking a direct flight, not only because it’s just a more streamlined experience but also because it reduces the number of times baggage handlers have to move all your golf clubs around. 

Direct flights may be a touch more expensive than those with layovers. But for the peace of mind that no annoying baggage handler is throwing your golf bag from cart to cart… It’s worth it! 

Pack Your Clubs Properly 

Invest in a high-quality golf bag. Hard cases are excellent if you plan on traveling often, but you can also choose a soft bag if it’s more convenient for you. If you use a soft bag, it’s a good idea to fill it with packing material like foam to protect your golf clubs from bumps and knocks, both externally and from bumping against each other. 

It’s also a good idea to remove the heads from your golf clubs where you can. Wrap them up and store them securely. This will reduce the chances of them being broken off accidentally in transit. 

If you’re worried, you can always ship your clubs ahead of time directly to your location. This reduces any risk that could be present when flying with them. 

Carry Electronics With You 

We highly recommend not leaving things like rangefinders in your golf bag. They’re much more fragile than your other golf equipment, so there's a higher chance of them being damaged, even if you wrap them nicely and fill up the spaces in your golf bag so they don’t move around. 

Rather, carry them in your hand luggage. Even your checked luggage may not be totally safe for fragile electronics, as it still gets handled by multiple people along the way… And there’s no guarantee that it’s being handled nicely, either. 

Take the Right Apparel 

Hawaii, for example, is warm in January, so don’t forget to pack appropriate apparel. Whether you’re going to be standing on the sidelines cheering your favorite player on or walking the course yourself at some point, make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. 

The temperature hovers between 66 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s ideal shorts and golf shirt weather. Don’t forget to take sunscreen, either. Although the month is around 50 percent cloudy, those rays can still leave you with a nasty burn, so stay safe. 

Knowing what apparel to take and what to leave behind is also helpful when it comes to packing your checked luggage. You’re unlikely to need winter clothing, which can significantly reduce the weight of your luggage and end up saving you money in the end. 


The PGA tournaments are bound to be amazing affairs for sports fans. Whether you’re traveling or to purely watch the greats do their thing, or you’re planning on getting in a few rounds yourself, traveling safely and making sure your accompanying equipment is safe too. 

Air travel can be one of the biggest stressors when it comes to traveling, no matter whether it’s an hour-long trip or half a day. It can also make you more nervous if you’re carrying expensive equipment with you, which is why we highly recommend putting extra effort into planning your travel so you can enjoy your trip and your experience with peace of mind. 

About the Author

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring others, he’s researching and writing value-packed articles for his website, Golf Influence.