Taking your golf clubs with you on a plane for the first time can be a daunting experience. Before we even get into the dos and don’ts, it’s wise to consider whether taking your own clubs is necessary or if you’d be able to rent clubs while you’re at your destination.
If you do need to take your own clubs with you, here’s what you should know about traveling safely with them.
#1: Invest In A Protective Golf Bag
Your standard golf bag can be difficult to take along on a plane, as it’s open-topped and somewhat awkward to cart around.
If you’re able to, and if you’ll make good use of it, investing in a travel golf bag is a good idea. It may be slightly more pricey, but the convenience makes up for that.
If you’re serious about keeping those clubs cosy and safe, you can shell out for a padded, pocketed, and wheeled bag that will protect your clubs like a guardian and offer additional packing space too.
If traveling for golf is likely to be something you do often, we recommend one of these. If not, a plan can be made to use a regular golf bag.
#2: Prepare Before You Get To The Airport
Carrying a large golf bag through the airport is not the easiest thing. Make sure you’re well prepared and have a head start on all the necessary info before you even get there to make your experience as smooth as possible.
- Weighing your clubs in their bag (as you would put them on the plane)
- Attaching a recognizable ID tag to your golf bag
- Making sure you remove any excess equipment that you wouldn’t need
- Removing electronics from your golf bag
#3: Research The Airline Fees
Fees for checked luggage vary from airline to airline. What doesn’t change is the fact that you won’t be able to take your golf clubs on the plane with you.
If you have a bit of time before you leave, we suggest doing some comparison research on airlines and their checked baggage fees.
Of course, what you end up paying will depend on the weight of your golf clubs and bag. But if you can check your clubs for $50 with one airline and it’ll cost you $150 with another, that can make a huge difference.
#4: Try To Book A Direct Flight
When your beloved golf clubs are wrapped up and spending a flight by themselves, you really don’t want them to have to switch flights halfway through, especially as they’re completely out of your hands.
A direct flight is usually a little more pricey, but for the sake of your clubs and your anxiety, it would be worth it.
Flying direct means that your clubs are only handled twice - once getting into the plane, and once getting off of the plane.
Every layover added to your flight is an extra two times your clubs get handled, and let’s be honest - nobody knows if they're treated with care or not.
#5: Don’t Panic!
We understand - parting with your clubs for the flight can be tough! You’ve put your time and money into this equipment, and chances are you’ve bonded with them too.
But there’s no need to panic. Airlines make every effort to keep your belongings safe, and your golf clubs are no exception.
Stay calm! While there’s always a tiny chance of something going awry, 99% of the time, you’ll be safely reunited with your clubs and can go forth to play another round together.
The world is full of amazing golf courses, and fear of flying with your clubs shouldn’t hinder your ability to play at as many of them as you can!
No matter where you are or where you’re flying to, take as many precautions as you can and trust the rest of the process.
Jordan Fuller is a golf enthusiast who travels often, and never without his clubs. You can find his advice, tips, and tricks on Golf Influence.