Traveling with Golf Clubs

Whether you’re driving a short distance or traveling on an airliner, getting your golf clubs to your destination can sometimes be quite cumbersome. If you’re already faced with packing multiple suitcases and don’t know how you can carry another thing, it may be time for you to consider other options for your golf gear.

There’s no two ways about it, golf clubs are just plain heavy. That’s why most of us use a power cart or pull cart when we’re going to play 18. Only those in the best of shape, and wanting a good workout, actually “walk”. We all know that it’s great exercise to carry your bag for 4+ hours and 6,500 yards, but most of us would rather spend time worrying about our game than worrying about whether we can finish the round.

Traveling with Golf Clubs

A standard set of golf clubs in an average bag can weigh as much as 30-40 pounds. More if you carry extra clubs or have a professional caliber bag. That’s a lot of weight to carry around if you’re not used to it. It’s even more weight if you’re trying to navigate through an airport with several suitcases and additional bags.

If you’re traveling by car, you may also find yourself looking for alternate ways to transport your golf clubs. Depending on the size of your car, the trunk can get really full really fast if you’ve packed several suitcases and a couple sets of golf clubs, along with a cooler and snack food. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll need even more room in he car and may have to leave the clubs at home.

The dilemma of traveling with golf clubs can be stressful when you have to get them there along with a lot of other stuff. In your quest to transport everything to it’s destination in one fell swoop, you may have overlooked some simple solutions. Here are some options you may want to consider the next time you’re planning a golf trip.

  • Hard Case
    This is the most durable way to go. The case will protect your clubs from dents and dings that happen with luggage in airports. The down side is that a hard case is big and bulky, and often doesn’t fit easily into a car. It also usually only carries one golf bag, and some of the newer and longer drivers make for a snug fit.
  • Soft Case
    A much lighter weight alternative to the hard case, but is only a carrying bag and offers little or no protection for your clubs. These cases often have rollers, but some do not and make lugging them through airports very difficult. Being a soft-side case, you can usually pack a few more items in the bag than just your clubs and is a good way to bring along souvieners.
  • Trimmed Down Version (i.e. don’t bring all your clubs)
    If you’re going to a short course, perhaps you don’t need your driver or 3-wood. You may even want to challenge yourself to work on your iron game and leave all your woods at home. The disadvantage is that once you’re on the course, the one club you want will be the one you left behind.
  • Share With a Companion
    This option works well if you’re traveling with a spouse or friend who you’ll be golfing with. Most courses require that each player have a bag, but they don’t specifically say you need a complete set of clubs. If you’re willing to take a change, bring a lightweight nylon bag (that easily folds into a suitcase or duffle bag) and split one set of clubs.
  • UPS or FedEx
    If you don’t want to deal with your clubs at all, one option is to ship them to your destination. This makes airport check-in much easier and will give you more trunk room in your car. You can call ahead and make arrangements with your hotel or lodge, then ship your clubs a few days ahead of your arrival. Make sure to bring or buy packing material to ship them back.
  • Rental Clubs
    The “R” word…rental clubs. Most beginners won’t notice and don’t care, so rental clubs could be a good choice. Even if you’re more advanced, if you are planning to play only one round during your trip, you could probably make do. Rental clubs have come a long way, and of the more upscale facilities have pretty nice clubs. Check into it before you go.

Though it’s never ideal to play golf without your regular clubs, these are some good alternatives. If you do decide to bring your own clubs, make sure to invest in a good travel bag, and allow plenty of time for check-in if you’re traveling by airline. Some of the hard cases are also a bit bulky, so do some research and make sure they will fit in your car.

Happy golfing!

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