Traveling with golf clubs is no easy task. Not with today’s updated security. The Professional Golfer’s Association of America (PGA) suggests a list of tips to make it easier to travel with golf clubs and equipment. And they should know as they hold multiple tournaments around the world.
Here are a few tips from PGA and other golf experts from around the world:
- Personalize the case. Make the bag easy to spot at airports by adding something bright to the case. This could be colourful string, ties, or strips of fabric. It may be more expensive, but monogramming with a bright thread color may really stand out. Most cases have a place for contact information. Use a bright coloured pen or permanent marker to write the information including name, phone number, and hotel, if possible. If there is enough room, include the home address to make sure the case is always returned to you.
- Non-stop flights are best. The more layovers between destinations could result in the bag being misplaced.
- A high-quality travel case is preferred. Golf clubs are not cheap and should not be thrown into just any bag for travel. A hard travel case is suggested to protect the golf clubs and equipment from the unexpected. Although these may be expensive, they are worth the money in terms of protecting an investment. The hard-shell cases are priced between $150 and $250. They can be purchased at sporting goods stores and online.
- Pack the golf club protection device. This aluminum piece is critical in protecting the golf equipment, especially when using a soft-sided case for traveling. If dropped, the aluminum crutch will protect the shafts.
- Golf bags are categorized as oversized. Depending on the airline, the golf bag may be labeled as oversized check-in. In some airports, the bag will be taken to an oversized bag section. Other airports may keep the bag with regular luggage. The best time to confirm the airline’s policy is before the flight. Call and confirm details about what to expect a few days before the flight. This will relieve any anxiety in regards to misplaced golf equipment and allow time to purchase any necessary additions to the case.
- Simplify the luggage. Traveling through airports can be chaotic enough without lugging around too many bags. Try to only pack what you need in as few bags as possible. The more luggage increases the chance of something being misplaced or forgotten.
- Pack the clubs tight. Add clothing or another material into the golf club bag to keep the equipment from moving while traveling.
- Insist that the cab or shuttle drops off close to the entrance. Unlike parking a car, a taxi cab or shuttle bus should be able to drop off passengers close to the airport entrance doors. This will avoid long walks with multiple bags of luggage and a heavy rolling golf case.
If using an airline to transport golf equipment is worrisome, consider a shipping service instead. It may cost more money, but the golf clubs and equipment will reach their destination on time.
Until next time, keep it in the short grass!