Heading to a golfcation to the famous Scottish links? You want to sink a few at the sacred course of St. Andrews with your own golf clubs? Or maybe you are hopping between prestigious tournaments and air travel is the only medium. You might have to fly your golf clubs across a couple of oceans. But here’s the catch. This is no light load. There are specific rules for this kind of luggage on different airlines. As a fair warning to the enthusiastic golfers, I created this post on the airline rules for traveling with golf clubs. I go into some useful tips in this regard. I also explore the golf baggage rules of some common local and international carriers.
Tips for effective air travel with golf clubs
Always try to book a single flight from your place to the destination. Lugging around the golf bag is not fun! And the airline rules for different carriers may differ. Some airlines would ask you to leave the luggage on the regular luggage belt. Others prefer them on the oversized luggage reception.
If you carry a hard-shell case golf bag make sure you have a cab or another vehicle to the driver to and from the airport. These heavy bags are not for public transit.
Golf Club Protector:
This is a small umbrella-like device with a long handle like this
This sticks out farther than any of the golf clubs in the bag. Seal the top of the bag based on this height. This way, if the golf bag is toppled and falls upside down, this arm will bear the impact instead of the clubheads.
Any change to the composition of a clubhead will severely impair its ability to behave according to your impulses. Club headcovers keep them from clunking around with each other. If you don’t have enough covers, slip on your socks on the clubheads.
You are likely to carry some layers to keep yourself warm. Drape these around the clubheads to prevent movement while in transit.
While these count as golf gear, pack the golf balls separately in your other luggage. Or buy the golf balls from your destination location. Try to bring only an optimum number of balls. These tiny spheres collectively weigh a lot.
Ensure you have some kind of robust luggage tags on your golf bag. Or else tie a fluorescent string around it to differentiate it from other people’s golf bags. A colorful scarf will also do the deed.
Carry your golf laser rangefinder or golf GPS in your carry-on luggage. These are sensitive and expensive instruments worthy of being under your wing.
Consider other options. You can send your golf clubs via a shipping service. Since they are responsible for your golf clubs, these will reach safely. But they may cost quite a bit.
There’s also the option of club-lending services. Some of them offer premium clubs that you might be used to. Here’s an lender.
Before completing the packing process, make sure you photograph all the items inside the golf bag. This will serve as proof in case the worst happens.
We selected the top domestic and international airlines and collated their golf club rules all into one place.
These rules may change. Please contact the individual airlines before traveling to confirm these requirements
Carrying your golf gear through air travel is no small feat. But you can make the process easy with a few simple tricks. Being organized inside the golf bag and in your travel plan is your best bet. You can:
- Take all precautions to protect them while minimizing weight
- Know the rules of the proposed airlines.
In spite of this, be ready for the worst. And be ready to be persistent and get the mischief-makers to pay their dues. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.