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Travelling with golf clubs can be really hectic. If you have ever experienced travelling with your golf clubs you would know what a serious business it is and how much of a pain it could be if you are not equipped with the proper knowledge of how to carry and pack your golf clubs appropriately. At times, playing at your local golf course becomes a tad boring and you might want to try out something new. You may have an international golf competition in which you would want to display your golf dexterity. You may be moving to a new place and may find it inevitable to carry your golf clubs with you. Let’s learn how to travel with golf clubs in safe and effective way!
No Matter the Reason
There can be a million reasons of wanting to travel with your golf clubs. No matter what the reasons may be there are certain rules you need to follow and certain things you need to make sure of so that your golf clubs arrive on time and in one piece.
Golf clubs aren’t cheap. You spend hundreds of dollars on them. Add a couple of hundred more for your golf bag and then another couple for other accessories such as your golf gloves etc. All of these expenses would collectively amount to almost thousands of dollars. Any damage incurred then to your golf things could be a serious blow.
In order to help you avoid any such situation, we have come up with a comprehensive guide that will take care of all your concerns and make sure that you and your golf clubs reach the destination safe, sound, and on time.
Travelling With Golf Clubs
Let us now have a look at this step-by-step guide which will teach you how to look up baggage fees with your airline, which carrying case to choose, how to pack, how to minimize damage, and plenty more! If you are travelling and going places but still do not want to compromise on your golf game, then there are three options you can consider.
- The first one is to ship your golf clubs by making use of courier/shipping services such as Ship Sticks or FedEx
- The other option is to carry the clubs with you
- The third one is to leave behind the clubs and rent some new ones later
The first and third options are not always possible and therefore the second one appears to be the most feasible. Once you have decided that you would be carrying your golf clubs along with you on the flight, it is important that you choose a nice carrying case to pack your golf clubs in. The question that sprouts its head at this juncture is what should be the standard of and what kind of carrying case should you choose.
1. Packing Your Golf Clubs
You could either go for a hard travel bag or choose one that is soft-sided. Lots of professionals and experts recommend a soft sided bag though. You might question the wisdom of this choice as a hard bag implies superior protection and minimal damage, then why choose a soft-sided bag?
If protection is your main priority then the hard-shelled one would work the best for you, but be prepared to handle a huge mold of plastic when you arrive. A soft bag on the other hand is lightweight, is easier to carry, and comfortable. It also comes at a lower cost. So if you are an avid traveler and if you have plans of travelling for a prolonged duration then we suggest that you spare yourself the backache and unease of carrying a big chunk of hard plastic.
However, going for a soft-sided case doesn’t mean that you compromise on quality. The bag ought to be well-made and durable. If you go for hard-shelled bags then protection would not be much of an issue. However, if you opt for a soft-sided bag then enhance the protection that bag would offer by adding a device for club-protection in it.
What is a Golf Club Protection Device?
A golf club protection device is generally comprised of aluminum. It resembles a crutch of sorts which ought to be slightly taller as compared to your driver. This would protect the shafts from incurring any damage even if the golf case is turned upside down.
Minimize Movement in the Golf Case
It is best if you pack your golf equipment in such a manner that it doesn’t move around much in the case. This can be done by adding some sweaters and windbreakers in the case. They would take up space, prevent the golf clubs from moving around much and thus ensure maximum protection.
2. Looking Up Baggage Fees with Your Airline
Once you are done packing, the next step would be to look up baggage fees with your airline. Always remember that your golf bag would be considered an ‘oversized check-in’. Therefore it is best to check with the airline you are using or your travel agent beforehand. You also need to be aware of the fact that most airline send golf bags through the regular baggage channel, whereas others send them through a different belt.
Moreover, you also need to be acquainted with the rules and regulations of travelling with golf clubs. Different airlines have different principles, however, hereby we have aggregated a short summary of these rules and regulations. To be more precise, you need to check the specific airline’s website to find out the full details of rules pertaining to golf equipment.
If the size of your golf baggage exceeds 126 inches and 100 pounds then the airline would not accept it in its checked baggage. A freight forwarded will have to be contacted in such a situation. The airline also doesn’t take any liability for damage caused to golf clubs which would not be packed in a hard case. In case of hard case, if the case’s exterior is not damaged visibly, then the airline would not take any responsibility for damage caused inside the case. Moreover, sport cases designed for carrying golf items must carry only these sports equipment which they are intended to carry.
A single golf bag should only contain 12 balls, 14 clubs, and one pair of shoes. When these pieces are in excess, you would be charged with the excess baggage fee on every piece. The size of the golf clubs ought to be confined to the size of the carrying case whereas they should not weigh more than 70 pounds. Swingless Golf Club load strips can neither be carried in carry-on nor checked baggage since they are considered to be dangerous.
If the golf sporting equipment is appropriately packed in a hard or soft case which is specifically intended to carry such golf goods, they would be considered checked baggage.
The HA also considers golfing equipment as checked baggage. One bag containing 14 clubs at the most, 12 balls along with one pair of shoes. The passenger is supposed to sign a liability release form at the time of check-in since the airline is not to be held liable for any damage caused to golf clubs which are not packed in hard cases.
When the weight exceeds that of allowed checked baggage, each piece would be subjected to the oversized baggage charge. If the golfing equipment exceeds a specific size of sixty two linear inches, then the oversize equipment charge may be waived. This is only applicable when the golf bag only contains the equipment delineated above. If other items are also present then they would be charged with an oversize baggage rate. Like American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines also do not allow swingless golf clubs to be carried on the flight.
Golf equipment will only be considered in checked baggage if it is a replacement to the passenger’s normal piece of baggage (one person is only allowed to carry a single piece of baggage). A pull cart is included in this only if it is attached with the golf case. Moreover, the contents of the golf case have to be properly packed inside. In other words, it has to have a top cover so that the contents do not get spilled out and get lost. If there are any other goods inside the golf bag aside the equipment which it is intended to be carried then baggage fees would be applicable on it.
US Airways has a code of conduct and exercise special care while handling fragile articles, sporting equipment etc. When this standard of care has been fulfilled, the airline is not responsible or liable for any damage caused.
Under the rules and regulations of United Airlines, every passenger is allowed to carry one piece of golfing equipment and this would be considered in the regular checked baggage. This single piece of golfing equipment can include a single pair of golf shoes, a single pair of golf clubs, and golf balls. All these goods have to be adequately encased in a protective covering.
A golf equipment which measures more than 62 inches and contain items in addition to the golfing equipment delineated above or instead of the equipment formerly mentioned would be subject to an oversized baggage fee.
Passengers may experience a delay in reception of their golf equipment at the baggage reception belt. This is because sporting equipment and other oversized luggage items are loaded, unloaded, and carried separately to the baggage claim.
These are just some important airlines. You can find out the individual baggage policies related to golfing equipment of every airline by checking their websites. Once you have chosen an appropriate case for packing your golf clubs and checked out the baggage policy of your respective airline, it is time to take certain mandatory steps to ensure that damage risk are minimized.
3. Taking Steps To Minimize Damage
A glimpse of the Airlines’ policies regarding sporting equipment would let you know that no airline would be liable of any damage caused to your golf clubs during flight or during the transportation of baggage. Therefore, it is upon you to take steps to ensure that such damage is minimized. Here are some useful tips to help you do that.
- It is important that you protect your clubs from knocking against each other. This can be done by covering them with bubble wraps or rain gear.
- If you are carrying the golf case inside your luggage bag, then the space between the two needs to be filled with towels or other such clothing.
- If you are confused about which bag would work the best for you, try getting a consultation from an expert from your golf pro shop.
- Most airlines would charge you for additional items present in your golf bag so try not to cram in other stuff. Use the golf carrying case for the purposes which it is intended to be used.
- It is very important to add a personal identification tag or marker to your golf case to ensure that it doesn’t get lost. It is best to include your phone number of the card as well as the address where you would possibly be staying.
- It is always good to choose a flight which is non-stop. This is because it is better for you and your golfing equipment if it gets handled once instead of a couple of times.
The Final Word
Following these tips would ensure that travelling with golf clubs wouldn’t be a hassle for you and wherever you go, in whatever part of the world, you would be carrying your love of golf with you.