Nobody ever said that flying with golf clubs is an easy or economical experience, but then there are still so many golfers doing it the right way…
Practical Tried and True Guide For Flying With Your Golf Clubs
The post has been thoughtfully curated by a team of experienced, professional golfers at Persimmon Country Club. These experts have trained at many golf courses and have enough knowledge required for transforming a basic-level golf skill set.
Planet Earth is full of surprises, wouldn’t you agree? Now we know that golf courses are manmade creations, but all that nature, the expanse of land, bright and beautiful sky with the open view, and the delightful sun beaming on you aren’t manmade for sure. So it’s only common for avid golfers to traverse the globe to play at some of the best golf courses.
But then comes the trouble of flying with golf clubs. How do you pack your gear? How to then carry the gear at the airport? Doesn’t traveling with golf clubs put them in danger? Because it goes without saying that baggage handlers do not care much about what’s inside your luggage. And then you run the risk of maybe even losing your luggage.
So let’s find out everything about taking your expensive, precious golf clubs with you on your next vacation. But before we do that, how about you weigh out your options first…
Carrying Your Own Golf Clubs vs. Hiring Golf Clubs at the Destination
So should you go through the trouble of packing and flying with your golf clubs? Or should you just ditch the whole idea and instead just get rentals at the destination golf course? If you’re a serious, committed golfer, then you’d prefer traveling with your own clubs because you’re just so used to playing that way.
In that case, you should be willing to spend a little extra and also be okay with a few limitations involved. Of course, playing with your own precious golf clubs is what keeps you on track on the turf. Also, when you carry your own clubs, you don’t have to waste time and money hiring rentals when you arrive.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that taking them with you means putting yourself through something you can easily avoid. Nevertheless, golfers that compete professionally or those who play important games abroad carry their own golf clubs. But if your trip is just a vacation, then you can indeed consider leaving them behind and getting rentals at the destination.
Nonetheless, if you’re still more inclined toward flying with your own golf clubs, it’s time to take certain financial factors into consideration. So here’s the breakdown you might have been looking for…
Different Costs of Different Airlines
- British Airways
You can indeed carry your golf clubs as a part of your regular checked luggage. But only as long as the weight doesn’t exceed the limit set forth by the airline.
In the case of first-class travel, you get two checked bags with a maximum weight limit of 32kgs each. And for economy, it’s one checked bag that shouldn’t exceed 23kgs.
- Ryan Air
Unlike British Airways, Ryan Air charges you separately for your golf clubs. And that amount is £30 when you book online and £35 when you book at the airport.
What is the maximum weight allotment for the golf clubs? It’s 20kgs. And you pay £10 extra per kilo in case you go overboard.
The best deal so far, Lufthansa transports your precious golf clubs free of cost provided you don’t exceed the regular check-in baggage limit. For those flying in the economy class, this limit is 23kgs. First-class flyers, on the other hand, get to bring 3 bags weighing 32kgs each.
This means if you’re traveling by economy, you may have to shell out extra bucks for your trip with your golf clubs. Because there’s no chance you won’t cross the weight limit.
- Air France
Even Air France teems up your golfing equipment with standard luggage without charging extra. But the weight limit for economy is tricky, which is only 23kgs. So if you exceed this limit, you obviously have to pay the extra fee, which is £70 one-way if traveling within Europe.
But you have to get approved by the airline for flying with your golf clubs.
As for EasyJet, there’s a separate sports equipment charge. And this covers 32kgs weight capacity. There’s a smaller version of this as well, which allows you to carry 20kgs. But the cost here is £30 just one way.
What About Golf Clubs Insurance?
This is a very important factor to take into account in terms of your finances. Traveling with your expensive golf clubs does indeed tempt you to get insurance as well. What if your fancy gear gets damaged, stolen, or lost? At such times, insurance can really make a huge difference.
But, at the same time, insurance is also pretty steep. It all depends on how costly your equipment is. Generally though, be ready to spend at least £60.
Now compare this to hiring golf clubs at the destination. Which one seems like a cheaper approach? More often than not, it’s getting rentals. Not only is hiring clubs cheaper in terms of price but also much more convenient and tension-free.
Allow us to give you a good example. Air France baggage fees plus the golf club insurance costs around £160. And this is definitely way more expensive in comparison to hiring some golf clubs where you’re headed. Even when compared to the cost of all other airlines, rentals always emerge as the more affordable option.
So there are plenty of benefits for leaving your expensive golf clubs at home when traveling. Even your peace of mind because this way you run no risks of losing or damaging your most cherished clubs.
Most Useful Tips to Travel with Golf Clubs
It’s obvious you golf quite often. But does that mean traveling with your golf clubs as well? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to get to know how to make those trips easier.
- The first and foremost is to purchase a durable, high-quality golf travel bag. More often than not, these are hard shell as the material offers additional protection to your expensive golf clubs. But in case you decide to get a soft-sided travel bag for your golf clubs, then make it a point to add some extra protection on your own.
- Book a non-stop flight, not a direct one. When the flight is non-stop, there’s no involvement of any more rough baggage handling than is necessary. This means you can be a little less stressed out about your pricey clubs.
- Always check with your airline’s weight allotment. It differs from one airline to the next. So get that sorted out beforehand in order to save yourself the unnecessary trouble and extra spending at the airport. In fact, some airlines have separate golf club charges, so check with those too because not every airline considers clubs as standard luggage.
- Whatever bag you pack your golf clubs in, label it properly. Add any form of identification, such as a bright-colored tape or string. You can even place a business card or something like that, which has your name, phone number, email id, and address printed on it.
- It’s only common sense to pack your golf clubs properly, so they don’t get damaged easily. You may be using a golf travel bag, but it’s no good if the organization is messed up (more on that below). Pack in a way that encourages minimal movement of your golf clubs. So don’t hesitate to add your windbreaker or sweatshirts for extra protection.
- Never pack any expensive electronics, including your golf rangefinder. Remove such costly gadgets from your check-in luggage to face no regrets later in case they break or get lost or stolen.
- Then there are golf club shipping services as well that many golfers have now started to use for making their trips easier. But you do indeed have to pay a considerable amount of money for that. However, if your priority is protecting your expensive golf clubs during transit, then these kinds of services get the job done.
How to Pack Golf Clubs In A Golf Travel Bag?
Step 1 – Fill Up the Pockets
You start by filling the pockets to serve two very important purposes. One is to create some extra padding for protection. And the other is to reduce the weight of the carry-on by stuffing all that additional gear into your golf travel bag.
So don’t think twice before fitting your socks and underwear into the smaller pockets of the golf bag. You can even roll up your pants and shirts and get them into the longer pockets at the sides. Fill up as much as you can, it should look like the zippers are almost bursting.
Step 2 – Tape Your Golf Clubs Together
Place the longest iron you have with the driver and then tape these golf clubs together. It’s okay if the driver head is slightly below the long iron. Just make sure to leave the driver headcover on.
Now move on to the second longest iron and your 3-wood and 5-wood. Tape these clubs together as well in the same manner.
Step 3 – Placing Your Golf Clubs
Now it’s time to put these taped arrangements and any remaining graphite-shafted golf clubs in the bag. But where? In the middle pocket of your golf travel bag. When placed in the center like this, you’re making sure the clubs are getting enough added protection from the sides and the top.
You can then store the putter and other golf clubs in the outside pockets. Only the tall ones are to be kept in the middle pocket.
Step 4 – Protect Clubheads with Clothing
It works in the favor of your expensive golf clubs when you increase the padding of the bag for additional protection. Even if this means adding shirts, pants, socks, and the like to the golf club travel bag, especially around the clubheads. This minimizes the likelihood of your costly gear getting bent, damaged, or broken.
Step 5 – Remove the Should Straps
But why? Because loose straps increase the chances of the bag getting wrapped or tangled up in bag machines. So you might as well remove the strap and place it in the bag pocket.
If you’ve decided to travel with your golf clubs, please accept the fact that it’s not going to be an easy, convenient, or even an affordable option. You either ship the clubs using a service like Ship Sticks or FedEx. Or you pack them in your check-in luggage, which means not exceeding the weight limit set by the airline. And in case you do, then are you willing to pay extra?
This is why so many golfers decide to rent clubs once they arrive at the destination. But these are certainly not the ones picky about their gear. Meaning some golfing enthusiasts prefer using their own familiar golf clubs, no matter where in the world they are.