A golf travel bag (or golf travel cover) is an essential item for every golfer that travels to other countries to play golf. You’ve spent a substantial amount of money on your precious golf clubs, so surely you want them to get to your destination in one piece. Finding the right golf travel bag can be quite the pickle, but with the Leadingcourses.com golf travel bag guide, we will make things just a bit easier for you.
Differences between golf travel bags
So you’ve decided to take your clubs with you on your golf trip abroad, we like that! For us there is nothing more fun than discovering new and exciting golf courses in other parts of the world. But as you travel by plane, you want to make sure that your clubs are safe. Welcome to the jungle of golf travel bags. There is a wide variety of golf travel bags, hard case or soft cover, with or without wheels, small or big, cheap and expensive. In this Leadingcourses.com travel bag guide we’ll try to find out which one suits you best.
Hard case travel bag
One of the options for transporting your golf equipment is by using a hard case golf travel bag. The hard case travel bags are mostly made of hard plastic. The benefit of this type of travel bag is that they offer more protection to your golf clubs compared to the soft case golf travel bags, however, the hard case bags tend to be heavier. Furthermore, hard case bags are not that flexible which might cause problems with fitting them in a car trunk and putting additional items, like golf shoes, inside the bag.
Soft case travel bag
Your other option is a soft case golf travel bag. This type of bag is lighter, which can be of benefit in case there is a maximum weight set by the airline company, making it easier to stay within those limits. In general, the soft case bag does offer more storage space for i.e. accessories. However with the soft case it might be that this type of travel bag does offer a bit less protection than a hard case bag, and the likelihood of damaged clubs is slightly bigger.
Which golf travel bag to choose?
We could give you a long list of golf travel bags and their prices and where to buy them. But the moment we would create such a list, it would already be outdated. And besides, as we have an international audience there would be a good chance that we send you to an (online) shop that is outside your country.
So instead we rather redirect you to our good friend Google. Nowadays Google Shopping does a great job of offering you many buying options. You can choose your own brands and price and you will always find a golf travel bag that will suit your needs.
Go to the Google Shopping results page
Golf travel bag accessories
An important accessory when travelling with a soft case golf travel bag is a ‘golf stiff arm’. This item can help you with preventing that your valuable clubs do not bend during transfer. The stiff arm can mostly be purchased at a golf store, but it is also possible to use a broomstick or similar item. Most of the well-known golf brands (i.e. Callaway, Titleist and BagBoy) do have golf travel bags available.
Golf travel tips
Even with a good travel bag you still don’t want your clubs to get damaged during transport.
So here are some more tips preventing this to happen:
- Always use a golf stiff arm when travelling with a soft case travel bag
- Use head covers or a towel to wrap your irons so the clubhead won’t get damaged during transport.
- Another option is to put your irons upside down in the bag to prevent damage during transportation.
- To protect your woods while travelling, in some cases you might be able to unscrew the heads and store them in your bag wrapped in towels.
As many airlines do have weight limits to the luggage and golf bags, and you do not want to carry around a very heavy golf bag here are some tips to prevent overweight;
- Think about whether you really need all the clubs in your bag. Sometimes it is not necessary to take all 14 clubs with you on your holiday. Most of the times it is sufficient to only select the clubs you really need.
- Use a smaller golf bag. Obviously, tour bags and cart bags are bigger and heavier than stand bags or carry bags. Those last two types of bags are not only lighter but also easier to fit into a travel bag.
- Golf balls are one of the heaviest items that are put inside the golf bag. Therefore it is important to really think about the number of golf balls you really need during the holiday. When playing only two rounds during a week it doesn’t seem logical – in most cases 😉- to bring 50 golf balls. In case you don’t feel comfortable with fewer golf balls there is also an option to put them into your regular luggage.
Cost of bringing your golf travel bag on a plane
The costs and baggage allowance per airline do differ. In the table below, there is an overview of costs and maximum kilos of the most popular airlines.
|American Airlines||Part of Regular Rate. Extra costs when exceeding allowance.||23 kgs|
|Part of Regular Rate as long as it doesn’t exceed allowance||Depending on regular baggage allowance|
|Brussels Airlines||€50,- within Europe €100,- with intercontinental flights||32 kgs|
|Correndon||€19,- / €28||20 kgs / 30 kgs|
|Emirates||Part of Regular Rate. Extra costs when exceeding allowance.||Depending on regular baggage allowance|
|Etihad||Part of Regular Rate. Extra costs when exceeding allowance.||Depending on regular baggage allowance|
|Eurowings||€50,- (short flights) €100,- (long distance)||32 kgs|
|KLM||Free for flying blue golf members with voucher. Otherwise extra charge that differs per route||23 kgs|
|Turkish Airlines||Free||23 kgs|
*The rates were updated in February 2019. They might be changed. This is just an indication. All rates are one-way. Please check with the airline for the most recent rates.
Odd Sized luggage
At many airports, golf bags are seen as odd-size luggage. Which means in most cases there is a separate dropoff point for your golf bag than the regular check-in desk. When you are checking in at the airport of departure most of the times the golf bag has to be dropped at a separate baggage handler desk to get it onboard.
At arrival, your golf equipment can be picked up at the special oversized baggage area as many regular baggage carousels are not suitable for larger pieces of luggage.
What if something goes wrong?
Of course, you do not expect it to happen, but what in case something goes wrong with transport and your golf bag got delayed or even missing? There are some steps you can follow.
In case you really can’t find your golf bag at either the regular conveyor belt and the oversized luggage, it is best to contact your airline service or the lost and found desk at the arrival hall of the airport. They will mostly assist you in solving the problem of the delayed/lost luggage.
Mainly airlines do offer compensation in case your luggage gets lost or delayed and you need to purchase or rent (new) items. When you have to rent a set of clubs because your luggage did not arrive most airlines will compensate for the cost of the equipment that you had to rent as long as those costs are ‘reasonable’, in that case, keep all the receipts and check with the airline on the procedure on how to reclaim additional expenses.
As delays of luggage are not totally in your control there are still some things you can do to make the likelihood of missing clubs smaller;
1. Book direct flights
Direct flights decrease the risks of bags that are not delivered in time. Short transit time can cause that luggage do not have sufficient time to transfer to your connecting airline. By booking direct flights, or flights with a longer transit time makes it less likely that your valuables will miss the plane.
2. Strip all luggage stickers
It may seem obvious, but leaving old stickers from previous flights can be the cause of delay and confusion. The luggage systems are automated and if the other sticker is read it could end up delayed whilst processing or in the wrong destination altogether.
3. Mark your final destination
Match the location stated on your luggage tag with your itinerary before handing over your clubs to the airline to go in the hold. Or make sure that your tags are assigned to your final destination, it will also help because you don’t have to pick and re-check-in your goods at the airport of transfer.
Golf club hire
In case you don’t want to carry around with your golf bag at the airport, end up paying high fees for taking your equipment on the plane and all other side effects that come with bringing golf bags on holiday, it is also possible to rent clubs on location. Leadingcourses.com does have a partnership with Clubstohire.com
Clubstohire.com offers the opportunity to pick your rental clubs up at the airport of your destination. With 28 locations at the leading golf destinations, it is easy to have access to good quality rental clubs when you arrive. You either have the opportunity to pick up your rental clubs in the Clubstohire store in the arrival hall of the airport or let them be delivered to the airport or your hotel. Rental fees start from €55,- for 1 week. For exact fees and reservations take a look at www.clubstohire.com