What You Need to Know About Golf Club Travel Bags

By Scott Martin
The right travel bag will help you get your clubs from place to place safely.
The right travel bag will help you get your clubs from place to place safely.

Whether you travel frequently with your golf clubs or whether it's once a year, it's important to protect your clubs when they travel in the cargo hold. And many airlines require the use of certain types of golf club travel bags. You need to decide whether to save some money with a cheap cloth travel bag or to splurge and get a hard case.

Protecting the Investment

Golf travel is fun, whether it’s a quick weekend trip to a warm destination in the winter or it’s a long trip to a cooler climate in the middle of summer. You can’t take your clubs in the airplane cabin, so they have to go in the hold and putting your investment in the hands of baggage handlers. While most baggage handlers are helpful and careful, some simply throw bags around. If you’re going to travel with your clubs it makes sense to protect the investment you’ve made in your clubs with a quality golf bag travel bag.

Some airlines are starting to require certain types of golf bag travel bag if they are going to guarantee the safe arrival of your clubs. Check with your airline before you travel. You may want to purchase additional travel insurance to make sure the replacement cost of your clubs is fully covered.

Different Types of Golf Travel Bag

Golf club travel bags come in several shapes and sizes.

Technically, you can place your rain cover over the top of your bag and send the bag that way, but that’s extremely risky.

The best option is a “hard case” made of plastic or fiberglass. The hard case provides the highest level of protection and many airlines require them for golf bags.

The soft bag is a cloth cover that is less expensive but provides minimal protection. If you’re only traveling once a year with your clubs, you may be able to get away with a soft cover. If you’re traveling a lot with your clubs, you’ll need a hard case. However, some soft covers offer almost as much protection as the hard case.

Integrated bags offer the best of both worlds: a bag that’s almost as sturdy as a hard case but usable on the golf course. Integrated bags come in “hard” and “soft” forms.

In most cases, cost is commensurate with the level of protection.

Packing Tips

Pack your towels around the clubs before you put your bag into the travel bag.

Some golfers put their clubs upside down in the bag.

If you have iron head covers, these help when packing.

Keep an inventory of your clubs, including exact specifications and even receipts.

Top resorts and courses often have rental golf clubs that are top quality; do you really need to bring your clubs for one round? It's OK if the answer is a resounding "yes."

Golf clubs in a hard case with a walking bag, shoes and a box of balls weighs 40 pounds, which is the weight limit for one bag.

A golf bag cover is always best with wheels.

You’re going to pay more for a hard case but it’s going to last longer and offer a lot more protection.

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