Can you bring your own golf clubs on a plane?
The answer to this question is no. You can not bring a golf club on board an airplane. According to the TSA website, golf clubs are prohibited on board as a carry on item.
But you can bring your golf clubs with you as part of your checked in luggage. I always mention that you should contact your airline first to confirm their requirements for carry on and checked luggage. It can vary for different airlines.
The TSA mentions other golf items that are allowed on board. You can bring golf tees and golf balls.
So now that we know you can bring along your golf clubs as long as they are part of your checked in luggage, it doesn’t come without a few challenges. Let me explain a few things that you will need to know.
#1. Be Careful Of The Overweight Fees
All airlines will have restrictions for luggage size and weight. Not all airlines are the same. So if you plan to bring your golf clubs along, this is something you need to consider.
For example, many airlines will restrict checked in luggage to a max of 50 lbs and 62 inches length. So if your clubs exceed that, you will need to pay an overweight fee. These fees can be hefty and really add up. So it may not be worth it to you, depending on the circumstance.
How much does it cost to bring golf clubs on a plane?
Make sure to check online or contact the airline prior to travel to confirm the weight and size restrictions.
#2. Don’t Check In Your Clubs Without A Proper Bag
If you absolutely must put your clubs on the plane without them being in a proper bag, make sure that they are protected. There is a good chance that they will get tossed around a bit during flight and you don’t want them damaged.
You can wrap the club shafts and heads with a protective cover, towels, and sponges. Headcovers and even bubble wrap is an option. I have seen many clubs just wrapped in bubble wrap with duct tape. Not a good option but it has been done.
But I highly recommend you protect your clubs while traveling on a plane with a proper golf bag that is suitable for airplane travel. There are so many options out there, and your choice will depend on many factors including the number of clubs, club size, soft shell or hard shell etc.
Here are some good options for you.
Best Soft Shell Golf Bags For Air Travel
First, you need to determine if you want to use a soft shell bag or hard shell. Both have pros and cons. If you are looking for a cheaper option, then the soft shell bag will most likely be your choice. They are also smaller, easier to transport and can save you money at the check-in counter in overweight baggage fees.
If you decide to go with the soft shell, I recommend you choose a cover that is very durable and lightweight. These will protect your golf bag and clubs from damage during air travel. The CaddyDaddy Golf CDX-10 is a great option.
Also, consider how much padding and protection the cover offers. The budget options will not provide as much protection as some of the higher end ones but still, offer protection.
How many pockets and storage space do you need? If you plan to bring golf balls, tees, shoes, and other golfing accessories, you may need to have extra storage space within the bag. So make sure you consider this when choosing the right one for you.
- Amazon Basics soft-sided travel bag – Perfect option if you are on a budget but still provides great quality.
- Bag Boy T-2000 – If you are looking for a higher quality bag with wheels, this is a great option for you but will cost more.
Best Hard Shell Golf Bags For Air Travel
The hard shell cases definitely provide more protection for your clubs. They are more durable, very modern looking, and are commonly used among air travelers. But be prepared to pay a bit more for them. Most times they will cost more than the soft shell bags.
So it will come down to a personal choice for you and what your needs are at the time. For me personally, I prefer the hard shell case. I am prepared to pay a bit more to have that added security of my clubs, especially if you have a higher end set that is valuable to you.
Plus for over 20 years as a pilot, I have seen the wear and tear and abuse that luggage is subject to. A hard shell case will go a long way in properly protecting your prized set of golf clubs!
Hard shell cases I recommend are:
SKB 2SKB-4814W Deluxe with wheels – Solid, durable and lightweight. Perfect for air travel and at a great price.
- Samsonite Primo Deluxe with wheels – Another solid and durable hard shell cover. Slightly more expensive but you get quality.
#3. Make Sure Your Golf Bag And Clubs Have ID Tags
I guess this goes without saying, but you would be surprised how many people either forget or don’t bother putting proper tags on their bags. When you are bringing your golf clubs and travel bag with you, make sure your proper identification is on them. Name, address, contact information, and flight information is important.
Also, make sure the tags are strong and durable. You don’t want them to tear or break off easily. A good quality luggage id tag is important.
Customized Travel ID Tags
And don’t forget those luggage locks! These are TSA approved luggage locks that are great to protect your golf clubs and any other luggage items you have safe.
As you can see, there are several options for you if you plan to bring your golf clubs with you if traveling by air. Just remember that you can not bring them on board the plane as carry on luggage, but you can bring them as checked in baggage.
If you plan to check in your golf clubs at the ticket counter, remember to check the airline’s limits and restrictions ahead of time. Be prepared to pay a possible excess baggage fee, but that will vary by airline. Not all are the same.
Choose the golf club bag cover that works for you. This will depend on many variables, but I suggest you go for the hard shell bag with wheels. Not only will it be much easier to transport, but it will protect your clubs the best so you can rest assured that your clubs will arrive at your destination safe and sound!
Hopefully, you found this article helpful.
Thanks for reading!
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