Mar 02, 2024
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

How To Travel With Golf Clubs Without a Travel Bag

Taking your golf clubs with you on a trip is a must for many enthusiastic players, but if you don't own a golf travel bag, it can seem like a daunting prospect. What if you accidentally damage one? What if the airline misplaces your items? Don't worry; we have the answers.

If you're about to go on a trip with your clubs, but you're panicking about the transit, you're in the right place. We're going to walk you through everything you need to know.

Do You Need a Travel Bag to Transport Golf Clubs?

You do not need a travel bag to transport golf clubs. In fact, any regular duffel bag should be more than up for the job, provided you pack it properly. If you aren't sure how to do that, don't worry; we'll get to it later. The point is, no, you don't need a travel bag to take your clubs from one place to another; however, it will make your life a lot easier!

Enter The MUT (Multi-Use Traveler)

The MUT is purposefully designed for club travel and seamlessly transforms from an everyday roller duffle to a golf travel bag with a single zipper. Engineered with features like a durable nylon padded top, two wheels for easy transportation, and a torsion bar for club protection, the Multi-Use Traveler is the perfect TSA-approved golf travel companion.

Advantages of Flying With a Travel Bag

Although it's true that you don't need a travel bag to move your clubs around, there are certain benefits. Let's walk you through two of the main ones.

Reduces the Risk of Damage to Your Clubs

This will be the primary concern for most players, and it's understandable. However, with a proper travel bag, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your clubs as they'll be properly housed from departure to arrival.

Provides Enough Room for All of Your Clubs

With a specialized travel bag, all of your golf clubs will have their own designated spot. This isn't the case with a regular bag. 

Preparing Your Clubs for Transport Without a Travel Bag

If you don't have a travel bag, there are steps you can take to make the process as painless as possible. Let's take you through them. 

  • Clean and Inspect Your Clubs for Damage: Damaged clubs are far more likely to experience further damage during travel. You also need to know what condition your clubs are initially in to properly identify damage that occurred during travel. Taking pictures will aid this process, but we'll go into more detail later.
  • Make Sure All Adjustable Clubheads are Tightened: If your clubheads can be tightened, make sure they’re securely fastened before packing them away. This will help to minimize the risk of losing them or causing damage.
  • Wrap Your Clubheads with Bubble Wrap: To ensure your clubs stay extra-protected, you could also go the extra mile by wrapping them in bubble wrap or a similarly protective material.
  • Bind Your Clubs with a Zip Tie: A significant cause for damage in transit is knocking against one another throughout the journey. Tying club together with a zip tie will remove this risk, increasing the likelihood of a safe and harmless journey.
  • Load Your Clubs Into a Duffel Bag: Try to lay the clubs as carefully as possible and secure them in the bag. The less movement involved once they're stored, the better.
  • Check Airline Policy: Before proceeding, make sure the airline you're flying with permits golf clubs in carry-on luggage. Every airline is different, so don't make any assumptions.
  • Request a Fragile Tag for Your Club Bag: If your bag cannot be taken as a carry-on, request a fragile tag to be added so that staff know to be careful with the contents in transit.
  • At Retrieval, Inspect Your Clubs for Damage: Lastly, when you retrieve your bag from a conveyor belt, inspect your clubs for damage immediately. If there is any visible damage, take pictures as evidence and inform the airline.

Tips for Flying With Clubs Without a Travel Bag

Knowing the process step-by-step isn't everything. We also have some top tips you can use to move your golf clubs without a travel bag.

1. Only Bring the Essentials

Though it might be tempting to bring all of your clubs with you on every trip, this may increase the likelihood of something going wrong. Only bring the clubs you know you'll absolutely need. The rest will be patiently waiting for you at home for when you return. 

2. Ship Your Clubs Using UPS/FedEx

If you can find it in your budget, shipping your clubs via an external delivery surface could save you a lot of stress and trouble. It's somewhat unconventional, but letting the professionals handle it is a surefire way to minimize the risk of damage. 

3. Purchase Damage/Loss Protection Before Flying

We can't always prevent bad things from happening, but we can prepare for them. Before your flight, it could be a good idea to take out damage or loss protection on your clubs with your airline. This way, if something does happen to them in transit, you can at least get compensation that should help fund the replacements. 

4. Take Pictures of Your Clubs Before Packing

This is a crucial step, especially if you expect the airline to compensate you for damage you allege they caused. Photograph your clubs before you leave. This way, if anything does happen to them along the way, you have photographic evidence that they didn't look like that before going through the airline. 

5. Pack Your Clubs Separate From Your Shoes and Accessories

Some guides will tell you to pack your clothes alongside your clubs to provide some extra padding, and while this is a good idea in theory, it could actually be counterproductive. As we mentioned before, any movement with your clubs could cause damage. If they're surrounded by other items, movement becomes all the more likely. Keep things separate where possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Take Golf Clubs as Luggage?

You can take your golf clubs on as luggage, but policy will differ from airline to airline. For your own peace of mind, it's a good idea to check before your flight. 

How Much Does It Cost to Fly With Golf Clubs?

Some airlines will charge a premium for you to fly with golf clubs, upwards of anywhere between $50-$80. Again, this largely depends on who you choose to fly with. 

Looking for a New Golf Bag? Shop Stitch Golf!

While it's completely possible to travel without a golf bag, why not invest in the real thing? At Stitch Golf, we have a wide range of golf bags for you to choose from, and we're certain you'll fall in love with at least one of them. Travel in style with our products and never worry about damage again!