You’ve been waiting to break out those clubs since you got on the plane. You deboard, pick up your luggage and rush out to the course only to open your bag and find it filled with broken clubs. This is a nightmare scenario for most golfers, and it’s occurred countless times–but it is avoidable. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite tips and tricks specifically curated to help you minimize the risk of that catastrophe happening and plan the perfect golf trip.
Research Your Airline
Read the fine print of whatever airline service you use. Does the carrier replace luggage if it’s missing? While it is close to an industry standard for an airline to replace anything it loses, some airlines don’t. Ensuring you take an airline that will fairly compensate you for any damages done to your equipment is one of the first steps when planning your next golf vacation. If they do get lost, be prepared to be on hold on the phone for an extended period as airlines are notorious for long wait times.
Prioritize Non-Stop Flights
The fewer hands, other than yours on your clubs, the better. On a smaller regional airline, a flight with a layover, or a flight with connections, the risk to your golf equipment is higher. Flying direct may cost more but it may protect your clubs from getting damaged or left behind.
Only Bring Your Clubs
Try to empty your bag of any sentimentally valuable scorecards, head covers, or anything else that’s irreplaceable and toss them into your carry-on. There are some things even a good airline policy can’t replace.
Invest in a High-Quality Travel Bag
Safeguard your clubs from damage with a durable travel bag. If you do choose to just bring your soft-sided bag, there are other options available. A stiff-arm is designed to provide vertical strength to a bag–adding protection from the stress of flying. An alternative to a stiff-arm could be an old broomstick or adjustable ski pole put in the bag with the clubs. Another alternative to a travel bag could be as simple as an upside-down bucket protecting the heads of the golf clubs. It might not be fancy, but it’ll get the job done.
Take the Heads Off
Many of the newer golf clubs have adjustable or even removable heads. Ensure you’ve adjusted the head to a position where there is no, or very little, stress on the moving joint. It’s imperative to a successful flight with your clubs that you do this. If the head is removable then putting it in your carry-on and reuniting the two at your destination is ideal.
Ship Them to Your Destination
This one depends on where you’re going, how much time you have before the trip, and how much you want to play with your clubs before leaving for your destination. There are already companies and services that specialize in getting your clubs to their destination. Guaranteed to be scratch-free and waiting for your arrival at the golf course, it can save a lot of hassle by entirely removing the risk of clubs breaking from your flying situation. These companies normally cost less than you’d pay for the airline baggage fee so it’s worth checking out.
Whether you’re looking for a stiff-arm or a high-quality golf bag for bringing your favorite sport in the air with you, the pro shop at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course has got your back. With a fantastic selection of golf bags, clubs, and accessories, we know we can help you prevent the worst and be at the top of your game. We carry a massive selection of quality brands like Callaway, Titleist, Nike Golf, and more. Contact us for more info or stop in for a visit to improve your traveling golf game.