How to Pack Golf Clubs for Air Travel

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When the fairways at your local course start to seem all too familiar, it may be time for a golf getaway. Picking the destination can be tough, but often the biggest challenge arises when it's time to fly with your clubs. As of the date of publication, Transportation Security Administration guidelines permit golfers to take two clubs on board with them as carry-on items. That's all fine and dandy -- if you can play a full 18 with only a 7-iron and a putter. For most players who rely on a full set, here are a few tips to ensure that your equipment completes the flight undamaged.

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Decide whether to use a hard-shelled travel bag or a soft one. Opt for a hard shell if protection is your main concern. Choose a soft one, which is more lightweight, for easier storage and lower cost. If you are traveling for a week or more and plan to take several other pieces of luggage, spare yourself a backache by purchasing a bag with wheels.

Position your golf bag -- with the clubs inside it -- in the travel bag. Leave head covers on the clubs.

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Buffer your clubs from knocking against each other by surrounding them with rain gear, other clothing items or bubble wrap.

Fill space between the golf bag and the travel bag with clean dry towels or additional clothing.


If you are unsure which type of bag to purchase, consult a representative at your local pro shop.

Review your airline's guidelines for checked bags before packing your golf clubs. Many carriers enforce strict weight limits, meaning you could end up paying an overweight-bag fee in addition to the amount it costs to initially check the bag.

Before your trip, do some research on the courses you plan to play and determine which of your clubs you can stand to leave behind.