Have Golf Clubs, Will Travel
Vacation is about going to exotic locations, seeing the sights, eating unique food, and playing new golf courses. This is no time to trust rental clubs from the pro shop. If I play poorly with the rental set, I wasted a round. If I play well, I will NEED to buy that set at a pro shop premium. Giving the unique nature of my golf club set and my playing style with them, it is best to take our own clubs. But how to transport golf clubs to a golfing destination?
Golf Club Shipping Methods
There are three methods to ship golf clubs:
- UPS or other shipping providers
- Golf club shipping companies
Airlining Golf Cubs
I usually take my clubs with me on my Samsonite travel bag. On my most recent trip with Delta Airlines, the baggage fee for the golf bag totaled $40 compared to the normal $30 for a suitcase. Delta considers golf clubs “special items” and the following rules apply:
One golf bag is allowed as checked baggage. Checked baggage fees may apply based on travel region and total number of checked bags. Overweight baggage fees apply to bags that exceed 50 lbs. Oversized baggage fees will be waived for golf bags that exceed 62 linear inches, but bags exceeding 115 linear inches are not allowed.
One item of golfing equipment is defined as:
– one golf bag containing one set of golf clubs
– golf balls and tees; and
– one pair of golf shoes.
Golf clubs are allowed under the following conditions:
– golf bag is packaged within a hard-shell case
– golf bag is packaged within a soft-sided golf club travel bag after a limited release has been signed
Delta is not responsible for damage noted at the time of check-in or damage due to over-packing the bag
I do not mind letting the airlines handle my golf clubs because I like the convenience of knowing my golf clubs are traveling with me side by side.
UPS Shipping Golf Clubs
There are UPS stores all over so finding a location should not be a problem. The friendly staff at the UPS store will bubble wrap your club heads and the bag for protection and then use a new sturdy box to send your clubs off. All this great service comes with a price which is hard to find on the UPS website. You can easily see the cost reach $100 and more depending on how quick you want you clubs getting to the destination hotel or country club.
My issue with this method is the time and effort to get to a UPS store before and during your vacation. Work and sticker shock each leg of the golf clubs journey.
Golf Club Shipping Sites
When there is a niche market, players sprout up to fill this market with promises of superior service and taking care of the details so you don’t have to. In the golf club shipping game, several companies now exist to get golf clubs anywhere golf courses may be. Full disclosure: I have never used one of these services yet so my comments are based on internet research. We will use ShipSticks.com in our discussion.
ShipSticks makes the process easy with setting up delivery with services and printing shipping labels. The website offers the option to ship in a cardboard box or in soft or hard cases. Prices can vary based on destination and speed of travel.
The one element not explained clearly on the website is how to get the clubs home. I assume you reverse the order and print a label from the destination hotel or golf course to your home address and then leave the clubs with the front desk.
I will stick with the airlines as I can navigate any airport dragging my bag behind. Do your research on what option you choose and make sure you know the rules and fees before start.
How do you get your clubs to your vacation destination?
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