If you’re thinking of checking out some of the top U.S. golf courses in 2022, you’ll need to take your golf clubs with you. But traveling with your golf bag can be worrisome, especially if you’ve invested in a custom golf club fitting or customized your golf bag. After all, golf clubs can be a serious investment, especially taken together.

The good news is that traveling with golf bags is a breeze with a solid action plan. In this post, our Minnesota golf store team is sharing everything you need to know to keep your golf clubs in good shape while you’re traveling from Point A to Point B. With this plan and a custom golf club fitting from Totally Driven, you’ll have everything you need to have a magical golf vacation.

1.   Book nonstop flights whenever possible.

The fear of flying is a common one even among seasoned travelers. But for golfers, the most terrifying part of flying is letting your clubs go with a stranger and then waiting at the luggage carousel to see what condition they come back to you in. And nobody wants to learn that their favorite custom golf club is bent while they’re teeing up at Manele Bay Golf Course.

Since more stops and layovers increase your chance of a luggage mishap and the number of baggage handlers touching your bags, you should do everything you can to avoid tempting fate. If the price difference is within reason, it may be worthwhile to skip the layover and opt for a nonstop flight.

2.   Photograph everything in your bag.

Before packing up your golf bag for the trip, lay out all of its contents on your bed and take a picture. Next, snap an individual close-up of the higher-end clubs you couldn’t easily replace if something happened to them. Take photos of any key engravings or features as well.

READ: 18 Essential Items for Your Golf Bag

You should also create an itemized list of the value of each item in Google Docs. This record will serve you well if anything happens to your bag, and the fact that the image metadata is stamped right before your trip could help with making a claim.

3.   Pack intentionally.

When packing your golf clubs, there are a few things you can do to protect them while they’re traveling. First, it’s important to understand how golf clubs typically break when they’re broken during transit. During baggage handling, most clubs break at the point where the clubhead and shaft intersect. This occurs when weight is placed on the clubhead, causing the shaft to snap.

For this reason, it’s essential to remove the clubheads if at all possible so they don’t stick out, making them extra vulnerable to damage. If your club heads are removable, gather them up and place head protectors or socks over each one or wrap them up carefully in golf towels or bubble wrap. Place them carefully in your golf bag pocket or inside the bag, making sure they’re secure enough that they won’t move around.

Next, you’ll need to secure the shafts. Just as a rope is much stronger than a single piece of string, bundling your shafts together helps strengthen your shafts while traveling. Using zip ties or string, bundle your golf clubs together and connect them as tightly as you can before sliding them into your bag. Finally, secure any leftover space with golf towels, bubble wrap, or extra clothing. Don’t forget to give your bag a “shake test” and fill in any wiggle room as needed.

If your golf club heads don’t come off, there are other ways you can keep them safe while traveling. No matter which method you use, you’ll need club covers or socks to protect each head. Consider placing them in your bag upside down, or bundle them up tightly with zip ties and add a protective cover known as a Stiff Arm. Be sure to pack extra zip ties for the ride home, and take a photo of the method you used so you can get it right before your return flight.

4.   Don’t forget your other gear.

While you’re fretting over your golf clubs, don’t forget to make sure you’ve got everything else you need for your trip. You can use soft items like socks and towels to fill in the extra space inside your golf bag. Additionally, you’ll want to pack your golf shoes, golf balls, tees, and rain gear. If you’re visiting anyplace cool, be sure to add a sweater.

Even if you normally pack your rangefinder inside your golf bag, you’re better off treating it like your other electronics and keeping it close to you. Place your rangefinder and any more valuable items like your watch inside your carry-on and take it on the plane with you.

5.   Make sure your golf bag is the right size.

Don’t take a chance on traveling with a golf bag that’s larger than what you need. As with any luggage, it’s always best to go with the smallest option available. But larger golf bags can also be difficult to travel with. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’ve got plenty of room for everything you need so you don’t have to buy replacements while you’re traveling. Some golfers prefer to use a dedicated “Goldilocks” bag specifically for travel for this reason.

Additionally, you’ll need to decide between a hard or soft golf case. While soft cases are lighter, making them easier to lug around an airport, they do little to protect your golf clubs. Hard cases are your best bet for protecting your clubs, and most airlines won’t insure them against breaking unless they’re packed in a hard case.

Get a Custom Golf Club Fitting For Your Trip Today

Whether you’re planning to travel locally in Minnesota or visit Scotland’s centuries-old courses this year, be sure to take the best golf equipment with you. At Totally Driven, our golf store has everything you need for a perfect golf trip. To schedule your custom golf club fitting, contact us online or give us a call at (952) 681-2728.