Bring Your Own Clubs As Checked Baggage On Your Flight
As you embark on a trip to play your favorite game in the Caribbean or Bahamas, how to travel with golf clubs can become a challenge. Naturally, golf bags exceed the typical size limitation for carry-on baggage, so you will need to check your clubs and make sure they stay well-protected throughout the flight the beautiful Caribbean and Bahama islands. With the inevitable jostling and tumbling all suitcases go through, a good quality golf bag becomes very important, as a full set of clubs can be very costly. While golf cases usually do not fit under most airlines luggage size restrictions, special allowances exist on most airlines to treat golf clubs as one regular checked bag. Today that means while you can travel with your clubs you only get one other checked bag and fees may apply as with all checked bags. Be sure to review your own airline as details for each vary. Check for their special rules for sports equipment, where you will find the golf club regulations. The amount of gear you pack and the weight of your bag needs to be very carefully considered because of the stringent weight regulations for checked bags. While the airlines encourage traveling to the Caribbean with golf clubs by allowing you more than the standard 62 linear inches, they will yield no leeway on the 50 pound weight limit.
Generally, hard case protects your gear better than all soft cases. For example, the Proactive Sports hard golf club cases contain a virtually indestructible exterior and extra padding on the inside. It includes a lifetime warranty and only costs $129.99, a very good price for hard cases. For the very thrifty look at the Cargo Golf Golf Guard Hard Case at only $99.
The SKB hard cases feature a tight and secure sealing system that locks out all dust and moisture, yet conveniently opens and closes for airport inspections. SKB molds the cases with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, making for maximum protection. Look for these hard golf cases in three sizes, standard,
Those looking for a more well know brand name might prefer the
Samsonite Sportlab Hardsided Golf Travel Case
But, these hard shell golf club cases, since they do not fold or bend, take up closet or trunk space during your trip. All the heavy protection also brings you closer to that dreaded weight limit impose by most all airlines, as well as making a burden to lug around. Soft cases, though not quite as strong, prove lighter and easier to carry. For a sleeker alternative, try Trav-a-Lite’s hard cases.
Slim, round traveling cases
store up to 14 golf clubs, only weighing 7 pounds maximum. Even smaller cases like the
only hold about 8 or 9 golf clubs and weighs only 2.9 pounds. These golf cases cost the same or less than the average hard golf club case, starting around $89.95 to $178.95.
Soft cases, on the other hand, have the advantage of being collapsible, easy to carry around, and much less expensive. Easily tote one in and out of the airport without wheeling or dragging and store it in your closet with space left over for your shoes. However, as soft cases do offer less protection than hard ones, be sure to keep your golf clubs in their bag before packing into the case and fill any loose spaces with clothes. Note that some airlines might require you to sign a liability waiver if you elect anything other than a hard case for your golf clubs, while other airlines have no such requirement and will offer you a cardboard box to put your regular golf bag into.
Palm Springs Tour Player Travel Covers
feature soft cases with nylon material and reinforced stitching as well as padding. Interior straps help to immobilize your golf clubs during travel and wheels make for easy carrying. At a bargain price for only $34.99, this series offers a strong and durable alternative to bulkier hard cases.
At a slightly pricier $69.99, the Forgan Travel Cover
offers heavy duty padding and zippers for further protection. With plenty of extra pockets for accessories and larger dimensions for taller golf clubs, this bag protects your equipment just as well as a hard case.
If you don’t want to lug your gear on and off the plane and don’t mind the price, ship your clubs to your resort or hotel in the Caribbean separately and have them waiting for you when you arrive. Online services allow you to select a time, weight, and airline to carry your baggage and then charge you accordingly. Some companies will even send you a special package for storing your golf equipment. However, these cost quite a bit, as a typical roundtrip for your bag from the states to the Bahamas go up to about $500.
Rent Golf Clubs At Your Caribbean Island Destination
If you just happen to arrive at your dream Carribean golfing destination without your clubs, many choices exist for renting equipment. Sometimes, even if you have your own clubs, you may not want to damage them by playing on courses that have many rocks. Renting clubs can also allow you to travel lighter. You wouldn’t have to worry about your clubs being damaged during the flight, or pay a hefty price to have them shipped to your island destination. Some avid golfers never travel with their own clubs for fear that the airlines would lose or damage them. Others golfers would not play anywhere without their own personal golf clubs. Only you know how to factor in this personal part of the equation.
If you golf at a Caribbean club or a resort course, there will definitely be clubs available for rental, and some places even offer packages. Packages tend to be more cost effective if you golf frequently. For example, a package may cost $100 a week for a full set of clubs or $25 a day. Otherwise, you can pay per round, which amounts to about $20 - $50 depending on the condition of the equipment. Though, if you need more than one set, it would be a good idea to phone in advance and ask about availability and prices.
As a downside to renting from a nearby Caribbean resort or country club, you cannot remove the equipment from the establishment after each round, which might inhibit exploring other locations for golfing during your vacation. For a more flexible option, find a golf equipment or sporting goods shop that rent out clubs. This allows you to take the clubs with you so you can travel to different courses and play whenever you want for a fixed price.
If you’d like to reserve your rented golf clubs in advance, some companies offer online ordering. Simply enter the amount of time you’d like your clubs and your location and the company delivers the equipment straight to your hotel or golf course of choice. Though, this could become quite costly, as a full set costs about $40 a day.