In the first column on "Traveling With Your Clubs", we discussed bringing your
own clubs along, since it's best to have the clubs you normally play with you,
especially on an unfamiliar course. This continuation was inspired in part by
a question from a reader named Keith.
Hard v. Soft
There are two types of golf travel bags: hard and soft. The hard bags provide the
best protection for golf clubs, since they are rigid suitcases made specifically for
protecting golf clubs and are virtually indestructible (while we haven't tested the
manufacturers' claims here at GolfLink, as mentioned before, some makers of
the bags claim you can toss them from an airborne plane and the clubs will land
safely below, irregardless of what might befall innocent bystanders). One testament
to their effectiveness is that golf pros use hard cases to transport their clubs
during travel. The one major down side to hard cases, however, is their
cost - they start at several hundred dollars and go way up from there.
While your clubs are an important and sizeable investment, you may not be
able or may feel it's not necessary to invest that much in a travel case for your clubs.
In that case, you can choose from soft golf club travel bags, which start at
around $75-$100. If you pack your clubs properly in these bags, they are effective
in protecting your clubs, normally withstanding even the most ornery baggage handlers.
Properly Packing Your Clubs in Soft Cases
Again, the key operative words: if you pack your clubs properly. A few
pointers on this are in order. First, don't place your clubs loose inside the
soft travel case. The cloth bag will provide little protection from damage to
your clubs. Instead, keep your clubs in your golf bag.
If your golf bag has a club head cover, it is a good idea to put that cover on.
If it doesn't (I myself have a Ping bag that does not have such a cover),
wrap the club heads with your rain gear or the like. Then place the entire
bag into the travel bag. In the event there is additional room in the travel
bag (with my Ping bag there always is), as suggested in the first column on
this topic, you can put some of your clothing or shoes or other items in the
travel bag. This lightens your other bags and provides great protection for your
golf bag and clubs.
For more information and links to golf bag manufacturers' web sites with
specs on particular hard travel cases you may be considering purchasing,
our Manufacturers section.