Golfers love to travel. In fact, golfing holidays has been one of the biggest travel trends in recent years. With the luxury travel market expanding and becoming more accessible to families, plus even more emerging overseas destinations beyond the well-known clubs of Scotland and Ireland, golf travel has never been more popular. With baby boomers retiring in great numbers too, the demand for bucket list golf courses has also grown.
In 2014, it was reported that golfers took more domestic trips than skiers, tennis players and sailors combined. So it’s truly an exciting time for golf tourism and this means that golfers are looking more closely at their travel and storage solutions. Especially for aviation and long haul flights. Airlines have tightened their rules on suitable golf bags to travel with too, making it more important than ever to ensure you have the right protective cover for your clubs before you jet off.
If you’re looking for a good quality, reliable golf travel bag cover, either for overseas or domestic travel, read on for our guide to the best travel bags on the market right now!
What to Look For in a Travel Bag Cover
The first thing you need to consider is the main purpose of your golf bag and whether you need a basic golf bag (for day to day storage), a golf bag with a travel cover (for golf holidays and travel), or a more substantial case (ideal for frequent flyers and professional players). Prices of golf bags and golf bag covers will vary from brand to brand, the type of bag, as well as the choice of material. But if you regularly fly overseas, you may want to look at the high-end options to keep your clubs fully protected when in transit. If you prefer to play locally, a low-budget option may be more cost effective.
Some considerations when shopping for a golf travel bag are:
- Weight – lightweight bags are much easier and more affordable to transport but please bear in mind that many lightweight designs do not come with the highly protective features of a hard case or heavyweight bag. For frequent fliers or pro players, a hard case may be a better investment in the long run.
- Size – when shopping for a golf travel bag cover, you have to make sure that you get the right dimensions so it fits snugly over your existing golf bag. It’s important to measure your bag before purchasing online to ensure that the cover isn’t too small; but a cover that is too large can also be a problem as clubs could be left loose inside, encouraging movement and potential breakages.
- Wheels – wherever possible, we always advise buying a golf bag with wheels. For domestic or overseas travel, a bag with wheels is much easier to carry and will make travel connections run a lot more smoothly. Some hard cases for flights even come with 4 wheels for multi-directional ease at airports and many fabric bag covers also come with handles or shoulder straps for stairs and tight spaces.
- Water resistance – in most cases, a water resistant bag cover may not be a top priority. But if you expect your bag to be outside or you don’t want to encourage damp and rusting, a water tight travel bag may be the best option.
- Extra compartments – additional compartments such as a shoe pocket or garment storage bags can come in handy if your suitcase is running low on space. Being able to store your footwear makes getting straight on the course easy if you’ve had a long journey.
- Locking function – for added security, you can choose a golf travel case with a built-in locking system. But don’t worry if your bag doesn’t come with a lock and key because most airports now offer bag wrapping before you check-in.
- Padding / protection – is your golf bag sufficiently padded? Thinner lightweight bags may appeal to you if you want something that is easy to transport but remember that some of the lightweight bags aren’t as thick, therefore they aren’t as protective.
Different Types of Golf Travel Bags
There are a number of ways you can transport your golf clubs for air, rail or sea travel. Before travelling, please check with your travel company or airline that your travel bag clears all requirements for damage cover. For help on choosing the right travel bag, here are some different types of golf travel bags that you may find suitable
Golf Bag Travel Cover
One of the more affordable solutions is a bag cover which can be easily placed over your existing golf bag. These are normally designed to be relatively lightweight and can be easily packed away / folded for hassle-free storage. Some bags come with a reinforced wheel base so you can manoeuvre your clubs easily indoors or out. But one of the biggest complaints with this style of design is that these bags are not always very successful at staying upright; so our advice is to try these bag covers out for yourself in a shop if possible.
Hard cases are the best for heavy duty use and long haul travel. These specialist cases are the best option if you want to protect your golf clubs as much as possible. But bear in mind that hard cases are extremely heavy and may not be as easy to transport as a lightweight bag cover.
Hard Top Travel Cover
If you want the best of both worlds, you could opt for a hybrid design; a golf bag which incorporates a hard shell top to protect the head of your golf clubs and a soft cover that is easy to carry or fold away for storage anywhere in the home.
Recommended Brands / Bags
The most important factor to consider when shopping for the perfect golf travel bag is to find a bag that suits your budget and your personal needs. Every golfer is different so we can’t tell you which bag is the best. But here’s a list of some of our favourites (and some of the top rated bags by golf experts) so you can make an informed purchase.
Bag Boy T-2000
This awesome bag cover has been around since 2014 and has quickly become a favourite amongst keen golfers who need a reliable yet easy to use travel bag. Designed with a super ergonomic swivel grip, the Bad Boy T-2000 is much easier to turn corners with and it’s easier on your wrist too. The large opening at the front makes loading and unloading your clubs extremely easy and it comes with ample padding to ensure your golf equipment is fully protected.
A very popular golf club hard case with fantastic reviews. It’s a bit pricier than fabric travel bags but it’s worth the investment if you are a frequent traveller and need maximum protection for your expensive gear. The outer shell is tough but lightweight, the 4 wheel movement makes travelling all the more easier, and being able to stand upright independently means that you won’t have to keep propping your bag up.
Tour Trek GTS Hardcase
As solid as a rock and extremely easy to manoeuvre at the airport with its 4 wheel system, the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase is a top choice of many amateur and professional golfers. Made from a lightweight plastic ABS protective outer, it won’t weigh you down at airports and it has a very attractive price tag compared to other similar models.
Nike Golf Travel Cover
The Nike Golf Travel Cover is reasonably priced and offers golfers added peace of mind with a hard moulded top section to keep club heads safe from being bashed about. It’s a basic but well-constructed product and makes a superb budget option!
Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian
This is one of the best golf travel bags on the market. What sets the Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian apart from other products is its unique integrated leg system which easily extends when you need it to. This makes it perfect for loading and unloading, and it’s also ideal for those with back problems who don’t want to keep bending down every time they take out a new club. The extended leg, complete with wheels, is also used when travelling so you can enjoy easy manoeuvring at airports and train platforms. The bag also has two pockets, internal cinch straps, pivoting caster wheels and comes in four different colours.
The Club Glove Last Bag
If all the pros use it then it must be good! The Club Glove Last Bag is one of the most popular travel bags used by golfing professional. With a durable design and heavy duty materials, additional space for other gear and accessories, plus a soft cover that can fit into most spaces, it’s easy to see why. This travel bag pretty much ticks all the boxes and although it’s not one of the cheapest options available, it’s not overpriced either.
The SKB Deluxe is reasonably affordable for a hard case and it even comes with warranty on various case defects so you can rely on it for years to come. It promises to get your golf clubs from A to B safely and will withstand all forms of punishment in transit. And because of the way it’s designed, it meets all or most airline requirements for peace of mind coverage for the cost of your clubs if they do get damaged.
Packing & Travel Tips
We all want peace of mind when travelling and we want to know that our prized golf clubs are looked after in transit and will arrive in one piece. They’re a big investment after all, so buying a decent travel bag for them is worth the extra pay out. Here are some great tips for travelling and packing:
- Always check with your airline before you travel – some airlines are clamping down on what golf bags are adequate and if passengers don’t meet these requirements, the airline will not be liable for any damages.
- Get additional travel insurance – it’s important to understand exactly what will be covered if there is loss / damage to your clubs when travelling with your chosen airline. If your golf travel bag does not meet airline requirements, you may need to purchase additional insurance to cover the full cost of your golf clubs.
- Keep all receipts for your golf equipment – keeping an inventory will help you stay organised when travelling. Hang onto all purchase receipts in case you need to make a claim.
- Pack your golf clubs with towels – using towels to wrap around your clubs for extra protection is a good idea, especially if you expect your luggage to be moved around in transit between destinations. The cushioning will provide shock absorption for your clubs, preventing breakages.
- Consider hiring your clubs instead – finally, as a last piece of advice, if you’re only expecting to play one or two rounds of golf whilst you’re abroad and you don’t have a suitable travel bag, why not consider hiring clubs on arrival? Top resorts and courses offer pro quality clubs for hire which will save you the hassle if you aren’t sure about travelling with your own.
If you’d like any more information about choosing the best golf travel bag, or about where to go when you’ve found it, please do get in touch with us.