Taking your clubs vs renting on course?

If you have ever attempted a golf trip of any note, inevitably, the question will come up at one stage or another around whether your group should take your own clubs or rent on site.

The simple answer to this question is … take your own clubs unless there is an excellent reason not to.

If you drive and have room in your car or use an airline with no freight restrictions, the answer should be easy. You will enjoy your golf more and not have to worry about what clubs are at the other end. Yes, some courses will offer premium rentals. They may even be better than hour clubs. But when dealing with a foreign course and unusual conditions, it pays to take one variable out of play.

There are a few times when you may not want to take clubs, however …

  1. Cost – Some airlines do take the opportunity to heavily punish the fine golf commuitity of this world. Do you research before you book any tickets about the limits for your luggage and cost for an additional bag. Don’t underestimate paying for an additional bag, as often this could still be cheaper than hiring clubs for more than 2 rounds.
  1. Your golf trip is part of a longer trip – In this instance golf clubs can be a real pain to lug around. Once again think through the options if this is the case for you. Can a buddy take your clubs home again if you live close ? Can you use a service like Shipsticks.com to transport you beloved weapons of choice
  1. You are only playing 1 or 2 rounds – If this is the case then you may have a valid case for not taking your own equipment. But still make the decision based on the courses you plan to play and how memorable you want the round to be.

The good news with golf travel is that many locations now encourage golf tourists and have even negotiated with local airlines to offer extra weight to golfers. Hence, it pays to investigate taking your own clubs.

If you have taken the plunge to travel with clubs, these handy hints will ensure your clubs arrive safe and sound.

  1. Get yourself a golf travel bag. You standard golf bag will sit within this and you can also fill up the bag with lots of extra gear. Just make sure you check on the weight limit for your airline
  1. Stuff soft items around your precious clubs, especially those with graphite shafts. Clothing and towels make great buffers to ward off the normal crash and bash from bag handlers
  2. Try to fly non stop if possible – Being forced to collect and recheck bags can create havoc. From baggage being moved additonal times through to potentially having to pay over weight fees twice it’s always much easier if you can travel direct to your final destination.
  1. Ensure there are some personal details on your bag. If for some reason your clubs are misplaced or delayed you want it to be easy for them to find you.
  1. Your carry on is your friend. Throw as many heavy items, such as balls, in your carry on. Plus any expensive or delicate items such as range finders.
  1. Think about what may not be needed in your bag, for example umbrellas if you are using carts, or items you can buy at the other end. Check out our handy checklist when you do pack your golf bag.

For bonus points, if you are still worried about your clubs being damaged, you may want to consider

  1. Removing driver heads where possible. Just remember the settings and equipment for putting them together again
  1. Packing your clubs, especially irons, in upside down in your bag.

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