How To Ship Your Golf Clubs Like The Pros
The world’s best golf destinations offer beautiful views and storied courses, but a little familiarity can go a long way on the greens. Smart travelers who bring their own sets of clubs along for the ride can make sure they show up with their best swing. With airline and shipping options from the traditional to the new, it’s never been easier to stay close to your set without breaking the bank.
Airlines swing a deal
When shipping clubs, airline bag fees actually prove a thrifty option. Whether flying to scenic Sedona for canyon views over the green or Punta Cana’s courses by the beach, the big airlines count golf bags the same as checked luggage. That means fees of $25 for first checked bags or $35 if the second bag checked. The airlines typically recommend players pack their bag in a rigid carrying case. On American, the case can weigh up to 70 pounds; Delta sets the cut-off at 50 pounds. United doesn’t have a limit. International destinations can actually prove cheaper, as some airlines waive fees for flights outside the U.S.
Ship that lucky set
Plenty of golfers choose to skip the hassle of lugging their set to and from the airport — and the inevitable baggage claim wait — by choosing to ship
their clubs ahead. FedEx and UPS have both developed in-store shipping systems to easily receive and send along golf sets. Each offers special boxes on location for packaging, and FedEx even offers golf club tubes for individual clubs along with a golf-focused online travel planner.
A trip to the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Florida using traditional shippers costs about $85 for clubs sent by three-day ground service, including packaging and fees. A cross-country trip to Scottsdale’s picturesque greens like at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort can cost about $96 over FedEx.
Startups drive a bargain
Younger companies offer even more service, arranging for at-home or at-office pickup and then saving by finding the cheapest shipping routes themselves. Competition also leads these startups to offer highly competitive rates.
Ship Sticks will pick up clubs and send them wherever they’re told at just the hassle of printing a shipping label. At $59.99 for five-day ground transit or $99.99 for three-day select shipping, Ship Sticks can have clubs waiting in good hands at the hotel, from Palm Beach to Pebble Beach. Luggage Forward’s charges vary but can be $84 cross-country with a week’s notice or $104 for three-day air. GolfBagShipping.com can go even cheaper —just $72 dollars if ordered at least a week ahead and with a week’s shipping.
Cautious travelers who aren’t used to venturing far from their clubs can take comfort in the strong insurance policies these startups offer. If Ship Sticks is a day late, it automatically shells out $200 for rentals at the course, and offers insurance up to $3,500. Luggage Forward offers money back plus an additional $500 if clubs don’t make it to their promised destination.
In short, those looking for the most budget choice will find airlines have cheap and accommodating policies today. Players who prefer a familiar and affordable option can check with experts at their local FedEx or UPS. And for serious golfers who value convenience, the shipping startups offer door-to-door service that leave the stress to just lining up the best approach shot on that famous par 5 in Maui.
This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 15, 2015.