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The Lowdown on FedEx Golf Club Shipping

by Craig Better

May222012

"Carseat" is one of the funny FedEx golf club shipping ads running on TV.

I have to hand it to them: those FedEx golf club shipping commercials running during PGA Tour events are pretty funny.

Not so funny is getting dozens of emails every Monday morning asking questions about the service and if I recommend it.

We actually “wrote the book” on shipping golf clubs (see the free guide below), but for a review of FedEx golf clubs shipping in particular, I turned my research assistant loose on the matter.

He spoke to FedEx representatives, used its website, and created sample shipments.

His findings are below: the answers to the most frequently asked questions about FedEx golf club shipping, and others that should be.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Golf Clubs FedEx?
This, of course, depends how far and how fast they’re going, but to give you an idea, you can ship a standard set of golf clubs (ground) from New York to Los Angeles for $50-$65. Transit time is four days.

In general, FedEx is going to have the best, or nearly the best, pricing when shipping ground (i.e. the slow boat), but other companies become more competitive with faster service.

For example, shipping golf clubs with FedEx’s Express shipping (three days) would be $245. Two-day shipping and overnight shipping would be $355 and $429, respectively. Several companies charge far less than this, and they are detailed in the free guide below.

The Above Applies If I Ship My Clubs from a FedEx Kinkos Location, But Will FedEx Pick Up My Clubs at My Home or Office?
Yes, at-home pickup is available for $4 more, but here are a few important notes:

If you have a FedEx account number (this is more involved than simply creating a website “user ID”) you can get at-home pickup and ship any speed you like: Ground, Express, Two-Day, or Overnight.

(With an account number, you can also apply to FedEx’s “Weight Discounts program,” which offers up to 25% discounts on heavier shipments.)

Without an account number, you can still schedule an at-home pickup, but your only option is to ship Express.

Nice, but not necessary. Assuming you pack it well, your golf travel bag with a FedEx label is all you need.

How Do I Need to Pack My Clubs?
One of the biggest misconceptions about shipping golf clubs FedEx is that they must be packed in a box or other kind of hard-sided container.

Not true (although I’m sure FedEx would love to sell you their golf club shipping boxes).

We recommend simply packing your clubs in your travel bag the same way you would if taking them on an airplane, then attaching the FedEx label to it. We’ve done this with golf clubs, skis, fishing rods, and it works great.

Of course, if you don’t have a golf travel bag, you can buy a box from FedEx and they’ll pack it for free (including the materials).

Their standard box is $17.99. The “fragile” box, with stronger cardboard, is $24.99. Both are 15”x15”x48″. You can certainly find less expensive golf club shipping boxes, and we list some websites selling them in the free guide.

What Happens if My Clubs are Lost or Damaged?
FedEx does not offer insurance like other golf club shipping services. Instead, they offer something called, “declared value.”

One of the FedEx representatives I spoke to described the difference like this:

“Insurance is ‘no questions asked.’ You get whatever the amount you say your stuff is worth. With declared value, we investigate the actual value of the items, and then give you what we find the value to be worth, plus the price of shipping.”

The cost of declared value is determined by the package’s weight and value. For example, for a 40-pound golf bag worth $1,500, declared value costs $12.

Personally, I’m not comfortable letting FedEx determine the value of my sticks if they wound up in no man’s land. My advice is to go with one of the inexpensive insurance options, which, you guessed it, are detailed in the below guide.

Where Can I Ship My Golf Clubs Using FedEx?
Aside from P.O. boxes, FedEx will ship your clubs anywhere in North America and pretty much any other populated, industrialized region of the world. As a point of reference, NY to the UK costs about $500.

Does this Include Shipping to the Hotel Where I’m Staying?
Yes, but I strongly recommend asking the hotel about their shipping policies beforehand because some turn away packages if their guests aren’t yet checked in.

Also, some hotels charge package processing and/or holding fees. So, while it’s usually a good idea to ship your golf clubs well ahead of your arrival (leaving time to smooth out any problems) you obviously don’t want these fees to become excessive.

Finally, if shipping to a hotel, make sure you write its name (and yours) on the label, and prominently note, “Please hold for guest/pick up.”

I hope the above information and advice was helpful.

Keep in mind, however, that it only applies to FedEx golf club shipping.

If you like to see a side-by-side comparison chart of all the major golf club shipping services (prices, speeds, etc.) download the free guide below.

Get the Absolute Best Tips on Shipping Golf Clubs
This FREE guide gives you:
A Comparison of the 8 Major Golf Club Shipping Services Get This Free Guide
A Comparison of Golf Club Shipping Costs
The Best Answer to the “Additional Insurance” Question
A Sweet Discount for one of the Top Golf Club Shippers
A List of the Best Prices on Golf Club Shipping Boxes
A Comparison of Airline Fees for Traveling with Golf Bags
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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jim Colton May 22, 2012 at 8:10 am

I checked into shipping my clubs by FedEx from Monterey, CA to WDC. It was $120 for 5-day delivery.

2 turtletrapcc May 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

Timely article as Delta just “misplaced” my clubs on flight home this weekend and I have been curious about alternative methods of handling clubs on golf vacations. Guess I don’t see the value going with FedEx. The bag fee was $25 with the airline.

3 Dan G. May 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

I have used both FedEx and UPS to ship clubs. I find them both competitive in price and speed of delivery. I give UPS the nod for two reasons: 1. The UPS store guy told me you could reuse the box at least 5 or 6 times so just open the bottom and slide it off. This obviously works well at home but not so much for a hotel unless you want to keep the box in your room during your stay. 2. UPS offers insurance which, as you point out, is a better deal than FedEx offers.

4 Walker Merryman May 22, 2012 at 8:28 am

I can’t imagine why I would want to trust my irreplaceable golf clubs to Fed Ex which has no better record for losing things than United Airlines and is a great deal more expensive.

5 JB May 22, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’d checked various sites regarding shipping clubs, the cost, the packaging requirements, timing, etc. and nearly all said about the same thing. I decided to ship mine via fedex and had no problems, sending or receving. That said, my experience did not align to what this site and others have indicated.

First, I very securely packed my Mizuno MP11′s (which I would never allow a shipping company to determine their value if they lost them) in my soft side wheeled travel bag. When I brought this large package to fedex, the first thing I was asked was did I want a golf club box, since the box was a uniform size, the shipping price was going to be cheaper if I opted for it. Since I didn’t, my travel bag was measured and the price went from 50-55 bucks to 85+ – since it’s larger and not a standard shape. This price was for standard ground shipping from Chicago to my friend’s house in San Diego. The clubs arrived within a week on schedule and undamaged. For the return, I left $100 for my friend to ship them from SD to my house in southwest Michigan.

Bottom line for me was not having to carry or worry about my clubs for 2 weeks was great, but it did cost me about $200. Had it cost me the $120-130 total I thought it would, it’s pretty much a no brainer, but the $200 dollar range makes it a bit more debatable.

6 Cliff May 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

I ship my clubs every winter 2 or 3 times. I use a corporate UPS account. Maine to Florida. $44.00 each way. I use my golf-glove travel case. Works great. 3-4 days.
I call the first golf course get a tee time and my clubs are waiting for me on the cart when I arrive. $10.00 tip and every one is happy. No lost bag, No missed flights, and no having to drag the bag through the airport. Nothing worse then to go on a golf trip with the guys than to play the first two rounds with rental clubs because your clubs went to Arizona when you went to Florida.

7 Jeff Courter May 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

I’ve used FedEx twice from Des Moines – once to ship clubs to Denver and once to Palm Springs. I did so because the charge is basically a wash with what airlines charge for golf + you guarantee timely delivery. I’ve had a few trips to Palm Springs where clubs miss the last leg of flight from Phoenix and arrive 3-4 hours later. When you’re flying from Des Moines and plan to play golf that afternoon in Palm Springs, a 3-4 hour delay pretty well cancels golf that day. Excellent experience both times. If you need to guarantee your clubs will be there on time, FedEx has a better track record than the airlines in my book.

8 Dan Croop May 22, 2012 at 10:00 am

JB, great insight. Thanks for the comment. With a corporation as large as FedEx, and an equally large customer service department, I would have been shocked if everyone was somehow on the same page. Truth be told, I was more waiting for stories like yours that are different from what might be the “company line.”

9 Lloyd K May 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

When I first started pairing golf with my travel I rented clubs and learned it was hit or miss with the cost vs. quality of the rentals. So I spent a buck on a Golf Guard hard-shell travel case and carry my sticks with me now. I flew SWA and JetBlue quite often, so there was no extra fee for the checked bag, and no extra cost for protection, the hard case was just another bag. The cost on other airlines was minimal ($50 rt) compared to shipping via FedX, UPS, etc, and so much worth hitting my clubs versus rentals. I pack my golf attire, including my shoes, with the clubs, and either purchase balls at my destination or pack a small range bag full in my carry-on. Only once did my clubs not arrive with me (they stayed in Nashville instead of changing plans with me to Chi-town), so I had the airline send them to my next destination (NY) and they were waiting for me at the airport 3 days later. Spending the money to ship just doesn’t seem woth it to me when I can keep my hands on my clubs the whole trip for a fraction of the cost.

10 Anonymous May 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

sent 2 sets of clubs Toronto to Orlando. One set arived a day late[8days from pickup] the other set we had to go to their depot to identify. Never again!!
Dave

11 Bob Garrity May 22, 2012 at 10:28 am

I took a Sunday bag to AZ in February in a friend’s van. He was going to drive home with them and I was flying back at a different time. He was called home suddenly so I had to fly my clubs home in a flimsy bag. I decided to send them FedEX and looked on line for rates. Their quick calculator gave a rate of $30 for 4 day delivery; the FedEx store said $80. I had no choice but to ship them at the higher rate. Their customer service person couldn’t find the website I looked at and said you have to add the box cost (or bring my own). All of this seems to be misleading and I’ve filed a claim to see if this can’t be resolved.

12 Mitch Gieselman May 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

I live in Indiana and am spending the summer in the UK. I went to a multi-service shipping store, which calculated the costs of FedEx, UPS, and the USPS and compared them. The postal service won pretty easily. The store packed my clubs, added the cost of insuring the value that I declared, and mailed the set, bag and all, to my indicated address in central England for $170.37 (one-way). Two caveats: It’s a 14-day trip, so you can’t do it for that price and need them by the weekend. And, this was just yesterday, so I’ll have to wait and see about how efficiently and safely they arrive at my door in England. But for the pricing and service at this end, it was an easy choice for me.

Worth investigating: A friend told me he paid the extra luggage charge to fly his clubs with him to the UK last year, but when it came time to fly them back, the airline counter rep told him there’d be no extra charge to fly them from England. It would be declared “Business equipment.” I don’t know if that’s the policy of a specific airline, or just an England thing, but apparently there was no particular category for golf clubs, and no extra charge for business equipment, regardless of size or weight!

13 Rich Rosen May 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

I shipped my clubs FedX this past January from NJ to FLorida. Instead of shipping them to the Grand Floridian where we stayed- I shipped them right to the pro shop at the Disney Magnolia course where I was going to play. It worked perfectly. $41 ground, plus I paid about $18 at the Fed X office where I dropped them off 8 minutes from home for the box and for them to pack them. The friendly, helpful manager helped me print the return label so I was all ready to go in Florida to simply change shipping labels when I was done playing golf. I brought a small roll of packing tape in my carry on to seal up the same box in florida. Best thing was when I opened the box at the golf course, FedX had individually bubble wrapped the heads on all my irons since they didn’t have head covers like the woods and puter. I got screwed twice by the airlines when your clubs arrive 2-3 days at the resort after you do and will never take them on the plane again. I used the crush proof travel bag in the FedX box for some added protection, but the hard plastic top would not fit in the box- but they wrapped an additional bubble wrap cover over the clubs. Guys- for the $41- it’s worth it just not to have to drag your clubs to the airport, go to speacial baggage areas as they never come off with the regular baggage, and fill out the annoying lost baggage form.

14 Mitch Gieselman May 22, 2012 at 11:01 am

It should be noted in my above comments that while it would be less expensive to take my chances with the airline, and have my clubs with me upon arrival (assuming Delta got it right), it would be worth paying more not to have to wrestle with my golf clubs along with my other luggage while trying to battle my way through Heathrow, get a cab, and then catch a train to my next destination. Others may weigh their options differently.

15 jmallon May 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

i am going to bandon dunes next week, and bandon recommends you ship clubs since small plane into n bend, oregon often leaves clubs behind due to weight restrictions. bandon emailed me a shipping label and i adhere it to fed ex box. they quoted me $100 for 3 day service NY to N Bend oregan. with 50lbs weight and $1000 insurance. we get to use their shipping rates which was better than my companies. hope all goes well!

16 DaveF May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

the shipping time in teh article is a little off- Fedex told me when asking about shipping my clubs for a thursday delivery from Palm Springs to Myrtle Beach that tehy could not guarantee 4 days for $85 if I wanted them Thursday i would have to ship on Friday the week before – of course not letting me enjoy the weekend of play prior to my time in Myrtle beach – if I wnated to send them omn Monday for Thursday it would be $245 bucks – it really did not pay to ship them as I dont pay for baggage with my frequent flyer status- too much time to ship – I guess you need two sets of clubs – to really make it work. the commercials are good the cost and options are bad. Even paying $35 bucks to take them on the plane is a better option.

17 Bill Carlson May 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Another option if you don’t want to drag your clubs is a service I have used called Golf Rental World. They will ship full sets of name brand golf clubs that you pick out online to your hotel. You get a bag, a full set of clubs, a sleeve of balls, tees, and other accerories. Also included is tape and a return label that you stick to the box when you are thru with the clubs, and just leave at the front desk where they are picked up. As I recall at the time that I used the service, shipment to any where in Florida was free, and you just paid for club rental for the time you used the clubs.

18 Barry Jagoda May 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

A shipping service is particularly valuable if you have a few days at an intermediate stop prior to arriving at your golf destination. Also, if you are using an airline with a checked bag charge the computed FEDEX cost should be reduced by at least $25.

I recently shipped FedEx Ground, SanDiego to Wash, DC. The clubs arrived four days later for under $50 bucks, or under $25 net cost considering the checked baggage fee. Fortunately I also did not have to around the clubs in New York City.

19 Stan May 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Some years ago I shipped my clubs to England, to the hotel, which we were not yet checked-in. This was a “cluster headache!” For an overseas shipment you need to describe what is in the package and its value. So even if you have an old set of clubs, they may have been custom fitted and cost a small fortune. So with this value plainly labeled on the package, you are hassled to death to pay an import TAX (I think mine came to $400). As you are dealing with clerks, neither the taxing authority nor the local FedEx people are of much help (and I think we were speaking the same language.) I just caution anyone to check and verify before shipping overseas.

20 steve May 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I tried it both ways recently, and had a good experience each way.

I was shipping to a resort in tucson from san diego. I sent them via UPS ground, in their box, and the total charge was $45. they were delivered in two days–from their office late monday afternoon, arrived at the hotel wednesday morning. no problems.

coming home, I flew southwest (“bags fly free”) and they arrived unharmed. I picked them up at the “oversize items” window behind the regular baggage carousel.

21 Larry M May 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm

As long as we’re on the subject, i need a little help. Lucky for me, I am headed to Ireland for a golf vacation in July. My wife is joining me after and we are staying another week, traveling around. I’d like to ship my clubs home (U.S.) from my Dublin hotel so i don’t have to schlep them around Europe.
Any good experiences from anyone? Thanks much.

22 Vic W. May 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Dropped my clubs at my local Mail Store, which I use as a shipping address for online ordering (even though they assign POBox #s, they do have a regular street address that FedEx will accept). Fed Ex makes a daily pickup at those locations & mine went out two days before I got to my hotel… “ground shipment” ($47) from Austin to Atlanta… pd $10 for the box. They safely arrived at the Bed ‘n Breakfast the same day we arrived & were sitting at check-in. Played my final round on a Sunday afternoon, ordered my FedEx pickup at the Inn for the following AM online through my FedEx account, printed the shipping label at the Inn, used the same box going back & threw in my shoes & some dirty togs for cushion (more room in my suitcase for new pro shop apparel). My clubs were waiting for me at the Mail Store two days later… $43. Hint: in your suitcase put a roll of strapping tape & a black marker to blot out any original markings on the box.
I’ll never lug them around an airport again!

23 Cal K May 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I shipped my clubs from San Diego to Portrush, Northern Ireland last March using “golfbagshipping.com”. They provided all the paperwork (customs, etc) and picked-up the clubs (they use FEDEX, I think). The clubs arrived safely at the B and B in Portrush in about 5 days. Cost: approx $200. I would highly recommend GBS. They saved me much wasted thought about whether my clubs would make it if I brought them with me (San DIego to Chicago to Manchester to Belfast).

24 Dave May 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I used a company called “Luggage Forward” to send my clubs to Bandon Dunes last year. It was cheaper than the quotes that I received from FedEx but when I set it up to have them picked up at work, FedEx picked them up. Not sure how the price was lower but still went through FedEx. Luggage Forward must have worked out a deal with FedEx. I liked the communication such as tracking information and I got a text when they arrived at Bandon.

25 Alice May 24, 2012 at 2:53 am

I was satisfied with FedEx on handling my golf clubs before. Now, I changed to another shipping company. Cheaper and more customer oriented.

26 jmallon July 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

just got back from bandon dunes. as advised by resort i shipped my clubs since small airlines sometimes leave clubs off flight due to weight restrictions. my company uses UPS primarily, but since i love the FedEx commercial of putting clubs in baby car seat, i shipped them FedEx. FedEx had a truck break down, i got my clubs 3 days late. i had to rent clubs and FedEx will not cover the cost of rentals. DO NOT USE FEDEX to ship clubs. i horrible experience.

27 Mike Miller August 2, 2012 at 5:57 am

I too recently used FedEx for shipping clubs to Ireland, long story short, they never arrived-got caught up in customs was their story. Had to rent clubs, buy rain gear and shoes since it was all in the golf bag. My buddy who traveled with me used Luggage Forward and got his clubs, at 30% less in cost, and even got an email from the pro at the golf club when his clubs arrived. Even though FedEx reimbursed me for my costs, I will not use them again

28 Maria August 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

Hi Carl, Clubs going from NY to Scotland, your situation sounded the best So I will try golfbagshipping.com. Wish me luck!

29 walter spellman December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Used FedEx for first time in November. NH to Tampa and return Naples to NH. 2 sets-total of $207 with 2 boxes, which I plan to use again and again. Good advice to check with hotel. Marriott in Tampa said no problem, actually liked being able to put boxes up on a shelf to clear floor space in luggage room, kept boxes there during our stay. Having a rental car we were able to load clubs (boxes) and pile luggage on top for secure load. Put shoes, etc in boxes for short money and didn’t have to lug two hard roller cases and three suitcases from airport to rental car to hotel and back again. Too old for that now.

30 david January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I’ve shipped my clubs all over the US for 10+ years long before it became popular. I simply load them in my travel bag call FedEx and ship them “ground”. No box required. Latest trip West Palm Beach to Innisbrook Resort in Tampa $13, two days and clubs were waiting for me at the pro shop.
If you’re going to use the service I suggest you set up a FedEx account.

31 Mike Charlton February 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I have used both. Both are relatively close in cost and speed of delivery. However the UPS store told me you could reuse the box if I took care of it. I guess it all depends on where you are getting it shipped if that works for you considering. Secondly is the insurance that is involved, granted I ship my best clubs but still this is a better deal than what Fedex offers.

32 Sandy Eeds March 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I have used Ships Sticks to ship my clubs. Sent them in my hard travel case from a Seattle golf course to one in Mesquite, NV and the total cost was $47. Just dropped them off at sending course, and picked them up at the receiving one. Great service.

33 Peeper March 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I shipped my sticks to my home from Durham, NC. The service was supposed to be $26.00 but ended up being +$40. They got here quick and in good shape, but FEDEX did not deliver on the price they said they would ship it for. 2nd bad experience I’ve had with FEDEX. I guess thats my fault for not learning from the 1st time bad experiance. Not going to happen again.

34 Shelley July 14, 2013 at 11:10 am

Thank you for the info. I will definitely ship in the future. My husband and I both purchased hard cases for a flight, and TSA seemed to look for ways to abuse our gear. One wheel was gone from his brand new case. My club covers were all removed and not replaced. A zipper was broken on my new golf bag. The soles were ripped out of the three pairs of shoes I had in the hard case. They also locked the hard case. (I had left it unlocked because I didn’t want to make it more difficult for them. ). We either had a very disgruntled TSA employee handling our clubs, or they just do everything they can, to the point of destruction, to persuade travelers to leave their clubs at home. I will say that Golfsmith rocks. They helped us out with exchanges and brightened the day!

35 David July 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm

here’s what I learned years ago when I started shipping my clubs.
the TSA bids out the majority of airport searches. it’s called ‘authorization’. the creeps left in charge of this duty are rarely looking for drugs or explosives, discovering those items is a one in a million chance & are just a matter of luck in their mad-dash-treasure-hunt to see if they can find jewelry, cash or other small goodies, to stuff into their pockets to supplement a meager income.
most of the investigations into these employee ‘rings’ show a number of individuals working together.
of course no one bothers to check the ‘real’ payload which is all the commercial cargo being loaded into the belly of the plane beneath the seats. passengers on the other hand are full body scanned on the pretext of phony terrorism. the cargo shipment takes weight precedent & is often the reason some ‘deemed’ superfluous baggage, like golf clubs, ends up left off the plane.

36 Donna September 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

Fed Ex lost my boyfriend’s clubs It has been 11 days and they have been unable to locate his clubs in a bright red travel bag. Our new sweaters from the Pro Shop were in the bag as well! This has ruined the birthday celebration for him, playing Pebble Beach and the Links at Spanish Bay is now clouded with the memory of his clubs being lost. Don’t ship your clubs with Fed Ex!

37 Golf Widow September 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm

A CAUTIONARY tale about using FedEx…

My husband used Fed Ex to ship clubs from our home in Honolulu to Ireland for his annual Ireland/Scotland Golf trip with the boys…This trip is planned a year in advance.

He asked Fed Ex MONTHS ahead how much time needed to get clubs to clubhouse for first game of trip…We dropped off clubs at the appointed date…In Ireland, NO Clubs…arrived on a weekend, office closed, frantic phone calls…they arrived a day late. After the months they had notice and us doing what we were told by them.

Dear Husband had to rent clubs, buy rain gear and shoes – all things that were in his golf bag that he paid hundreds of dollars to ship. Not to mention the stress of calling and dealing with a not helpful company on what should have been a fun trip.

I met him later in trip for the non-golf portion of Europe trip. there was constant trouble with getting them shipped back internationally – they neglected to have proper paper work filled out (should have been done in Honolulu before left or in Scotland) we spent our time in Italy and France on phone, getting faxes and generally stressed out to get clubs home. VERY TERRIBLE and totally avoidable…It was like they never shipped internationally!

When we finally arrived back in Honolulu – the clubs did EVENTUALLY arrive at DH’s Golf Club – along with another mainland golfer friends clubs!!! So our poor friend who lives on West Coast – his clubs were shipped to Hawaii, and we had to arrange shipping to him…SUCH A PAIN IN THE …ahem…

Naturally, husband did not want to pay for this fiasco along with all the added expenses of renting and buying gear.

FedEX fought us tooth and nail, did not apologize – They are nasty! They sent a collection agency after us while we were trying to explain what a terrible and expensive thing they did to our vacation….WE ended up with a discount and a middle finger in the air from fedEx. They were detestable…BUYER BEWARE! If Something goes wrong they will not make it right.

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