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Shipping Golf Clubs for Your Next Golf Vacation? Here’s What You Need to Know

by Craig Better

Jan32012

<center>Golf bag shipping can be easy and inexpensive if you don’t wait until the last minute.</center>” width=”300″ height=”300″ /><p class=Shipping golf clubs can be easy and inexpensive if you don't need expedited delivery.

Of all the questions we get about golf vacations, ones that we’re hearing most frequently concern shipping golf clubs.

With airport security requiring that golf travel bags and golf club shipping containers be unlocked (or locked only with TSA-approved locks) and airlines imposing stricter (and more expensive) baggage allowances and weight limits, it’s really no surprise.

Here’s the lowdown on shipping golf clubs: if you don’t need someone to help pack your clubs, delivery speed is not a major concern, and you’re not shipping internationally, the least expensive method for shipping golf clubs is by using one of the large package delivery companies: FedEx, UPS, or DHL (which no longer ships within the USA). This is what the specialized luggage and golf club shipping companies ultimately use, anyway.

The least expensive service level is ground service, which takes about four business days depending where you’re shipping from/to. The specialized luggage and golf club shipping services (such as Luggage Forward and Golf Bag Shipping) start to get price competitive when you’re looking for faster delivery. (See below for the comparison charts we created).

Some carriers may require that your clubs be in a box, but otherwise, just pack your clubs in your golf travel case the way you would if you were taking them on the airplane and affix the shipping label that the carrier will provide. If possible, plan ahead as expedited delivery is much more expensive.

Certain companies will pick up golf club shipments from residential and business addresses without requiring you to open a special account that hits you with weekly/monthly charges. (You can often avoid these charges by dropping your bag off at a company dropoff location if available).

Also keep in mind that shipping golf clubs round trip is not like buying an airline ticket, where the cost of each segment works out to be less than if you purchased them individually.

When shipping golf clubs, you are buying each segment individually, so the price you pay to send them out will likely be the same to send them back.

Speaking of prices, we tested eight of the major golf club shipping services (including Fed Ex golf club shipping, UPS golf club shipping and the good ol’ United States Postal Service) with three sample shipments — two within the USA and one international — and found out:

  • The costs and speeds for each
  • What they consider to be a “standard” golf bag (and the applicable overages)
  • How much their “insurance” costs and whether it’s worth it
  • Their pickup/dropoff options
  • A sweet discount code for one of the specialized golf club shipping services
  • A list of websites selling golf club shipping boxes

All of this (and a lot more) is summarized in a free “decision guide” we created called, “Everything You Need to Know About Shipping Your Golf Clubs.

See below to get your free copy.

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
Plus, get access to our weekly travel tips & private sales
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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joseph R. May 29, 2011 at 1:11 am

Enjoyed the information regarding golf bag shipping, especially the free guide and its tips on insurance….Regards, Joe Ramsey

2 Douglas G. May 29, 2011 at 1:45 am

Thanks for putting together and giving away this guide — i really think you could sell it! Saved me a bunch of money already.

3 Sacramento Pete May 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Imagine traveling with wife and two children with car seats. FedEx Kinkos starts to look a lot better. Great guide – thanks.

4 Scott Lougheed May 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Been to England/Scotland twice. First time I rented, cost ave of $30 pounds per (about $50 US) and while the clubs were excellent they were not my own. Plus, if you are going to play more than twice, take your own. As for shipping ahead, why? Most good golf covers protect them well, and the insurance on flights paid for by Visa or M/Card, Amex provides good coverage for interuption, lost, damaged, etc. Shipping third party is going to cost more than the $50 the airlines charge. I don’t get it, where’s the advantage of having to get Fedex to do this, especially if you rent a car.
Seems strange logic.

5 Craig Better May 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

One advantage to shipping is not having to physically hassle with getting your clubs to and through the airport. Another is that you won’t eat up your checked bag allowance and drive up those costs.

6 John H. May 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Great update! Sounds like the best approach is to play Caddy to your own clubs wherever you plan to travel too… I had used a service and the clubs were lost but NOT by the service but by the Hotel . They were lost in the Hotel storage area for 12 hrs so I had to use and pay for rentals. Had to buy balls etc…. ALSO I did not have my scotch Flask either !!! The game is hard enough buzzed musch less SOBER !!! Then they found the clubs so my last round was great … On the weight issue if you pack beyond the Airlines limit per person per bag (50lbs) you have other ISSUES you are not dealing with !!! Thanks again guys – You are the BEST !!!!

7 Daniel D. May 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Very informative, especially the pricing details, confirms once again that you should shop around for the best value. Cheers!

8 Kevin M May 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I arranged the shipping of 4 sets of golf clubs from Sacramento, CA to St Andrews, Scotland. The original quote was $388 but when the clubs were delivered to the Fed Ex office the quote was rescinded and a new charge of $1420 was made. The entire experience of shipping was a disaster financially. We should have simply paid the $50/bag the airlines charge. Beware.

9 Dan February 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Went to have FedEx ship my clubs today and walked out with them instead. The staff had no clue about the program, weren’t able to apply my account discounting, and, despite my clubs being 20 pounds lighter than the weight used on the estimate chart the actual shipping cost given was 50% higher than the website quoted. When I asked to get my clubs back, I got to see the “professionally packed” condition was a single piece of brown paper shoved around the club heads (the website shows them individually wrapped in bubble wrap with even more bubble wrap around the base). Luckily, I’m flying Southwest so it only costs me $50 extra beyond my free 2 bags.

10 Don March 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm

However, on Southwest there is a high probability your clubs will be damaged. Last trip my friends driver was broken in half and his sand wedge was bent beyond repair. Three of us play together all the time, everytime we go on Southwest, one of the cases is damaged.

11 Michael Pollock March 29, 2012 at 2:23 am

I’ve sent my clubs on Alaska Air before but with prices going up thought it would be good to consider shipping when we go to Phoenix

12 Kyle M. April 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I travel on SWA with my clubs 2-4 times a month. It’s not the airlines fault that your clubs get broken. I make sure that the shaft that is exposed is securely wrapped in t-shirts. I then wrap a giant towel around the bundle of clubs. I use a tour grade bag (Club Glove) and jam that thing full of my golf gear and other clothing. I basically use the thing as my suitcase. I never pay to travel with my bags. I have 1 carry on, dump the golf travel bag at ticketing and I’m off. I would NEVER do it any other way.

13 CAT T August 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I fly 25-30 weeks of the year with my golf clubs on SWA and have NEVER had a club damaged. Of course, I don’t use the soft golf travel bags, only the hard golf travel case by Golf Guard. I pack a Titleist Staff Bag, full set of clubs, shoes, 9 balls, normal accessories and my “birdie bottle” of Crown Royal and the weight comes out to 47 lbs – under the 50 lb limit. As Kyle notes, if you use a soft case you need to pack the clubs. The airlines are handling luggage, not babies.

14 Joe Wright April 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm

I used Ship Sticks to ship my clubs to Bandon Dunes and they were very affordable and offered great customer service. I received a phone call the day my clubs were to be picked up and was able to track my shipment on their website. Bandon works directly with Ship Sticks and when I arrived my clubs were waiting for me. I priced them out and only had to pay $59 to ship across country.

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