Taking your golf clubs away will be the preferred choice of all golfers. However, as the cost of flying with golf clubs increases, the economics and logistics involved can quickly outweigh the benefits - especially if you're only playing one or two rounds.
So how can you get around this? By making sure you take full advantage of the extra baggage allowance you've paid for!
Below we outline what you can get in your golf travel cover and spoiler, far more than just your golf clubs.
An obvious one, but if you're going to take the golf clubs, you need to pack them. However, before just chucking your bag in as it is, consider if you'll need all 14 clubs for your trip? Do you use them all in the monthly medal? How serious is the golf going to be? Will a smaller golf bag work?
Two people with eight clubs each (sixteen in total) could share one travel bag and halve the cost.
When packing your clubs into your travel cover, remove heads from drivers (and other adjustable clubs) and store them in their respective headcovers.
When packing and for maximum protection, use a broom handle or curtain rod which extends out the top of your golf bag to brace the cover and take the brunt of any impact.
Consider taking a pencil bag
It seems obvious, but you'll also need a golf bag. However, what might not seem obvious is which golf bag to take (if you own more than one). When every kilogram matters, think about the bag you're thinking of taking and how you will be using it.
If you're going to be in buggies for the week, you'll want something with a bit of rigidity, or if you're going to be carrying, then lightness is your friend.
For the best of both worlds, you can also slip in a pencil bag.
Rangefinder / GPS device
There's a good chance you won't know courses you're planning on playing. You might only get to play them once and will not want to leave anything to chance. Knowing the shape of the hole, yardages off tees and into greens will be necessary.
These are expensive pieces of equipment, so like your clubs, you'll want to protect them. Wrap them in your towel or some bubble wrap and place them in your shoes for packing later.
Also, if you're a GPS user, make sure you download all the courses beforehand!
Golf Balls, tees, markers, and other golfing essentials
Consider how many rounds you're playing and the style of course (probably unfamiliar to you and often tricky with water) when deciding how many balls you will bring. Remember, balls can be weighty, so getting this right will save you precious weight. However, err on the side of caution as resort prices can be sky high!
A marker, pitchfork, and a big handful of tees in a small pouch will see you comfortably through the week and not cost you and weight in real terms.
The reason you're going abroad to golf is often sunshine and having two or three replacement gloves is key if sweaty or greasy, thanks to suncream.
You could also be going to other great golfing regions like Scotland and Ireland. Consider it might get wet (even if it's August), so a pair of rain gloves will ensure maximum enjoyment even in the rain.
That's the golf equipment and accessories sorted. Now for the stuff which you might not have thought you could get in your travel cover.
With spikeless golf shoes now making up a significant proportion of the market, it might be the case that you can wear yours to travel. If not, then a nice lightweight pair will see you through the week. Clubs in Europe, on the whole, are less strict on shoes in clubhouses. Spikeless shoes will get you through the whole day - driving to the course, to the range, on the course, and post-match.
If you do like a more traditional approach to your golfing footwear, check ahead on the rules on spikes and cleats on the courses you're planning on playing. You don't want to be turned away or have to buy some new shoes!
Most travel covers have a pocket designed to take your golf shoes - usually on the front.
Now you might have planned on taking an additional suitcase for everything else, but at this stage, you should still have more than a few kilograms to play with, which will allow you to put all your clothes for the week in your travel cover.
Pack for the conditions you're expecting, and make sure you check the dress code of the courses you're playing. You don't want to be paying resort prices for a new polo (or even socks!).
Other shoes, clothes and accessories
If golf is going to be the central theme of your holiday, this might not be a long list. Maybe a few spare shirts for a quick change post golf and some shorts and t-shirts for the evenings.
The current trend in golf clothing is towards lifestyle pieces, with most items being transferable between the course, the clubhouse, and beyond.
Pack a sports kit bag for daily golfing bits and pieces with a change of clothes, toiletries, towel, etc. Courses often have super shower facilities, and it's normal after a long day golfing in the sun to shower, get changed and have a meal or couple of beers at the course.
Sunglasses and a good wide-brimmed hat will also make the holiday more enjoyable. These may or may not be with you while travelling. If not, in the travel cover, they go!
Don't forget your GPS
One of the great joys about taking a checked bag on a plane (golf clubs or a traditional suitcase) is that you do not have to worry about liquid restrictions. You can happily pack all the usual items plus plenty of sun cream.
Be super careful whenever you're in the sun; any burn on day one can ruin the rest of your trip.
Can this all go in?
Having taken many, many trips between all of us here at Golfbidder, we're confident that you'll be able to take everything above in one travel cover.
However, we'll add the proviso to check the weight limits before you fly, as these can change depending on the airline. Be sure to check the weight of your travel cover on your bathroom scales too.
Following this guide can make travelling with golf clubs far more accessible and cost-effective by getting everything into your travel cover. Once dropped off, your holiday can start.
No extra weight but super important
One final thing you want to make sure you do not forget is golf insurance. No extra weight but a must-have for any time you're travelling with your golf clubs.
There are loads of golf insurance specialists out there, and cover can start from just a few pounds. Just think how much it would cost you to replace everything that's in your golf bag and travel cover, and you'll realise it's money well spent.
For more information or to speak to one of our PGA qualified customers services team call 0208 4016 901. Lines and emails are open and managed from 9:00am - 5:00pm , Monday – Friday and 9:00am - 1:00pm Saturday.