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As winter approaches for many of us, the nights are drawing in and if you are anything like me you will have started browsing for a golfing getaway.
One of the things that I think separates golf from all other sports, is that every course no matter where you go in the world is different.
For a tennis player, courts are virtually the same (grass and clay aside). In soccer, you may get slightly longer grass or a bit of a slopey pitch, but that’s as far as it goes. In golf, you are not only battling with your opponents, but also with the course. Wherever you venture in the world there is a new challenge awaiting.
From the challenging conditions of links courses in the UK to beautifully manicured fairways of the US, there is no end to what can be found around the globe.
With the constant challenge of a new course to deal with, the last thing you want to worry about is borrowing some scruffy old clubs from the local club shop. You want your own clubs! The ones you’ve spent hours hitting shot after shot at the driving range or into your garden practice net.
But you can’t just sling the club bag into the back of the plane like you would in your car. You’ve got to have a golf travel bag suitable for airlines. There are a huge number available on the market these days as more golfers jet off around the world.
What to look for in golf travel bags for airlines
As you would imagine, as with everything, there is a vast array of golf travel bags for airlines available to suit many budgets.
By going for a cheaper bag you may save on weight and space, but you will lack the padding and protection afforded by the more expensive models.
It also depends on your baggage allowance and how many other bags you want to take. Some golf travel bags come with all manner of exterior pockets for storing all sorts, your boots for instance or even clothes. So if it’s just a short break and you don’t want to look like a Nepalese sherper, then this may be the best solution.
Some golf travel bags come with the luxury of wheels, which can be a blessing in some of the supersized terminals we have these days! Some are material some are hard. Some fit every type of bag, with some you may struggle to get in the oversized driver.
There are lots of things to consider. So I’ve tried to list a few options in a variety of price brackets. With a variety of different features. So you can spend less time on your PC and more time on your holiday!
So here is what to look for in golf travel bags for airlines 2018.
Best for the money saver: Club Champ Golf Travel Bag
The first entry on our list of top golf travel bags for airlines 2018 is the Club Champ. This is the cheapest bag on our list and this bag packs in quite a lot for the price. It comes with built-in wheels, padding and even some exterior pockets for your boots. For the price, you do get a lot of bag. So if it is just for a one-off trip, or if saving money really is a priority then this is an option.
However, be warned, it does feel like you get what you pay for with this golf travel bag. The material is not thick and the padding is limited offering no real protection the clubs inside. Because of this, it has also been known to rip fairly easily too. So if you envisage it being tossed around by careless baggage handlers, you may be greeted by a nasty rip.
On top of this, the bag seems to be weirdly off-balance, with a pocket on just one side. This can make wheeling it around the airport incredibly frustrating as it will keep toppling over when you turn the slightest corner!
- Built-in wheels
- Some padding
- Armored base and skid rail
- Small exterior pocket
- Room for extras such as boots
- Damages easily
- Frustrating weight distribution
Best golf travel bag for the lightweight traveler: Izzo Golf Padded Travel Cover
Coming in second in the top golf travel bags for airlines 2018 list is the Izzo padded travel cover. This bag is just a bit pricier, but the quality shows. The padding feels substantial and the material feels tough and durable.
If you are looking to travel lighter and you want a golf travel bag you can just grab and go with, then this is a great choice. It doesn’t have wheels or a heavy metal base, but this means it is a fraction of the weight and can fold away nice and small to store out of the way in your hotel room.
The bag expands to a maximum size of 50 inches, so if you have a 46inch driver this is something to watch out for. If you don’t have a flat-bottomed bag it may not fit.
Again it is worth bearing in mind that with a material bag you are at the mercy of the baggage handlers to some extent. So if you are paranoid about that, it may be worth splashing out more for a hard case.
- Substantial padding and padded velcro carry handle
- Lightweight and folds down for easy storage
- Lockable zippers
- Lower end price tag
- Well made with a good amount of padding
- No wheels
- Still vulnerable to ripping
Best all around golf travel bag: CaddyDaddy Constrictor 2
If you are looking for a bag that has a few more features and more storage but isn’t as massive and heavy as some of the hard cases the CaddyDaddy is a great option.
This is a bigger bag than the IZZO and so can accommodate virtually any size of golf bag (apart from maybe the very largest PGA tour style bags). This includes cart bags.
The bag is heavily padded especially at the top around the club heads. It feels like the maximum protection you can get for your clubs in a travel bag without going for a hard case. The manufacturer also offers a one year warranty for any damage caused by airport staff! Which is a great piece of mind to have.
The bag comes with the nice extra of two sizeable side pockets for additional storage. You could comfortably fit your spikes in one and even clothes in the other if you wanted. By having two equal pockets it keeps the weight distributed nicely and means the bag is less likely to topple.
The bag has wheels which sets it apart from the IZZO but folds down virtually as small. Overall this makes for a great all around golf travel bag for airlines.
- Large exterior pockets for extra storage
- Heavy-duty lockable zippers
- Collapsable for storage
- Good amount of padding and protection for the price
- Lots of extra storage and nicely balanced
- Folds away very small despite having wheels
- 1-year warranty for airport damage
- Is still not a hard case so doesn’t offer maximum protection
- Is quite heavy and hard to maneuver if you are small
- Quality still not up there with more expensive bags
Best golf travel bag for protecting your clubs: Samsonite Hard Sided Travel Cover
Yes this bag may look like a coffin or maybe a relation to the daleks, but the Samsonite offers you maximum protection for a very reasonable price and this is why it makes the list of best golf travel bags for airlines.
A simple hard shell design comes with a padded interior to give you piece of mind that your clubs can make it halfway around the world without coming to any harm.
Despite looking like a coffin it is surprisingly lightweight. The case is 54 inches tall so can accommodate most large golf bags and clubs up to 48 inches in length. It can even hold a bag with the stand still attached (just about).
The bag also comes with the nice option of a shoulder strap so you can pick it up easily when the terrain isn’t suitable for those wheels.
Unlike with the CaddyDaddy you don’t have the additional external pockets and so you are really just limited to what you can store in the bag itself. To get around this it does come with detachable shoe bag which isn’t the ideal solution in my mind, but it kind of works.
- Lightweight but hard case
- Detachable shoe bag
- Hard yet still fairly lightweight
- Feels well made and offers very good protection
- Still on the cheaper end of the scale compared to some hard cases
- Not as much extra storage as others
- Does not fold away for storage once you arrive
- Much more pricey than softer golf travel bags for airlines
Best golf travel bag for the full package: Sun Mountain Golf 2016 CLUBGLIDER MERIDIAN Travel Cover Bag
Now I thought I’d include a bag that is fantastic if money is no option. It combines virtually all the pros discussed in the other bags above into one amazing travel bag. The price, however, does reflect that.
The sun mountain travel bag is lightweight yet offers maximum protection. It has two sets of wheels for a variety of wheeling options and also a comfortable shoulder strap. It just feels really well made and built to last. It is a joy to wheel around the airport it just seems to glide around effortlessly.
The bag is 52 inches long and so should be able to fit most bags and clubs easily. And it does fold down for storage, although not quite as small as some.
The leg mechanism is much handier than you may think for not having to constantly get down on your knees to get things out of the bag. There are additional side pockets for carrying extra things too.
- Extending and retractable leg system
- 2 large interior pockets and exterior pockets too for storage
- Foldable for storage
- High quality and built to last
- Leg stand is a nice additional feature
- Wheels around very easily
- Still folds down fairly small
- Doesn’t fold quite as small as some cheaper golf travel bags
- Quite pricey
These days there are hundreds of golf travel bags for airlines out there as more and more golfers decide to travel the world with their clubs. Picking out the best one is therefore pretty tricky as it really depends on what you want.
If you are looking for a cheap bag that is essentially just a cover to keep your clubs together, then the lighter cases are a great choice. They are also probably the best option if you are only planning on the odd trip every now and again.
If however you are planning a round the world trip and your bag is likely to get tossed around and battered. Then spending slightly more on a more sturdy hard case may be worth it.
I hope I have provided a good mix of bags so you now have a better idea of the different types of golf travel bags for airlines available in 2018.