There are many options to consider when purchasing a golf travel bag. Casual golfers may consider renting a set of golf clubs at their vacation destination. More dedicated golfers will want to travel with their regular set of clubs and will need to choose from a hard-shell case or a soft-sided golf bag carrier that will protect their regular bag during travel. Hybrid bags are another option for golfers who travel often but don’t wish to purchase a separate travel bag. Some regular bags may feature club head coverings that are robust enough for light handling but are not guaranteed to stand up to rough air travel.
The soft-sided bag carrier is usually the least expensive and most versatile option for a golf travel bag. Some of these bags are large enough to hold two small sets of golf clubs along with shoes and other accessories. On an extended vacation, this kind of bag also can be used to carry other gear or bring back gifts and souvenirs. In many cases, soft-sided bags offer less protection for clubs and other golf gear, and airlines may have passengers sign a damage waiver for these types of bags. Some airlines also may impose a cap on how much weight can be packed into a bag, limiting its versatility in carrying other items.
A hard-shell golf travel bag offers more protection than soft-sided bags but may be heavier and more expensive. These bags are good for golfers with expensive or delicate equipment such as graphite shafts that will not tolerate rough baggage handling. Hard-shell bags can be locked and often feature wheels to assist the user in transporting the bag through the airport terminal. Many professional golfers use this type of carriers to protect their investment and make sure their equipment arrives at its destination intact.
Hybrid bags are containers that can double as both a golf travel bag and a cart bag for use on the course. Hybrid bags usually have a soft exterior along with hard plastic interior plates to protect the clubs. The size of these bags varies from small, highly portable bags designed to carry only a few clubs to full-size bags that will accommodate a full set of clubs along with shoes, balls and other accessories. These types of golf bags are appropriate for golfers who travel often but don’t necessarily need the protection of a hard-sided case.