You might have state-of-the-art golf gear already, including a premium golf bag. But anyone who has ever checked any sort of specialty luggage on an airplane will quickly tell you that even the most high-quality and durable bag may not stand a chance against the cargo hold and baggage carousel.
If you’re planning a golf vacation that requires checking your clubs, you’ll want to invest in a travel-specific golf bag or a durable cover that will protect your clubs and golf bag from the inevitable wear and tear of the checked baggage process. Even if you’re planning on a road trip, having a dedicated space for storing your golf bag can go a long way to ensuring your clubs stay safe in transit.
We’ve detailed what exactly you should be looking for in a quality travel golf bag as well as some of our favorites that fit the bill.
The size of golf travel bags ranges dramatically from full-size golf bags that’ll fit all your clubs to smaller bags that are good for a single driver. Note that smaller-sized golf bags might be easier to fit in a taxi trunk, but both smaller and larger bags will almost always cost the same to check at the airport — unless you’re successfully avoiding checked baggage fees.
Wheels and maneuverability
Keep in mind that you’ll probably have other luggage to look after besides just your clubs, so you’ll want your golf bag to be as maneuverable as possible if you want to get through the airport efficiently. A crossbody strap is great, but high-quality wheels will be well worth the investment.
Travel golf bags are a great option if you really don’t want to muck up your normal golf bag while in transit. But if you want to have access to your golf bag while traveling, a high-quality golf bag cover will protect the whole package, ensuring your clubs and golf bag arrive relatively safely.
Much like standard luggage, there are two main types of golf travel bags: soft shell and hard shell. Soft-shell bags are much easier to sling over your shoulder or throw into the back seat of a taxi, while hard-shell bags — while slightly bigger and more expensive — are much more durable and tend to be longer-lasting.
Whether you’re planning a domestic trip to the next state over or you’re embarking on an international golf vacation that requires a fair bit of travel, we’ve pulled together a list of our favorite golf travel bags to ensure your clubs arrive intact and ready for the course.
$259 at Walmart
This hard-shell golf bag cover reigns supreme when it comes to heavy-duty protection. It’s made of an extremely durable polyethylene material on the outside. And, to close the case, you’ll have SKB’s patent-pending industrial-strength latches — in other words, don’t expect this case to open in transit.
The wheeled carrier fits most standard golf bags and comes equipped with a built-in TSA-approved locking system for added peace of mind. Keep in mind that because it is a hard shell and extremely durable, it is a hefty 19 pounds when empty.
$275 $250 at Amazon
It comes in five different colors — black, green, midnight black, silver and titanium — and weighs 5 pounds when empty. While the hard exterior will protect your clubs from dents and dings, inside, you’ll find padded quilting with extra foam cushioning for the heads of your clubs. And, to round it all off, this bag has four multidirectional spinner wheels and two in-line skate wheels, meaning you can either push or pull this bag around with you while you travel.
$97 $90 at Amazon
Featuring smooth in-line skate wheels, this lightweight padded golf bag by OutdoorMaster is a fan favorite for its affordable price point and commitment to protecting your clubs. The convenient travel golf bag features waterproof and rip-resistant fabric and also includes a separate compartment for golf shoes. If you’d rather carry your clubs than wheel them, this bag has a shoulder strap as well as multiple padded handles at the top, at the bottom and around the sides of the bag.
It comes in four different colors — black, gray, blue and coffee — and also features a convenient U-shaped zipper for easy opening and closing. Plus, you’ll find a card pocket on the exterior of the bag.
$340 at Amazon
Perhaps the best part about this bag is the variety of colors you can find. In total, it’s available in eight different hues. All of them come with dense foam padding at the top to protect your clubs as well as an innovative retractable leg mechanism to prop your clubs upright during travel.
$80 at Amazon
This compact golf bag might not be large enough to fit your whole set, but it’ll fit enough drivers or wedges to get by for a trip where you’ll only be hitting a few rounds. In fact, the company says it can fit up to nine clubs. The compact bag also has separate pockets for towels, gloves and golf balls, and can even fit a pair of shoes.
It weighs just 3.5 pounds — one of the lightest on this list — but still comes with adequate protection for your clubs. It’s made from a durable 1680D fabric with added padding at the top to protect your wedges. This is an affordable yet reliable option for taking your clubs on vacation with you.
$150 at Amazon
Samsonite is one of the best in the business when it comes to durable and reliable luggage, which is why this three-piece travel set is a very solid option for your clubs. Not only is it built with high-quality 600D polyester that is proven to withstand the wear and tear of air travel, but it also comes with a matching duffel bag and shoe bag for added style and convenience.
The bag comes in six colors — black, blue, grass green, hunter green, red and silver — and also features sealed ball bearing in-line skate wheels for easy pushing or pulling. At this price point, this Samsonite bag is hard to beat because of the three pieces of equipment you’re getting.
$299 at Golf Galaxy
$220 at Amazon
$38 at Amazon
$110 at Amazon
$40 at Amazon
This basic golf travel bag by Athletico offers a no-frills and incognito alternative to more flashy or premium-priced travel golf bags. The design features 5 millimeters of padding that will protect your clubs and golf bag, while the variety of built-in straps let you carry your clubs either handheld or as a crossbody bag. The hard vinyl base means that it’s protected from the elements on the ground. Some Amazon reviewers have stated that the bag tears easily, so this one may be a better fit for taking your clubs on a road trip where you can oversee its handling.
$66 $60 at Amazon
$70 $57 at Amazon
This top-rated golf travel bag from Himal has received more than 3,000 5-star reviews — and for good reason. The exterior of the bag is made from heavy-duty polyester, which will prevent your clubs from the nicks and dings that come with the travel experience. Additionally, its soft cushion and interior strap offer added protection and minimize movement for your clubs — as well as being more comfortable to carry. The case itself features a top handle and side handle as well as two wheels so you can roll or carry while you travel.
Reviewers rave about this bag’s value for money. At just over $50, this is a great option for travelers looking for a reliable way to transport their clubs. “This product is outstanding for the price,” one reviewer says. “The handle that you pull is very thick and sturdy. The best part about this is it’s lightweight and has wheels! This was easy to navigate through the airports in one hand and my other 40-pound large checked bag in another.”
$270 at Golf Galaxy
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