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

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.

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

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
19 Comments
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Commented on

One company is charging me nearly $450 for my clubs from the US to the UK return! I think I'll pay at the airport and save a bunch of money!

Commented on

Another great resource for shipping your clubs is https://www.shipsticks.com/.
They are a 3rd party shipping company that focus on shipping golf clubs. Most of the time they’re cheaper than the big shipping companies because they use wholesale rates. Ship Sticks is a super convenient, reliable way to ship your clubs. They provide you with a box to ship and they even offer full insurance on the golf clubs you ship!

Commented on

Another great resource for shipping your clubs is https://www.shipsticks.com/.
They are a 3rd party shipping company that focus on shipping golf clubs. Most of the time they’re cheaper than the big shipping companies because they use wholesale rates. Ship Sticks is a super convenient, reliable way to ship your clubs. They provide you with a box to ship and they even offer full insurance on the golf clubs you ship!

Commented on

Place your post-its and scratch papers near your phone, together with a pen. As far as upgrades, you need to figure out what mobo you have. The dream has to intrinsically motivate the sales person and must be shared with whoever will hold them accountable on a daily basis. The travel is the best thing you can do for the horses if they cope with it and I think she has got better days ahead. Certainly nothing with soy, monosodium glutamate or aspartame in it; they inflame the brain. The bass will

Commented on

need to send a driver and putter from london to brisbane , Aust. any ideas?

Commented on

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.

Commented on

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.

Commented on

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.

Commented on

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

Commented on

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.

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