I get dozens of emails every Monday morning asking questions about the FedEx service shipping golf clubs and if I recommend it.
I turned my research assistant loose on the matter. He spoke to FedEx representatives, used its website and created sample shipments.
His findings are below: the answers to the most frequently asked questions about FedEx golf club shipping, and others that should be.
Update 6/18: We compared all the various ways to ship your clubs in this new travel tips feature
How Much Does it Cost to Ship Golf Clubs FedEx?
This, of course, depends how far and how fast they're going, but to give you an idea, you can ship a standard set of golf clubs (ground) from New York to Los Angeles for $50-$65. Transit time is four days.
In general, FedEx is going to have the best, or nearly the best, pricing when shipping ground (i.e. the slow boat), but other companies become more competitive with faster service.
For example, shipping golf clubs with FedEx's Express shipping (three days) would be $245. Two-day shipping and overnight shipping would be $355 and $429, respectively. Several companies charge far less than this.
The Above Applies If I Ship My Clubs from a FedEx Location, But Will FedEx Pick Up My Clubs at My Home or Office?
Yes, at-home pickup is available for $4 more, but here are a few important notes:
If you have a FedEx account number (this is more involved than simply creating a website "user ID") you can get at-home pickup and ship any speed you like: Ground, Express, Two-Day, or Overnight.
(With an account number, you can also apply to FedEx's "Weight Discounts program," which offers up to 25% discounts on heavier shipments.)
Without an account number, you can still schedule an at-home pickup, but your only option is to ship Express.
How Do I Need to Pack My Clubs?
One of the biggest misconceptions about shipping golf clubs FedEx is that they must be packed in a box or other kind of hard-sided container.
Not true (although I'm sure FedEx would love to sell you their golf club shipping boxes).
We recommend simply packing your clubs in your travel bag the same way you would if taking them on an airplane, then attaching the FedEx label to it. We've done this with golf clubs, skis, fishing rods, and it works great.
Of course, if you don't have a golf travel bag, you can buy a box from FedEx and they'll pack it for free (including the materials).
Their standard box is $17.99. The “fragile” box, with stronger cardboard, is $24.99. Both are 15”x15”x48".
What Happens if My Clubs are Lost or Damaged?
FedEx does not offer insurance like other golf club shipping services. Instead, they offer something called, “declared value.”
One of the FedEx representatives I spoke to described the difference like this:
“Insurance is ‘no questions asked.’ You get whatever the amount you say your stuff is worth. With declared value, we investigate the actual value of the items, and then give you what we find the value to be worth, plus the price of shipping.”
The cost of declared value is determined by the package's weight and value. For example, for a 40-pound golf bag worth $1,500, declared value costs $12.
Personally, I'm not comfortable letting FedEx determine the value of my sticks if they wound up in no man's land. My advice is to go with one of the inexpensive insurance options.
Where Can I Ship My Golf Clubs Using FedEx?
Aside from P.O. boxes, FedEx will ship your clubs anywhere in North America and pretty much any other populated, industrialized region of the world. As a point of reference, NY to the UK costs about $500.
Does this Include Shipping to the Hotel Where I'm Staying?
Yes, but I strongly recommend asking the hotel about their shipping policies beforehand because some turn away packages if their guests aren’t yet checked in.
Also, some hotels charge package processing and/or holding fees. So, while it's usually a good idea to ship your golf clubs well ahead of your arrival (leaving time to smooth out any problems) you obviously don't want these fees to become excessive.
Finally, if shipping to a hotel, make sure you write its name (and yours) on the label, and prominently note, “Please hold for guest/pick up.”
I hope the above information and advice was helpful.
Keep in mind, however, that it only applies to FedEx golf club shipping.