Travel with Golf Clubs or Hire Them When You Get There?

Wondering whether to travel with golf clubs or rent them when you get there? Then this is the guide for you.

This guide sums up:

  • The pros and cons of taking your golf clubs with you on holiday
  • The pros and cons of renting clubs when you get there
  • The pros and cons of sending your clubs via courier

After reading you’ll have all the info you need to decide answer the question, “should I travel with my golf clubs, or rent them when I get there?“.

And relax: there’s no right or wrong answer. Just a case of personal preference based on destination, budget, and a few other factors.

Sending your golf clubs via courier

“For golfers, shipping clubs now beats flying with them”, Forbes confidently proclaimed in 2013.

But is it still true? Was it ever true?

What is it?

When you send your clubs by courier, you book online, and let the courier service know where to pick up and drop off your clubs.

They send you a label to print out and stick on your bag, then your bag is then picked up or collected from a designated drop-off, and taken to the course you’re going to.

You can track your bag during transit so you always know where it is (you also get notifications when it’s been picked up and dropped off). Just like tracking a parcel online!

When you arrive at the course you pick it up, play your round, and enjoy the comfortable familiarity of your own clubs.

Courses that work with the courier companies can print return labels for you, in which case the process is repeated in reverse, and your clubs will be waiting at home.

It’s easy and usually painless, because the stress of carrying and keeping track of your clubs during transit is outsourced to a professional.

man standing in front of DHL truck door

What are the benefits of using a golf club courier service?

  • You enjoy door-to-door service.
  • You avoid the excess baggage fees that you’d have to pay if you took the clubs on a flight.
  • You never have to carry your bags anywhere.
  • Landscape has changed over the years so it is now cheaper and easier than it was before.
  • Several companies offer the service.
  • Your clubs will be treated well, and you can insure your shipment.
  • Usually rental credits are available, meaning if something goes wrong you will still have clubs.
  • Mistakes are less likely than your bag being lost on a long haul flight, just because of how sophisticated shipping and logistics is becoming.

What are the drawbacks of using a golf club courier service?

  • Depending how far they are travelling, they may arrive after you. Leave enough time.
  • While cheaper than it used to be, it can still be expensive relative to other options.
  • Prices increase with travel distances, meaning that prices can quickly rack up.
  • There is a larger carbon footprint, as you and the clubs travel separately to your destination.

Renting golf clubs when you arrive

This method is tried and tested, and you have a lot of options. Rental services are available from airports, golf courses, independent retailers, and more.

What is it?

You rent clubs and pick them up, either form a kiosk at the airport, your hotel, or a golf course.

Just like with car rental, the price you pay depends on the quality of clubs you rent and the duration of the rental.

You’ll often have a choice of brands and clubs, giving you the chance to trial a new set.

People enjoy the simplicity of being able to pick up a set of clubs, put it in the boot of their rental car or taxi, and not having to worry about anything else.

If you rent from a golf course this is even more simple: just arrive, grab the clubs, play, and return them!

What are the benefits of golf club hire?

  • Your clubs stay safely at home.
  • You may get to try clubs and brands that you may otherwise not have tried. Often rental companies pride themselves on offering different options, and sometimes club manufacturers give special deals to rental companies so that customers can try their brand, and be tempted to buy their own set afterwards.
  • You can rent the right clubs for your age, gender, and play style.
  • You can tailor the clubs and accessories according to the courses you’ll be playing.
  • You avoid expensive excess baggage fees.
  • Spend less time hanging around in airport baggage claims.
  • You also avoid strict customs regulations: some countries want to make sure there is no soil on your clubs that could damage their delicate ecosystems. Noble, but an unwanted extension of your time spent in airports.
  • Some services pair with car rental companies, so you only have to queue once, and your clubs are already waiting in the boot of your rental car.
  • Other services deliver clubs straight to your hotel so you don’t have to wait around at the airport at all!
  • If you book with our partners at Blue Sky Golf Rental or Murcia Golf Club Hire, you can add rental to your Glencor booking at no extra cost. This saves you the hassle of renting clubs separately to booking your golf holiday.

What are the drawbacks of golf club hire?

  • While you may get to try exciting new clubs, you may feel pressured into buying a set afterwards.
  • You don’t get to use your treasured clubs.
  • Not all rental companies’ clubs are as good as they claim to be: people usually treat rental equipment less carefully than they would their own, so the clubs will age more quickly. This is especially true when hiring clubs from a golf course.
  • The cost can add up quite quickly: many rental companies charge weekly hire rates.
  • If you rent from an airport rather than a course, you’ll probably have to rent a bigger car or hire a bigger taxi.

Travelling with your golf clubs

Take your own clubs with you on the plane, pure and simple.

There’s a high chance of excess baggage fees, but many people think the trade-off is worth it. There’s nothing quite like playing with your own clubs, after all.

If you do decide to use this option, our guide to flying with golf clubs has everything you need to know.

For every airline that flies from the UK we have found out:

  • How much it costs to fly with clubs.
  • Whether this is charged per booking, per leg, or per flight.
  • What the size limits are.
  • How to book.

Airplane in Sky

What are the benefits of taking your own clubs?

  • You get to play with your clubs. If you’ve assembled the perfect set of clubs, playing with dusty old rental ones probably isn’t too appealing.
  • They’re with you the whole time so you get peace of mind.
  • Potentially a lower carbon footprint, as you and your clubs travel together.
  • No rental costs or shipping costs.

What are the drawbacks of taking your own clubs?

  • You’ll usually be delayed exiting the airport, because oversized baggage (including golf clubs) is processed last.
  • Depending on who you believe, your clubs may be treated badly during transit.
  • Again, depending on who you believe, there’s a relatively higher likelihood of clubs being lost.
  • You may need to rent a larger car to fit your golf clubs in, which could work out more expensive.
  • Or if you get a taxi, you’ll probably have to pay for a bigger one.

Final thoughts on travelling with golf clubs

Here are some miscellaneous tips we’ve picked up over the years while helping our clients plan the perfect golf holiday.

They’ll save you time, money, and hassle.

Make sure you figure out the total cost. Avoiding excess luggage fees sounds great, but if you end up paying three times as much for club rental, it’s not really worth it.

It’s worth factoring in insurance, too. Insuring your clubs may raise your holiday premium,

If you take your clubs on the plan, think about the best airline: they may not always be the ones with the cheapest flight. A ticket with British Airways is more expensive than one for Easyjet, but with BA you can take golf clubs as part of your free allowance, meaning the total cost is lower.

Make sure your golf bag is clearly identifiable, especially if it is a common design. This makes retrieving it at baggage claim easier.

Is the main purpose of the trip golf, or something else? If it’s golf, taking your own clubs may be more cost effective than renting. You’re also likelier to get the most out of your game. If you’re playing the odd game here and there on a 2 week holiday, renting from the golf course may be better.

You can always take your shoes, gloves, and balls with you, even if you’re leaving your clubs at home. That gives you a bit of familiar comfort without the logistical hassles.

And remember: we can arrange golf club rental as part of your booking. Just let us know.

There you have it: everything you need to know about travelling with golf clubs.

Let us know if you have any other questions!