Safely Stowed: 7 Golf Travel Bags For Flying In 2023

With interstate and international travel fast returning after the pandemic, many golfers are booking flights and jumping on planes for their next golfing getaway.

Because of this, many players are seeking out golf travel bags to protect their clubs while they fly.

If you’ve ‘landed’ (excuse the pun) on this article, then it’s likely you’re looking for some advice on which are the best golf travel bags to buy.

As a quick summary, the best golf travel bags I recommend are as follows:

  • CaddyDaddy Constrictor 2 Golf Travel Bag (Best overall option)
  • Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag (Best budget option)
  • SKB Deluxe Golf Travel Bag (Best top range option)

I’ve included seven bags in total in my list (which you can read by scrolling further down the page), however these three are certainly the standouts.

Keep reading, as in this article I’ll also answer some of the burning questions you will likely have about golf travel bags, including how much they cost and whether or not they are worth buying.

What is a golf travel bag?

A golf travel bag is a protective casing that shields your golf clubs from damage during travel and is mainly used on flights. The bags are usually made from either soft or hard plastic or nylon. Golfers use travel bags to prevent damage to their clubs when in transit.

If anyone has seen a baggage handler in action at the airport, they would know they don’t often take a lot of care with luggage – it is for this reason that a golf travel bag can be invaluable for keeping your clubs safe.

The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination, only for your clubs to be chipped, dented or even worse, completely broken.

Golf travel bags are designed with a soft interior that will keep your clubs secure and stop them clattering together during your flight (or bus/car ride), while the outer layer offers enough padding to prevent any external damage.

Are golf travel bags expensive?

Golf travel bags are relatively inexpensive. A standard, soft case travel bag will cost around $150 AUD ($95 USD) while a travel bag with a hard plastic exterior can cost anywhere up to $450 AUD ($280 USD).

The more expensive cases with harder outer plastic usually cost more than the soft cases as they provide a greater level of protection for your golf clubs.

There are, however, some hybrid cases which blend a soft outer shell with a hard plastic top (covering the heads of the golf clubs) – these bags provide excellent protection at a price range somewhere in between the low and high ends.

Are golf travel bags worth it?

Yes, golf travel bags are definitely worth it if you are planning interstate or international golf trips. Using a travel bag will protect your golf clubs from damage during transit, which could potentially save you from needing expensive repairs later on.

A lot of people look at travel bags and think ‘I can probably get away without needing to use one’.

I did that on my first interstate golf trip – instead of using a travel bag, I crammed a few towels in between the heads of my golf clubs, strapped on the rain hood that came with the bag and then duct taped it shut.

While it did the job well enough, it was a pretty finnicky, annoying process and didn’t provide my clubs with a very good level of protection during the flight.

I was fortunate that I avoided any damage; but I didn’t want to take that chance again and before my next trip, I went out and bought a soft case bag.

Since then, I’ve used it a few times and it has made the process so much easier – all the while keeping my clubs way safer than any makeshift method ever could.

I would much rather pay $150 for a quality travel bag than needing to replace a damaged driver for $300 or more.

What kind of golf travel bag is the best?

The best golf travel bag is one that protects your clubs, without breaking your budget. Hard-shell travel bags offer the greatest protection for your clubs but come with the highest price tag, while soft-padded travel bags offer a lesser level of protection but at a cheaper price.

Personally, I think a mixture of the two (a hard-cover top mixed with a soft-padded body) offers a good balance between adequate protection and cost.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven golf travel bags ranging from low, mid and high levels of protection to meet varying budgets, to help you decide which one is best for you.

Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag

If you want decent enough protection for your clubs at a bargain basement price, the Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag will do the job perfectly.

Made from a durable nylon fabric with reinforced stress points, this bag will stand sturdily on its own while also providing enough thickness and comfort to keep your clubs safe.

A compression strap also wraps snuggly around the bag to prevent your clubheads rattling together, while smooth-rolling, inline wheels will let you easily pull your bag through an airport or bus terminal.

With dimensions of 13 x 15 x 50 inches, the Amazon Basics bag is plenty big enough to house golf bags of all sizes.

Athletico Padded Golf Travel Bag

The Athletico Padded Golf Travel Bag is another great budget option that protects your clubs by way of thick, soft padding.

While the Athletico model has a few less storage pockets than the Amazon Basics bag, much of the other features are the same – however, it doesn’t come with wheels, which may be a deal-breaker for many people as it makes transportation more difficult.

The best thing about the Athletico bag, aside from its budget price, is that it’s slightly larger than the Amazon model (12 x 14 x 53 inches) which may accommodate bags on the bigger end of the scale, such as Tour bags.

Himal Outdoors Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag

The Himal Outdoors Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag is a step up in both quality and price, with one particular feature that distinguishes it from other options.

This polyester fabric bag comes with a unique support bar than can be placed inside the case to reduce impact force from the outside, which provides an added layer of protection for your clubs.

It is easy to carry thanks to two Velcro handles, while a set of high-quality wheels means you can pull the bag behind you with no problem.

The Himal Outdoors bag is slightly smaller than others – with dimensions of 13.4 x 13.7 x 48.8 inches – however is a perfectly good option if you’re looking for something with a little extra support and fortification for your clubs.

CaddyDaddy Constrictor 2 Padded Golf Travel Bag

As the first option on the list from a dedicated golf brand, the CaddyDaddy Constrictor 2 Padded Golf Travel Bag is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a top-quality bag at a mid-range price point.

The CaddyDaddy outshines the budget options on this list in almost every way.

It has tonnes of storage via external pockets, extra straps for added security, a ‘north pole’ support bar to reduce outside crushing forces, and inline wheels for ease of transport.

The padding is much thicker than cheaper travel bags – such as the Amazon Basics or Athletico Padded models – giving you greater peace of mind that your clubs will arrive at their destination safe and sound.

Personally, this is my favourite option based on features and cost.

CaddyDaddy Enforcer Hard Case Golf Travel Bag

If you like the CaddyDaddy brand but want some next-level protection when transporting your clubs, then you should definitely consider the CaddyDaddy Enforcer Hard Case Golf Travel Bag.

This is a hybrid model blending an ABS molded hard top with a thick, padded nylon body – and the benefits of this are two-fold.

The plastic cover shields your clubs better from external blows, while the padded core (rather than a fully plastic casing) helps keep the price down.

The only thing lacking is possibly some storage space, as there aren’t many pouches to stash golf shoes or clothes.

But with wheels for easy transport, this is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a travel bag that reduces force impact to your clubs without breaking your budget.

Bag Boy T10 Hard Top Golf Travel Bag

A great alternative to the CaddyDaddy Enforcer is the BagBoy T10 Hard Top Golf Travel Bag.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Bag Boy as a brand (I use one of their push carts whenever I play) and can vouch for their quality manufacturing.

Like the CaddyDaddy, the T10 is a hybrid design with a hard top mixed with a soft, padded body.

Where the Bag Boy slightly outperforms other rivals in this price range is the extra storage – with two generous side pockets giving you plenty of added space to stash balls, shoes, shirts or other accessories.

However, the soft casing is slightly thinner than the CaddyDaddy, which is something to take into consideration.

If I had to choose, I’m leaning with the CaddyDaddy – however, it really is a toss of the coin and if you love the Bag Boy brand, this is still a great option when it comes to a mid-priced travel bag.

SKB Deluxe Golf Travel Bag

If you want the ultimate level of protection for your golf clubs when travelling, then the SKB Deluxe Golf Travel Bag is ideal.

This really is the ‘Fort Knox’ of travel bags, with the thick hard plastic polyethylene outer shell ensuring the chances of your clubs sustaining any damage in transit are virtually zero.

The bag comes with a TSA locking system for ease of airline travel, while industrial strength latches prevent the case from popping open mid-trip.

The SKB Deluxe is also large enough to accommodate bags of all sizes – from carry bags to cart bags.

Of course, this added protection comes at a cost, with the price tag noticeably higher than all the other options on this list.

But if safety and peace of mind are most important to you, then the SKB Deluxe is absolutely worth the added cost.

Do airlines charge extra for golf bags?

Some airlines charge extra for golf bags, while some don’t. American Airlines and Jetstar are two popular carriers that charge up to $30 USD for oversized baggage, such as golf clubs. However, many other airlines do not charge extra fees – such as United, Qantas, Canadian and Singapore airlines.

I’ve written a detailed article outlining all the fees associated with some of the world’s most used carriers, which will give you all the information you need when it comes travelling on a plane with a golf bag.

But, essentially, the answer is: it will depend entirely on each individual airline.

Are golf bags considered oversized luggage?

Yes, in most cases golf bags are considered to be oversized luggage. Because of this, some airlines – especially budget airlines – will charge you extra for flying with golf clubs. Golf bags are typically longer than a standard suitcase, which is why they are usually classed as ‘oversized’.

Can you take golf clubs in an Uber?

Yes, you can take your golf clubs in an Uber. If you are travelling alone, you should have no problem fitting your golf bag into the boot/trunk of a standard Uber X. If you are travelling with friends, you may need to upgrade to an Uber XL in order to fit more than one golf bag in.

I’ve written everything you need to know about travelling in an Uber with a golf bag, including how much boot/trunk space you need.

But in summary, yes you can take golf clubs in an Uber.

Be mindful, however, that if you are unsure about whether or not you will be able to fit your clubs in – or if you may need to lay them along the back seat – you can always ring your driver before they pick you up to double check.

Final message

Golf travel bags are a must-have item if you’re serious about protecting your clubs during a flight or bus trip, which you’ll often take when on an interstate or international golf trip.

While travel bags may set you back anywhere from $95-$280 USD (with budget options usually coming in cheaper than that), it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind knowing that your clubs will remain safe in transit.

It’s also a lot cheaper than having to replace any broken clubs if you choose to run the risk of transporting your clubs without the added protection a travel bag offers.

To me, the decision is an easy one!

Lewis Carhart
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