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.
$369.99 $259.99 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.
$260 $213.02 at Amazon
The Samsonite Hard-Side Golf Bag
is a great option for anyone looking for a high-quality bag that won’t weigh them down while cruising through the airport. While it’s quite large compared to other bags and covers on this list, the hard-sided bag actually fits both your clubs and your regular golf bag, keeping them safe from takeoff to touchdown. Plus, it’s got handles at the top of the bag and at the side that make it easy for carrying.
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.
$96.99 $89.99 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.
$360 $319.99 at Amazon
The Sun Mountain Golf ClubGlider Meridian Club Cover Travel Bag
is an excellent option for those who prefer to travel as light as possible. At just 11.3 pounds, you’ll have plenty of weight to spare to store your clubs and other goods before you meet your airline’s maximum baggage weight. The heavy-duty bag fits a full set of clubs but also comes with additional storage pockets that many reviewers note are spacious enough to fit enough clothes and gear for a weekend trip.
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.
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.
$129.99 $116.45 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.
The Club Glove Last Bag Collegiate Travel Cover
was made for the style-conscious golfer in mind. Crafted with Invista Cordura 1000D waterproof nylon, this premium bag is made to last. It’s got two exterior shoe or storage compartments for easy packing for all of your golf equipment. Perhaps best of all is that it’s available in a whole spectrum of fun colors and patterns to choose from — nine in total. So, you can find a bag that suits your personality and potentially the rest of your luggage.
Callaway knows a thing or two about what golfers need to perform optimally — and the OGIO Alpha Travel Cover
is a great example of that. Crafted from a durable 900D polyester body fabric with a built-in skid plate for abrasion protection, the generously sized travel cover will easily fit both your golf bag and enough clothing for a weekend getaway. You’ll have added peace of mind knowing your clubs will arrive protected, thanks to both external and internal compression straps that reduce movement. Plus, a dense foam around the club heads gives you that extra bit of protection.
$59.44 $40.67 at Amazon
Looking for a budget-friendly golf travel bag that’ll easily fit your clubs and bag? The Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag
is compact in size but will fit most standard golf bags. It’s made of durable 1800D polyester with reinforced stress points, meaning your clubs will have the protection they need in transit. Plus, it’s got in-line skate-style wheels for easy pulling through the airport. We also like that this bag is available in four colorways to match your existing luggage. Reviewers rave about this bag — it's Amazon's No. 1 best seller for sports fan golf club bags. And for less than $50, it's a great deal.
The CaddyDaddy Constrictor
offers serious padding and structure, thanks to the 1800D fabric construction, making it a great option if you’re worried about hairline scratches that might occur from your clubs banging together in transit. The budget-friendly bag also comes with a one-year warranty for added peace of mind. Reviewers rave about this bag’s value for money, detailing that it exceeded their expectations in terms of protection.
$79.99 $49.99 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.
$65.99 $60.99 at Amazon The Partage Golf Travel Bag With Wheels
is one of the top-rated options on this list, thanks to its lightweight design and affordable price point. The bag is heavily padded inside and has both internal and external straps to ensure your clubs don’t slide around while in transit. It also comes with built-in wheels to make navigating through the airport a breeze. As an added feature, it’s also got three pockets where you can store your golf shoes and any extra golf equipment. This bag also comes with an optional support system
to help keep your bag in shape and protect your clubs from any dings.
$69.99 $59.99 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.”
The Sun Mountain Kube Travel Cover
is another great option for those looking for something a bit more stylish and modern than the majority of golf travel bags on the market. That’s because it’s unconventional and fashion-forward in the sense that it can be packed down into a small cube for easy storage. But, not only is it easy to be stored, but when the bag is extended, it provides supreme protection for your clubs as well as two smooth-rolling wheels for easy maneuverability. Plus, it’s lightweight at just 6.8 pounds, making this a great option for your next golf vacation.
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.