Success begins with having a proper travel bag in which to swaddle your precious metals. And that putter you can’t quite get along with and half-wish WOULD break in transit (the putter always survives unscathed, doesn’t it?). Club Glove makes the undisputed-best travel bag covers, and while they’re not incredibly cheap—most run between $150 and $300—the protection they provide, coupled with their durability, is invaluable. Naturally, if your clubs are long past their prime or otherwise less-than-pristine, other companies make travel covers in the $100 range that will be, at the very least, serviceable. At any rate, it is advisable to steer clear of the hard plastic cases, though, as they can cause logistical problems when you arrive at your rental car.
And since you’re going to be dealing with a large checked bag, you will do well to squeeze as much space out of it as possible. Here are a few tips:
Pack as little as possible. For a three- or four-round trip, you don’t need every pair of golf shoes you own. One will do; preferably white or brown, to maximize the number of outfits it’ll go with.
Save the staff bag for the Member-Guest. You know that leather Al Czervik-model golf bag that holds nine dozen golf balls, ten pairs of shoes and four ball retrievers? Leave it in your closet. Instead, grab your lightest-weight stand-bag and wrap it in your travel cover. Not only will it make that puffy package lighter, it’ll make it smaller so you can wedge it in the trunk (or back seat, or front seat) of your rental car when you arrive in Myrtle Beach. And in that stand bag, pack no more than a dozen golf balls. If you run out while in Myrtle Beach, cheap reinforcements are never more than half an hour away.
Carry on, soldier. Even for a week-long trip, pack your clothing and toiletries into a carry-on bag. There’s no need for a second checked bag—which drives up the price of your travel a lot—unless you’re on a multi-week golf sabbatical (if you are, lucky you!). Chances are, though, you’re not, so a small rolling duffel bag will do. Worst comes to worst, you’ll check it through security and be told you need to check it at the gate…for free.
Follow these main tenets and you will be the envy of your group, a savvy golf traveler among children. Let the trash-talking begin.