The issues starts off in the elevator just after leaving my apartment. Evidently, it’s extremely hard for modern-day human beings to see a golfing-travel bag and not make a remark. You know, like, “I’m jealous! Where are you likely?” How dare they? Then the Uber driver glares at me like I’m hoping to deliver an alligator into his Camry. Chill out, main. If it doesn’t match in the trunk, I’ll set it in the front seat.
Touring with the sticks can be a headache, but it is worth it when compared to the choice: not participating in golfing or, even worse, actively playing with a rental established. There are benefits, albeit tiny ones. For instance, I’m never ever tempted to choose a have-on, and I can pack two pairs of socks for every working day as an alternative of a person.
Once you arrive at your location, you are each glad and relieved that your clubs built it, but the system can be a logistical nightmare.
If there’s any kind of line at the baggage fall-off, you are screwed. Most journey luggage aren’t extremely ergonomic. I know mine is not. There’s no superior way to established it down, and you can’t relaxation your backpack on leading of it like you can with a suitcase. If you stand the clubs up vertically, you hazard someone knocking them about with just the slightest nudge. Then you get to the front of the line, and the agent won’t allow you lay the golf equipment down on the scale the man or woman thinks you are hoping to fudge the numbers and will make you stand them up straight. Can’t we all just help save ourselves the effort? I’m not a tour participant my bag ain’t 50 lbs.
In some airports, these as New York City’s JFK, you’ve gotta provide your clubs to the oversize baggage spot. If there is no attendant there, hard. Wait until eventually there is.
When you land, your to start with work is to figure out regardless of whether your clubs will come out with the regular baggage (which is undesirable due to the fact handlers toss suitcases close to if they consider they are stuffed exclusively with dresses and shoes) or in the oversize segment (superior simply because they know if they break one thing oversize, they are heading to hear about it).
These times, around 80 p.c of airports sequester the golf bags from the typical luggage, but the oversize bags feel to always occur out last. I could write a novel with the time I have invested anxiously waiting for my inexperienced vacation bag to arrive. It’s a significantly nervy experience in the United terminal at Los Angeles Intercontinental simply because the oversize-baggage area is dangerously shut to the community sidewalk. Though the region is roped off, the attendants in no way appear to be particularly bothered about who’s grabbing which bag. At the time you lay eyes on yours, you ought to pounce. Never even get me started about the rush of adrenaline when checking to make guaranteed your driver did not get snapped in half. (Hunting at you, Maui’s Kahului Airport. Also seeking at myself, for remaining dumb adequate not to purchase 1 of those umbrella contraptions for defense).
Next comes the rental vehicle, a process I’ve occur to dread in massive-town airports—Charlotte and Dallas come to mind—because they’re as well unfold out. It’s no exciting to attempt to wield that burly sack by way of a crowded terminal. At Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, you are going to from time to time have to walk the equivalent of 18 holes when continuously browsing for pathways like an NFL functioning back again . . . only to head up a going for walks escalator and wait for an annoyingly not-shorter tram ride to choose up your auto. In Denver, you have to trip a tram to the baggage assert and then capture a shuttle to the rental-motor vehicle middle. The Florida airports I frequent—Jacksonville and Orlando—get big kudos for owning the rental-car or truck garage across the avenue from the terminal.
As a rule, the scaled-down the airport, the less complicated the working experience. My golf equipment have been ready for me in Charleston, S.C., Columbus, Ohio, and The Bahamas, and they surely know how to tackle a golf bag in Augusta, Ga. But the gold common of golf-club travel is the Monterey Regional Airport in California. Indeed, it ticks all the boxes—small, helpful employees, effortlessly obtainable ground transportation—but the true cause it stands alone is a very simple just one: If you are there, and you have brought the sticks, chances are you’ve obtained some outstanding golf in your future.