A good golf trip starts with the right bag
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There’s only one downside to golf travel: lugging 75 to 100 pounds of golf clubs and other luggage through airports. A golf travel case alone can weigh nearly 50 pounds, particularly if you stock it with a couple of pairs of shoes, some outerwear and extra golf balls.
It’s imperative that a travel case protect your golf clubs, and it’s helpful if the sheer weight of the loaded case doesn’t rip your arm out of your shoulder socket as you lug it through parking lots and airports and lift it on and off shuttle buses. Here are five good options on the market.
Bag Boy T-700
The skinny: The top of this bag has high-density expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam and impact-resistant PVC to protect your clubs, and an internal strap to secure your golf bag. Inline skate wheels are attached to a PVC base. The lockable, wrap-around zipper opens entirely for easy access, and there’s an oversized pocket for shoes and garments. The T-700, which weighs 8.42 pounds, is available in three colors and carries a one-year warranty.
Club Glove TRS Ballistic
The skinny: The TRS (Train Reaction System) is the choice for travelers who want an integrated luggage system and don’t mind paying for it. The 10.6-pound Last Bag golf travel bag attaches at a 45-degree angle to the suitcase, making it a breeze to pull three fully loaded bags long distances. This luggage ensemble might look unwieldy, but it maneuvers through tight spaces with surprising ease. The premium Ballistic line features Invista Cordura 1050-denier nylon ballistic fabric that resists abrasions and tearing.
Cost: $1,748 (includes Last Bag golf travel case, $299; TRS Ballistic Carry On, $699; TRS Ballistic Check-In, $750)
The skinny: The Monster rolls on two oversized off-road wheels, and when you reach long passenger lines, it stands upright so you don’t have to keep lifting and dropping it. The SLED system (Structural Load Equalizing Deck), which extends halfway up the back, enhances durability and stability. This 13.4-pound model can accommodate tour and stand bags, which are secured with internal compression straps.
The skinny: This hard case – molded from military-grade, ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene – might be just the thing for the neurotic traveler who constantly frets about his clubs. SKB’s case is virtually indestructible, which is why it carries the company’s lifetime “Million Mile Guaranty.” It also has a TSA-approved latch system. But consider this option only if you’re sure you’re going to be traveling in vehicles large enough to accommodate a hard case that can’t be condensed. It’s 48 inches high, swells to 14 inches at the bottom and weighs 21 pounds.
Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey
The skinny: The ClubGlider product line has a signature feature: legs that support the weight of the loaded case at a 45-degree angle, removing any strain on your shoulder. Long walks through airports are a snap, and the easy-to-maneuver wheels make cornering a breeze in tight passenger lines. The legs retract quickly and lock in place so they won’t be damaged during travel. The Journey, which weighs 12.75 pounds, has internal storage pockets and cinch straps to secure your clubs.