Your normal golf bag might be good at storing your clubs safely in the house and in the trunk of your car have you ever thought about how you would transport your clubs if you needed to travel on an airplane? Your trusty soft bag will not cut it – we all know what could happen with our flight luggage right?
We have all seen the footage on TV where a few minority airline staff carelessly throw luggage on to the bag carts without too much thought or consideration for the contents inside!
So what is the best way to safely secure golf bags whilst flying? The answer is to store your clubs in a hard case golf travel bag – there is hard plastic over covers that are made to withstand the rigors of air travel with the sole objective of getting your golf clubs on and off the plane without damage.
We have had a few golfers reaching out and asking us what is the best hard case golf travel bag? Thankfully there are plenty of options available on the market right now from top brands like Samsonite, SKB Cases, Forgan, CaddyDaddy and HUNSAKER. These are brands with a good reputation – but we don’t take their word for it, we check independent reviews from hundreds of golfers like yourself who are looking for the best solution in air travel golf bag storage.
Will also cover travel weight limits and whether it’s best to have TSA approved locks fitted on your golf bags. Most airports now have very strict security protocols so it’s crucial that golfers have peace of mind when they set off on air travel. Airlines are also very strict on what you can pack and what you can’t and did you know that golf bags are only allowed under “the checked luggage” category?
- 1 Top 5 Hard Golf Covers Cases for 2020
- 2 How Much Does it Cost to Bring Golf Clubs on a Plane?
- 3 Your Choice: Security, Portability and Price
Top 5 Hard Golf Covers Cases for 2020
We have purposely left out soft golf bags/covers for this review in order to focus on the advantages of using a hard golf club case for air travel.
You may think that the harder cases are too heavy but thanks to modern manufacturing where hard plastics are much lighter than in previous years and ensuring that our #1 picks have free-rolling wheels we are confident that your next hard case golf travel bag will last you for years and can be used as frequently as you like to fly in order to play with friends, tournament play or visiting family relatives.
1. Samsonite Golf Hard Sided Travel Cover Case
External Dimensions: Length: 54 inches / Height: 12 inches / Depth: 16 inches.
Overview: Our best hard case golf travel bag for 2020 is the Samsonite golf case that is available in three different colors: black, navy and titanium grey. Made from ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) which is proven to have many credible properties that golfers would appreciate including high shock resistance, able to withstand high and low-temperature swings and is resistant to chemicals. This case offers maximum protection at a fair price.
The shell is tough but also looks fantastic, especially inside where the padded material and additional foam coverings at the top to further protect the club heads are a welcome addition. There are 6 wheels in total attached to the case with 4 of those multi-directional – so even if you have a full set of 14 clubs that are quite heavy, the Samsonite is very easy to handle. Inside there are two compression straps that securely lock in your bag tightly so there is no “rattle” and can be pushed and pulled with ease – perfect for busy airports!
- Samsonite is a leading brand that produce high quality cases.
- Super tough and secure thanks to the hear wearing ABA plastic shell.
- Room to fit a TSA approved lock.
- Can handle a full golf bag with tees, balls and towel.
- Easy to pull and push thanks to the multi directional wheels.
- High quality zipper to open and close the case.
- Available in three different colors.
- Hundreds of positive online reviews from experienced traveling golfers.
- Not cheap – you are looking at around $200 for this case.
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2. SKB ATA Deluxe Standard Wheeled Hard Travel Case
External Dimensions: Length: 52 inches / Height: 13 inches / Depth: 16 inches.
Overview: SKB has been trading since 1977 and are specialists in producing high-quality hard cases. Apart from golf they also manufacture a variety of other sports cases for fishing, scuba diving and archery but it’s the ATA Deluxe Standard model that golfers will really like and suitable for air travel for both domestic US flights and overseas.
The case is made from high-grade polyethylene that is tough, durable but light to transport. But the best feature of the SKB ATA Deluxe Standard Wheeled Hard Travel Case is that it has a TSA approved internal locking system so there is no delay at the airport waiting on security clearance for your golf case.
The case opens up to reveal a soft foam section for the clubheads to rest securely and the maximum club length that will fit inside the case is 48 inches. SKB also offers a $1500 club coverage scheme and a lifetime warranty on this product.
- TSA approved built-in locks.
- Made form high grade tough plastic (minimum ATA 300 rated).
- Can fit full set of clubs plus extras like umbrella, balls and clothing.
- US manufactured product.
- Larger size avaiable from the same company.
- Light to carry and dirt, moisture and dust resistant.
- Made from same material as US military storage containers.
- TaylorMade, Ping, Titleist, Wilson and Nike bag compliant (but check measurements to be sure).
- Ships in black only.
- Only has two wheels at the bottom – not as good on the ground as the Samsonite.
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3. Forgan Golf Hard Side Travel Case
External Dimensions: Length: 53.9 inches / Height: 12 inches / Depth: 15.9 inches.
Overview: Buy yourself some golfing heritage from the oldest golf manufacturing outlet in the world. Forgan, based near the famous St. Andrews golf course in Scotland produces one of the best hard case golf travel bags on the market and is not as expensive as you might think.
The Forgan hard golf case is hard plastic, TSA approved piece of golf equipment that will last for many years. Like our top rated Samsonite, it’s made from ABS plastic and features a full-length zipper that it is easy to pull around the full distance of the case and the four multi-directional wheels give the case mobility that can only be matched by the Samsonite whilst being considerably cheaper.
Inside, the case has handy compression straps to keep the clubs locked safely and is secured by using a TSA approved lock (not included) on the double zipper. If you are looking for a budget but good quality golf case then without the bells and whistles of the Samsonite then take a closer look at the Forgan hard case golf bag.
- Made by Forgan of Scotland.
- Good quality ABA rated plastic with two molded handles.
- Internal dimensions measure: 51.2 inches x 15.7 inches x 6.9 inches.
- Reasonably light in weight.
- Can store a full set of either senior, mens, ladies or junior clubs plus extras.
- Very easy to move around the airport.
- Around $50 cheaper than the top brands.
- TSA approved.
- Less features than our #1 pick.
- Not everyone will like a zip fastener.
- No color options – black only.
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4. HUNSAKER Golf Hard Travel Case with Wheels
External Dimensions: Length: 50 inches / Height: 14 inches / Depth: 11.50 inches.
Overview: Hunsaker USA are the moulded plastic specialists who have over 40 years experience in the hardened plastics industry. Focusing primarily on motorsports and racing it is only recently that this company has expanded it’s range into golf and with the HUNSAKER USA Iron-Locker flagshipping their golf cases it’s no surpize they have recived very good online reviews.
This US-built model features rotational molded plastics (roto-mold) and is built to military toughness standard. The armor is so tough that the company claims it can withstand any heavy punishment handed out by the airlines. Although this model only has 2 wheels, the strategically placed handles ensure that pulling the case is both fast and easy.
The lock and latch system focuses on security and if you add a TSA approved lock then you are good to go and travel throughout the US without any security issues. Inside there is ample room for a full size golf bag that can be locked down tight.
- Military grade security locking system.
- Tough roto-mold plastics for the casing.
- Big enough to hold a professional golf bag.
- 3 large gripping handles to make both pushing and pulling a breeze.
- TSA approved latches – add your own lock.
- Wheels are connected by bolts that are easy to replace.
- Lifetime warranty from Hunsaker.
- Metal locks not plastic to ensure highest security level.
- Not the lightest, it can weigh up to 46 pounds with clubs.
- The open/close system of the case takes practice to master.
- For the price point, the Samsonite is a better choice.
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5. CaddyDaddy Hybrid Enforcer Travel Bag
External Dimensions: Length: 51 inches / Height: 13 inches / Depth: 13 inches.
Overview: CaddyDaddy is highly reviewed and specializes in both soft/hard golf bags and other golfing equipment. Based online, they are able to offer premium products and low prices and our number 4 pick is the CaddyDaddy Enforcer Travel Bag which features a half and half construction of hard plastic to protect the clubheads and all-weather fabric at the bottom.
This hybrid bag offers good protection whilst still being extremely light (weighs just 9lbs without clubs) so you will have no bother pulling this bag around the arrival/departure lounges in any airport.
Not everyone needs a full hard case so this half and half model is an ideal compromise – the hard plastic is made from super strong, crush-resistant ABA plastic and the fabric is tough to withstand the harshest of weather conditions such as rain and strong winds. Inside, the case has high-quality compression straps and there is room for a TSA padlock to be fitted on the main zip.
- Good value hybrid golf bag.
- High quality ABA plastic at the top.
- Bag folds in half when not is use for easy storage.
- Extremly lightweight.
- Two additional pockets to store towel, clothing and spare tees etc.
- Can fit into most small / medium sized rental cars.
- Very popular model with good overall independent reviews.
- Choose this golf case if you want portability.
- Not as big as the other bags reviewed – check dimensions below.
- The lower section is fabric – do you need better protection?
- Some reviews indicate the handles are not very comfortable.
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How Much Does it Cost to Bring Golf Clubs on a Plane?
Most airlines in the US have thankfully dropped their additional charges in relation to taking sporting equipment on a flight (checked baggage). American Airlines is perhaps the fussiest though and impose annoying restrictions on their flight golf case policy.
With AA you must ensure that your golf bag has a maximum of 14 clubs, a dozen golf balls and one pair of shoes. Sometimes, the check-in staff will ask you to open your golf case so it’s also best to stick to the rules when traveling by air to play golf.
This kind of rule also applies to other airlines such as Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Jetblue, Frontier and Hawaiian Airlines with Allegiant also applying a weight restriction of 40lbs on your golf case.
We recommend that you check on the official airline website for further information.
Your Choice: Security, Portability and Price
When choosing the best hard case golf travel bag you have 3 main criteria to consider. Firstly, if you are traveling at least 3 times a year with your golf clubs then you need the most secure golf case you can afford.
The Samsonite hard cover golf case is our #1 pick for this reason alone. It’s extremely tough and can withstand being thrown about by uncaring baggage handling staff and a turbulent flight! With 6 wheels in total, it’s also very portable and easy to push around the airport.
As long as you stick to the rules in terms of what you can place inside your golf bag, your next golf short break or vacation should be made even more special with the knowledge that your prized golfing possessions are being safely tucked away ready for the golf course!