Are Golf Clubs Considered Oversize Luggage

It’s always good to be prepared when you’re going through an airport. If you’re traveling with golf clubs, you’ll need to know if they’re oversize luggage to save yourself time and money during the process of going through security. 

Golf Clubs aren’t in and of themselves oversize luggage. However, there are size and weight requirements your set will have to conform to to keep it under the oversize designation. The size requirements range from 62 inches to 126 amongst the “big four” airlines. They all require 50 or fewer pounds of weight. 

If you’re preparing to fly for your next golf trip, you’ll want to know what qualifies as oversize luggage and what protocols you should be aware of to save time at the airport. Below we will lay out the requirements each of the “big four” airlines have for taking golf clubs then we’ll provide you with some tips to plan and pack as efficiently as possible.  

Make sure you check out the recommended golf luggage bags below. You want to make sure you protect your clubs when traveling!

What Counts as Oversize Luggage on the Big Four Airlines?

Different airlines have different standards as to what counts as oversize luggage when it comes to sporting equipment. All of them even have special requirements as to what can and can’t go into those bags. 

Below we’ll break down the requirements each of the “big four” airlines place over flying with golf clubs:  

Taking Golf Clubs on American Airlines

American is one of the most popular airlines in the world. They last updated their standards for what is considered oversized luggage in 2021

Below we break down the requirements of American Airlines:

  • Number of golf bags permitted: On American, you can only travel with one golf bag, so be sure and pack efficiently. That bag can be in a hard case or a soft sided case, though you have to assume all responsibility for it. 
  • What can go in the bag: It can only contain up to 1 pair of golf shoes, golf clubs, golf balls,  and golf tees. 
  • Size and weight requirements: You’ll only have to pay standard check fees for items 50lbs or less with a total of 126 inches for its length, width and height. If your bag is between 51lbs and 70lbs a $150 fee will apply. 
  • Other information you should know: They do not permit people to travel with swingless golf club load strips. 

Taking Golf Clubs on Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is considered the second biggest airline in America. If you’re traveling with them you’ll need to know what requirements they put on traveling with golf equipment. 

Below we break down the requirements of Delta Airlines on Golf Clubs:

  • Number of bags permitted: As with American, Delta Airlines permits one golf bag per passenger. So if you’re traveling with a friend or family member who shares your love of golf, you can each take your bag. 
  • What can go in the bag: The bag can only contain one set of golf clubs, one pair of golf shoes and both golf ball and golf tees.  
  • Size and weight requirements: Delta allows for up to 50 pounds per golf bag. The sum of the length width and height must not exceed 115 linear inches
  • Other information you should know: You must package your golf clubs in a hard case or soft sided golf travel bag if you’ve signed a release. Delta does not take responsibility for any damage that may happen on the flight, so you’ll want to pack everything carefully. 

Taking Golf Clubs on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is known for its friendly service and lower prices than the other “big four airlines.” So how exactly do they stack up to the others when it comes to their requirements for golf equipment?

Below we break down the requirements of Southwest Airlines on Golf Clubs:

  • Number of bags permitted: One golf bag per passenger is permitted. 
  • What can go in the bag: The bag can include clubs, golf balls, tees, and golf shoes. 
  • Size and weight requirements: Like all three of the other “big four” airlines, your set of golf clubs cannot weigh more than 50 pounds. Unfortunately, the trade off for Southwest’s deals and overall lower prices is that the sum of the length, width, and height must be 62 inches or less. 
  • Other information you should know: You must either bring your hard case, or you can bring a  hooded or soft sided carrying case, provided you’re okay with it being under limit release.  

Taking Golf Clubs on United Airlines

United Airlines boasts having the most robust route network. Still, just because they can get you where you want to be doesn’t necessarily mean their policies will align with your needs. Let’s take a look at them and find out. 

Below we break down the requirements of United Airlines on Golf Clubs:

  • Number of bags permitted: You can only carry one golf bag per passenger, with one set of golf clubs inside.  
  • What can go in the bag: Along with the one set of golf clubs, your bag can have golf balls, golf tees and one set of golf shoes.  
  • Size and weight requirements: Your bag cannot be bigger than 62 linear inches, and it must weigh 50 lbs or less not to be considered oversized luggage. 
  • Other information you should know: Everything must be packaged appropriately, so make sure nothing is hanging out of the sides or loose. There are also service charges for extra bags. 

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Best Travel Luggage Bags (3 Price Points)

Tips for Packing Your Golf Equipment Efficiently

Now that you know what your airline deems oversize luggage when it comes to golf clubs, let’s review a few tips to help you plan and pack efficiently. The following tips should help you both save time at the airport and maximize what you can bring: 

Planing with Your Equipment in Mind

The fact that you’re on this page suggests that you’ve already started this step. Most of the time, when people run into problems with oversize luggage, it’s because they didn’t even stop to consider it might be a problem. Depending on your bag’s size, you could save a lot of money depending on the airline you chose. 

  • Consider which airlines policies allow you the most bang for your buck. If your bag is under 62 linear inches Southwest might be your most economic option.
  • Think about cab services you may have to take when you get there: The worst situation would be to find your equipment doesn’t really fit in a cab when you need one. Considering this can save you time. 
  • Pack your clubs tightly so they don’t move around: At most airlines, when something is damaged in flight, the responsibility falls on the passenger. Ensuring your clubs are packed tightly could save you a lot of headaches in the future. 
Make sure your clubs arrive in one piece and spend some decent money on your luggage carrier!

So Really, Are Golf Clubs Considered Oversize Luggage?

Golf clubs are not themselves considered oversized luggage at any of the major airlines. Each airline has its own particular rules governing how many bags you can bring, their height and weight as well as what can go inside them. Generally, if you can keep it under 50 lbs and under 62 inches you’ll be all set. 

If 62 inches is too small you should try an airline like Delta or American. At the end of the day you should just make sure you bring what you know you’re actually going to use. Also, don’t forget that equipment which presents dangers, such as swingless golf club load strips, may not be permitted. With the proper planning, you’ll be flying to your next golf spot in no time!

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