Travelling with golf clubs

May 18th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Travelling with golf clubs

We are two couples planning a trip to London and various parts of Scotland for 2 weeks. The men would like to take there own clubs and I am wondering how difficult it is travelling by plane and rail with the clubs. We will be staying at one location in London for 6 days, then flying to Edinburgh for 2 days, Carnoustie for 3 days, and then various locations in Scotland ending in Inverness. We would like to travel around Scotland by rail rather than renting a van. How hard is it to travel with clubs?
rushed is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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My husband is an avid golfer and we are big train riders and I think he would never in a million years travel with luggage and clubs on a train for such a trip where you move around a lot. And we travel with 2 kids in a humongous double stroller with 2 weeks of bags by train, but no way with clubs.

First and foremost, I think you may have a problem finding somewhere to put 2 sets of clubs. The luggage stalls tend to be shelving type areas made for suitcases. Could they lift them over their heads for overhead storage?? My husband may do this for ONE train ride, but not for lots.

Another point is train connections. You may have a few minutes to get on and off trains, change platforms, up and down stairs, etc. Can the men do this with their luggage plus clubs. It will definitely be cumbersome to get the clubs out of wherever you have stored them and off of the train, plus luggage.

I would suggest that they rent clubs there. Lots of people do it. Or else have the men load up their clubs in their carrying bag, load up a 2 week suitcase, and take a 20 minute walk with both and at the beginning and end of the walk lift the clubs over their heads a couple of times. Is this something they would be willing to repeat every couple of days?
where2 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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How hard? Hard. Can't they rent clubs when they find a course to play? I can't imagine dragging around train stations with 4 people's luggage and 2 people's golf clubs to "various locations". Really bad idea imo.

suze is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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Most golfers seem to think if you are playing the Old Course you should have your own clubs. I suppose most people who go to golf have only one destination, but we are trying to combine golf and sightseeing. They may have to accept renting. I'd like to hear from some locals.
rushed is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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Have they done this before? I made my first trip to Europe in 1969 (including the UK) and have been back numerous times. I have never seen anyone carrying golf clubs. Obviously that doesn't mean people don't; I just haven't seen it. Seems to me there's a reason I haven't seen it.

I think where2's suggestion about having them practice with carrying them around with a suitcase is a good idea (assuming they haven't done this before). When our daughter's high school band/choir went to Europe last summer, the kids were totally responsible for their luggage. A week before they left, the directors had them take their suitcases, carryons, etc and carry them 3 times the length of the football field to give them an idea about what they would have to do to carry their luggage. It was amazing how much the kids decided they could do without. Not a bad idea.
dfr4848 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Good lord, what a horrible concept!

If you live in a metropolitan area, I'd say ask them to pack a suitcase, grab their clubs and walk 10 blocks or so, then hop on a couple of buses or commuter trains.

That should end the discussion.
StCirq is online now  
May 18th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Could each couple share one suitcase? One person could carry the suitcase and the other could carry the clubs.

Also, when my husband and I take our golf clubs, he takes a big bag and I put my clubs in with his. Maybe both golfers could take just what is absolutely necessary in one bag.
BoniseA is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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This is a hard call. Most golfers don't combine sightseeing and golf trips to Scotland. How about shipping your clubs to Scotland and reconsider renting a van once there? If that's not an option, I would definitely advise renting. Not a great option for avid golfers, but there's no way I would lug my clubs on trains and other public modes of transportation.
emckeeve is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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There are always those moments while traveling that everyone is hot (or cold, or soaking wet), tired, lost, and cranky.

I don't think I could trust myself not to use the golf club as a weapon.

Especially if those golf clubs were interfering with my enjoyment of the trip, or cramping my style in any way, because I was lugging them around like an albatros.

Apres_Londee is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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OK - be honest here - are they scratch golfers and have expensive, custom made clubs- That is one thing. Or are they normal 15-25 handicappers and the actual clubs won't make much difference??. And how many rounds are they playing?

They won't want to schlepp the clubs in/out of London so they can store the clubs at the airport for about £6 a day. That is what golfers I've taken to the the UK have done a couple of times.

BTW - the train does go to Carnoustie - but there is no rail service to St Andrews.

What do the non-players plan on doing w/ 3 days at Carnoustie and a car?

What other "various locations" were you planning on? Makes a biiiig difference whether trains make any sense. Everyone will have to handle their own bags on/off the trains so if the DO take clubs they darn well better pack light otherwise.
janisj is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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I am a golfer and a Great Britain train vacationer. Either rent a van and take the clubs or rent clubs and take the train.actually I would strongly recommend that the golfers go on a golf package designed for only golf and the non-golfers do typical tourist stuff by train.
rogerdodger is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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oops - should have said "What do the non-players plan on doing w/ 3 days at Carnoustie and no car?"

to give you a bit of perspective -- rogerdodger is one of the very biggest advocates for rail travel on Fodors. He travels all over the UK by train (to a lot more places than I'd attempt) and even he says rent a vehicle if you take your own clubs. If you hire clubs instead, you can get around by train.

But do tell us where else you are going - trains don't go everywhere . . . .
janisj is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Wow! I feel like I'm really being taken to task for even asking. My husband is a fairly good golfer and usually shoots 80 or lower. I'll have to ask about his handicap. I think the other guy going is a decent player too. After Edinburgh and Carnoustie, we were going to head towards the Isle of Skye and end up at Inverness. Our plans are still fluid. The only thing we have set are tees times and hotel reservations in Carnoustie. I'm not sure what we will do there for 3 days while our husbands are golfing, but my friend is an avid hiker and she will do that if I want some down time. It's really sounding like the guys are going to have to sacrifice their clubs.
rushed is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Just to pile on some more

You do realize that trains don't go to Skye, right? Trains go to Mallaig - but from there you'd be on a ferry and buses (or to the Kyle of Lochalsh and buses from there). Lugging golf clubs?? I sure hope not.

Do I understand that your total trip is 2 weeks -- or do you have 2 weeks just for the Scotland bit?

If the total trip is 2 weeks - after 6 days in London, 2 in Edinburgh, and 3 in Carnoustie you won't have time to get to Skye and "various locations".
janisj is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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No way do you take the golf clubs with you.
caroltis is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Serious golfers will undergo whatever rigors are necessary so they can play with their own equipment. Rental clubs are "one-size-fits-none" - totally unacceptable for anyone with a single-digit handicap.

They will have travel cases for their clubs, and within Scotland public transit makes accommodations for the national game. I would say check them on the flight to London, send them ahead to your hotel in Edinburgh, then schlep them around on your tour.

Don't worry about the hoteliers not taking good care of them, because golf has achieved somewhat of a sacramental status - they will understand why you need to store them pending your arrival.

When I lived in Scotland as a student, I would often see people riding bicycles down the street with their golf bags slung across their backs.
Robespierre is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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I will second the suggestion to rent a van. It will free you up to visit out-of-the-way places such as Dornoch, Nairn, Cruden Bay, North Berwick, Crail, etc. If you decide to go with this suggestion, be sure to rent a 5-6 person van to accomodate luggage, golf clubs, and people.


Jinx Hoover
_jinx_ is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 06:53 PM
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I have talked to my husband and he said he just wants the experience of golfing in Scotland; it doesn't matter how well he plays. He'd also like to play a course in London, so he is willing to rent clubs. I'm not sure about our travelling partner though. I don't know how much we'll be able to do after Carnoustie in 4 days but we'll have to try.
rushed is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 09:44 PM
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My husband and his friends golfed the Old Course last summer and I know one of the guys did not bring his clubs, but rented. So it must not be unheard of.
where2 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:51 AM
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How do pro golfers operate?
GSteed is offline  

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