Golf and golf equipment

Scarlett

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Hello fellow golfers.

I know that @JohnK and @theblank are other keen golfers on AFF and I’m sure there are more. I thought the idea of a thread which can contain consolidated golf travel related information might be useful. Things such as:
- any recommendations for playing in city xx_
- what’s airline xx_ policy of carrying golf clubs
- what useful travel related golf gadgets have you found
If I knew how (and there’s some sort of demand) I might ask the admin types to see if this thread could end up with a pinned wiki style first post that lists golf related regulations per airline. Sort of as a one stop shop for info if you’re looking to take your clubs on a new carrier.

Or even, hey I’m currently playing golf in xx_ and I want to show off a couple of nice images.
 
So, having got that out of the way, I now need to ask a question and hope that someone might have the answer:

I’m considering flying 5J (Cebu) for a stand alone domestic connection in the Philippines PPS-MNL. There is a PR (Philippine Airlines) option as well, but the 5J gives me a two hour longer connection in MNL and it would be the family and I connecting to a couple of TG J flights to get home, so the connection is important. I’ve heard that connecting in MNL can be ‘problematic’, so the 5J option gives much more flexibility.

However, and this is why it’s golf related, 5J will carry golf clubs for a cost, like most LCCs, but have the following regulation on their website:

Golf Clubs

The bag and clubs must be fully enclosed in a hard shell container specifically designed for shipping. Will not be accepted if packed only with a vinyl or canvas cover.

I’ve taken my clubs to 70+ countries in a strong canvas bag covering the actual golf bag and (touch wood) have never had a problem, and I don’t have a hard shell case.

So the key question is, does any one know what is the reality? Will they really not carry the clubs at all if packed in a soft shell case? Or is this just the legal basis for not covering any damage if it were to happen, because practical experience shows they will check in all golf bags if paid for (and you sign the little waiver thing on the back of the bag tag). Anyone know?

The airline doesn’t appear to have an email or phone contact number on their website; socials only.
 
I saw this idea recently for protecting clubs

Also another suggestion from a touring pro was to unscrew your adjustable driver/fairway/hybrid heads and stick them in the bag to minimise chance of damage

Ffcj6I1X0AQ3v1Q.jpeg
 
@Scarlett sorry cant help with 5J but I've taken the soft shell golf cover bag for the past 16 years with some minor issues. 2 drivers snapped and bag damaged a few times with some free replacements.

The current bag has quite a few holes. I've been thinking about getting the hard shell golf bag cover.
 
I found a ‘contact us’ form for 5J and sent them a query, noting that I’d read their website description, quoting the hard shell part of it, and asking whether soft shell golf transport bags were completely prohibited.

Pleasingly, they responded in an hour. 👍

Moronically, they sent me a direct cut and paste from the website and appended a ‘we hope this answers your question’. 😖

<currently booking the PR flights>

I saw this idea recently for protecting clubs
I had read about using a standard laundry bucket 🪣 as a golf club head protector. That Home Depot bucket (and most of the tougher ones you see tradies getting about with) looks like it would be even stiffer.
 
Some recent golf imagery:

- Checking out the course with an evening stroll the night before playing at Paradise Hotel and Resort, an hour out of Manado, Nth Sulawesi, Indonesia.
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This is what the first tee looked like during the day.
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I was the only person playing golf that morning, so chances are it won’t be a golf course for much longer. In fact I can’t see how the resort there can survive with the minimal number of guests it had.
 
Some shots of my local course that I get out to play every week or two.
IMG_1020.jpeg

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I’ve only had to pay for golf clubs on a couple of airlines recently, due to the extra bag afforded status holders being used for my golf bag.

Flights this year:
- Citilink (QG - IDN LCC). Nil cost due to joining their Citisport program which is a one off ~$45 payment, then take a set of golf clubs for free every time you fly for a year. ~$30 annual renewal thereafter.

- Super Air Jet (IU - IDN LCC part of Lion Air group). Approx $45 for the golf bag covering both a Super Air Jet and the below Wings flights as a direct connection.

- Wings Air (IW - IDN LCC feeder airline for Lion Air). Usually $30-50 per flight for a golf bag.

- Lion Air (ID - IDN LCC). Same sporting goods cost structure for all Lion group airlines.

- Garuda Indonesia. 1 Golf bag (in addition to standard free suitcase as checked luggage) is allowed for free.

- SQ, TK, TP, LH, LX and SN. I’ve taken my golf bag for free due to TK gold status on these *A airlines. (and some J tickets)

- UL, IB and QR. Golf bag for free due to QF LTG status on these oneworld airlines. (and some J tickets)

- Vueling (VY - Spanish LCC). €45 for golf bag on four hour flight SID-BCN.

Weirdest one was a few years ago flying Belavia, the national airline of Belarus, from Vilnius, Lithuania, to Minsk. (back before Putin decided to reconfirm Russia’s status as the international bad guys and Belarus as their vassal state went along with them). Belavia allow golf clubs for free. Even though no one at check in or other airline reps even knew what they were. There’s only one golf course in the entire country so not surprising really that they didn’t know.
 
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A beautiful day down at Torquay yesterday.
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Fairways very dry but the grass was still alive. Just perfect for golf in the early evening as the wind died down. My positive view of the course and day certainly helped by consecutive birdies on the final two holes! 😀
 
Does anyone know of a ‘golf tracker’ similar to those we use for tracking flights? Eg: I use Openflights, and I know plenty of others use FR24’s tracker.

I have my own spreadsheet which I use to track games (391 courses played in Aus and another ~200 internationally) and I also maintain a separate google user map to pin all the courses, but wondering if there’s a single tool for doing both?

An excerpt from my google map currently looks like this:
IMG_2327.png

Anyway, off for a hit at the little 9-hole Geelong GC now and then 36 holes tomorrow at Lonsdale Links in the morning and then Mornington GC in the afternoon.
 
Has anyone told the Egyptians that one of their key attractions has run off and is now hiding behind the 2nd green at Geelong Golf Club?

IMG_2329.jpeg
😜

Either that or Clive Palmer has brought the course and has embarked on another of his hare-brained ‘enhancements’!
 
I have my own spreadsheet which I use to track games (391 courses played in Aus and another ~200 internationally) and I also maintain a separate google user map to pin all the courses, but wondering if there’s a single tool for doing both?

I do too and I'm close to 350 golf courses and I thought I was doing OK but nowhere near your total. Well done.

Also I suspect we may count golf courses differently.

e.g. Moore Park in Sydney has had multiple redesigns where if you'd played the course 30 years ago you're playing a different course today. I count each variation as a new course but variation has to be significant.
 
I'm about to take my clubs OS for the first time on SQ. Doesn't appear that there's a fee. My bag is a soft cover type and will just fit with the SQ dimensions. A mate who's a US-based touring pro uses a thing that looks like a giant plunger but I use a broom handle that's longer than my driver in case the bag gets thrown head first into a wall or something. He has those excellent Titleist bags. They're super expensive but worth it if you're flying a lot with clubs. I like the bucket idea too and might try that.

I've been playing for 40 years but I've never kept track of courses I've played. It'd be way fewer than you guys though. I did just have my first hole-in-one last month though. Pured a 6 iron that always looked good. Alas, didn't see it go in though as there's a bump that blocks sight to the green.
 
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