Whether selling old golf clubs on eBay or sending them across the country for a golfing excursion, finding the cheapest ways to ship golf clubs is a hassle. Shipping comes with an array of problems. Golf clubs are oblong and delicate, and locating a well-fitted box seems almost impossible. Add in the cost of a reputable carrier that won’t damage your clubs, and you’re in quite a pickle.
But fear not, avid golfer or golf-loving entrepreneur. You can find plenty of ways to effectively pack and protect your golf clubs, all while getting the lowest possible shipping costs. Here’s how to do it.
Shipping golf clubs can seem downright expensive. The increased cost of logistics, labor, fuel, and operating costs for major shipping companies has drastically impacted prices for the consumer. Though carriers treat golf club shipping like any other shipping service, golf clubs may incur higher costs than you expected for several reasons:
Unfortunately, pinpointing an exact shipping rate for your golf clubs isn’t easy. Too many variables can impact your shipping costs, but for the sake of budgeting, let’s look at some basic cost structures (prices for single golf clubs):
If you’re shipping multiple clubs together or an entire set, expect to pay a minimum of $100, with prices rising all the way to $600 or $700, depending on the weight and distance.
Considering the shipping factors above and the multiple available carriers, the only surefire method to find the cheapest way to ship golf clubs is to shop around. Most shipping companies have a shipping calculator, which can help you find the best rate. Whatever your needs, you have plenty of shipping options to suit your budget or other needs.
The truly cheapest way to ship golf clubs is to gas up your ride, put on the brown UPS uniform, and do it yourself. Alright, you don’t have to put on the uniform, but if your buyer or your preferred golf course is within driving distance, you can save yourself some serious cash.
The United States Postal Service is probably the cheapest way to ship golf clubs. Their prices start at around $40 for a single club thanks to its flat-rate Retail Ground service — although shipments can take two to eight days to arrive. You can also use USPS Priority Mail Express for a few bucks more if you need your clubs more quickly (one to three business days).
Conveniently, the USPS offers free cardboard tubes that double as great golf club shipping boxes, cutting your costs even more.
UPS Ground is another option that’s moderately affordable. The average price to send golf clubs via UPS Ground is around $110. The reason behind the sharp price increase is that UPS doesn’t offer flat-rate pricing for golf clubs, which can increase your shipping costs exponentially.
A bonus of using UPS Ground is visiting your local UPS Store. At these retail locations, you can purchase bubble wrap and shipping supplies, and they’ll print a shipping label for you, so you don’t need a printer. You can also get advice from employees on the best or cheapest ways to ship golf clubs while keeping them damage-free.
Like UPS Ground, FedEx doesn’t have flat-rate pricing for golf clubs. Prices are comparable to UPS, often costing you around $110 to $120 to ship a single club. FedEx also has retail shops that have shipping supplies and knowledgeable employees.
Featured in Golf Digest, USA Today, Forbes, and other publications, Ship Sticks is the premier golf club shipping service specifically devoted to shipping a set of golf clubs for personal use. It’s also one of the cheapest ways to ship golf clubs worldwide — providing service to 220 countries.
Shipping prices start at $49, and the company offers complimentary $1,000 insurance on every shipment. However, the company typically works with entire sets of golf clubs, and it’s not always the cheapest option.
Simply log into Ship Sticks, select your origin/destination, and choose your preferred date. The website then shows you the exact prices for each date, so you’re never surprised about charges like you might be at a parcel service.
The only downside is that you must still purchase a box, shipping supplies, and a golf travel bag and print out your shipping labels. But with free insurance, it might be a great option for your favorite clubs.
If you live in Europe, DHL is probably the cheapest way to ship golf clubs outside your country’s postal service. The main advantage of DHL is that they’re more reputable than some of the postal services in Europe in terms of quality, handling, and time frame. They may offer better insurance and easier claims processing in the event of golf club damage.
If you want to ensure a damage-free club shipment, you need to pack your clubs properly. Fortunately, it’s not all that different from packing any other fragile item. Whether you’re shipping a new mallet putter or a powerful driver, follow these steps to keep your golf clubs in tip-top condition on their journey to a buyer or your next golf outing.
This isn’t always necessary, but removing the club head can decrease the chance of snapping it off the shaft during shipping. The location where the club meets the shaft — known as the golf hosel — is the weakest part of the club and easily susceptible to damage. The further you ship your golf clubs, the more you should consider club head removal, especially if you sell them and don’t have to reassemble them at your destination.
To remove the club head, secure the shaft in a vice or other secure holding device. Heat the golf hosel with a butane torch and slowly wiggle the club head back and forth until it pops off. Use sandpaper to remove any old adhesive. Make sure to mark the settings and how the club head is seated.
Note: To reattach a club head, you only need epoxy or epiglue. Put a decent amount on the bottom of the shaft and push the club head back into place. You typically need about 24 hours for the glue to dry, so plan accordingly.
The best way to ship club heads is to use bubble wrap and then use a head cover for added cushioning. If you don’t have a head cover, extra layers of bubble wrap can do the trick without issue.
Like the club head, the best way to ship a golf club shaft is by wrapping it in bubble wrap. Once you have it wrapped, buy or find a piece of cardboard that’s the same length as the shaft. Bend this piece of cardboard into a square that fits perfectly over the shaft, effectively keeping the bubble wrap and the shaft in place during shipping.
Shipping tubes from USPS are ideal. If you don’t ship with them, you’re looking at about a $8 to $10 charge for each tube from office supply or shipping stores. Keep that in mind if you’re shipping multiple clubs.
Once you have a packing tube, put some bubble wrap on the bottom. Then, put the club head and shaft into the package. Shove more bubble wrap on top, ensure the top and bottom are taped, and you’re done.
If you’re shipping an entire set, measure your golf bag before you buy a box. Alternatively, consider a golf travel bag — either a hard or soft case — which you can get from about $60 to $200. However, it adds another layer of protection to keep your golf clubs safe.
Regardless of where you’re going or how many clubs you’re shipping, always go with your gut. Read reviews, ask workers for advice at retail locations, and compare prices. If a price seems too good to be true, go with your instincts. Sometimes, the cheapest way to ship golf clubs includes the price of peace of mind.
As a final word of advice, make sure that you get a tracking number for your clubs. You don’t want an angry buyer or a scenario where you arrive at your destination, and your clubs are AWOL. Happy shipping!