Golf is a great game in that you can play it worldwide. But that can also come with some headaches. A full set of clubs is a hefty item to lug around, and getting them to your destination in one piece is not always a simple task. Travel bags do a good job of keeping your babies safe in transit, but sometimes you need to take some extra steps.
As a golf writer crisscrossing the country each year, I’ve done my fair share of travel with clubs in tow. I’ve never had a serious issue (fingers crossed) and below are some of the hacks I’ve used to keep it that way.
1. Take the head off your woods
When packing your clubs in preparation for transit, take the time to remove the heads off of your woods. Use a torque wrench (these usually come with a driver when you purchase it) to loosen the screw where the shaft meets the head and take it all the way off. Wrap your clubhead in a towel and put it in the large pocket on the side of your golf bag. This process decreases the likelihood of your clubhead snapping off in transit. Just make sure you take note of the setting your clubs were on before you remove anything!
2. Stiff arm
For an added layer of protection, throw a stiff arm in your bag when you’re flying. This device is designed to absorb the brunt of any accidental crunching at the top of your bag and can prevent a snapped driver shaft. Don’t want to invest in a stiff arm? Use a broom handle! Just make sure it’s longer than the longest club in your bag.
3. Bubble wrap your irons
If you don’t want any dings and scrapes on your irons from the jostling that comes in transit, throw some bubble wrap around the heads. Or, you can kills two birds with one stone and use your socks as makeshift head covers. Whatever it takes to keep your scoring clubs blemish-free.
4. Add an Airtag
If you’re like me, waiting for your clubs to be delivered to baggage claim is an anxiety-inducing event. What if they got lost in transit? What if they got stolen! But ever since I put an Apple Airtag in my bag, my anxieties have been assuaged. Now, I can check the location of my clubs from the second I drop them with the baggage agent until they are safely back in my possession. It’s the best $30 I’ve ever spent.
5. Fill it up
Travel bags are designed to be roomy to fit even the largest of staff bags, but that extra space can come at the risk of your clubs. With so much room inside bag, the more your clubs can move around and find trouble. To alleviate this, fill that extra space with soft goods like towels, shirts and shoes. The less empty space inside the bag, the more protected your clubs will be.
This article originally appeared on Golf.com.