ORLANDO -- Odds are, when I travel, I'm bringing my golf clubs. It's just how it is.
The options to travel with your sticks are typically less than ideal. If you choose a soft case, as I typically do, then I risk the very real possibility of my clubs getting damaged en route to my destination because of a high-impact collision or fall, or just plain negligence by the baggage handlers at the airline. If I go with a hard case, which I have, then I'm agreeing to lug something around that takes up a bit more space and is way heavier. The protection is better, but the in-hand experience isn't.
New Zealander, Pat McGuire, has come up with a product he feels blends the benefits of both while simultaneously doubling as a cart bag. The company is called Aeroe and the product, yet to be released, is the GolfPod ($600). At 6.5 lbs empty, the GolfPod is not much heavier than your typical stand bag. Made of high-quality, durable plastic, the product stands up to any larger hard case.
When you open the top to the GolfPod, it reveals a golf bag, complete with 14 full-length dividers and a small integrated bar to keep your woods or hybrids from shuffling around in the front row. On the sides are two molded pockets to store additional small stuff. Then on the side of the GolfPod is a pair of identical compartments designed to store a drink, golf balls, tees and other accessories.
The company also will make an accessory to latch onto the top of a car's luggage rack, freeing up room inside a car for a road trip -- often a major reason why a golfer doesn't take their clubs on a family vacation.
The idea is really a bright one and a good investment for folks who like to travel with their sticks but hate to travel with their sticks. Right now, the company is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to propel them forward faster. If you donate $295 now, you can get a black matte GolfPod when it's released, basically get half off what will be the retail price when the product starts shipping this fall.