The need for a club shipping service is a growing and popular trend. After my experience with Luggage Forward, I feel the bar has been set very high!
This post is going to be a little different from my standard subject of tackling the Top 100 Courses in America. With 15 courses down and at least another two on the docket for next year, I wanted to try something a bit different. I was invited to team up with an amazing amateur for the Stocker Cup, out at The Preserve Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design, this past October. With all the work travel I had prior, I reached out to Luggage Forward inquiring about sending my golf bag ahead of me to Carmel, CA. They offered to do this for free for my first shipment, and wow; they have a customer for life (note: they will be the only ones I allow to touch my bag in my upcoming trip in July to Cabot Links).
The process is very simple. You go on their website, enter your origin and destination, including any specific information about each (sending it to someone’s attention, guest at a specific hotel, etc.), what you are shipping, and your timeline for shipping (depending on the speed of which you need your bag shipped, they will present you with different rates and options).
Luggage Forward sends all kinds of luggage, but in my case, this review will focus on my golf clubs shipping via UPS.
Additionally, if you aren’t too tech savvy, I found their Customer Service incredibly responsive, extremely easy to converse with, and just overall phenomenal. What made this particular trip even more enjoyable was that I was overseas when I arranged it, and with terrible cell phone service, I arranged everything via social media (On Twitter – @LuggageForward) and e-mail within 24 hours, start to finish.
If they can pull that off through e-mail with my time changes, I can only imagine calling them would be even simpler. And now that I have an account, I will be arranging my next shipment directly on their website (linked above) and have it complete within minutes!
Once you have secured your travel plans, you will receive an e-mail with your Booking Confirmation and tracking numbers for your luggage’s journey. Your shipping labels will arrive a few days before the arranged pickup date along with instructions for attaching them to your luggage.
In my case, I needed to have the clubs picked up from my hotel in Dallas (note that I live in St. Louis, but had them with me on the first leg of my trip) – thus ensuring they would arrive at the club before my tournament. On September 30th, I received an e-mail from Luggage Forward noting that my envelope with labels had been generated and shipped to my hotel, with a tracking number for the FedEx package. Upon arrival at my hotel on October 11th, I was able to pick up the shipping documents they had sent from the concierge at the Marriott:
Inside the package, there was a Welcome letter and a few business cards and magnet. All extremely high quality.
Additionally, there were Instructions for attaching the label to my golf clubs (or another type of luggage)
And finally, there was the actual shipping label that I would be attaching to my travel bag and sending out to California.
It was super easy to attach the label to my travel case and the shape fit perfectly around the handle of my travel case where I was instructed to place the shipper. No sticking messy labels to the soft case or anything. The clubs were now ready to be dropped off with my concierge (or they also offer other options for shipping, such as pickup or drop-off at a convenient location near you).
The morning the clubs were set to ship out, I walked the clubs down to my concierge, and he whisked them away to the shipping area to be picked up by UPS. Upon pickup later that day, I automatically received an e-mail with a confirmation stating they had been picked up by UPS.
I forgot to write down the tracking number from the label, but what is even cooler is that Luggage Forward sends you e-mails each time your clubs are scanned into a new destination, and does this all by showing your package on a map of the US (or wherever they might be heading).
This feature is incredibly convenient and makes it very easy to follow along while your clubs are on their journey.
My clubs were guaranteed to arrive on Tuesday of the following week (I would be arriving on Thursday and wanted to spare a day to ensure a slight hiccup – weather, natural disaster, etc. – wouldn’t spoil my chances of getting my clubs). However, mid-day Monday afternoon I received an e-mail that my clubs had been signed for by the head pro out at The Preserve GC! They were on-site!!
Upon my arrival on Thursday, I only asked the attendant for the clubs and she brought them right up to me, entirely intact.
Did Luggage Forward clean them while they were on their journey or something??
I have never received the bag back so spotless from any airline (and I’m a highly preferred traveler). I was thrilled at the process and of being reunited with my clubs. The whole experience was very smooth. I have heard from others that their experience has been similar and am so happy to have stumbled upon this fantastic company for my future travels.
In conclusion, if you are going on a long trip, don’t want to haul your clubs through the airport, etc, etc., use Luggage Forward – you will not be disappointed! There is a slight premium to checking your clubs with the airline (usually $35 each way, max), but the peace of mind that your luggage will meet you on the other side and not be subjected to the torture underneath the airport is 110% worth it.
As I said, I will be using them for my trip in July to Cabot Links, as will my buddy. I’m excited for him to witness firsthand just how wonderful the whole experience is!
Please visit their website by clicking HERE, and give them a try.
I know that this trip was free, and it’s always hard to be critical when you received a service for free, but I can guarantee that I would have gladly paid for this trip (and will be a paying, repeat customer from this point forward). My one complaint about the process was that I had to be without my clubs for a few extra days in advance of shipping – so no last minute range sessions/quick 18. However, that was an incredibly small price to pay, and as I’ve mentioned, I could have used a more rapid service to have minimized some of that time had I wanted.
Otherwise, the entire experience was phenomenal! Thank you to everyone at Luggage Forward that helped me, I can’t wait to return!!
And for those of you out there wondering where my Olympia Fields CC post is, that weekend didn’t quite turn out like I had wanted it to, but it was still fantastic. I was stung by a wasp on the 3rd hole, felt sick for the next 7, and had to be taken in after 10. So yeah, we’ll try that another time.
However, the facility was fabulous, and I got the opportunity to watch some of the best college golfers take on Olympia Fields as part of the Illini Invitational. Thanks to my buddy Chris for having me up, and we’ll just have to try again in the spring (along with maybe a few other clubs?!?).