Rules for Flights in the USA
In the United States, you are allowed to bring golf balls in hand and cargo baggage without any restrictions. There isn’t any limit on how many balls you can pack in your carry-on or checked luggage, so you can pack as many as you’d like. Still, your luggage should comply with the airline’s standards for a bag’s size and weight.
If the golf balls are filled with liquid and are packed in hand luggage, then they must follow the liquid’s rule. They should fit together with other toiletries in a 1-quart clear resealable plastic bag.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand it isn’t specified if golf balls are allowed or not in planes. But the rules are similar to the rules in the United States and generally, golf balls are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage. In carry-on, they are limited by the size and weight restrictions of each airline. If they have liquid in their core, golf balls must also follow the liquids rule for each country which generally establishes a 3.4 ounces / 10 milliliter limit per container and all liquids must go in a clear resealable bag. The liquids rule doesn’t apply to domestic flights in Australia and New Zealand because most of their airports now have the new 3D CT scanners, which don’t require liquids in small quantities.
United Kingdom, China, Europe
In the United Kingdom, China, and Europe, golf balls are allowed on planes. However, some airlines might impose a limit on how many balls you can take in your cabin baggage or your golf kit bag. Golf bags with liquid inside traveling in a carry-on are also subject to each country’s liquid rules.
In India, it is not specified if golf balls are allowed in planes. However, Indian authorities do specify that golf kits are allowed exclusively in checked baggage. It isn’t specified if golf balls alone are allowed in cabin baggage, but there have been cases of passengers losing similar items while going through airport security.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring golf balls on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Golf Balls on Planes
How many golf balls can I carry on a plane?
Generally, there aren’t any limits to how many golf balls you can take on a plane in the United States. However, the total number of golf balls in carry-on luggage is limited by each airline’s size and weight restrictions. Golf balls that have liquid inside instead of rubber, must follow the liquids rule in hand baggage, and be packed with all other liquids in a clear resealable bag. Therefore, they are limited to how many balls can fit in the toiletry bag. In a golf kit or a golf bag, some airlines impose a limit on how many golf balls you can carry, which is usually between 8 and 15 balls.
Will I need to pay taxes if I buy golf balls overseas and fly back home?
You will need to pay taxes (duty) on the golf balls you buy overseas if they exceed the free exemption limit established by U.S Customs and Border Protection. The CBP establishes duty-free exemptions depending on the monetary value of the goods, where you bought them, and the purpose of those goods. Generally, each person can import around $800 in free-duty items if the goods are for their personal use and if they are traveling with them (other restrictions apply for mailed goods). However, passengers should declare everything bought overseas, including golf balls, and should check with CBP if they are covered under the exemption. Not declaring golf balls bought overseas might get them confiscated.
Do I need to take out golf balls when going through security?
In general, you don’t need to take golf balls out of your bag when going through airport security. The TSA rule states that only electronics larger than a phone, liquids, and powders should be taken out of the bag when going through security. If your golf balls have liquid inside them, then you have to take them out when going through security. Ultimately, even if they aren’t liquid-filled, security agents might want to do a physical inspection of golf balls in your carry-on luggage.
Should I pack golf balls in my carry-on or checked luggage?
It’s best to pack your golf balls in checked baggage, but ultimately, it depends on your preferences and how many you’re carrying. Golf balls are generally allowed in carry-on and checked baggage without major problems. Nonetheless, too many golf balls can add too much weight to your carry-on or might catch the security guard’s attention at the airport. Golf balls aren’t a necessity inside the airplane either, so it’s best to pack them in your checked baggage. If you’re afraid of losing your golf bars then it’s best to pack them in a carry-on.
But, keep in mind that golf balls with liquid inside traveling in hand baggage must be packed along with other liquids inside a clear resealable bag, which means the quantity is limited to how many you can fit inside the toiletry bag. If their core is made out of rubber, then can pack them as you please in your hand baggage.
What’s the best way to pack golf balls in my luggage?
The best way to store your golf balls is to pack them in checked baggage inside your golf bag. That way you don’t have to worry about the airline’s limit for golf balls or them adding weight to your carry-on. Even if you pack your golf balls in your carry-on you should use a mesh bag or a pouch bag to prevent them from rolling around your suitcase. Keep in mind that if your golf balls have liquid inside, and you’re packing them in a carry-on, they should go together with other liquids in a clear resealable 1-quart plastic bag.
Are golf tees (ball holders) also allowed on planes?
Golf tees are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage on planes in the United States. However, travelers should keep in mind the TSA agents at the airport make the final decision on whether golf tees are or not allowed through security. If you’re traveling internationally, it’s best to pack golf tees in your checked baggage to prevent any problems when going through security.
What are the rules for bringing golf clubs?
Golf clubs are allowed only in checked baggage on flights in the United States. TSA prohibits golf clubs in cabin baggage because they could become potential bludgeon weapons. Most airlines in the United States allow golfers to check in a golf bag or a golf kit. This kit can have golf clubs, golf tees, golf balls, and even cleats. Golf bags are usually treated as normal checked baggage. Airlines will only ask for them to comply with weight restrictions for checked baggage and that the bag is properly sealed. But some airlines specify a limit of 12 or 14 golf clubs in each golf bag. Passengers should contact their air carriers and learn the rules for golf bags before traveling.
Read Next: Can You Bring Dumbbells on Planes?
Are golf umbrellas also allowed on planes?
Umbrellas are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage in the United States. Umbrellas are usually exempt items, and some airlines don’t count them as part of your luggage allowance. Other airlines ask for umbrellas to fit inside your carry-on luggage. Passengers should consult their airlines’ rules for umbrellas. Although umbrellas are generally allowed, the airport security agent might consider large umbrellas with spikes as potential weapons. They make the final decision to let or not umbrellas through security.
Are golf divot tools considered dangerous items on planes?
Golf divot tools are generally allowed in carry-on and checked luggage on planes in the United States. However, golf divot tools that are made out of metal might be considered dangerous as they are sharp and could be a potential weapon. Although generally permitted in a carry-on, if the security agent deems it as dangerous, it might not be allowed on the plane. Plastic golf divots are more likely to be allowed through security.