At the end of July my family and I went on vacation to visit my wife’s parents in Northwest Iowa. Lucky for me my father-in-law is a golf addict like I am, so I brought my golf clubs along to play a few rounds with him. Prior to my trip I bought a new travel cover — the Nike Golf Club Carrying Case — so I could review it here on NG Nation. The trip was a good test for it, and I share the results with you here.
Out of the box, the Nike Club Case is a good-looking travel cover, and I give it an A+ for appearance. It’s constructed of heavy-duty black nylon with red piping around the edges, a combination that matches the color scheme of Nike’s VR line. The case has a full-length zipper that goes around the outside top edges of the case, so the entire top flap folds back to allow you to put your golf bag in straight down from the top (rather than fumbling with trying to get your bag into a zipper that goes down the top middle of the case like my previous travel cover).
The interior of the case has plenty of room for a full-size bag (mine is the Nike SQ Tour Stand Bag) and is long enough to accommodate today’s longer driver shafts (mine is 45.5 inches and fit with room to spare). One of the best features of this travel cover is the club protection system at the top, which consists of a ribbed foam padded collar you wrap around your club heads and secure with Velcro. It’s very easy to use and provides ample protection for the club heads and shafts. There’s a holding strap for the golf bag, and plenty of room inside for other things like a shoe bag or other items (I easily fit my daughter’s small junior golf bag in next to mine).
The case has carrying handles at the head, foot and on the top flap of the bag. Two buckled straps allow you to cinch and secure the bag once it is zipped closed. The bottom of the case is molded plastic and has two inline skate wheels for rolling the case, and two small legs for standing it on its end. The underside of the case has two plastic skid rails on the outer edges, and five smaller skid pads to protect the nylon on the top half of the case. The case easily folds in half and stands on its end for convenient storage.
There is a shoe pocket on the top flap that is accessed from the inside. The zipper on the outside expands a gusset to make the pocket deeper, and the inside flap of the pocket is made of mesh to provide ventilation. This is the only pocket for extra gear, there are no other outside pockets, but I had plenty of room inside the case to store what I needed to.
I was really happy with the way this case performed during my trip. The design of the case ensures that it moves as a solid, single unit top to bottom – previous cases I’ve owned tend to be a bit floppy, specifically bending a bit at the top of the bag or neck area of the clubs. The case was easy to lift in and out of the car, wheel through the airport, unpack when I got to my destination and repack when it was time to head home. The club protection unit did its job, and again it was very easy to wrap around and unwrap from the heads of my clubs.
The one feature some might have an issue with is the pockets, or lack thereof. First of all is the absence of exterior side pockets for extra gear — previous travel covers I’ve owned have had pockets on the outside for clothing and other gear. I did not find this prohibitive as I mentioned there was ample room inside for what I needed to bring, and it also prevented me from over-packing the travel cover, but some may wish there were pockets on the outside. Secondly the shoe pocket can only be accessed from inside — I’m used to being able to get at my shoes from the outside, so this surprised me at first. The upside is that no one can get at your shoes or gear from the outside when you’re not looking, but some may wish that this pocket could have access from both inside and outside the case. I personally didn’t have an issue with either of these pocket issues, but I feel this was worth mentioning. Overall I was very satisfied with how the case performed on both legs of the trip.
Airport baggage handlers can do a number on a golf bag travel cover as I have learned first hand on a couple of occasions. I had one travel cover rip open on the bottom, and on one the zipper broke, both the first time I used them (and initially I thought both were pretty good quality). Neither of these problems happened with the Nike travel cover. The nylon was plenty heavy enough to prevent any holes, and the zippers are very sturdy, so no problems there either. The cinching straps held tight, all buckles remained intact and all handles held up just fine. The molded bottom, skate wheels, molded legs, skid rails and skid pads all survived perfectly intact, and after the trip the case was in very good (almost like new) shape. Either the baggage handlers treated this fine looking case with care, or it held up greatly to their abuse — I’d put my money on the latter.
The bottom line is I would highly recommend the Nike Golf Club Carrying Case. It’s a handsome case that has plenty of room for my clubs, shoes and extra golf gear. It was easier to handle during my trip than previous travel covers I’ve owned, and it survived the wrath of the airport baggage crews looking as good as when I unpacked it from the box. If you’re in the market for a new case to transport your clubs on your next golf trip, make sure you take a close look at the Nike Golf Club Carrying Case.
Editor’s note: The reviewer/author was not paid for this review, and the opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.