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  1. SPY ZINGER TRAVELS LIGHT In Early November, I traveled to Carlsbad, California, to visit the top three equipment manufactures in the area. Now, I am from Minneapolis, and my home golf course is closed for the season. There is no way I'm traveling to Southern California and not playing a couple rounds of golf, mixing business with pleasure. I don't care if you are trying to squeeze some golf in on a business trip, or planning a golf getaway, there is nothing worse than lugging your clubs in a travel case. Think about it for a minute. It's a pain in the crotch to say the least. Into the car, the ticket counter, baggage claim, the car rental shuttle, the rental car, your hotel, on and on. 45 pounds of misery, only to do it all again on the way home. If you're traveling with a couple buddies, you better be renting a mini-van. This time around, I decided I have had enough and was going to ship my clubs. I contacted Ship Sticks, and it was one of the best travel experiences I have had involving golf. Ship Sticks contracts with two companies: UPS and FedEx. That's it. They receive a volume discount, and pass the savings along to the consumer. The result is, you pay a lower rate than walking into a UPS or FedEx location to ship on your own. The process is simple. Contact Ship Sticks by telephone or fill out their online form. The rate you pay is determined by your home or shipping location, and your destination. Since I was leaving from Minneapolis to San Diego, ground shipping is $60 each way, for $120 total round trip. This includes $1,000 in insurance, and you can purchase more if needed. Expedited shipping options are also available if you are shipping less than five days out. Based on my route, UPS was the contracted carrier. Ship Sticks prepares a pre-printed UPS Label for both shipments, and sends it directly via email. I packed my clubs into a hard sided travel case, taped the label on with clear box tape, and brought my clubs into a UPS Store near my house. My clubs were shipped directly to the La Costa Golf Resort in Carlsbad, CA. You can track them with the standard UPS tracking number however, Ship Sticks will send you an email once they arrive at your destination. When I arrived at the course, the staff knew exactly where my clubs were, and the process was flawless. The last course I played on my trip was Torrey Pines. At the conclusion of play, I packed them up in the hard sided travel case again, taped the label on the box, and left them with the staff. The following day, UPS picked them up on their regular stop at the course, and they were on their way back to my front door. Simple service to use, and the added cost is worth the convenience. Obviously, it is more cost effective to pay the baggage fee at approximately $50-60 round trip. For the extra $60, I found Ship Sticks to be well worth the cost to avoid the headache of the process involved with lugging the clubs to and from your destination. I appreciated the fact that I could send them right in the travel case, it was easy to set-up, and the operation was flawless from start to finish. If you are planning a winter golf getaway this winter, Ship Sticks is worth the splurge. You've been lugging your clubs around long enough, take a break and enjoy travel without them. After this experience, I'll never travel check my bags at the airport again. http://youtu.be/QVka0BCrwTI
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