Can You Bring A Divot Tool On A Plane? — Airport Guidelines

can you bring a divot tool on a plane with the tsa guidelines for traveling with divot tools as a golf informational guide

A divot repair tool is one of the necessary golf accessories for avid golfers who consider themselves to be courteous and respectful of the game.

Furthermore, golf etiquette rules from the USGA state that you should be careful enough to repair the divot holes that you make using your cleats or your ball on the putting green. This helps preserve the golf course’s original condition. 

Many golfers are also creatures of habit and wonder if they will be able to bring their favorite divot tool onto the airplane during their next big golf trip.

The team of experts at Tell Me More Golf reviews the TSA’s current policies when it comes to permitted items, and gives suggestions for flying with divot repair tools.

can you bring a divot tool on a plane with the tsa guidelines for traveling with divot tools as a golf informational guide

TSA Guidelines for Traveling with Divot Tools

can you bring a divot tool on a plane and possible carry on luggage confiscation

First things first – what is a divot tool? It’s a piece of essential golf equipment that’s typically used to repair ball marks, otherwise known as pitch marks or divots, right above the putting green. They’re usually made of plastic or metal. These tools almost always have a similar, average design: a simple grip-end which fits precisely between the thumb and the other fingers.

The end of the divot tools has two prongs.  

The official website of the Transportation Security Agency contains an entire section dedicated to specifying what is and is not currently allowed to bring on an airplane. It contains a list of some of the most commonly asked-about items. There are two separate fields displayed after selecting an item in question. The first indicates if an item is permitted to be carried on to an airplane, and the second shows if the item is allowed to be packed in a checked bag.

When you type the word “Golf” into the search bar on top of the “What Can I Bring?” page of the TSA’s website there are four results displayed – divot tools, golf balls, golf clubs, and golf tees. All four items are shown to be allowed in checked bags, and all but golf clubs are shown to be permitted to carry on. The Transportation Security Administration restricts all golf clubs as carry on, regardless of whether it’s a prized antique or holds any kind of significance. You can avoid your clubs possibly being confiscated by shipping them via a courier service.

A lot of companies today offer overnight deliveries of golf clubs to anywhere around the world.

With proper planning, it’s more than possible to get your clubs once you arrive at your destination. 

“The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint”

While this is an encouraging sign for golfers looking to travel with their lucky divot repair tool, things aren’t always so black and white when it comes to TSA, and certain design features of the divot tools can put them in the “grey area.” A disclaimer at the top of the search page makes this very clear, stating “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”


There are many different shapes and designs when it comes to divot tools on the market today, making it tough to generalize whether all will be permitted on a carry-on bag. While some design features like magnetic ball markers or special inscriptions aren’t a problem…

Others may render them unsafe to fly with.

Certain divot tools feature extra-long prongs that are also sharpened on the ends. Tools like this can bear a resemblance to a small knife or pitchfork-like dagger, and raise concern from an officer. This is especially true with “flip-out” style divot tools, as these have the same motion as a pocket knife. Flip out divot tools are great for conserving the putting green. It’s used in repairing the tainted areas of the grass that determine how well your golf ball will roll. Holes and dents may be formed in the turf if you brush it with your club, or if your ball lands heavily on it. If a TSA officer determines that your divot tool is unsafe to fly with, it can be confiscated – regardless of what is listed on the website. 

“it can be confiscated – regardless of what is listed on the website.”

Golf tees can also fall into this “grey area,” as their pointed ends and overall shape could cause concern for a TSA officer. According to the rules of golf, the maximum length for a golf tee is 4 inches (101.6mm). According to the TSA, no blade longer than 2.36 inches is allowed on an airplane.

While it would be a stretch to interpret a golf tee as a proper blade, it can still be thought of as a potential weapon. Golf tees and divot repair tools are both listed as “allowed” for carry-on by the TSA, but at Tell Me More Golf, we recommend keeping these items in a checked bag just to be safe. If you travel often, we recommend the following divot tools, owing to their small size and easy portability: 

  • Birdicon divot tool (Most versatile divot tool)
  • Insta golf spider divot tool (Most unique features)
  • Indiana metal craft stainless steel switchblade divot tool (Loaded with a spring)


Sharp Objects in Checked Bags and Checked Luggage

The restrictions on checked baggage at airports are much looser than with carry-on baggage, and many more items are allowed. Knives, hammers, and martial arts weapons are all permitted to fly if packed away in a checked bag, so any golf equipment should be 100% fine.

However, the list of golf items will vary from one airline to another. American Airlines, for example, approves of tees and golf clubs. The rest may allow you to fly with them but at an additional cost. 

Most of the time, a golfer is already flying with their golf clubs if they are preparing to pack a divot repair tool. The safest bet is to pack divot repair tools, golf tees, and anything else that could be deemed dangerous by any stretch of the imagination inside of a checked golf bag.

Conclusion: Research by

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

Visiting a new golf course in a new city can be an extremely rewarding experience for the adventurous golfer.

It’s even more rewarding especially if you’re armed with a handy divot tool. Some call them ‘ball mark tools’ and others ‘pitch mark repair tools’; it all depends on how you see them. If you don’t have one but you’d wish to have it on your next flight, you can check with your nearest golf course. Most often, they offer the divot tools for a few bucks and even free of charge in some rare cases. You can alternatively visit a reliable online golf retailer for newer designs and customization offers. 

Our team at TellMeMoreGolf recommends divot tools such as the PitchFix Fusion 2.5 Pin, the Insta Golf Spider divot tool, the Birdicorn 7-in-1 divot tool, and the Mile High Life Foldable.

Golf course staff prefer it if golfers use divot tools. This helps lessen the damage to the greens. 

The last thing any golfer wants is to have their favorite golf accessory confiscated before ever stepping foot on a golf course, and for this reason, the team at Tell Me More Golf always recommends packing divot tools away in checked baggage before flying. This way you will be fully prepared for your next golf adventure!


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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