I'm an airline pilot. I've spent many, many years on the ramps walking around and under the planes as the golf bags are being loaded and unloaded. I would only say that if you don't use an SKB hard side with big beach towels wrapped in and around the clubs or a BagBoy with the stiff arm and the beach towels, you are quite simply playing with fire. You have absolutely no idea what sometimes happens to your clubs as they are being chucked up in the hold. If you did, you would probably never ship them that way.
Well said. I've seen what goes on with unloading bags from the plane and you can't have enough protection lol.