As the countdown to Rio 2016 begins, T+L is talking to Olympic athletes about how they travel. Here, Lexi Thompson walks us through the packing checklist she uses when traveling with her golf clubs.

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How Lexi Thompson Packs Her Clubs
Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Golf returns to the Olympics this year, and for the first time since 1900 women will be competing for a medal in the sport. Three players, two of which are ranked in the top 10, will represent the United States. Lexi Thompson, at the top of the list, is the youngest of the bunch and is positioned well to challenge a fierce South Korean team this August.

Her competitions and seven LPGA victories have taken her all over the world, so a trip to Rio is par for the—well, you know. We sat down to discuss her globetrotting experiences and, more importantly, how she lugs her clubs from country to country. Here’s her go-to packing checklist:

1. “Buy a decent golf bag. Mine is from Club Glove, and it provides awesome protection.”

2. “Check the fine print when booking a flight. Some airlines charge extra for sporting equipment.”

3. “Weigh your bag before leaving for the airport. If you’re above the max weight, get rid of golf balls first. You can always buy more when you arrive at your destination.”

4. “Stuff a few towels between your clubs to make sure they don’t rattle as much. A Stiff Arm Club Protector will also keep them from breaking should they get jammed from the top.”

5. “Check the oversized section (where golf bags are located) at baggage claim first. Many airports unload oversized bags before the regular luggage."

6. “If you want to avoid the hassle at the airport, use a shipping service to deliver your clubs to your destination. There are a few golf and sport equipment-specific services out there, but UPS and FedEx can do it as well.”

Bonus Tip: "Don’t forget to remove anything that melts (chocolate, candy) or could bust (suntan lotion, protein powder) under the weight of your clubs from your golf bag before traveling. Trust me, I’ve had many messy experiences!"

To learn more about all Olympic athletes, visit Team USA. The Olympics begin on August 5th on NBC.