OK, the final post on the topic.....
Last night I returned from Michigan and brought my clubs back via Delta Airlines. I packed my golf travel bag exactly the same way I did when shipping via FedEx; covered irons, towel wrapped around all the clubs, Stiff Arm securely in place. I surrendered my bag at the check in counter for Delta at the South Bend Regional airport I fly out of.
On arrival to John Wayne airport last evening, my golf bag comes out the over sized bag chute and it's apparent immediately that TSA has been hard at work. 2 of the 3 cross straps that clip together on the bag are not connected and are just flapping around. The zipper had obviously been opened (I have a TSA lock that when opened has a color code letting you know) and the lock was back secured, but had been opened.
When I opened the bag 6 of the clubs had obviously been removed and were in different locations in the bag. The towel was jammed in the bottom of the bag. In an interesting development, all the golf balls that are in a front pocket were laying loose in the bottom of the bag, meaning someone had taken them from the closed pocket. Never seen that one before.
Anyway, nothing stolen or broken, but clearly the bag and it's contents were violated by TSA "behind the curtain." I couldn't have a better example of why I will most assuredly be using the services at FedEx in the future.