If you love golf like I do, playing at the same old local course over and over can become a bit dull. Sure, you like having your regular foursome tee it up every Thursday afternoon or playing in the men’s club and talking a little trash, but seeing all of the great courses out there in the magazines and on television can really make you long for something better. If you are like me, every once in a while you want to pamper your game and go play a truly magnificent course, or at least go where you know the weather will be perfect, the greens will run true, and the scenery is unbelievable. You want a golf vacation.
As much fun as a golf vacation sounds, setting one up can be rather scary. Where should you play? How much money do you want to spend? Who will you take (there are golf vacations for the boys and there are golf trips with the wife), and will anyone want to go? When should you go? All of these questions can cause a lot of stress and worry, something that should not be associated with a vacation. As a person that has been on several trips, I’ve got a couple of tips to help the planning and execution of your trip go as smoothly and flawlessly as possible.
One of the first things you need to do is figure out who is going and what the budget is. I would recommend trying to keep it between 4 and 8 players. Two twosomes for a golf vacation is enough people to have a really good time, but not so much that it becomes a logistical nightmare. After 8 planning everything becomes much more difficult it seems. And as for budget, it is important to find out what everyone wants to spend, and stick to that budget. And we aren’t just talking about the courses you are going play. Include airfare and hotel as well. The last thing you want people on your trip to be is resentful because they are paying a lot more money than they thought they were at the beginning. And one last thing, have one person set everything up. Don’t have one person in charge of hotel, on in charge of tee times, etc. That way everyone knows what is going on at all times.
Once you have a budget and the people signed up to go, the next thing is to choose a location. Your budget will probably have a lot do with this. If you live in the west you are probably going to want to take your golf vacation somewhere close to home, like Las Vegas, Nevada, Palm Desert, California, or Arizona. There are great courses to play in each of those locations and the travel costs can be significantly reduced by staying a little closer to home. If you get lucky and find a discount golf vacation package somewhere out east, then maybe the savings make up for the additional airfare.
After location is obviously choosing the course. There are many different ways to pick a course. There are golf course review websites out there that can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect, and there are websites themselves that will help. Many times, though, the best way to pick a course for your vacation is to try to find some people that have visited the location you’ve picked before and pick their brains for some good courses to play. And don’t forget to factor in cost. Some places have different rates for different seasons, and that can make a huge difference. Another great place to look is magazines and the other publications out there. They always have advertisements for packages, usually at pretty great rates. And some of the places offer packages for golf and hotel included at a severe discount. And don’t rule out just calling one of the courses and asking. Most of the time they are more than welcome to give you some inside information on the courses around and even make some recommendations based on what you are looking for.
Once you’ve got all the logistical terms worked out, it’s time to let everyone know where they are going and what the cost is. And try to get everyone’s money as early as possible. There is nothing that will make your vacation more disappointing than trying to collect money from everyone during the trip.
I hope this article helped and that you have a great time on your next trip. And don’t let your score get you down!