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What are Your Tips on How to Organize the Perfect Golf Trip?

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You may have read our recent front page article on “How to Organize the Perfect Golf Trip to the UK or Ireland”…  If you haven't then you can  view it here.

 

Anyway, I'd love to know any additional tips that you might have for organizing golf vacations (either to the US, UK or Internationally), so please post them below.

 

Personally, one of the hardest things that I find when organizing a trip is to get friends (especially guys) to commit to coming, and not having them drop out at the last minute – which can cause a lot of pain. I find that the solution to that is to get the trip dates in everyone's diaries months in advance… and then get a deposit upfront from them as soon as you can (…you soon get their commitment once they've handed over hard cash!)

 

Another top tip is; if one of your buddies snores loudly…. Then make sure that you put them a single room! (Or have a few whiskey's each the evening so that you sleep through it!)

 

Let me know your top tips...

 

Thanks Guy

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Those are good. When we do our yearly trips, using yelp or other apps to help plan meals, lodging, closest liquor stores. Stuff like that lol

We also do screen shots of maps for directions. Sharing course websites is also helpful.

 

Tazz

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Yes, that is a very good point about using apps to help plan your trip. Obviously TripAdvisor and the like are good for reviews and recommendations of bars, restaurants, sights and things to do when you are at your destination. I would also recommend the Open Table app for booking UK restaurants  - they have good coverage in most UK towns.

 

When it come to golf apps, this is a whole new thread in itself! Apps like Tour Caddie and Swing by Swing spring to mind, but also Golfshake is very strong on UK and Irish course info and reviews.

 

Happy travels! Guy

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Go with the intent of having a good time not shooting a low round of golf.

 

I have been on several trips with guys from here, and of course I want to play well. I have had fun, but I have never played well. The last trip I went on, was just a day trip and one round, but I knew going in I had a flaw in my short game and would not play well. Sure enough, I even quit paying attention to how poorly I played, but that was probably the most fun I had.

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I agree with RR on the have fun when traveling.  My wife and I travel quite a bit to play; sometimes across the country like we did to Florida in February, or maybe an overnight trip to Spokane, Seattle, or Portland.  I never play as well on the road as I do at home.  There are just too many variables that factor into a good golf game.  My muscles don't react well getting out of a car or off a plane and playing a round or two.  The grass is different than at home, and then there is Bermuda greens.  That takes me at least a week to figure out each trip.  Usually, it's just a getaway, and the idea is to go have fun.  Sure, I have had some good scores on courses that I have never played before but that's very rare.  

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1) Make sure everyone's committed.  A little $$ up front helps.

2) Make sure everyone is cool with the costs.  Get real estimates, and let everybody know.

3) Make sure everyone will get along.  Nothing worse than a feud on a "buddy's" trip.

4) Make sure the "serious" golfers are cool with some that are not so serious.

5) Have fun!  It's supposed to be vacation, not the US Open.

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We wrote a blog a few months back about what to expect when playing golf in the UK or Ireland, highlighting some of the differences between UK and US golf clubs and courses. One big different (apart from the warm beer, bacon rolls, strange accents and occasional dodgy weather...) is that many of the signature courses don't allow carts (unless for medical reasons), so you'll need to walk the course either carrying your bag or with a pull trolley.

 

Therefore a top tip, for UK and Irish trips, is to reserve a caddie in advance if you'd like a bag carrier (....and some great advice on how to play the course).

 

Another tip is to bring a tie, as you never know what invites you might get on your travels (and you don't really want to turn down an invite to have lunch in the R&A due to a wardrobe malfunction...!)

 

The full blog can be seen here.

 

Thanks, Guy

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I have taken numerous golf trips with friends.  The main thing I learned is to not let the way one plays dictate enjoyment or influence perceptions of the course.  The golf itself is secondary to the overall enjoyment of the trip.  

 

One friend I have gone to Ireland and Scotland with got on my nerves (and the others) because he couldn't enjoy the course if he was't playing well.  His score determined the quality of the course.  He hated Royal County Down because he was slicing everything that day.  I thoroughly enjoyed the course even though I didn't play my best.  I can't wait to play it again.  

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All my golf trips have been USA only,

 

One big thing I learned early on is go with guys you like and ones that are compatible with each other. Pretty much any more I stick with the same 3 guys on my trips. We're all agreeable to most propositions regarding when and where to play. We like to gamble too. (golf that is) We're also pretty much an even match on any given day. Keeps the competition tense. No one guy ever runs away with it.

We also have found that we prefer renting houses nearby or on the courses we play. I've learned that renting a nice house is no more expensive than staying in a hotel. And so much more relaxing too. In fact it's probably less expensive since you can bring food and beverage. Many places provide an outdoor grill where you can grill steaks, etc. Makes it very nice indeed.

 

Oh and one more very important item. Trust me on this one. Steer clear of the tight-wad. He'll try and bring everyone down to his miserable level. Run from this guy as fast as you can.

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I plan a 24 man trip each June. Not far away, just to Kissimmee which is s 90 min drive. Each foursome stays in a 4 bedroom house w/pool. We stay 4 days 3 nights(Thurs-Sun). On Friday night we have a group dinner at one of the two courses we play. They do a terrific job and the food us great. We play our weekly points game each morning with a scramble on Fri &Sat afternoons. All told it's 6 rounds of golf with lodging for $255 per person. An add'l $120 is paid for the games. I book the houses and golf in January, get deposits from each player with balance due at end of April. Each house is responsible for their own meals, some cook some go out. My house usually pairs with another for meals, drinks and entertainment...LOL. We all have a great time, we alternate with two courses so the golf is great.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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Planning the perfect golf trip is as much about approach and philosophy as it is intent.

Everyone wants to put together the greatest trip ever, but having a game plan is your best bet of success.

Here are my Top 10 points to get you started: B)

1. Know where to go

Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia are just some of the most popular (or growing in popularity) regions that golfers are visiting. In the United States, regions such as Florida, Myrtle Beach and Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Trail or destinations such as Pinehurst Resort, Sea Island, Pebble Beach or Bandon Dunes represent some of the most popular bucket-list targets.

The key is to ensure that your destination of choice matches with your desires, resources and traveling companions. For example, many premier locations require golfers to walk the course. Is this something you or members of your group can do for multiple days in a row?

2. Seek and ye shall find

Research, research and, then, research some more. GolfAdvisor.com is an excellent place to start. Utilize the internet as well as seek out those that have visited your targeted destination. Visit the Web site(s) of the courses you would like to visit. If you are planning the trip without assistance, contact the courses you wish to play and ask them for their recommendations for where to stay, eat, etc.

3. Who's the boss?

Planning by committee does not work. If you are in charge, be in charge. Solicit input, but the buck has to stop somewhere or it can become maddening. If you have some strong-willed individuals who feel compelled to make their voices heard, then agree in advance that they can plan the next trip.

4. Hand pick your compatriots

Trips do not have to be huge to be great fun. Ensuring that everyone has the same goals and expectations is more important than trying to maximize the size of your traveling band -- best is to start slowly and hand pick your fellow golfing tourists. One consideration is to attempt to balance those who are serious competitors and those that enjoy a more social round of golf.

5. Don't fear the fear

Fear of the unknown is the no. 1 reason why golfers put off their dream trips. There are so many ways to overcome this! Consider that it takes me less time to fly from Boston to Shannon, Ireland, than to fly across the United States.

Whether you decide to use a tour company (that charges a fee to arrange the logistics) or you decide to partner with a marketing association (usually a consortium of courses, that do not charge additional fees for planning) such as www.SwingGolfIreland.com or www.NorthandWestCoastLinks.com. There are plenty of resources available to remove the fear associated with planning a trip to someplace you have never been before.

6. Go first class whenever possible

I don't mean airlines tickets (although that would be nice!), but I am referring to how you plan your resources. In general, most first timers plan themselves too thin so the cliche applies, "You get what you pay for." One small tip in this area is to plan on individual rooms instead of double occupancy.

Doubling up in rooms is standard procedure for many groups, but you will be amazed at how much better you will sleep if you are not kept awake by the grizzly snoring next to you. If this means you cut your trip a day or two short to make up for the average 20 percent up-charge on individual rooms, it is well worth the impact it will have on your overall experience.

7. Do not over-schedule

Related to the above, over-scheduling is the top way to mess up a well intended effort. For example, many trip planners will look at a map of Ireland and assume that they can get from one region to another (for example, from Lahinch to Royal Portrush) to play in consecutive days.

While roadways in Ireland and Northern Ireland have improved immensely, you cannot assume that the time it takes to drive the same distance where you live is the same when on the road. This also applies to how many rounds you play during your trip. Consider the age and fitness level of all of those with you. Over scheduling looks good on paper but can have major negative consequences. Small steps lead to big gains.

8. Never say 'once in a lifetime'

This is the most overused travel cliche of all time! Aspire to make your journey the "trip of a lifetime," but don't limit yourself to a one-and-done mentality. A philosophy that "this is just the beginning" also helps you to not feel like you need to fit everything into one trip.

9. Plan for what cannot be planned

Stuff happens; a little over-indulgence over here, a stiff back over there, you get the picture. I like to budget a day in every trip that I call a "cultural day." I plan around someplace cool (for example, in Ireland I love to hang out in Kinsale) where you can bask in the local culture and respite. It's amazing how often these days become the highlight of the entire trip!

10. Breathe and delegate

Remember, this is about having fun. Breathe deep and embrace the moment. Once the big picture is in place, delegate out things like the planning of daily competitions, pairings, etc. Don't feel compelled to over-plan every minute, meals or social agendas. Let people explore and find their own paths.

As long as they know where they have to be and when, then let life take its course. Letting life come to you is usually the most fun part of a trip of a lifetime!

Edited by Jason Smith
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