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How To Plan The Perfect Golf Vacation

Jun 25, 2008
If you are a golfer that really enjoys the game and you want to combine your love of golf with a vacation, then this article will give you some ideas to plan the perfect golf vacation. The initial idea opens up dozens of possibilities for a family trip or a golfing-buddies trip.

Before you jump in the car or plane to start hitting golf balls in the sunshine of a foreign country or even a different state, the potential golf vacationer has to think about what the ideal golf trip will included so that you can plan the perfect golf vacation.

As with any vacation, a golf trip plan should include some key elements; estimated cost, how to pay, length of stay, extras and so on. The golfer should consider what family members and friends will do if they are not golfers. A good question to ask: Should we golf at the seashore, in the mountains, or on the links of Scotland?

Some fundamental planning at the beginning should remove any little problems for a better chance of a perfect golf vacation. When you start to plan the perfect golf vacation it is a good idea to write out some points about an ideal golf trip by dividing the points into separate areas to focus on. Below are a few categories to help you get started:

* Set a general time of the year for the trip (a few months in the future; a year in the future)

* Decide how many days and rounds of golf will be included in the trip (don't overdo it!)

* Decide on a range of prices for the full trip ($1500 to $3500, $4000 to $6000, for example)

* Decide on how many people will be in the group

* Decide on who will go on the trip - non-golfing family members, just golfers, etc.

* Gather some golf trip information from magazines, the library, Web sites etc.

* If you have friends who have been on a golf vacation, ask them if they made their own plans, purchased a golf package vacation, used a travel agent, etc.

One way to plan a golf trip is by making all the arrangements yourself; travel, accommodation, and golf activities. Below are some tips if you decide to make your own arrangements.

If you are planning a golf vacation in the same country and you decide to drive there, you can take care of your transportation needs by carrying all your golf gear with you. If this is the mode of transportation you decide on, before you pack, check to see if your golf clubs are complete. After all, it wouldn't be nice to arrive at your beautiful golf retreat only to stand on the first tee and realize that your driver is not in the bag because your son or daughter borrowed it for a golf lesson.

When making your own arrangements without using the help of a travel agency, you could contact different organizations in the area that you will be visiting. An example of this is that you can contact the Myrtle Beach group in South Carolina that specializes in golf vacations. You can do this with the golf courses in Arizona as the Phoenix area offers the same assistance, as do the many golf resorts in the state.

After you have selected your favorite golf courses, you would then contact the accommodation you chose and speak to the Golf Director. You can book your lodgings and your preferred tee times right there. This is a good combination of being able to make your own decisions but taking advantage of the local knowledge of a golf vacations specialist.

If you really want to do this on your own, you may have a few more challenges and a little more work, but you and your friends may also enjoy the extra bit of freedom and sense of accomplishment. Set your standards high and then back down to a more manageable level if your budget doesn't look as if it will handle Scotland, Ireland, the Bahamas or a similar overseas destination.

Make sure you have lodging in place, and then plan to play courses within a reasonable distance. Minimum travel to and from golf courses is very important. In addition, you should make these arrangements as early as possible to give you and your friends the best opportunities available. If you wait too long, then decide to go to your original choice of destination anyway, you may end up with less than favorable rooms and less than favorable tee times. Some recommendations for getting the lodging set first:

* Consider a rental house with enough room for everyone

* Try to have a separate bed for each person or couple

* Think again about the driving time to the golf courses if you choose a rental home over hotel lodgings on or near a golf course

* Consider early morning tee times that may allow an additional 18 holes in the afternoon. Being close to the house makes the course more attractive (it saves time)

* Plan for accommodation even earlier if you plan to play golf and watch a major tournament that is taking place in the area. Combining your trip with a PGA tournament adds some extra flare to a golf vacation.

One more thing to take into consideration when you plan the perfect golf vacation; will you play one round a day, two rounds, or can you play as many as you wish? Make sure you have this detail arranged before leaving. Finally, make sure you fully understand what exactly is included in your golf vacation and what is not. Taking a few minutes to get all the details right will eradicate the small problems that you may encounter once you are at your golf destination.
About the Author
Before planning your golf vacation, make sure you check out Mick Euan Tait's golf tips for more Golf Vacation ideas.
Also, get his newsletter and you will receive a mini-series which will include more tips on Golf Trips.
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