Some say golf is a ‘good walk spoiled’. For others, it’s an excuse for a dram of whiskey and a few hours away from ‘the other half’. But for those with more than a passing passion for the sport, a trip abroad with an emphasis on the ol’ club and ball can be a dream holiday indeed. To ensure the excursion is above par, not chunked, you’ll need a little planning and foresight. We’re here to help with that; our 7 IDEAL ways to make the most out of golfing holiday.
Golfing holidays are renowned for hidden costs, add ons and extras. A way to circumnavigate these expenses is by opting for an all inclusive golfing holiday. Such a deal takes the pressure off having to take care of all the finer details, giving you more time to focus on your golf instead of sweating the small stuff. Should you decide to go it alone on the organising front, be particularly aware of the ‘green fee’, which is what a golf course charges punters to play but is usually covered in an all inclusive arrangement, which brings us to our next point…
GET TO GRIPS WITH GREEN FEES AND TEE-TIMES
Some courses have three or four prices for green fees: weekday, weekend, day ticket and twilight. Weekday green fees are generally cheaper as the demand is higher at weekends. Moreover, twilight times are, again, more affordable because a golfer might not get in a full round before the lights go down. Other things that influence the cost’s fluctuations include the day of the week, weather, existing bookings and group bookings. As such, and even though getting a group of friends to commit can be tough, it’s definitely worth while. Travelling in a large group not only can save you money, it also allows for extra on-course competition and more fun.
When it comes to tee-times, it’s imperative to do your research if you want to get the most bang for your buck on your golfing holiday. The rates of rounds vary from month to month and even at times within that actual month so research, research, research.
CONSIDER HIRING EVERYTHING
Transporting your equipment can get seriously pricey; a whole load of luggage excess which can do some serious damage to your bank balance. Instead, leave your golf clubs behind and hire them at your destination, saving you both money and the enormous hassle of transporting them.
If the club doesn’t provide the opportunity to hire clubs, you could take advantage of the many used golf clubs for sale online, buying them at a knock down price and leaving them at your destination for another lucky punter to take on. If you are planning on bringing your own clubs, avoid a surprise at the check-in desk by first researching whether your airline allows golf clubs to be stowed away, brought on board or heaven forbid, neither.
EMERGING GOLF DESTINATIONS
Although a week in the Algarve is the golfing holiday of choice for many, such ubiquity can mean this perennially popular golf resort gets both crowded and costly during the high season. Perhaps you should consider casting your covetous gaze further afield, towards one of the many emerging golf destinations rising in credibility and clout in recent years. Particularly on the rise (and a great holiday aside from the golf) are several South East Asian countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Just make sure you pack a sun hat.
CHECK THE WEATHER
Speaking of weather, regardless of where you’re going, you should study your destination’s weather patterns before you book. Indeed, a golf holiday in Florida may be ruined in September because you’re likely to encounter heavy rain and an odd hurricane whereas teeing off in the midday heat in the Algarve during the warmer months could be pretty unbearable, too.
SPEND TIME OFF THE FAIRWAYS
While a golfing holiday is just that, if you spend all of your time furrowing fairways, then you may as well just be having a few rounds on your local golf course. Instead, embrace the (for want of a better term) apres-golf, and take the opportunity to dive into the local culture and cuisine. Moreover, if your golfing obsession risks driving a wedge between you and your partner, ensure that the place you’ve chosen has plenty of other distractions – shopping, swimming, galleries, you name it – on offer apart from the lure of sport.
START PLAYING EARLY
Though the idea of a leisurely breakfast and getting onto the course mid-morning seems like a wonderful notion – loose, low and lazy – in reality, by this time the course is usually full and you’ll have to wait for every swing and shot. So, as a rule, avoid mid morning tee-times. Instead, ride out the hangover (or avoid it altogether) and hit your first shot bright, early and in relative peace so you can make the most out of your golfing holiday.