By Ian Botham
If you love golf, a golf vacation might be something that you like to do on a regular basis. For the avid golfer, the thought of going on a golf vacation where you do nothing but golf is the idea of heaven. Here are a few things to consider before you take your next golf vacation.
First, it’s always good to go on vacation with people who share your love of golf. Most often a golf vacation turns into a buddy trip, but there’s really nothing wrong with that. But make sure that you pick a destination that everyone can agree on. Take a vote if you must, but be sure everyone wants to go to the same place and that everyone can afford it.
You will also want to take into consideration everyone’s playing abilities when you plan a golf vacation. Someone with a 3 handicap will enjoy a challenging course while a person with a 13 handicap will likely just get frustrated and mad on the same course.
As a general rule when planning a golf vacation, you should consider the courses first and the accommodations next. Resorts, especially those with quality golf courses, are expensive. But all in all, if golf is a main purpose or highlight of your trip, decide where you want to play first, and then decide on accommodations. You can take a golf vacation where you stay at a hotel to gain access to a course and then move to a less expensive hotel later. It’s an inconvenience to have to repack and move during the trip, but can be well worth it in order to play top courses while not spending the entire vacation at posh resort prices.
Even if you are staying at a resort hotel which gives you access to its courses, find out how far ahead of your arrival date you can book tee times. All courses have specific rules for when they will make tee times, which you should take note of and follow carefully.
Some courses even have specific times you must call to reserve your time (e.g., between 7 and 9 a.m. on the Thursday eight days before the weekend you wish to play), though most guidelines are usually more general (e.g., a week before you wish to play or up to sixty days ahead).
You should book as far as ahead as possible, especially for high demand courses. Even as a resort guest, if the course is popular, you may be out of luck if you wait until a few days before arrival or check-in time to get a tee time
Once you’ve embarked on your golf vacation and are ready to play the courses you’ve chosen, don’t just jump right in with the excitement that we know you feel. You must take time to get a feel for the course and stretch properly. Arrive at the course well before your tee time to avoid feeling rushed and look around. Check out the scorecard to see the layout of the course and perhaps talk to the course pro to see if he or she has any advice for you.
A golf vacation is a great way for the golfer to enjoy some of the best courses our country has to offer. So plan carefully and then get out there and have some fun.
About the Author
Ian Botham runs his own online sports goods mail order business as well as several sports related websites. Check out these great Golf Guide tips and techniques as well as these great Golf Vacation articles and resources.