Planning a Golf Trip

Norwood Golf Course 3 Nov 14 (2)

Heading out for a golfing trip with ‘The Duck’

Are you planning an excursion to a golfing mecca in the next little while? If you are like me, you will have researched locales, checked prices, and planned your time to squeeze the most out of your upcoming adventure! Planning a golf trip can be both exciting and frustrating at the same time!

There are many hidden aspects to a golf trip that will make or break it. Staying at a hotel that does not meet your expectations; showing up to your tee time and waiting for an hour are just some unforeseen challenges that can affect the value of your trip. Regardless of the best laid plans, it is important to try and plan for the unexpected!

While planning my trips, I like to focus on the value of the golf. Am I getting my money’s worth for the four hours I am spending on their track? Does the customer service add or detract from my experience? Was the course in good shape? Was the course too challenging? These and many more questions help establish the value of golfing at specific courses on my trip.

Value means something different to everyone. The ‘cost versus experience’ formula is key to determining the value of a course. I have played on some highly rated courses in all parts of North America only to be disappointed; conversely, some unrated courses were diamonds in the rough waiting to be discovered. Value is the prime factor for me when planning a golf trip or just heading out the links for a day.

To determine the courses I want to play, I have three factors I consider when determining the courses value. They are:

  • Cost. I do not mind paying to play golf. However, I am a player on a budget. I like to find 2-for-1 green fee deals or an all-inclusive package (meal, range balls, cart, and a round of golf) that helps reduce the cost of hitting the links.
  • Practice Area. I like to warm up and practice before I play. To increase the value of a course their practice area has to have a driving range, chipping green, a separate putting green, and a sand trap. The 30 minutes I spend at the practice area helps set the positive atmosphere for the loop around the course.
  • Customer Service. I check reviews of the customer service. I like to feel like that my business is valued, not that I am disturbing anyone. I understand that the smaller courses do not offer the same attention as big resorts, however when I am talking to a customer service representative, I expect them to focus on our conversation. It is the small things they do that can drastically increase the value of a golf course.

When planning any golf trip, there are certain things that add or detract from the value of the experience. Most golfers do not mind paying for golf; however they expect to have a worthwhile experience as well. I know what adds value to my golf trips, what areas add value to yours?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

13 thoughts on “Planning a Golf Trip

  1. As always, nicely done.

    Most of the trips I play golf on are for business or with the family. I find not having golf the focus of the trip adds some challenges, mainly finding the time for a round of golf (or two) with an already busy schedule of not golf items, whether they be business related or family related. I am pretty lucky my wife doesn’t mind me fitting in a round or two on our

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    • Brewcee

      I think you described the situation for many golfers. Unless you use golf as a way to enjoy your vacation, it does take a back seat. I to have an awesome wife who is very understanding about my passion with golf! How grateful are we!

      Cheers
      Jim

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  2. Aloha Jim,

    I’ve gotten better, but I’m still a long ways from perfect. Occasionally the golf balls I use get a bug up their butt and leave the golf course. The proximity of houses to the fairways is a big factor in my choice of which courses to play.

    A Hui Hou,
    Wayne

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  3. Jim,

    We always travel on a budget so it’s important to strategize a plan for golf. Is it more important to golf the best courses, or the cheapest in an effort to play as much golf as possible. Even that, for us, depends on the location. Sometimes it means staying in a cheaper hotel or something to make more budget for golf. Like you said, it’s different for everyone, so it’s important to weigh all the factors and options.

    Cheers
    Josh

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  4. Jim, you’ve hit all the major ones. What I value the highest is the quality of golf and course conditions. Nothing can make or break a trip faster than surprises in this area. Only slightly behind is the compatibility and temperament of traveling companions (especially if you’re in a large group).

    I have noticed over the years that sometimes the anticipation leading up to a great golf trip is almost as good as the real thing. Have you observed the same?

    Thanks,

    Brian

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    • Brian

      Course conditions are definitely important and most courses will not say their course is in poot shape when booking. Nature of the business I guess.

      Your other point about group dynamics is huge. Most of my golf trips are with a team that goes to a competition. I did not pick the group so sometimes the personalities do not mix; it can be challenging.

      I have travelled in large groups and it only takes one or two people to negatively affect the trip. Not so much golf, but other sports. I always leave myself an out in planning in case things start to go sour. Generally, I know everyone and they are on the trip for a reason. Also, I talk about expectations up front so there are no surprises.

      Cheers
      Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, you are right that most courses won’t publicize poor conditions, which is unfortunate. There are several options to learn of the true conditions. Bloggers in our community are a good starting point. Then I’d look at Tripadvisor. Also, personal experience helps. Last April I picked up a key piece of intel from a random playing partner in Myrtle Beach, about some courses we had booked for our June trip that were in horrible condition. it was just silly luck, but we leveraged that and moved all our starting times away from the problem venue, and no doubt, saved the trip. When those things happen, I think it’s right to pass the data along.

        Thanks!

        Brian

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      • Brian,

        You are right about using golf blogs and other sources to determine course conditions. It is a matter of finding some valuable and trustworthy blogs to follow. Thanks for telling The Grateful Golfer Community about your experience!

        Cheers
        Jim

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  5. I love this!
    Planning golf trips can take time but can unlock great information to maximize the experience and value. Now, as for your question about value…I identify it as cost in relation to experience, and like you it does not always mean the cheapest or least expensive alternative.

    The time to plan effectively can make for a great trip.

    I love your focus on customer service, too. I’m going to make sure I add that to my research criteria.

    Thanks, Mike

    Liked by 1 person

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