The idea of a weekend or even a week away golfing can be very appealing but if it is not done correctly, without adequate planning then your dream holiday can turn into an expensive nightmare and quite frankly, that’s the last thing that anyone wants. When you are planning your golfing holiday you need to decide whether you wish to stay at just one course of play a variety of different courses within the same area.
Depending on where in the UK you plan to spend your golfing holiday, you will want to consider which airports will be the best for you to fly into. London Heathrow is the British airport which immediately springs to the mind of most travellers. However if you are heading up north or even to Scotland you may wish to fly directly to Manchester or Glasgow. Many airlines now fly directly to these airports without the need to change in London. If you wish to get your golfing holiday off to a spectacular start you can book a VIP airport concierge to meet you directly from the plane, assemble your group together and fast track you through immigration to your awaiting transport.
What makes a good golfing holiday?
The answer to that one for the majority of golfers regardless of their handicap is quite obviously the golf, so whether you want to book cheap tee-times, find a golf hotel or alternatively an area where there are a few golf courses close by,as you are going on a holiday the surroundings are also likely to be important as beautiful scenery can only add to the overall experience.
Secondly, you really need to consider the abilities of those in your group. Higher handicappers will not appreciate going around a more difficult course whilst conversely the lower handicappers will be looking for more of a challenge. Ideally you will find something that is somewhere in the middle and will meet the needs of everyone in the group.
Obviously you are going away for a break and with that you will need accommodation. The easiest way to do this is by staying at a golf course that has a hotel often referred to as a ‘golf hotel’. Golf hotels know exactly what you are looking for. They will offer other leisure facilities, reasonable accommodation as well as usually quality restaurants and bars – basically the things that you will need when you are not out on the course. These things will also help if you have non golfers accompanying you on your break.
If you are looking to playing a few courses during your break you basically have two options. Pick a hotel that is fairly central to all the courses and stay there or keep changing hotels. Both options have benefits and drawbacks and this probably depends where you a looking to play in the country and how you feel about living out of a suitcase as opposed to be pretty settled in one place.
What do I need to consider?
We are talking about the United Kingdom here so weather does play an important part. The most important thing about your break is the golf as we have already established. Obviously the best chances of achieving decent weather are in the summer months when hopefully it will be much improved. However, when you consider this remember that everyone else will be thinking the same thing so Tee times may need to be booked months in advance.
Remember that at busier times courses can be booked up for corporate events and competitions. Would you really want to be stuck in the middle of one of the events? It is likely to spoil your round. On the same token, remember that clubs will hold their own competitions throughout the year and you might not be able to play on one or more days during your break. Again, this is something that is certain to put a dampener on things.
Golf courses are like machines in many ways and require repairs. Make sure that the course you visit isn’t undergoing major refurbishment at the time you are looking to book. There would be nothing worse than having to play a hole twice or using winter greens to complete the round so make sure that you check before hand and get some sorts of guarantees.
Some course may require you to have an official handicap and may put restrictions such as under-18 handicappers only so if your group is of mixed ability this may be worth getting this checked out prior to booking. Although thankfully they a few and far between remember that there are still some private courses that do not allow women. These are hard to find and are usually quick to point this out but it worth checking to avoid embarrassment and animosity.
You have booked your holiday and it is time for you to leave. Have you thought about transport? Is it worth getting a minibus perhaps even with a driver? This works two-fold. One, you will not be taking several cars which means that there is less chance of getting lost and secondly, a driver means that everyone can enjoy the whole holiday and no-one is worrying about how many drinks they can have in the bar as part of the après golf.
When you are there remember to have appropriate clothing for the restaurants and bars as well as out on the course. Consider the different weather conditions as well as the etiquette that most courses will insist upon.
Finally, one last thing – make sure you enjoy your break; after all you have earnt it!