It’s off season here in the northeast and a lot of the “snow birds” are heading south to get in a few rounds of golf before the spring season begins. It’s a great idea, but you have to be smart and wise when it comes to selecting the right vacation package. Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous vendors who will take advantage of naive travelers. It hasn’t happened to me (thank goodness) but this short guest post from golf traveler, Jerry Walker, has some smart tips on how to protect yourself and save yourself headaches and $$$$ when you head out for the links.
Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a 10 day golf adventure to the Caribbean, there is one thing in common with all golf trips and vacations: rip-offs are common.
Here are a few things to be careful of when booking your next golf trip.
1. Cart Fees.
Many courses will require you to rent a cart, even though your package deal never mentioned it. Make sure you know up front if cart fees are included and or required.
2. Course Surcharges
You may be offered to “upgrade” to a better course when you arrive at your destination. This is a common practice in many areas. The fact is that the course you “upgrade” to in many cases will not be any better than the course you are booked on.
3. Internet Deals
Many golf trips these days are sold by internet resellers. The price may be right, but they have no idea of the local market. They are selling a commodity and could care less what other events are happening in the area or what local conditions are. Dealing with local people in the area you plan to visit will eliminate many of these surprises.
4. Do you need a “package” deal?
You will find that package deals sometimes will cost you more than just booking a hotel and a “golf” market and winging it. Once you book your accommodations, the concierge or front desk will be able to direct you to the best deals. This works especially during the off peak times. So many people get involved in the package deals that the prices can be increased by 50-75% over what it would cost you to book it yourself.
To save a ton of money, call the local area Better Business Bureau (all the offices are online at bbb.com) and ask for information on the local public courses. In addition just Google “Golf Courses” for the area you are visiting. You will come up with a ton of options.