Guest author, Sean Peterson, founder of Golf Trip Junkie —
Planning the perfect golf trip is a mix of thorough planning, last-minute hot deals, and a bit of luck, especially during this pandemic and its ever-changing restriction policies. But don’t let that ruin your intentions to plan a golf trip during these times.
While there’s no exact science to nailing the best offers, it may require a bit more digging and research given the current climate. However, it’s completely doable, and if you take these tips to heart, they’ll surely save you a lot of hurdles on the way.
Save the date
It’s possible that picking a date that you and your golf buddies can agree on is one of the most challenging things to set in stone when planning a golf trip. You and your girlfriends will have to dodge many weddings, birthdays, and unforeseen circumstances, to make things work and save the date.
One of the best tips we can give you when it comes to agreeing on a date as a group is for
everyone to agree on dates that don’t work for them and plan the trip around those
periods. It’s a reverse planning technique, but it works wonders.
However, try to remain flexible because even with the best planning, things can go south
quickly, so don’t get discouraged and always keep your options open.
Finally, make sure that you are up to speed with the coronavirus restrictions, especially if
you travel out of state. Not all states have the same regulations and policies, so
triple-check that you don’t need to be quarantined. Also, check to see if you need proof of
vaccination or just a negative PCR test if you travel by air.
Choose a location that fits your needs
After you’ve successfully chosen a date, you can brainstorm where you and your golf buddies would like to go. Now, this could go either way, but everyone must be on the same page when it comes to budget, activities, and of course, the location. Not everyone might be willing to spend loads of money on vacation, so setting a budget and communicating each of your expectations is crucial.
Next, think of the amenities and food and beverages options available, including any add-ons you would like during your golf trip.
You may ask the following questions to understand your groups needs better:
- How many players are in your group?
- Are you looking for a more challenging course layout? Or something easier?
- Would you prefer to play at a country club or a public golf course?
- Is the golf course near a city, local attractions, or the airport?
- How far are you and your friends willing to travel?
Aside from amenities, it would be best if you also considered value:
- Does your chosen location offer all-inclusive packages or seasonal discounts?
- Do they charge extra tax? What’s included and what’s not?
- Since golf courses require a lot of maintenance, don’t forget to ask when was the last time they aerated the course?
Scout for hidden fees
One smart thing you can do for your peace of mind and wallet is to look for hidden fees
and ask all the right questions. While most golf courses come with many free or
all-inclusive packages, not all do.
So, the last thing you’ll want is to arrive there and find out that you need to pay X amount
of $$ for cleaning, luxury taxes, or any state/local taxes, which could very well increase
your travel costs by 15-20%.
While planning a golf trip for your group might seem challenging or downright
frustrating sometimes, remember that the devil’s in the details, and if you catch those tiny
discrepancies, planning everything will go a lot smoother.
Go for on-site logging whenever possible
This tip might save you from growing a few extra gray hairs during your vacation and
make everything less challenging. Imagine waking up 30 minutes earlier or more just
because the golf course you’ve chosen is too far to go by foot at 7 in the morning.
It’s the tiny things such as this that could make or break your vacation, and it’s
significantly more challenging if you’re going as a group.
Most golf resorts offer discounts for on-site lodging. However, you might be able to save
a lot more if you look for resorts that have included on-site logging. In addition, we
advise you to go for golf courses that offer timeshare business because they’re slower and
have better availability.
Planning the daily motions in advance
While there’s nothing wrong with ‘swinging it’ or spontaneity, a bit of planning out your
days will make things easier and more fun for your group.
So, this means planning your arrivals and departures, tea/coffee times, dinner
reservations, and anything else you can think of. Naturally, there’s nothing wrong with
moving things around, but at least you have a base that keeps your group on their feet
Overall, the goal of this trip is to have a great time with your friends. Of course, not
everything will be perfect or fall into place all the time, but if you do your due diligence
and plan everything as best you can, you and your friends will have the time of your life.
Of course, take all the necessary precautions during the pandemic: wear your mask when
needed, bring sanitizer, and check all and any restrictions that may impede your golf trip.
Sean Petersen is the founder of Golf Trip Junkie, an invaluable resource of personalized
golf destinations and vacations, tips, and how-tos for the regular golfer. Sean himself is
an avid golfer and has had the opportunity to visit and golf on some of the most
renowned courses in the country. Customer satisfaction is his A-game, and before
booking any vacation, Sean makes sure to ask every client what they’re looking for in a
vacation to make sure that they book the trip of their dreams.