As you tee it up, 300 yards of tree-lined fairway extends ahead. You calm your mind, take the classic stance, then SWING and the ball soars into the distance. Yes, this is going to be a good day on the links, but it takes more than being on your A game for the ultimate golf vacation to come to fruition. Here are five tips to insure that your trip is hassle and stress free.
Possibly the most important factor actually has the least to do with golf. Your travel companions can make or break any vacation, but this is particularly true if you are traveling with non-golfers. Unless everyone is playing the same amount of golf, be sure to choose a resort or a destination that has something for all interests in your group. If couples are traveling together and the ladies don’t want to play as much as the men, spa services and boutique shopping are always popular alternatives. If you are traveling with children, choose a resort that has children’s programming and activities available while the adults are on the course. When the non-golfers are happily occupied, you will have time to get in another 9 with no guilt! Or if it rains, the golfers can enjoy these activities with the others.
Obviously, the course itself is paramount. Stunning seaside or bucolic country settings aside, the quality and design of the course will make a difference. Top designers like Robert Trent Jones II, Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye command the highest respect and their name instantly makes a course more popular. The more popular a course, the farther in advance you need to arrange tee times, so the course design actually affects your planning window. You also need to know the maintenance condition of the course. If greens are being aerated or sand traps being refurbished, play can be hampered.
The course rating is the difficulty level, which is important to the enjoyment of the player. If it’s too difficult, you won’t enjoy your experience, so consider choosing a resort that has varying levels of difficulty. Course rating is actually a descriptor of how hard a course plays for a scratch golfer, meaning those who typically shoot par or better. For bogey golfers, or those who shoot about 90 or more, there is a slope rating which says how much harder the course is for the rest of us! Keep in mind that many courses require you to present a handicap card from your home course in order to get tee times.
For most people, budget is usually a factor. There are quite a few options in a golf package that may or may not be included. Ask if the resort or package includes greens fees, cart rental, driving range access, a bucket of balls, or club storage. Often if the course only allows you to pre-reserve one tee time per day, you can purchase a second round on site for a lower fee. It is important to know these options so that you can make informed choices in your trip planning and get the best value for your dollar spent.
A final consideration is whether to take your own equipment or use rental equipment. While you may love your own clubs, you can rent top name equipment to suit a variety of golf games, and it is actually a good way to try out an upgrade. If you are traveling any distance to your golf vacation, it may be easier and actually less expensive to rent clubs that to carry your own. If the resort does not offer rental equipment, there are rental companies that will deliver a full set of premium clubs directly to your resort or golf course. Avoiding the hassle of traveling with all of your equipment, the excess baggage charges from the airlines and the risk of loss or damage to your own sticks is definitely worth considering.
For your next golf vacation, let a Covington vacation expert help you choose the best golf resort to fit your style and needs. Then all that remains is to relax and play your best.