Golf Vacations

Make your trip a hole-in-one

Perhaps your course of choice is in the mountains, or maybe alongside the ocean; but for any golfer, a golf vacation can be both a challenge and an opportunity for peace and relaxation.

A golf vacation can be a welcome break from the familiarity of a golfer's local courses. Whether it's an Ireland golf vacation, a California golf vacation, a Florida golf vacation, one of many Myrtle Beach golf vacations, or one of countless other destinations available, there are some things to keep in mind.

Plan ahead.

Many resort courses and other popular courses have tee times that fill up quickly. If you're going to play a world-renowned course, then you will likely have to make a reservation weeks, if not months, in advance. If flying, it is recommended you reserve your tee times at the same time you make your flight reservations. That way you have a greater chance of getting the tee times you really want.

Bring friends.

Most resort courses and other popular courses will not let you play alone. They will match up foursomes, so if you don't want to play with strangers, ask some of your friends to tag along.

Buy a club travel case.

Airlines are notoriously hard on luggage. When you're transporting clubs, which can run into the thousands of dollars, damage could ruin your vacation very quickly. A good travel case will run $175 or more, but the investment is well worth it.

Know the weather.

There are weather peculiarities in every region. For example, if you are heading to Florida in the summer, an afternoon tee time would not be the wisest choice as that is usually when thunderstorms pop up. The flip side, of course, is that afternoon tee times are usually cheaper in the state.

Know the rules.

Some resort courses will only let you play if you are staying on the resort property. Don't plan a trip to a certain destination assuming you will be able to play your desired course. Call ahead or check online.

See some sights.

Sure, you're there for the golf, but most resort locations with fabulous golf courses offer plenty of other options in the area that make stepping off the greens well worthwhile.

These simple guidelines could be the difference between a great vacation and a disappointment. Golf vacations can be fun, but they do take planning. Doing as much research and planning in advance as you can is vital.

By Kenneth Black