GROUP GOLF HOLIDAYS: SIX TIPS FOR A SMOOTHER TRIP
Anyone who had ever been tasked with organising a golf holiday for a large group of people, whether it be for a birthday, stag do, hen weekend, or a golf society or a group of fellow club members, will know how much of a headache it can be.
Group golf holidays are fantastic fun, but organising them can be fraught with anxiety. From agreeing on a budget, to choosing the right destination, finding the right mix of golf courses, booking large group accommodation, and ensuring there’s a good choice of après-golf entertainment close at hand – there are lots of decisions to make, and trying to keep everyone is happy is no easy job.
But there are some simple steps that you can to ensure that your large group golf holiday goes with a swing.
This house in St Andrews sleeps 10 and has it’s own short game area
Start planning as early as possible. This means you get a better choice of accommodation and tee times, as well as better prices for flights, if you’re travelling aboard. The larger the group, the sooner you should start planning. In addition, think about holiday weather, as this will have a bearing on the time of year you go and the temperatures and conditions you are prepared to play in.
Get the group together, or set up a group WhatsApp forum, and agree some basics, such as numbers of people, budget and dates. If you can have some flexibility on dates, it can help with finding the best holiday. Appoint specific members of the group of organise sections of the golf trip, such as contacting tour companies, booking flights or, if you’re staying in the UK, whether you’re all travelling to the venue separately, or hiring a minibus or coach.
There are some great hotels for golf groups, with fantastic amenities providing a hassle free holiday, while apartments, villas and large party houses are also a great for golf groups – as they can not only keep the price down, but also give you more space and a place to hang out together, rather than all staying in private hotel rooms. Lots of large private houses have swimming pools, games rooms, BBQ terraces, tennis courts etc, which can make for a much more sociable holiday.
It’s also important to know whether the members of the group want their own en-suite rooms, or are happy to share a room.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel or private houses, decide whether you prefer a destination with a buzzy nightlife for the group to have nights out, or if you prefer somewhere where you make your own entertainment, or perhaps a mix of the two.
You should organise your rounds at the same time as you’re booking your holiday, to make sure you get the tee times you want and you can play the courses you want. Try and decide how much golf the group wants to play – 36 or 18 holes a day, or 18 every second day. Are there any other preferences for golf – do you want an on-site golf course, do you want to play a variety of golf courses, and are there any ‘must-play’ courses?
In addition to golf, does the group want to do any other activities, cultural or sporting, or do they simply want to lie by the pool at the hotel or the house? If you have any non-golfers in the group, you should make sure the venue has activities to keep the non-golfers occupied during the day, while the golfers are out of the course.
THE MONEY BIT
Whether your using a tour operator, or booking golf, travel and accommodation separately, you will be required to pay a deposit in advance. It’s vital to gather the money up front, and in advance of booking the trip, so set up a new bank account in which all the group can deposit their funds. This will avoid delays in securing your holiday and avoids strain on the organiser’s credit card due to people delaying paying their share or changing their minds