Are you passionate about golf and travel, and unsure of which one you’d rather spend your vacation days on? Why not both? Round up some friends and plan a golf vacation to the UK and Ireland today! Here’s how you can make this incredible holiday dream a reality:
1 – Choose your season
The best months to head to UK and Ireland is usually the latter parts of May and the earlier parts of September. However, you just may get lucky and get decent weather during April or October. That being said, you’ll also have to be willing to pay more to go during the peak season. If you want to stick to a tighter budget, consider going earlier or later in the year, but make peace with the fact that you may encounter some poor weather. Don’t forget to think about other commitments when planning your holiday – it obviously wouldn’t be a good idea to go off with your golfing buddies on your wife’s birthday.
2 – Recruit some friends
Now that you’ve settled on the time of the year that you want to go, recruit some good friends. Great holidays are spent with great company, so be sure you’re having people along who you can have fun with yet who won’t cause drama on the course or after a couple drinks in the pub. You want people you are comfortable with yet can travel with. It’s also important that you get people who aren’t that likely to flake. If you have people dropping out last minute, there will be quite a few problems you’ll have to deal with.
3 – Settle on a budget
Vacations can range from very cheap to very pricey, and so can golf. You and your crew have to agree on a budget to match the standard of vacation and the standard of golf you want to play. It may take some discussion as there are pros and cons on both ends. It can be nice to spend a little more for a really amazing course – it’s not every day you take a golf vacation in Ireland, after all! On the other hand, you can have a great holiday on a tight budget as well, assuming you know where to go.
4 – Plan ahead
When planning any vacation, it’s a good idea to plan in advance. This is especially true for golf vacations, however, because you want to make sure that the courses you want to play on have slots on the days that you plan to be there. It’s also great because you can get your preferred hotel choice and your flight will probably be cheaper. Try anywhere from three to six months in advance – the bigger the group or more exclusive the course, the further in advance you should book. If you are planning a trip in the near future, however, you can always head on over with a couple of friends. You may not get your ideal hotel or course, but you’ll probably be able to find a pretty decent one!
5 – Look into each course
It’s tempting to put all of the most popular and highly-rated courses on your itinerary. Despite that, it’s a good idea to mix in a couple underrated locations as well. This will reduce the overall amount that you’re spending on your vacation while allowing you to experience playing on little-known tracks and enjoying the more personal vibes that these locations give off.
6 – Choose your course based on who’s coming along
Some courses are incredibly difficult, so unless your crew is made up of seasoned golfing pros, choose something that will work for everyone. Try to select a couple sub-6,500-yard courses. The veterans of your group will still have fun, but the novices won’t be struggling too much. The nature of these courses is that you can still use a short iron for your approach shot as well, and not have to pull out your 3-iron.
7 – Spend time doing other things too
You’re on holiday, for goodness sake! Golfing is fantastic but set aside some time to explore the country and really get a feel for it. Go out and taste the local cuisine and spend the evening at a local pub. Explore a couple of tourist attractions if you want to. It can be a wonderful bonding experience and maybe even the main part of the trip that you will look back on with fondness.
8 – Always budget extra time
You never know when traveling to a particular course may take a little longer or someone has to pick up a new pair of gloves. Anything could make you late for your booked time, so it’s always better to budget in some extra time rather than stressing over being late. This flexibility can make your trip a lot more enjoyable and even give you some time to relax a bit before getting serious on the course.
9 – Pack the right clothes
The UK is known for being showered with rain just about every other day, so it’s a good idea to come ready. Bring a raincoat and some spare clothes with you. It’s a great idea to bring extra golf shoes as well – if your shoes are soaked, they’ll need some time to dry out, and who wants to skip a course just to dry your shoes?
It’s also a great idea to pack some slightly more formal wear and maybe a tie. You never know when you and your crew will get an invitation to the club. You wouldn’t want to miss out just because you didn’t have clothes to look the part, would you?
10 – Ask a golf tour operator
Golf tour operators are experts in their field. They can help you plan your trip and choose the best courses to play depending on your budget and your needs. Why spend hours and hours on research when you could just go to someone who already knows all you want to find out?
Plus, it probably costs much less than you’d think. A lot of operators can offer you cheaper prices on courses that you’d be able to get on your own. You may even end up saving money!
Matthews Golf Tours is a family owned Irish company that specialises in golf vacations in Ireland, get in touch today to see how we can help plan your perfect trip.