David Jones is a golf fanatic who records his travels on his website, ukgolfguy.com. You can read reviews of over 100 of the best courses in the world as well as delve into his blog covering many different aspects of the golf game.
Here are David’s top 10 tips for planning a golf trip to Europe:
Choose your time of year carefully
A little bit of research can go a long way here. Get it wrong and you may find your enjoyment seriously compromised. Southern Europe and Turkey are too hot for some people in the summer months but perfect in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. Similarly, if you are thinking of Northern Europe then mid-summer is likely to be perfect – and allows for 36 holes a day quite easily.
Agree with your group what your priorities are
For some, a trip is only about the golf and therefore they are happy to be ensconced on a golf resort for the whole time. For others, staying in towns and a busy nightlife is vital. Make sure everyone has had the chance to express their preference before you go so there are no surprises when you arrive!
Don’t be afraid of something a little off the beaten track
You can organise a fantastic golf trip with your mates to the Algarve or south of Spain for sure. But there are some other fantastic destinations out there that you may have never considered – how about Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Lisbon? All have fantastic golf options but much more beyond. If you want to go really obscure, then how about venturing into Eastern Europe for a change?!
If you are renting a car – go big
No-one on a golf trip has ever complained that their hire car is too big. It’s amazing how 4 sets of golf clubs and luggage can seem to grow in size over the course of a week. If you get as big a vehicle as you can won’t have to stress about how on earth, you’re possibly going to get everything in it!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew with the course selection
It can be tempting to try to make sure every course you play is a classic. While that may suit some people it also means you are likely to find the going gets a bit tough. Put a couple of easier courses in there along with one ‘great’ course and you will have a good recipe for success. Also, think very carefully before doing 36 holes in a day – you may find it a bit much on a hot summer’s day.
Plan your travel carefully
No-one is going to thank the organiser who plans a trip where you get off the course at 8pm and then go straight into the car for a 4-hour ride! You may need to forsake a couple of good courses for plenty of time for food, drink and sleep. Also, try to avoid the early tee time, 6am starts can be easily missed…
Play the right tees
One sure way to ruin a trip is by making everyone play off the tees most suitable for the best player. Go the other way and play up a set of tees and you are all likely to have a lot more fun.
Book ahead if you want a buggy
Sometimes, if you are doing 36 holes in a day or know it’s going to be very hot, you may want to take buggy. Do make sure you book this in advance though as there’s nothing worse than turning up in the mid-day sun and being told you are going to have to walk the course.
Choose a format that won’t beat you up too badly
A medal stroke play with three-quarter handicaps over 8 rounds is unlikely to be much fun for anyone. Instead try to find a format that will ensure everyone has fun and something to play for in every round. Stableford is the likely best format to do that – maybe with handicap adjustments between rounds with greater weighting put in the later rounds so everyone still has a chance to win.
Don’t forget to take some photos
A golf trip with mates is a precious thing. In years to come you will want to look back and remember some of the great moments you have had so don’t forget to whip out the phone and take a few pictures from time to time. And maybe a video when the impossible bunker shot or heroic carry across water is required.
This is a post from David Jones who runs the popular golf website www.ukgolfguy.com
For inspiration on your next European golf trip explore more at https://www.golf-escapes.com/