You’ve been dreaming about it for years – but getting the group together for an out of town golf vacation always seemed like a long shot. Too many details to consider; too many previous commitments getting in the way. But this year, you’re taking the reins and you’re serious about making it happen. So, where do you start?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the logistics and planning that goes into organizing a great golf getaway. One way to avoid unneeded headaches and hassles is to look for resorts that offer Stay and Play Golf Packages. Stay and Play Packages offer you a great golf value and make planning a breeze by pairing rounds of golf for your group with on-site hotel accommodations, saving you money and stress. If you consider yourself an avid golfer, you should be taking at least one or two golf trips each year - Stay and Play Golf Packages make it easy to do.
Here are a few of my tips to make the planning process and your golf vacation experience more enjoyable with a golf Stay and Play Package:
- Pick the Right Group of Buddies
During a golf Stay and Play trip, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your group each day - about 12-16 hours, depending on how many tee times you make each day. After golf, you have dinner, drinks and night time activities. Not to mention, you’ll probably be there anywhere from two to six nights to make the most of your golf getaway. Before you plan the trip, make sure you enjoy spending extended periods of time with most of the group.
Once you’ve got your group of buddies figured out, consider how you will handle accommodation arrangements. If there are members of your group who frequently travel together and have shared rooms before, they may already know who they’d like to room with. If you have lots of new buddies who have never travelled together, take into consideration some of their basic interests and habits when coordinating roommates – do you have several buddies who get up at the crack of dawn every day, and others who like to sleep in more on their vacations? Pair the early birds with other early birds, and the night owls with other night owls. Do you have a group of buddies who like to hit the town every night, and others who will want to stay near the resort? Pair those who like to adventure and explore offsite together. Grouping roommates with similar interests will help alleviate a lot of stress during the trip!
- Find a New Golf Course or Area
Discovering a new golf course or region is always a fun bonding experience for the group and makes the entire trip more enjoyable. Playing 18 on a new golf course is a great way to add some excitement and challenge, and if Golf Advisor ranks the course highly, you should have nothing to worry about. Do you and your buddies love Robert Trent Jones golf courses but have only played a few? Look into booking a golf trip to one of his fantastic courses, like Bristol Harbour’s 18-hole golf course in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Bristol Harbour’s course offers breathtaking lake views from the front nine and scenic woodlands from the back nine, and has a great rating on Golf Advisor. Enjoying new experiences is an important part of the fun of a buddies golf getaway!
Exploring the area and finding out what makes the region special is a great way to spend some time off the links and keeps the getaway interesting and exciting. The Finger Lakes region, home to Bristol Harbour Lodge & Golf Club, offers many activities including state parks, shopping, wineries, craft breweries, antiquing, boating, fishing, and so much more. No matter what your interests, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the heart of the Finger Lakes.
- Schedule Tee Times & Arrange Formats in Advance
Making special formats and deciding the teams is always one of best parts of the golf trip. To ensure the teams are fair, and there are no grudges between playing partners, set the formats and teams well in advance. This saves the group from arguing on the first tee and causing a scene. It is also great for teams who may not have golfed together before – they can stop by one of your local golf courses to warm up in advance of the trip and get to know each other better.
Once you’ve chosen your golf getaway destination and booked your Stay and Play Package, make sure your tee times are reserved in advance, and if possible set up your replay rounds at the same time. Since playing lots of golf is the most important part of a golf getaway, knowing your golf schedule for the vacation well in advance will help you plan out the rest of your itinerary.
- Add Golf Lessons for Your Group
Many golfers are uncertain about taking golf lessons – the idea of being one-on-one with a PGA Golf Professional can be daunting to some. But in a group setting with your friends, it can be much more casual, relaxed and fun. You and your buddies can bond over learning new skills and have a great time showing off what you learned on your local golf course when you return home.
When you’re away with your friends on a Stay and Play Golf Package, it’s a great time to invest in yourself and your game by taking golf lessons from the course’s PGA Professional. The PGA Professional will also be able to offer you insider advice on the golf course and the intricacies you would not know if it is your first time on the course.
- Consider Booking a Weekday Getaway
Most golfers want to book their golf packages over a long weekend, but many resorts will offer even better pricing and deals during the weekdays. If many of your group members are retired or are able to take some vacation time from work, it is usually a better idea to schedule your tee times and accommodations for weekdays. You’ll also typically have more flexibility in scheduling your tee times, golf lessons and dining reservations. Since most courses will typically not be as busy during the week, it means fast rounds and 36 holes in under 7 hours – so you can get the most out of your Stay and Play Golf Package.
For your next great golf getaway, consider Bristol Harbour’s Signature Stay and Play Golf Package starting at $265 per person. Our package not only offers you a great value on your golf and accommodations, but you also get lots of great amenities including 50% off replay rounds, 10% off indoor golf simulator rentals, complimentary golf club storage, and more. Our Stay and Play Packages make it easy to treat your group to a great golf experience at Bristol Harbour - one of the best Finger Lakes golf courses.