3 Key Considerations when Planning a Golf Trip


3 Key Considerations when Planning a Golf Trip

Over the past decade, I’ve planned dozens of golf trips. Many as part of the Crown Club, a golf society that I co-founded, and others as part of personal trips with friends and family. Some trips were certainly better than others, due to factors that were in and/or out of my control. In this article, we’ll focus on three important factors that are in your control. If you can get these key considerations ironed out beforehand, you are well on your way to a great golf trip!


The most important consideration are the priorities of those going on the trip. Is it a buddies trip where everyone wants to play 36 a day? Or perhaps a couples or family trip where golf may not be the activity on the agenda? Some golf destinations and resorts are better set up for certain types of groups and cater to their preferences. For example, if you are going on a buddies trip where everyone wants to play 36 holes per day, places like Bandon Dunes or Pinehurst would be great options since there are many courses that are close together, minimizing the amount of driving and maximizing time on the course. If you are going on a couples trip where the preference is to play one round per day and to perhaps go to nice restaurants or a spa, places like Kohler or Sea Island are great fits. Or if you want to combine golf and other outdoor activities, a region like Central Oregon would be a nice option.

Also, what are everyone’s preferences on the course? If the group wants to walk every round (perhaps with caddies), the options could be very different than if the group would prefer to take carts. Also, if you are putting on a tournament for your group (e.g. Ryder Cup), certain destinations will help with this. If you are organizing a tournament, I would highly suggest using Golf Genius for scoring. They have a Trip Planner option where you can set up a custom website and have live scoring for your trip. It’s $149 per trip which is very reasonable for groups of 16+.

Ideally everyone is on the same page and has the same priorities, but that’s not always the case. It can get tricky when you have a group with different priorities, and in these cases you’ll have to do your best to cater to everyone. Larger resorts typically have something for everyone in the group. Our free website has filters that will help you find what your group is looking for (e.g. onsite lodging, short course onsite, spa, caddies). You can also see reviews and ratings from fellow golfers who have been to that particular course.

Kiawah Island Resort near Charleston SC is a full service resort and can cater to many different types of groups, from buddies trips to couples trips to family trips

Our free website allows you to filter on over 30 data points to help you find the best destination based on your group’s preferences


Determining how much time you have on your trip and when you plan on traveling is very important. The duration of your trip will determine where you can go. For example, if you have a week and you live on the east coast of the United States, you could consider a golf trip to the UK since it’s roughly the same travel time as going to the west coast of the United States. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate trips with less time in the car and more time at the destination enjoying company and the activities. On our website, you can see where the courses are on a map to determine where good “clusters” of courses are and how much time will be spent in transit.

Also, determining what time of year you will be traveling is key. We are all busy and ideally you can visit a place that has peak weather for when you’ll be there. Our free website has a weather filter where you can enter the month you are traveling and the desired temperature and we’ll show you courses that meet those criteria. You can also see monthly temperatures and precipitation on our detailed course profiles. This will help you avoid traveling to a destination that may have dicey weather certain times of year. Also, check the aerification schedule for potential courses you are going to visit. Many have those on their websites but a quick call to the pro shop will typically suffice.

The weather filter on our free website is a handy tool for determining where the best destinations are for any given month

Bandon Dunes on the coast of Oregon is a world-class buddies trip destination but the location will deter some especially if at least 4-5 days is not in the cards


Nobody likes surprises, which is why it’s crucial to understand everyone’s budget before you book your trip. We have price filters on our website that you can use to get a sense of the cost of the golf portion of the trip, which is a good starting place. Getting the costs for golf and lodging are easier than food & beverage but typically you can get a sense of pricing for restaurants on the resort websites. Also, many resorts offer the ability to start individual tabs for all expenses, versus a master tab you are ultimately responsible for. If this is the case, you as the group organizer may only be responsible for an initial deposit, which is much easier to compute and collect than individual tabs. Ask the Concierge at the hotel or resort you are staying at if creating individual tabs for everything is possible – not all resorts will advertise this. On a recent 20-person trip to Bandon Dunes with the Crown Club this past summer, we were able to put all food and beverage on individual tabs, which was great since different people consumed different amounts. If you aren’t traveling to a resort or if this isn’t an option, check out Splitwise, which is a handy app for determining who owes what at the end of the trip.

If your group is looking to travel on a budget, there are typically cheaper rates during the shoulder seasons or offseason. Again, the weather filters on our free website can help you determine which months offer the “best bang for your buck”. You can compare temperature and precipitation to the green fee rates and optimize! If you are not looking to play 36 per day, you likely will be able to stretch your money further by doing a different activity in the morning and taking advantage of afternoon/twilight discounted rates for golf. If you do want to play a lot of golf, try to find a place that offers good replay rates. Many places will offer up to 50% off your replay round. Bandon Dunes Resort actually offers your 3rd round of the day free!

Resorts aren’t the only option for golf trips! Destinations like Myrtle Beach have a ton of courses close together and is a place where you can stretch your dollar!

Your Next Golf Trip

There’s obviously a lot more that will go into planning a trip but considering these three important factors is a great place to start. It’s also a useful exercise that will help you narrow down destination options and get the best value for your budget. For more assistance planning your next golf trip, check out our free website. We currently cover courses in the United States but will soon expand globally, and will be providing “Country Profiles” that will be a handy starting place when planning a golf trip to a particular country. If you have any other useful tips for planning golf trips, please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!

A trip to the UK for your next golf trip may be more of a possibility than you think! Most courses are accessible and reasonably priced. Stay tuned for the first of our Country Profiles to help plan trips to Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand!

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