Fore: How to Plan a Golf Vacation

Last updated October 23, 2023

Are you an avid golfer or just picking up a club for the first time? Get ready to tee off. Below, we share everything you need to know to plan a golf vacation (with a little booking help from Vacayou)!

Playing the same course day in and day out does nothing for your game. Golfing vacations provide a break from the norm and offer a way to spice up your swing. Golf vacations don’t have to break the bank, either. Many resorts offer packages for every budget—even on award-winning championship courses. Play and stay golf packages take the hassle out of booking greens and tee-off times.

Here are some reasons why you should plan your own golf vacation today!

Choosing the Perfect Golf Destination

There are many outstanding golf destinations worldwide for passionate golfers, each with its own particularities. Think coastal views or fairways lined with cacti or lush rolling greens amidst pine forests. 

Many golf resorts come with a wide array of activities and services besides golf. So, remember to review the resort’s amenities before booking. Thorough research and guest reviews can also help you make an informed decision. 

To help you plan your upcoming golf vacation, here are some of the best golf courses to choose from.

1. Scottsdale, Arizona

Located in the Sonoran Desert, approximately 30 miutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Boulders Resort & Spa is spread on 1,300 acres of untouched landscape. The luxurious resort offers over 200 guestrooms, private casitas and several other villas, fully furnished and well-equipped.

Recreational services include a spa and fitness center, restaurant and bars, swimming pools, tennis courts and other sports activities. The Boulders’ two award-winning Jay Morrish-designed golf courses—the North Course and the South Course—are desert-style layouts providing breathtaking views of the unique and ancient boulder formations. Playing either of these courses is truly a rewarding experience. 

2. Hammock Beach, Florida

Pairing a memorable golf match with a stroll on the beach is always a good idea, and Hammock Beach is one of the best golf resorts in Florida. This upscale location is situated 23 miles from St. Augustine and 33 miles from Daytona Beach, along the Atlantic Coast.

Guests can indulge in the multitude of dining options, spa services, fitness center, waterpark—and above all, the two championship golf courses. The Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, features six holes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is the epitome of oceanfront golf perfection. The second contrasting course at Hammock Beach is designed by Tom Watson and is known as the Conservatory Course, a masterpiece of picturesque island green.

3. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Ninety-five miles southwest of Charleston, Hilton Head Island is infused with Southern hospitality and blessed with delightful weather. It’s a popular destination for golfers who enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Hilton Head Island is home to more than 23 championship golf courses. It’s no wonder this destination is among the top preferences of passionate golfers. Designed by world-famous architects such as Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, the private and public oceanfront and parkland courses can be enjoyed regardless of skill level

Guests staying at Hilton Head Health can take advantage of the many clinics and private lessons on offer at Shipyard Golf Club.

4. Scotland

Golfers who crave adventure and wish to embark on a journey outside the U.S. can discover in Perthshire, Scotland, one of the most enchanting mountain settings. A luxury destination with a century-old tradition, Gleneagles Hotel is just an hour away from Glasgow and Edinburgh and prides itself in exquisite cuisine, excellent spa services, thrilling sports, and many other notable experiences that add a higher note of enjoyment to the trip.

This country estate is a sporting paradise with golf at its very core and is particularly renowned for its three championship golf courses. Perhaps the most famous jewel, the King’s Course, was inaugurated in 1919 and is considered the best moorland track in the world, with holes that blend perfectly into the landscape.

The second course, one of the UK’s finest par-68 heathland golf courses, is The Queen’s Course, and Nicklaus-designed Centenary Course is Gleneagles’s third. The unmatched beauty of the place, hosting some of the finest players in the world as well as novices, makes this golf destination an exceptional one. 

Establishing a Budget for Your Golf Vacation

Budget is another essential factor in planning your golf vacation. Low-season prices at popular destinations may allow you to play at prestigious courses outside your budget. 

You don’t need a lot of money to have fun. You need a budget to cover the essentials: golf course and play expenses, traveling costs, accommodation, food and drinks. It’s also worth being well-prepared for additional activities and entertainment. There are oftentimes hidden fees so do your due diligence beforehand.

Packing for Your Golf Trip

The rules are typically the same when it comes to playing either on a public or a private golf course. However, there are certain recommendations regarding clothing and accessories. You can always contact the golf resort in advance and inquire about the required dress code. We suggest the following:

  • Waterproof footwear. Perfect for rainy days on wet grass, with soft spikes for an improved swing
  • A short or long-sleeved and collared polo shirt
  • Denim pants are not acceptable; shorts or slacks with belt loops are appropriate for men and shorts or skirts for women
  • Brightly-colored clothing can be disturbing due to sunlight; select more neutral colors, such as gray, beige, tan, cream or khaki

Make sure to pack enough golf clubs and balls in your bag. Professional golfers typically carry around 14 clubs, but 8 or 10 should be enough for regular golfers. If you need a new club, you can always order online or rent it at the golf resort. 

Exploring Available Tour Packages

The best thing you can do when it comes to planning a stress-free golf vacation is to book a golf package. Golf vacation travel planners have already figured out what works and what doesn’t. This can really help you find the best golf deals and the type of courses you’re looking for. 

Then pack your things, gather your family or friends, and head to your destination. That’s all there usually is to it! An experienced golf trip package will provide you with everything you need, from transportation and accommodations to entertainment advice. The key is to figure out what kind of experience you’re after. 

No golf destination is the same, and that’s what makes the game both challenging and delightful.

About the Author: Sean Petersen knows a place or two where golfers can unwind and enjoy the game. Sean is an adventurous traveler and the founder of Golf Trip Junkie. His passion is discovering new golf resorts to play a round or two on their courses.

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