Advice for planning a Weekend Golf Trip with Friends
Golf weekend trips are a blast. If you are an avid player, it’s tough to beat playing 3+ rounds in a couple of days with your friends. One thing to note for a successful golf trip is that planning and research are critical. While that might not sound appealing, logging those extra couple of hours on investigating golf courses and places to stay is worth it in the end. The way these trips go south is poor planning or having several players who simply don’t contribute to the process.
Look at your group of friends and identify the following key people:
- Person who enjoys spreadsheets and organizing to keep track of shared expenses
- Person who knows how to successfully use sites like airbnb or Homeaway. Hotels are typically more pricey but are obviously an option as well
- Person who enjoys negotiating with golf courses or finding deals via Groupon Golf Getaways, GroupGolfer, or other related sites
- Person who knows how to grill well or prepare food for all of the players involved. Alternatively, find the person who wants to find restaurants to eat at if you want to go that route
- Person who won’t screw up booze and food purchases (don’t underestimate this)
- Person who knows and wants to organize all of the different golf games/matches. Print out the scorecards from each course and document strokes for each match if there are different handicaps. This makes the day of play go smoothly without any confusion on who won each game/match. We are looking into developing some software to help with this, so check back later for a cool solution for the handicapping conundrum
A lot of times one person can accomplish several of these tasks, but dividing and conquering is the absolute best strategy. When it all falls on one or two people, it can be a daunting task and corners will be cut.
My advice on gambling on the trip – have different ways to win (separate scrambles or closest to the pin contests) to keep players interested throughout the trip. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount you may lose to avoid any people leaving upset.
I have had varying levels of success when negotiating tee time deals for these types of trips, but you are much more likely to have luck in non-peak times of the year. This typically means beginning of the season through May and from October through end of season for Midwest golfers. Keep the peak vs. non-peak idea in mind if you are playing with more price-sensitive players. You can end up saving plenty of cash by playing out of peak season.