8 Tips to Find Your Ideal Golf Break
EVERYBODY loves a bargain, and that is just as true when it comes to booking a golf break as it is with anything else – and the good news is that there are lots of great deals to be had.
They say that if something seems too good to be true then it usually is, but that is not necessarily the case any longer with golf breaks. Gone are the days when resorts could name their price. There are several reasons for this, not least because there is a huge amount of competition out there and also because, as sad as it is true, participation numbers are falling. This means courses which also boast hotels are increasingly keen to get your business.
We believe there are some common sense tips that you should follow to ensure that you find the best value for money.
#1 Free Places for Group Bookings
There once was a time when some resorts were wary of accepting bulk bookings, so groups of, say, 20 men might once have found that it was a struggle to find a suitable venue. There were several reasons for this, but right at the top of the list was the fact that clubs (and their staff) were concerned about the behaviour of those golfers during the evening. Men (and women) who enjoyed a bit of light-hearted banter in the immediate aftermath of their afternoon round, tend to become somewhat rowdier after a few drinks. But things have changed – if you want to book in a large party now, the chances are that the person making the booking will be given a free place. Or the resort may offer a discount, prizes for your competition or even a brand spanking new driver. There were also concerns about large groups taking forever to get around. Most resort courses have a difficult balancing act to perform between guests and members and it is a fact that societies tend to take the thick end of five hours to get around most 18-hole courses, so expect a course marshal to be in attendance, encouraging you to keep up your pace of play or wave through the group behind you.
#2 Golf Handicap Requirements
Another sign of the times is that very few resort courses will ask you for handicap certificates and that can only be a good thing because it means they are happy to welcome golfers of all standards. The worst thing in the world for any group of golfers is to arrive at a venue and feel that they are not welcome.
#3 Ask The Experts
Use a reputable golf holiday company to help you. We have said this before and we will say it again – companies such as Golfbreaks.com have built their reputations on being able to provide customer satisfaction, and that applies equally if you are booking a short golf break or a holiday. The courses they offer have all been visited and played. What’s more, they take notice of platforms such as Trip Advisor. Golf breaks are meant to be fun.
#4 Get The Inside Track
Before you pay for your break, ask some questions. Is there a room where you and your party will be able to have a few drinks on their own? Does the price quoted include a full menu choice? If you want a starter or a dessert, will they charge you extra? How many people are likely to be sharing the dining room with you?
#5 Check Course Access
If you are booking a resort attached to a famous course, does your booking entitle you to play that layout? The likes of Celtic Manor and The Belfry have several courses and it is likely that the price you see online will not include access to their championship courses. Before you book, check what the asking price entitles you to. If you want to play the championship course, don’t be frightened to ask how much extra it will cost. And don’t be afraid to barter. Remember that they want your business.
#6 What Other Facilities Do You Get Access To?
If you are staying for more than one night, check out the facilities. You may want to have a swim, spend some time in the gym, play tennis or head to the local town, village or city. And if you are planning to leave the site at night, check how far away the town is, how much the taxi ride will cost you – and when they stop running.
#7 When Does The Bar Close?
Another thing you really should do when making your booking is to ask what time the bar closes. Even in this day and age, there are golf hotels that pull down the shutters at 10.30pm. If you have a group of thirsty golfers then you are going to have a pretty unhappy party if you haven’t checked in advance and the barman suddenly calls: “Last orders please.”
#8 Get Social
Are you on Twitter? If you have identified the venue you want to visit, put out a tweet asking for other golfers to give you their verdict.