What Makes The Perfect Group Golf Break
IT’S that time of year when you might be considering planning a golf break, either with a small group of friends or with a society.
So what do you need to consider before you get it booked?
If you and your friends are high handicappers then you really don’t want to be tackling any tough championship courses.
Golf breaks are meant to be fun - and that certainly won’t be the case if you are constantly trying to find golf balls in knee-high rough or facing 200-yard carries across water or heather before you find the short and prepared.
As a veteran society organiser I still clearly remember the time when one of our group lost the plot. Having struggled on a tricky course on the Sunday, he was in the group ahead of me on the Monday and was having a thoroughly miserable time.
But he took it all in his stride until we came to the ninth hole, a par five with a pond to the left and water guarding the green. We looked on in utter disbelief as, after one bad shot too many, he picked up his bag and trolley and threw the whole lot into the pond.
He then started to stomp off, stopped, turned round, walked back to the edge of the water, stripped off and waded in. He realised that his golf bag contained his car keys, wallet and mobile phone. We thought it was hilarious. He did not! And he never came on another golf break.
Know Your Golfers
Golf breaks with a group of friends tend to be social occasions. If you have people with you who struggle on the golf course they are not going to thank you for taking them to a challenging layout.
Bear in mind that you are going to be spending at least one night away so think about the group dynamic. Does everybody get on?
If you are staying at a golf resort think long and hard about your room pairings. Ask people who they want to share with.
I speak from painful personal experience when I tell you that you should always check what time the bar closes.
I once took a group of 40 golfers to Essex for a Sunday-Monday break. All went well until the barman called time - at 10pm! Worse than that, when we tried to buy drinks to take back to our rooms we were informed that it wasn’t allowed. To say that I was unpopular is the understatement of all time.
It was a schoolboy error. So make sure there is somewhere for everybody to gather if that should happen to you.
Consider whether it might be worth your while to set up a drinks kitty whereby you take a sum of money from each individual. This won’t work for every group because, inevitably, there will be those who don’t drink very much, just as there will be others who are beer monsters.
Make it Fun
Competition is what makes golf breaks work best. So make sure you have everybody on board when you decide on the format. The chances are that most members of your group will not want stroke play. Stableford usually works best. And offer people the chance to take Mulligans.
If there are enough of you, why not consider splitting the groups into teams? Buy a cheap trophy and maybe pit the youngest members of your group against the older ones.
And why not consider setting up a sports quiz in the evening? But don’t make it too difficult!
Do your research. If there are more 12 of you in the group make sure that the accommodation on offer is going to work for you. Check the menu. If you are a Golfshake subscriber it is easy to check out reviews of the course you are planning to visit. Does it welcome societies?
And when they give you a quote, don’t be frightened to ask them for a discount or ask whether they are prepared to put up some prizes. They can only say no, and if they do offer you an incentive the chances are that you have found a venue that embraces societies.
If you are going abroad make sure that everybody knows they have to bring a passport!
I once organised a trip to northern France that involved getting everybody to meet in a car park in Folkestone before we boarded the train with our cars. As I ticked everybody off, one of them realised that his passport had expired so he had to climb back into his car and head home. On another occasion we stood in the same car park when one of our group suddenly remembered that he had left his passport on the kitchen table - in London!
And as silly as this may sound, don’t forget to remind your drivers that when they get across the Channel they will be driving on the other side of the road. Seriously! On a trip to Golf D’Hardelot I was sitting in the front passenger seat as we travelled along a country road when I suddenly realised that my driver was on the left side after going round a roundabout the wrong way!
But above all else, remember to have fun!
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
comments powered by Disqus