Advice on Golf and Travel

Fairmont Banff Springs in Canada
Top 5 Golf Travel Tips

1. Research, research, research--Get on the web, scour magazines and talk to friends to find out all you can about the destinations you're considering. Obviously, evaluate the courses you'll be playing, but pay close attention to the weather. Many times packages are priced extremely low because it's the rainy season or its hotter than a blast furnace.

2. Use a packager--I'm certainly not against putting a golf trip together by cherry picking the web and creating a list of courses at a destination and finding a great deal on a hotel, but, guess what, somebody has already done all the work for you--golf packagers. There are some great ones out there like Wide World of Golf, Haversham and Baker and Premier Golf. (see my complete list below).

3. Book early--In recent years there's been a trend towards waiting to the last minute to swoop down on some awesome deal. However, with golf packages, the sooner you get in on the deal the better.

4. Schedule smart--Don't overload yourself on golf. You need to understand your physical limitations and golf can also be mentally draining. Try to include other types of recreation, shopping and dining in your itinerary. If your spouse is accompanying you, head to the spa.

5. Use a top of the line golf travel bag--If you've got an expensive set of clubs (and most decent sets are expensive these days) don't try to save money with a cheap travel bag. Get one from a respected manufacturer like Club Glove, Datrek, Izzo or Ogio.

My Top Five Golf Package Specialists

If you want experts to coordinate your next great golf excursion. Check out one of these top notch firms that have been planning and executing successful golf trips for decades:
 Premier Golf
 Wide World of Golf
 Haversham and Baker Golfing Expeditions
 PerryGolf 
 Golfpac Travel


International Golf Package Specialists
 The Old Course Experience-St. Andrews 
Golfscape Luxury Golf Travel
Machrihanish Dunes in Scotland
 La Haute Couture du Voyage (France)
 Tobs Kenya Golf Safaris (Kenya) 
 Celtic Golf (Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales) 
 Wales Golf Vacations (Wales) 
 Golf International Inc. 
 Kalos Golf 
 SGH Golf 
 Golf Vacations to Ireland
Golf Holiday Italy 


My Top 20 Favorite Golf Resorts in North America

1. Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, North Carolina
Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta, Canada
2. Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, Florida
3. American Club, Kohler, Wisconsin
4. The Lodge and Spa at Cordiillera, Vale, Colorado
5. Bandon Dunes, Bandon, Oregon
6. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
7. Kiawah Island Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
8. PGA National Resort and Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
9. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida
10.Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Big Island, Hawaii
11.Barton Creek, Austin, Texas
12.Lodge at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, California
13.The Cloister, Sea Island, Georgia
14.One& Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
15.Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Resort, Jasper, Alberta, Canada
16.Reynolds Planation, Ritz Carlton Lodge, Lake Oconee, Georgia
17.The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
18.Fairmont Banff Springs Resort, Banff Springs, Canada
19.Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, Half Moon Bay, California
20.Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, California

My Top Ten Favorite International Golf Resorts

Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire, Scotland
1. The Grove, London England
2. Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, Scotland
3. Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Scotland
4. Gleneagles, Perthshire, Scotland
5. Celtic Manor Resort, Wales, England
6. Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort, Sintra, Portugal
7. Fairmont St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland
8. Mission Hills Resort, Shenzhen, China
9. Dona Filipa Hotel, Algarve, Portugal
10.Windsor Hotel Golf and Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya



  

New Course at Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, Florida


My Top Five Favorite Airline Booking Sites
1. Cheapoair.com  
2. Momondo.com  
3. Kayak.com 
4. Airlineconsolidator.com  
5. Orbitz.com  

Meeting Planners and Golf Group Coordinators, check out my posts at Cvent http://blog.Cvent.com/blog/golfinsider

Celtic Manor Resort, Wales, England




How to Plan Your Golf Getaway (A Brief Primer)
Cabot Links, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Big Three: Links to Official Sites of St. Andrews, Pinehurst and Pebble Beach Golf

St. Andrews, Scotland

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Pebble Beach, California 


My Favorite Golf Buddy Trips
(Listed alphabetically)

Bandon Dunes 
Bali Hai Golf Club, Las Vegas
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 
Gulf Shores, Alabama 
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 
Las Vegas, Nevada 
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (The Grand Strand) 
Northern Michigan 
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Scottsdale, Arizona 
St. Andrews, Scotland 





Golf Trails

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (Alabama)


Tennessee Golf Trail 

Emerald Coast Golf Trail (Florida Panhandle)

Golf on the Santa Fe Golf Trail (New Mexico) 


Tennessee Golf Trail
Pete Dye Golf Trail (Indiana) 

Kentucky State Parks Golf Trail 

Natural State Golf Trail (Arkansas) 

Idaho Golf Trail 

Colorado Golf Trails 

Alamo City Golf Trail (San Antonio, Texas) 

Brainerd Golf Trail (Minnesota) 

Divine 9 Golf Trail (Carson City, Nevada)

Lewis & Clark Golf Trail (North Dakota)  

Top 5 Favorite Golf Course Designers (Modern Era)
Greg Norman's Shark's Tooth in Panama City Beach, FL

1. Tom Fazio

2. Greg Norman

3. Tom Doak

4. Pete Dye

5. Robert Trent Jones II

Top 5 Favorite Golf Course Designers (Pre-Modern Era)

Stanley Thompson's Banff Springs Golf Course in Alberta, Canada
1. Donald Ross

2. Dr. Alister Mackenzie

3. Old Tom Morris

4. Stanley Thompson

4. Robert Trent Jones Sr.  










Links to Tourism Offices for U.S. Golf Destinations



Half Moon Bay near San Francisco, CA
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina




 
Tampa, Florida


Links to Tourism Offices for International Golf Destinations

England

France 
Castle Stuart in Inverness, Scotland

Ireland 

Italy

Portugal

Scotland 

Spain

Wales 



Favorite Courses I've Played Around the World

Corales at Puna Cana, Dominican Republic
Bay Hill, Orlando, Florida
Abaco Club, Bahamas
Ailsa Course, Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland
Atlantic City C.C., New Jersey
Ballyliffin, North Irleand
Blue Monster, Doral Resort, Miami, Florida
Boulders Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona
Callaway Gardens Resort, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Camp Creek, Panama City, Florida
Carne Golf Links, No. Ireland
Celtic Manor, 2010 Course, Wales
Chambers Bay, Washington State
Champion Course, PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Copperhead, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, Florida
Corales, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Desert Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona
Donegal Golf Club, No. Ireland
Enniscrone, North Ireland
The Grove, London, England
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Jasper Lodge, Alberta Canada
Keystone Resort, Keystone, Colorado
Kingsbarns, Scotland
Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida
MetroWest, Orlando, Florida
Mission Hills Resort Faldo Course, China
Mission Hills Resort Olazabal Course, China
Mount Kenya Safari Club, Kenya
Mid-Ocean, Bermuda
New Course, Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, Florida
Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Resort, South Carolina
Ocean Links Course, Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Florida
Old White Course, Greenbrier Resort, West Virginia
Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst, North Carolina
Pinehurst No. 8, Pinehurst, North Carolina
Rosapenna, No. Irleand
Royal North Devon, SW England
Royal Porthcawl, Wales, England
Salish Cliffs, Tacoma, Washington
Seaside Course, The Cloister, Sea Island Resort
Silverado Resort, Napa Valley, California
Southern Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Seaview Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey
St. Enodoc's Church Course, SW England
Sun Valley Resort, Idaho
Teeth of the Dog, Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
Thompson Course, Banff Springs Resort, Banff, Canada
TPC Stadium Course, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
Tranquilo Golf Club, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Trilogy Golf Club, Ocala, Florida
Trump Ireland, Doonbeg, Ireland
Vale do Lobo's Royal Course, Portugal
Victoria Hills, Deland, Florida
Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, Orlando, Florida
Wild Dunes, Charleston, South Carolina
Windsor GC, Nairobi, Kenya
Winter Pines, Winter Park, Florida