While playing golf on your home course is plenty of fun, taking your game on the road is an awesome way to enjoy the game. Buddy-trips come in all different forms – from day trips to weekend trips or even weeklong trips.
Evaluating your options on the front end will help you be more prepared to properly schedule your itinerary. Day trips do not require much planning; securing a tee time is all you really need. Weekend buddy-trips to locations within reasonable driving distance require some advanced planning but could also be spur of the moment. Weeklong trips across the country or across the pond require much more planning.
If you call the Lake Martin area home, there are plenty of day-trip options close by. These golf courses are accessible to the public and are all fun to play:
- Farmlinks Golf Course (Sylacauga)
- Robert Trent Jones at Grand National (Opelika)
- Robert Trent Jones at Capitol Hill (Prattville)
- Robert Trent Jones at Oxmoor Valley (Birmingham)
Weekend trips are a ton of fun and allow you to spend quality time with friends. There are numerous options, some requiring air travel, but plenty are within reasonable driving distance. When planning an overnight trip, lodging will be required. While resorts or hotels are the most common ways to find a pillow, using Airbnb or VRBO are also great options for securing decent lodging while keeping costs down. Remember: Always check availability of the golf course prior to booking your lodging. Here are some ideas on places to take weekend trips:
- Sandestin (Florida)
- Barnsley Resort (North Georgia)
- Old Waverly & Mossy Oak (Mississippi)
- Sweetens Cove (Tennessee)
- Sea Island Resort (Georgia)
Weeklong trips are fantastic. There are a million different options and ways to plan and execute these types of golf trips.
Advanced planning is key. You could use a golf travel agency or enlist the help of a PGA Professional to help plan the trip. When looking to find a place to play, you have to first look at your budget. These golf excursions can get pricey, so be prepared.
In addition, depending on your group’s size, you’ll want to make sure you will enjoy the company of your entire group. A week is a long time to be on the road. You’ll be sharing meals, cocktail hours and multiple rounds of golf with three, seven, 11 or more of your buddies.
Book tee times for these classic destinations at least 12 months in advance:
- Ireland (Northern or Southwest)
- Scotland (The Home of Golf)
- Bandon Dunes (Oregon)
- Whistling Straits (Kohler, Wisconsin)
- Pebble Beach (California)
- Doral Resort and Spa (Miami, Florida)
- Innisbrook (Palm Harbor, Florida)
- Obviously, there are many other options. These are just a few ideas to get your mind thinking about taking a trip to play some golf.
But helping you get time off of work or gaining a pass from your wife – that’s all on you! Get some friends together and take a trip.
Matt Sheppard is the PGA Director of Golf at Willow Point Golf and Country Club.