6 ways golf travel in the future will change

Golf travel is an ever-evolving beast. Popular spots and trends are forever changing, as is the overall thirst for golf. There is every chance I am wrong about many of the opinions shared on this topic. It is interesting to look forward to the next 20 years to think about what golf travel could become.

It’s important to note that as I sit down to write this blog, Covid 19 has been ravishing the world for over a year now too. While the vaccine rollout seems to have positive effects in some countries, the future of international travel still feels very unsure. The effects of Covid will undoubtedly affect Golf Travel in the immediate and long-term future, and I will cover off some of these possibilities too.

  1. There is a lot of pent up demand

By all accounts, golf has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence throughout Covid in many parts of the world. Golf has been seen as a safe and relatively easy way to get exercise in an outdoor environment. Many national golfing bodies have reported large increases in people playing the game.

Between these new golfers and those established golfers that have been unable to travel any great distances, it’s fair to assume there will be a lot of interest in golf trips when the floodgates do eventually open.

Expect to see money-starved courses competing for guests with great rates and offers too.

  1. Stay an play will be more popular than ever

The physical act of traveling would appear to be one of the more dangerous ways to catch Covid. And in general, who loves spending their hard-earned breaks in cars or planes.

I would expect golfers to prefer locations where they can stay more safely inside ‘bubbles’ for as long as possible, vs. traversing up and down wider regions. At least this way, you will stay in one hotel and one environment you know and understand for longer.

This could extend to golfers being keener to stay in self-contained villas or even taking private transport.

  1. The rise of the super resort

This has been a trend for some time, but the bigger resorts seem to get growing. To attract top-level golfers and golf trips, courses are building more and more long and short courses. Plus more general amenities on-site to keep their guests spending more money with them. Famous golf resorts such as Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Barnbougle, Big Cedar Lodge, and Tara Iti, plus so many more, have either recently added courses or are building more courses now.

If building more courses is impossible, I would expect more alliances and amalgamations, such as what you see in the Myrtle Beach area, where golfers benefit hugely from package deals.

  1. ‘Clean’ destinations will benefit hugely

Certain countries and areas of the world have been saved some of the worst parts of Covid. Australia and New Zealand being good examples. Expect to see these sorts of locations spike in golf travel when the floodgates open.

Golfers will likely wish to stay clear of parts of the world where Covid was more prevalent or still rates a mention.

  1. Global warming will start to be more of a factor

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of global warming, it is hard to dispute that the world’s weather is more extreme than ever. Temperatures spikes, droughts, bush fires, and floods seem to be taking place at a growing rate.

Eventually, these factors will affect golf and golf travel. Some areas may be too hot to visit year-round. Others will struggle to find enough water. The biggest change, however, may be found in rising sea levels. Courses in low-lying areas, or even those at risk from coastal erosion and flooding, will face big challenges to survive.

  1. Fun will become more important than ever

Regardless of whether it is the growth of more relaxed short courses or the general acceptance of the need for more relaxed golf rules, I would fully expect all courses that wish to attract guests to have an increased focus on making trips fun. There will always be traditional golfers who want things to remain as they are, but for the majority, I would expect to see everything from floodlit courses to music blaring on the course to a complete relaxing of dress codes. All things that won’t ultimately hurt the game.

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