There are golf trips you enjoy for a weekend and golf trips you remember for a lifetime.
But for the majority of people, it’s very normal to feel overwhelming confusion around where even to start when trying to plan an epic, bucket list-worthy golf trip. Throw in the difficulties of traveling to a new location or even a foreign country, and it’s easy to see why many golfers don’t even start the mission.
The key is finding the right combination of organizing and dreaming. Regardless of whether your bucket list location is Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Pinehurst, or an epic adventure to a whole other country like Scotland or New Zealand, there are formulas you can follow to get started. Plus, the good news is that these famous locations are the easiest trips to plan for in many ways. There are lots of information available online and well-traveled paths to follow.
You are also bound to get a lot of initial positive feedback from friends due to the courses being thrown around. Soak up this enthusiasm as much as possible. The hard work you put in to turn your dream into reality makes you a hero with your buddies for decades to come.
The challenge is now how you make these dreams a reality…
- Give yourself time
Some lucky humans may be able to race away on a golf trip at a moment’s notice, but it’s unlikely this rings true for everyone in your playing circle. Plus, bucket list adventures, in particular, will often require a trip that is longer and will almost certainly cost a fair few pennies.
So as we have discussed in past blogs, set a date anywhere from 6 to 18 months into the future. This is the first important step in fleshing out serious participants vs. tire kickers.
Giving people extra time also comes with certain advantages ;
- More time to save money for the trip! I have even been part of trips where everyone has contributed a set amount of money weekly into a fund for a year in the lead up to a trip. Great way to keep everyone engaged and honest.
- Participants can plan other activities or a holiday around the location. One of the pushbacks you may get from others in your life around a bucket list trip is that you are heading off on an adventure whilst others in your family are left alone at home to continue with normal life. If you give people time you may allow your buddies to plan a holiday for their family at either end. To get the “okay” from the wife, one may need to send her off on a yoga retreat or a weekend of shopping ahead of time. At the very least, it gives them the chance to earn some brownie points at home ahead of departure.
- Dont worry about the size of your group
While organizing a 16 man Ryder Cup-style event at your dream location may tickle your fancy, there can be a lot of stress involved in trying to meet the needs of a whole heap of people.
If you start small and plan for ideally a foursome, or even a pair, you can lock in your event and then build out from there. Remember that ultimately you are planning this event with yourself in mind first and foremost.
However, a great tip that can increase the size of your golf group is to book your event around something such as a milestone birthday for one of your playing groups. This is a great excuse for other players to getaway.
- Get a group chat set up as soon as you can
The best part of a bucket list golf trip for many is the lead-up. Especially as the excitement builds as you get closer to your departure if you get a group chat (i.e., What’s App, Messenger) set up nice and early, this will not only help with organizing it all but also will help keep people frothing at the bit (even if the trip is months away).
I have always tried to leak out information every month for bucket list trips to keep everyone engaged. It could be an accommodation option, a new playing format, or even a photo of a prize we are playing for.
- Start with golf first
There will be dozens of moving parts in your plan but start with golf first. Work out what courses are available for you to play on and what prices they charge if you can get bookings made as soon as possible. Then you can start looking at travel and accommodation, which is always a lot more flexible to book.
- Treat this trip as the beginning of many more trips
When planning a bucket list trip, it can be tempting to think of your adventure or even tell others that you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. But in truth, we all know you want this to be something you repeat often. So ensure that you don’t set a precedent that may be hard to break down the line.
Plus, there is no such thing as the perfect plan, and you will never be able to squeeze in everything you want to do or please everyone in your group. So putting pressure on yourself to get everything right may create more trouble than it is worth.
Most of all, it is important you find ways to enjoy this process. It will be taxing at times, but the result will always be worth it.