Who to invite, & not invite, on a golf trip

The people you take a golf trip with are normally the most important ingredient in whether your adventure is a full-blown success or not. Golf courses will come and go, and you won’t remember where you stayed or ate years from now. But if you have the right people alongside you, those memories will last a lifetime. Which begs the question … who should you invite and you should you leave behind?

There are no hard and fast rules on this topic, so don’t get stressed out about your decisions here. Trust your gut, and you will do fine. But if you can keep an eye out for these sorts of people when you put together your crew.

Who to invite

  1. The deputy

As we have discussed in past blogs it is essentially every golf trip has a commander in chief. Decisions made by committees rarely happen easily, and most people are happy for one person to make the bulk of decisions. But having a strong deputy that you can delegate tasks to is very helpful. It could be sorting out dinner reservations or keeping tabs on your matches and gambling. Anything that can make your day a bit easier.

  1. The mood lifter

We all know that person that can put a smile on other’s faces and is generally fun to be around. They may or may not be good at golf, but they will love the opportunity to be part of the group and will find the positives in all situations. As a trip wears on, they are a great person to group any tired or broken golfers when creating foursomes. Keeping the mood and spirits in the group high is an invaluable asset, and chances are they will drag others along on the trip.

3. Mr after hours

The success of a golf trip does not end when you walk off the 18th hole each day. Rather the time you spend with your buddies chatting about all the good and bad in the world will often be the most fun had on the whole trip. Having someone who is always up ‘more than golf’ is good for putting together the night’s social activities.

4. The lifetime friend

It never ceases to amaze me how golf trip stories grow over the years. What starts as a great story grows into a legendary one over time, and you ideally want people on your trip that you will be able to reminisce with for years to come. Plus, if these friends are part of your normal golfing circles, you can enjoy the build-up and anticipation with them pre-trip.

5. The golf pro

A controversial call, but if you can talk a real Golf Pro into joining your group, you may be surprised about the doors that open for you. This could be in regards to access to courses, discounts, or general local knowledge. Some courses even allow pros to play for free when they are bringing a group with them.

6. The couple of friends

Once again, a tough invite always gets right, but sometimes there may be a golf trip where your partner wishes to join you. If you decide this is workable, it’s great to invite a fellow player along who may also have a partner who, in turn, acts as a comrade for your partner. Executed well, this can create many more excuses for you to suggest a golf trip.

Who not to invite

  1. The non golfer ( or at least be clear about what the trip is about )

Non-golfers are not a strict ‘no’ for your trip. But you need to be careful in that if you have not clearly set out the purpose and goals of the trip, you can find yourself swayed towards the needs of the non-golfer. And whilst they thought they might have been fine with you spending 8 hours a day on course, this may wear thin over time.

  1. Mr deep, or shallow, pockets

You need to have some synergy with your group regards budgets and what you are willing to spend on your trip. If one of your groups is either too cheap or equally wants to spend way more than everyone else, you may end up with daily issues about where to golf, eat, and how much to gamble.

  1. The rules stickler

Unless you are playing with a group of scratch golfers, chances are you want the fun to be the primary goal for your trip. Occasionally this means bending some rules or adding some rules (mulligans anyone) to ensure the maximum amount of good times for your group.

  1. The angry golfer

We all have been there. Golf is hard. Most of the time, we don’t play as well as we want to. But you need to ensure your own standards and anger do not impact others and their ability to enjoy their trip. You don’t want a player who makes golf less enjoyable for others, and you especially don’t want someone that will not be able to leave their round behind when they step off the 18th.

  1. The unvetted ring in

Sometimes you need to invite a newbie along to round out your trip. That is perfectly acceptable. I have met many a golfer at the airport for the first time. But you need to make sure someone in your group knows them well enough to vouch for their general fitness. Getting even numbers is not worth bring along #6

6. That guy

Whilst impossible to pinpoint down to one painful aspect, we all have met ‘that guy before. Someone who makes the trip harder than they should be. Maybe they are constantly late, always angry, offer unsolicited coaching advice, are big-name droppers, or generally, just don’t fit in.

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When you are planning your invites ideally think in terms of 4’s. Don’t get caught up in this as a determining success factor.

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