Sunday, November 12, 2006

How to Plan a Successful Golf Vacation


How to Plan a Successful Golf Vacation
in the Home Of Golf


or: where to find all those great golf break venues in Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales that nobody else will tell you about.

THE EASY WAY

Hello, my name is Chris Powell and I am a golfoholic*.
(*from the old Celtic: gol - someone who propels – foho - a small, round projectile - lic – without accuracy or skill).

My day job is golf course design but my secret identity is The Gọlf Break Kid (uniform: plaid plus-fours, a deerstalker hat and raybans).

I am going to introduce you to hundreds and hundreds of gōlf vacation venues throughout Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales (and, eventually, beyond into ‘johnny foreigner’ territory).

Some of the locations are well known but most of them are widely different, 'hidden' venues which offer an extensive choice of ‘accommodation with glf’. Unlike the guides, magazines and package providers, I include all and any type of accommodation, and any type and standard of gỏlf course.

For example: a 5 red star hotel is one form of accommodation; a tent is, arguably, another. Equally, a Par 3 course is as much a gỗlf facility as an Open Championship venue.

I don’t judge, I just give you the details so that you can make an informed choice: it all depends on whatever ‘fluffs your pillow’ or ‘sinks your putt’ or, indeed ‘pitches your tent' or, in the case of the water-based venues, 'floats your boat'.

Did you know that holing out from a bunker is known as a ‘golden ferret’?
An
average ferret’, on the other hand, is a cricketing term for a terrible batsman.


THE HARD WAY

Step 1: "Where to play, where to stay" golf guides
You will find out there are nearly 3,000 golf courses in Great Britain & Ireland.

You will also find some hotels (but they may only be included if they are affiliated to a hotel rating organisation or if they have paid to be in the guide).

You now have separate lists of gðlf courses and hotels.

What you don’t have is any real idea of which of the hotels offer gōlf packages or which of the gōlf courses offer accommodation packages.

You will therefore need to sift through many hundreds of very small print entries to try to find information that isn’t necessarily there.

You will then have to contact any suitable venues direct, or via their websites, to find out what they offer.

I have done this for you
(see THE EASY WAY, above)


Step 2: Go onto the Internet
The internet is a wonderful thing but it is VERY BIG. According to the Netcraft November 2006 Web Server Survey there are 101,435,253 sites on the internet. Their first survey, in August 1995, found 18,957.

Google ‘golf vacation’ and you will find around 17,600,000 sites.
That's quite a lot, so you will need to refine your search a bit:
+ Scotland = 1,610,000 sites
+ Fife = 796,000 sites;
+ St Andrews = 1,160,000 sites

Still quite a few but, undaunted, you may decide to try 'St Andrews' One of the top 10 sites says “Welcome to our selection of Hotels in Scotland that are offering weekend breaks and short breaks in Scotland”. It doesn’t mention ‘gðlf breaks’, so you have to check all of the hotels listed to see what they offer.

Going back to your search, you notice that the entries are tending to become a bit repetitive and often quite irrelevant. Almost anything with “St” or “Andrews” is listed, wherever it is in the world. By entry 1,273 you are now an expert on Volkswagens but your attention is beginning to wander and you may even be experiencing mild hallucinations.

All you really want to find is a simple list of gðlf vacation venues.

I have done this for you (see THE EASY WAY, above)


Step 3: Buy Some Golf Magazines
Spend lots of your hard-earned dollars, yen, pounds, rubles, kroner, renminbi, dinars, pesos, francs, rand, rupees, euros, et cetera on a selection of magazines

You will find some very interesting articles on how to improve your swing/putting/short-game/bunker techniques.

There will be several pages of advertisements. Many of the same advertisements appear in several of the magazines, and in successive editions.

Many of the advertisements are for package providers (see Step 4, below)

Some advertisements will be for individual venues, but probably not very many.

You will then need to contact the venues to find out what they offer (see Steps 1 & 2, above).

I have done this for you (see THE EASY WAY, above)


Step 4: Try Golf Vacation Package Providers
Package providers offer all-inclusive golf trip packages (which is quite good) but generally only to a limited number of well known resorts and hotels (which is not quite so good, especially if you like variety, or something a bit different).

To find some, go on the internet (see Step 2, above)

To find some more, buy some magazines (see Step 3, above)

But what if you don't particularly want to go where the package trips go?

What you really need to help you make a decision is to find a comprehensive and impartial list of the very many venues that provide gồlf holidays or gổlf and accommodation packages or arrange your gỗlf for you at local courses or offer green fee discounts or prepare gộlf itineraries or supply other gớlf-related services.

I have done this for you (see THE EASY WAY, above)


Step 5: Try Some More Research
Spend at least 2 years researching as many sources as you can find.

I have done this for you (see THE EASY WAY, above)

Did you know that Gene Sarazen invented the sand wedge?


Castle Hotel
My Golf Break Venue of the Day

NORTH OF SCOTLAND
Aberdeenshire

Country House Hotel offering Golf Break Packages

Castle Hotel
Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 4SH

Traditional country house hotel with 2 suites, 2 deluxe rooms and 14 standard rooms. Originally built as a family home for the Dukes of Gordon during the 18th century and then later refurbished using the stones from Huntly Castle.

Golf and Spa Package includes two nights accommodation in a standard double or twin, sherry upon arrival, three-course table d’hote dinner, full Scottish breakfast, choice of spa therapy or round of links golf and personalised gift.

Tel: +44 (0)1466 792696
Fax: +44 (0)1466 792641

info@castlehotel.uk.com
www.castlehotel.uk.com
If you would prefer to get details of all 1,400 golf vacation venues immediately, go to: www.golfvacationer.eu

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