Golf travel is such a great way to go on vacation for the true golfer. What are some of the special considerations when golfing overseas versus planning a golf trip domestically? Several items would be the same yet a few differences are worth paying attention to in advance. Some topics you may not think are too important and others are critical decisions the golfing traveler needs to make. For example, do you speak the language at your destination and does it matter? Another example, how are distances posted at the golf course in yard or meters. I just returned from a North Mediterranean cruise where I did play golf near Rome, Italy at Parco de’ Medici Golf Club. My club selection based on converting meters to yard took me several holes to figure out and I still came up short several times (smile). Some things I planned and some things just came together. And this was the most fun golf trip I have ever taken and I have had many in the states including Hawaii.
A simple travel thought to start with is give yourself enough time to gather information and make your decisions known to whoever is involved in getting something done for your trip. Remember to get confirmation and clarity of your expectations in writing. Websites and Facebook photo postings don’t really provide any real security that what you see is what you will get.
Communicate in writing such as email with someone at your destination that can assist you. With overseas it is quite handy to get input from a native countryman. I am a member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association and my golf outing was planned with our only international chapter which is in Italy. I played golf with Orsola Marchi, President and Chiara Cappon, Vice-President. If you do not know anyone at your overseas destination you can find someone who has been to the country you are going to and get their input. Remember that close to your departure due to the time zone difference last minute updates may happen after you leave the USA.
Knowing what the golf experience will cost you before you arrive in the overseas Pro Shop also outlines a lot of the areas where decisions need to be made.
- Transportation to and from the country (i.e. flying may cause an extra fee for your clubs)
- Transportation to and from the golf course (i.e. with a cruise golf vacation arrival time back to the ship is critical)
- Shipping fee for your own clubs (i.e. round trip)
- Insurance for the trip covering you, medical, and your clubs if they travel too
- Club Rental (i.e. If left handed player or a female check the availability of clubs you can actually use. This is huge).
- Caddie Fee (i.e. required or optional)
- Golf course tee time scheduled
- Green Fee with cart, range fee
- Weather related clothing (i.e. check the temperature both day and evening at your destination. Consider the time of year.)
I am very appreciative to the officers of the EWGA Italy Chapter who facilitated a lot of the above arrangements for me. Chiara and Orsola did it speaking and writing in Italian. I will return to Italy to play golf and plan to learn to speak Italian before I go. I knew I would love Italy!
Marva Bennett, MBA
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