Golf Trip Planning – PEI 2015
This spring, with its increasing anticipation of a new season, is a perfect time to plan a golf trip. Personally, I like to begin planning the day after my latest trip is completed. For those who are planning, or considering planning, I draw your attention to ‘All About Golf’ who has recently shared some excellent information about golf trip planning. I hope this complements and builds on Brian’s post.
It may have been at the 19th hole following a two-day golf junket in Nova Scotia in August 2013 where I and three friends agreed we needed to do this again. Golfing in Prince Edward Island has always been high on my bucket list of Canadian courses. Advanced planning along with excellent support resources allowed us to book an 8-day, 10 course trip to PEI for this October. For individuals considering a buddies trip here are five reflections from our experience for you:
1. Bucket List – location can serve to excite as much or more than the courses themselves. Fortunately, in PEI, we get both. PEI holds 10 of my over 70 Canadian courses on my bucket list. The draft itinerary when shared with buddies was only slightly modified and more importantly they were able to draw on and share the enthusiasm I have for this trip.
2. Golf Compatibility – traveling and golfing as a group is only as good as its weakest link. More specifically, know the people you’re traveling with. For us, we’re all friends and have golfed together often. None of us like to gamble on the course, none of us drink excessively. Really, it’s all about the golf. OK, on this trip it’s about the golf and seafood! Knowing your group will help support planning which will touch the needs and motivation of all participating.
3. Lodging – groups are quick to consider an upgrade on their golf and I get that. But experience says you should consider an upgrade on your lodging if possible. When planning 180 holes of golf over 6 days of play shared accommodation (two to a room) adds elements of risk (snoring, late night chatter/antics) that not everyone would appreciate. The smartest decision we made to date was an upgrade to separate bedrooms in a rental home. You can check out our accommodations here at The Gables.
4. Leadership and Shared Ownership – I spearheaded the research and my first communication with my friends about the trip was a draft itinerary along with projected timelines and costs. This helped the guys make informed decisions. We met twice to discuss the proposed trip and decided on times, a different approach to tee time bookings (the PEI Green Card is outstanding value) and an upgrade on accommodation. Others offered to take a lead on exploring the rental van we need and flight availability. Now, we all feel greater ownership over the trip.
5. Balance – stemming from point 2 about golf compatibility we know that a night out at a bar or casino are not open for consideration. But, an afternoon brewery tour on a day we’re only playing 18 along with research to some good seafood restaurants create the balance we’re seeking to complement the focus on golf and the enjoyment and relaxation of our rental home. PEI does offer a lot to consider: a race track, distillery tours, boat adventures and scenic drives.
This is going to be an exciting trip. The only surprise will be casual competition which will pit a twosome each day against the other. Adopting a Big Break-style envelope system, teams will be picked each day along with a different game – skins, match play, and total stroke play – to see who get stuck cleaning the kitchen!
Lastly, special thanks to Golf PEI who provided excellent support and exceptional customer service. Through my connections I learned that acquiring their Green Card provided us the best value for booking. In fact, tee times for October are already locked in at each course. Our rental home is booked and they advised us to let them know if we wanted them to stock the fridge with lobster for the first night we arrive. The staff at Golf PEI are second to none and I can’t recommend them enough.
You’ll read much more later this fall about this trip and I wish you well in your trip planning.