For golfers in North America, especially those living anywhere not named “Florida” or “Arizona,” winter is the silly golf season. Occasionally, a few of us are able to get out for some off-season frigid golf just to satisfy our need to be outside on the links.
However, for most everyone else, winter is the time when cabin fever and grey skies lend themselves to bucket lists, daydreams, and scheming for how one will spend all of those precious non-frozen days to come.
My particular vice is planning out future golf trips. I want to see all the great courses our country has to offer. I’d love to snowbird for the winter and head north to the remote upper Midwest or New England as summer sets in.
If it were possible, I’d join in on a buddies’ golf trip once a month. If only I’d had this passion when I had the freedom of my 20’s (of course, I didn’t have the funding for those kinds of trips then…not that it would have stopped me).
And sure, The Wife and I will pack up The Bearded Baby for future vacations, and given The Wife’s love of the beach, there’s always a chance the destination might have some must-play golf courses.
However, family and work commitments keep me from being on permanent vacation of course. So for the past several years, I’ve focused my desires and efforts on one spring trip for my best friends and golfing buddies from college, with varying degrees of success.
Frankly, trying to get a commitment from my friends and keep them organized is like trying to herd drunken alley cats. In order to entice participation, I try to keep my trip proposals within a reasonable budget.
It’s not like I propose anything extravagant, like, say, renting the Sandhill cabin at Kohler for a week of golf at Whistling Straits . Our style is more of an extended weekend on the Robert Trent Jones Alabama Golf Trail.
Yet, even such a modest adventure will cost each member of the trip around $650.00, excluding travel and food expenses. For someone like me, it is worth every penny of that price to play four top-notch golf courses, spend time with my best friends, and have a comfortable bed to sleep in. But for the casual golfers among us, that can seem a little steep for 72 hours of brotherly camaraderie.
And, being in our mid-30’s, there are lots of commitments elsewhere for our group, with careers, wives, children, and everything else that comes with accepting adulthood. So not only is keeping an eye on the bottom line a challenge, but asking anyone to take more than one day off work on behalf of a guys’ getaway can be a bridge too far.
So, my question to you, Dear Readers, is this: how much do you expect (or are willing) to pay for your idea of a standard buddies’ golf trip, including golf, lodging, and travel expenses?
I’m not thinking bucket-list items, like golfing Pebble Beach and the entire Monterey Peninsula, or a 10-day escapade through the North Carolina Sand Hills. I’m talking about trips like a few days of surf & turf in Myrtle Beach or a long weekend away in Austin.
As always, interested in your thoughts and opinions.