Thirty-five degrees and raining!! That may be fine for the native of the North Sea islands and the few who really enjoy a foggy day in old London town. But for a fan of the great game of golf, the gray days of December and January in the Midwest put a halt to the fun. Unless, of course, the golfer has made plans to travel south and west.
With some careful planning and a couple of wise choices, the golfer who resides in the northern climes can enjoy golfing fun in the sun. Not only that, golfers don’t have to sacrifice all of their vacation time. A “long” weekend is perfect for a couple of days to decompress on the golf course. With the help of great rates from such vendors as Cheap O Air, golfers will save money that is better spent for greens fees and a cold drink at the 19th hole. In addition, the golfer who saves some green on golf clubs and golf balls will have more to spend on travel and at the clubhouse.
For example, two airlines can take the golfer from a Midwest airport such as Lambert in St. Louis on Friday to Tampa, Florida, and bring that golfer back on Monday for $258. This simple plan involves a layover in Atlanta with one airline and in Charlotte with another. Both have about five hours of flight time. If the golfing group wants to get away from the winter weather in Chicago, a non-stop flight from Midway Airport to Orlando, Florida is available from one airline for about $207. Remember that prices can change quite a bit, even in one day’s time. The wise traveling golfer will put a little extra effort into finding a suitable flight plan. The money saved and stress avoided will make the additional research worth it.
The wise golfer will also make sure that those treasured golf clubs are well protected during flight. A great hard-case travel bag can be purchased for less than $200. It’s a great investment for the player that will make annual trips in winter or travels from one golfing destination to another during vacation. The SKB 2SKB-4814W Deluxe ATA Golf Travel Case offered on Amazon is available for about $150, a great discount from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. A GTB “The Vault ” will be perfect as well, and comes in at about the same price. A soft-side, padded travel bag from Bag Boy, the T-500, is available from the same Web site for about $60. Several companies now offer combination or hybrid golf/travel bags, many of which are available for $160 to $250. The Callaway Hybrid is a wonderful cart bag after the travel “helmet” is taken off. The padded helmet and added club sock ensure excellent protection for the clubs. This model, and others, also have skate-like wheels for easy operation during travel and transfer. Look for padded pockets for extra storage of small items that didn’t fit in the luggage.
Care should be taken to make sure each golfer fully understands the extra charges that might be required for large bags or additional checked luggage. While this may seem to be standard procedure for the seasoned golf traveler, the way airlines charge for baggage has changed radically in the past 18 months. The same care given to travel and luggage issues should be applied to accommodations, of course. When the group arrives at a warm and sunny destination, rest and relaxation should be first priority. This can only be accomplished if living quarters are efficiently designed and close to the course. But that is a subject for another day.