Getting There is a Small Part of the Fun

Jim Hale Women's Golf Center

As winter creeps into a large portion of the United States, more and more people are thinking of traveling (or moving) to a warmer climate. Some of those who want to escape the north winds only wish to go south,where the temperature usually stays above 70 degrees. These folks may not be too concerned about a particular pastime, such as golf, sailing, horse racing and so on. They just seek the sun.

Others, such as the golf fanatic, desire the warm climate just as much but have to factor in the need to play golf when they arrive at their destination. When the time comes for making golf-trip plans, the emphasis should, of course, be on comfortable accommodations and great golf courses at the other end of the trip. The majority of time and money should be invested in the golfing and relaxing that make up most of the “vacation,” whether it’s a long weekend or a month-long excursion.

As the title of this short piece suggests, traveling to and from the destination is part of the adventure. But it’s best to set limits on the money and time spent for transportation. Save your money for golf! Many years ago, a company used the phrase “getting there is half the fun,” as a marketing tool. But that doesn’t have to apply in this case. Budget and discount travel arrangements make great sense, as long as the trip is safe and reasonably comfortable.

Some golfers will choose to take the highway route, devoting two or three days to traveling to the golf resort. This is certainly a less-expensive way to make the trip, in money terms. Taking a personal vehicle also allows the members of the golfing group to take as much luggage and golfing equipment along as they want (within reason, of course). Suffice to say that there are benefits to this form of transportation.

If the distance to the destination is long enough to warrant air travel, a different set of factors comes into play. There are the obvious scheduling decisions to make, including the best time to arrive and leave. This should be carefully figured into the total amount of time allowed for golf, so that players don’t feel rushed on the first and last days in particular. Some down time on arrival at the destination is always a good idea, even if some members of the group want to run directly from the airport to the course. An hour or two to gather belongings and get to the airport on the last day is also advised.

Then there is the money factor involved in traveling by air. While this transportation method is generally more expensive, members of the golfing group should try to balance money considerations with concerns about time allowed for playing golf. A happy medium between cost and free time is more easily achieved with discount air travel. Services such as Cheap O Air can help the golf traveler save enough money to add some nice amenities at the destination.

With little time spent searching for the right price, members of the golf group can find round-trip tickets to great golfing destinations. Those who may want to combine golfing with some other fun-filled activity will find airline tickets to Las Vegas for about $100 or a bit more. Miami, and other Florida destinations, are in reach for less than $200, depending on the starting point. If the group decides to play in the sun near Phoenix, four airlines can get the golfers there (and back) from a Midwest airport for under $300.
But before the golfer begins to celebrate the money saved (that can be spent on golf) there is one key item to factor in. Make sure that the restrictions on such discount airfare don’t make it too difficult to take those precious golf clubs along. Luggage guidelines have changed significantly in the last year or two. If that small hurdle can be gotten over, discount air travel might just be the perfect way to get to a wonderful golf destination.

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