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Sports Travel Tips


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A list of nine sports related travel tips for Boomers.

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1. Play your golf out of season – winter green fees always work out cheaper than high-season rates. You may have to play off temporary tees or, in extreme cases, on temporary greens as a result, but you’ll experience the course for sometimes a third of the summer price. 


2. Hook up with a member – whether you’re travelling alone or with a golf partner, it always pays dividends to play with a member of the club you’re visiting. Not only will you benefit from their ‘local knowledge’ of the course, but they will be able to ‘sign you in’ at the pro shop and thus reduce the green fee. So take time to have a coffee in the clubhouse ahead of your game, get chatting to the locals and ask if anyone fancies escorting you around their course.    


3. Hire your clubs – rather than fly with your own clubs, a costly business with some carriers, particularly when travelling to Ireland and Europe, it can often be cheaper to hire clubs from the pro-shop at the club you plan to visit - obviously, check online that the course offers a hire service first. And finally, don’t be afraid to haggle over the price; it’s likely that the clubs you hire will already have paid for themselves several times over, so whatever they receive as a hire fee is still money in the bank!


4. Buggies – of course, the least expensive way to play is to carry your clubs or pull them around on your own trolley, but that isn’t always possible if the course is mountainous or poorly designed with long treks from green to tee. Like club hire, there is usually a set fee to hire electric or diesel-powered buggies, but there is never any harm in bartering for a discount – especially if you’re playing in a group or with a society or have travelled far to play the course. As my mother used to say: “If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive”.  


5. A load of balls – buying golf balls at club pro shops is a notoriously expensive business. You are a captive market in their eyes, so the mark-up is high. My tip, take a box in your suitcase, and then you’ll hopefully have enough balls to see you through the trip.       


6. Beware Asian afternoons – I know from personal experience that playing golf in places like Singapore and China can turn into something of a damp squib. As the humidity builds during the morning, so the heavens open in the afternoon – to such an extent that you can almost set your wrist watch by it. So play earlier, when it’s much cooler and the course is less busy. My best plan in the intense humidity of Sentosa Island was to play at sun’s up and have breakfast in the clubhouse afterwards.


7. Pack sensibly – never put your shoes and wet-weather suit inside a golf bag that you plan to put in the aircraft hold - if your bag goes missing in transit so do your shoes and coveralls - so pack them separately in your suitcase. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, sun block and hat!


8. Whether you’re going skiing or golfing, always check your airline’s luggage restrictions before you fly. Ski and board equipment is no longer classed as separateand several airlines now strictly adhere to an economy class baggage limit of around 20 to 23kg. I’d suggest taking ski boots on board as hand luggage to keep your overall luggage weights down.


9. Ask for an all-inclusive rate – we all like to end a round of golf with a spot of lunch and a glass of something cool and invigorating, so think ahead and ask in advance for a rate to include golf and lunch/dinner. Most clubs will be happy to accommodate and your credit card will feel the benefit.


December 19, 2022


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