Organising a Golf Trip to the UK

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By Andy M

  • 1 Like
  • 12 Replies
  1. 0 Posts

    For those avid golfers who like to travel far and wide to play a good round of golf, the UK has to surely rank as one of the Holy Grail destinations. Whether you’re in the market for English rolling countryside, scenic Welsh valleys, dramatic Northern Irish coastal settings, or Scotland; the spiritual home of golf, there is a range of courses to suit all levels and playing styles. With this in mind, here are a few things to remember and consider before booking you British golfing bonanza.

    Travel to the UK

    Before you book flights, it’s important to have a clear idea of whereabouts in the UK you are wanting to spend your golfing trip. While the internal transport links are very good, you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the other end of your flight travelling internally.

    All the main UK cities have at least one airport, but the main hubs across the country are Heathrow in the South, Manchester in the English North, Birmingham in the Midlands, and Glasgow in the Scottish West. Not forgetting Belfast if you’re planning on travelling to Northern Ireland. Due to the range of airports (www.which.co.uk/.../best-and-worst-large-uk-airports), you can scout out a good deal, particularly if you’re flexible with the dates you plan on travelling.

    Where to Play

    As stated above, there are a great many reasons to come to the UK to golf, but one of the big differentiators is the range of options and historical places that are close to all fans of the sport. You might be tempted to book a round in at St Andrew’s Old Course (www.standrews.com/.../old-course); one of the very oldest in the history of the game. The Barbazon at the Belfry (www.thebelfry.co.uk/.../golf) in Sutton Coldfield has hosted the Ryder Cup no less than 4 times and has seen many legends play its fairways over the years.

    If you want to nip across the Irish Sea, many will already be familiar with the Royal County Down (www.royalcountydown.org/) – founded in 1889 with a patronage bestowed from King Edward VII. And not forgetting Wales, home to some of the UK’s best-loved rural scenery, Aberdovey (www.aberdoveygolf.co.uk/) tops the list of many golfer’s Welsh lists thanks to its unique placement on the edge of the Dovey Estuary.

    Important Reminders

    When coming to the UK, there’s a couple of things you should bear in mind. Travelling by air can be an expensive business, especially when it involves booking both your clubs and luggage into the hold of a transatlantic flight. While it’s not for everyone, it might be an idea to look into renting clubs (www.travelgolf.com/.../renting-clubs-can-be-the) for your trip and remove the worry of your own gear being lost or damaged in flight.

    Anyone who has been to the UK will tell you that the weather here can be very unpredictable (www.metoffice.gov.uk/.../long-range-forecast). It’s not uncommon to see bright spells and heavy rain over the course of a couple of hours, so make sure you are prepared for every type of weather and make contingency plans in the event of your game being rained off for a period of time. If it means having a few drinks in the clubhouse, that isn’t a bad concession to make!

  2. Justinu3
    Clive, IA

    0 Posts

    We flew into Glasgow and played several courses on the west. Glasgow is a really easy airport to get around. British Airways over and Virgin back. Both were really good long haul flights but I'd say I prefer Virgin of the two.

    Scotland is an absolutely gorgeous country. Can't go wrong playing anywhere in that country. :-)
  3. Speedy
    Newmarket, NH

    0 Posts

    Justinu3 said:

    We flew into Glasgow and played several courses on the west. Glasgow is a really easy airport to get around. British Airways over and Virgin back. Both were really good long haul flights but I'd say I prefer Virgin of the two.

    Scotland is an absolutely gorgeous country. Can't go wrong playing anywhere in that country. :-)

    Couldn't agree more with ya Justin... Scotland is awesome... And the haggis are pretty good ;)
  4. No'l
    Palmdale, CA

    0 Posts

    Pretty cool info here, Andy. Thanks!
  5. 0 Posts

    Thanks for the write up Andy. Someday I would love to make the trip across the pond, someday.....
  6. 19hole
    Woburn, MA

    0 Posts

    The west coast is our second home, actually that is where my wife is from! There are a lot of ways to get there depending on where in the US you live.

    Icelandair flies to Glasgow through Iceland from many US cities. BA gets there via London, only for the brave as LHR is just crazy. AA will get you to Glasgow via Newark.

    While there a quite a few "name" courses on the west coast, venture away from them and you will find some great public courses with a mix of links and parkland on offer.

    The local beer is excellent for those that like to tip one or more back. If you prefer something a bit stronger, there are over 3000 distilleries in Scotland.

    Make the trip! The people are very friendly once your start to understand what they are saying!!!
  7. 19hole
    Woburn, MA

    0 Posts

    Speedy, not exactly sure if you would like haggis if you knew what was in it!
  8. Speedy
    Newmarket, NH

    0 Posts

    19hole said:

    Speedy, not exactly sure if you would like haggis if you knew what was in it!

    haha, we had haggis nachos LOADED with cheese and it was VERY good.. Now that I know what's in it, yeah not sure... But, i was experiencing the culture.. :)
  9. Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    0 Posts

    Played the St. Andrews Golf Week back in 2016. I think I might try and go back October 2019. Wonderful trip and a good way to play over there if you do not have a foursome. I went as a single and since they adjust pairings anyway, gave me a chance to meet others while enjoying the golf. If you do travel with others they let you pick your partners for the round at the Old Course.

    www.standrewsgolfweek.com/
  10. Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

    0 Posts

    I've been to the British Isles 11 times and played a number of courses. The courses I remember the most are the ones I've played twice. Most on the same trip. I would suggest if you go and you're really keen on playing a specific course. Try to play it twice. And above all, enjoy whatever comes your way.
  11. 0 Posts

    You guys who have been to the UK, did you use a travel agency/golf tour company, or would you recommend just booking everything yourself?
  12. 0 Posts

    If any of you TT members from the US or further afield come over to the UK, I am sure other UK TT members like myself will offer advice and where possible opportunities to play.

    Playing the bucket list courses is pretty well documented but if you are looking for more local advice for smaller or more cost effective courses post a message on the UK TT Members page.

    Living in England and having played most of the top courses in the UK only a few of the bucket list in my top 10.
  13. 19hole
    Woburn, MA

    0 Posts

    I'm pretty lucky, we have a house in Scotland as that is where my wife is from. If you are willing to spend the time, you can book everything yourself and save a lot of money. The tour operators are pretty expensive. With the exception of the Old Course you can book tee times yourself directly with the courses.

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