Friday, February 19, 2010

The Top 5 Pre-Trip Checklist For Golfing Holidays ~ "Greatest Hits: The Songs of Golf" Whose Line

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By Roderick Dunne

Planning a standard holiday usually consists of a regular to-do list (visa applications/currency exchange/travel insurance/etc.). For the holidaying golfer, there are a number of additional items on their to-do list to check prior to travel to make sure your holiday goes well. The following should cover the essentials for most golfers.

A few weeks before departure

  • Medication & First Aid: A simplified first-aid kit should be prepared for packing. If you intend golfing each day then any minor injuries can really take their toll over your holiday so prepare to bring aspirin, plasters, insect repellent, indigestion tablets, diarrhea medicine, sunscreen, contact lenses (and spare ones), spectacles and travel sickness medicine. Most of these could be picked up on arrival but doing that would eat into your holiday time. A worthy addition is heat packs and cold packs as the muscle strain involved in golfing daily may prove more than your body can take.
  • Course bookings: Confirm the tee-times of your bookings at your holiday destination. Print them out along with directions to the course, exact tee-time and any booking references that may be needed. If a tee has been booked via an online agency then these details should have been sent to you by a confirmation email. If you book rental clubs/buggies then also check these are confirmed.

Week of departure

  • Clothing and Shoes: Check the dress code for each club you intend playing and prepare some suitable clothing. Pack a variety of layers so you may add/subtract a jumper or thermal undergarment should the weather require it. Look up the short range weather report to see if you need to alter the balance of items (e.g. to include more layers if it is going to be cold/raining). Pack sunglasses, caps and beanies. Check your rain gear is packed and in a good state of repair. Inspect the cleats on your shoes replacing any broken ones. Cleats near the toe are especially important for maintaining grip under foot so you could rotate broken cleats to the heel if desired. Clean the shoe soles of all soil/grass (see below).
  • Documentation: Print out addresses and directions to the courses you are going to. Check the clubs website for any course guides, yardage information or specific course rules. These can be worth reading prior to a round in order to get your bearings. Pack your proof of P.G.A. handicap. Some courses impose a maximum handicap for golfers permitted to play so your handicap proof may be necessary.
  • Golf Clubs and Equipment. Inspect & count your clubs. Clean them and the bag of any soil. Some destinations (Ireland, U.K., Australia, etc) have policies regarding the dangers of bringing potentially contaminated soil into a country. Confirm you have an adequate stock of pencils, tees, golf balls, golf towels and gloves for the duration of the trip (you can pick these up at the holiday destination too) and that your umbrella is in working order.

The goal of this list is to ensure you can enjoy your golfing holiday to the utmost from the first to last day.

Roderick Dunne is an IT Innovation Manager of 17 years and is currently on a brief career sabbatical spending his time travelling Europe, blogging and golfing. His latest blogging project is the Golfing Holidays Portugal Guide.

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