Booking with a golf tour provider is the best way to experience Scotland with their advice on golf course and accommodation selection, logistics and presence on the ground helping put your mind at rest when travelling. Therefore selecting a golf tour package for the first time can be a daunting process with many hundreds to choose from. Hopefully our guide below should help.
On a packaged deal with a tour operator you are paying a premium so look to be given added peace of mind while in Scotland. Check that the selected tour package offering is by a business based in Scotland. Nothing is more welcoming and reassuring than being met by a representative at the airport and or during your golf trip. In travel, itineraries can change quickly so having a responsive team on the ground in Scotland can go a long way in rectifying any misfortunes during a golf tour in Scotland.
A question golf enthusiasts should ask themselves when identifying a travel package is does the selected tour company have credible partners and a strong network within the golf industry. Listings on Visit Scotland’s golf partners is a starting point but even this can be dated and pretty accessible for the average golf tour operator. A good tour operator will have a network across the industry. Are they attending industry forums such as the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando or the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) event annually? Furthermore a profile within general travel and organisations such as Virtuoso, a network of leading travel partners adds credibility and reassurance when looking to purchase a golf package. If the package supplier is short on partner credibility it would be a deterrent for a first time purchase.
A promised Old Course tee-time sometimes means nothing so do not let this promise reel you into a package. Often a round at The Home of Golf can be excluded in package deals and increase the price offered initially. As we discuss on Episode 31 playing golf on the Old Course St Andrews can be done relatively easy so make a measured decision based on that. The warning here is try not to be seduced by the promise of playing St Andrews. Only a clique of golf tour providers can genuinely say they can offer premium guaranteed Old Course tee times.
A tour package from golf tour agents should be flexible and meet your ideals. As experience in the industry tells us, first time visitors to Scotland seek to play many of The Open rotation courses in Scotland. If however you have desires to play other golf courses a good golf tour operator will be accommodating and realistic in ensuring the travelling party play the courses they want to play in a logistical fashion.
Good travel agents build their businesses on referrals and this is the same for golf travel agents selling Scottish golf packages. Ask friends, family or members of your golf club who they used previous when identifying the correct golf travel agent to use. That being said, only a very small percentage of golfers ever make it to Scotland so be willing to do your research in selecting the correct golf tour package. A strong business has a healthy stream of repeat business. Ask the golf tour organisation where they get most of their business from. If repeat/referred business is mentioned together with the above points, you’re onto a winner.
If you have any questions on this or any other Scottish golf travel topic drop a ‘wee’ comment in the discussion section below.
For more information and advice for golf travel to Scotland subscribe to our weekly podcast.