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How to Successfully Finance a Family Golf Trip: Smart Budgeting Strategies

Moneymagpie Team 16th Feb 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Going on a family golf trip requires careful financial planning to ensure that the experience is enjoyable without breaking the bank. 

Essentials such as accommodation, green fees, and travel expenses are pivotal in creating a realistic budget. You’ll want to also consider the costs of equipment rental, meals, and any additional activities the family might enjoy off the course. 

By taking the time to prepare a budget, you can make informed choices about where to go, where to stay, and how to make the most of your time on the greens with your loved ones. 

Choosing the Right Destination

Selecting the ideal location for your family golf trip hinges on balancing memorable golf experiences with value, a suitable climate, and additional attractions for non-golfers. Your choice should provide an all-encompassing vacation that caters to all family members.

United States Golf Hotspots

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a long-celebrated haven for golfers with options such as the famed Myrtle Beach National. Combine sandy beaches with a round of golf to maximize your vacation’s enjoyment. Florida offers unparalleled golf resorts in Orlando and Tampa, boasting sunlit courses year-round, while Arizona’s courses in Mesa and Scottsdale provide desert landscapes coupled with luxury.

  • Moving west, the charm of Las Vegas, Nevada lies in its high-rolling courses like Shadow Creek, with entertainment off the greens just as compelling. 
  • In contrast, Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a value-packed option encompassing multiple courses.
  • Pinehurst in North Carolina is steeped in tradition, offering courses like Pinehurst No. 2, while Pebble Beach, California on the Monterey Peninsula is synonymous with iconic coastline views. 
  • The diverse offerings in Northern Michigan from Bay Harbor to Forest Dunes present a cooler climate alternative during the summer.

Golf Adventures In The British Isles

Venturing beyond the United States, Ireland, and Scotland stand out as bucket-list destinations for avid golfers. The raw beauty of links courses like Ballybunion in Ireland and the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland are steeped in history and offer a style of play unlike any other.

The value of a golf vacation in these locations goes beyond the course—it’s also in the cultural immersion, from historic castles to local pubs. The temperate climate allows for comfortable play throughout the year, but packing for rain is always a prudent choice.

Strategic Financial Planning

Effective financial planning is key to enjoying a memorable family golf trip without facing monetary stress. By estimating costs upfront and scouting for value, you can indulge in the sport while keeping finances in check.

Like with many things in life, the unfathomably large tends to resemble the microscopically small in strange ways. Approach the strategic financial planning of trips like these by taking a page from the tenets of family wealth planning, a much more complex endeavor — take into account everyone’s needs, diversify your vacation budget to allocate some of it to everyone’s needs, and have a clear, top-to-bottom overview of the entire situation.

Apart from having a strategic, far-reaching overview, there are two main points that you should take into account to keep costs down while not affecting the enjoyment of yourself or your family.

Crafting a Budget

Establishing a budget is your foundational step. Start by tallying up all expected expenses, such as transportation, accommodations, and meals. Remember to include the green fee for each course you play. A useful strategy is to allocate funds for unforeseen expenses to manage any unexpected costs gracefully.

  • Transportation: Fuel, airfare, or rental costs.
  • Accommodations: Nightly rates multiplied by the number of nights.
  • Meals: Average meal costs per person, per day.
  • Activities: Green fees and equipment rentals.
  • Miscellaneous: Emergency fund and souvenirs.

Finding Value Deals

Maximize your trip’s value by looking for stay-and-play packages, which often bundle lodging and golfing at a reduced price compared to paying for each separately. Scour for package deals that might also include meals or additional amenities. 

You could dress the whole family in coordinated golf shirts by finding online offers that beat the pro shop prices. Carefully compare deals from different resorts and consider playing on less popular days or times to secure the best rates.

  • Monday-Thursday: Lower green fees and package prices.
  • Early Bird/Night Owl Rates: Discounts for early morning or late evening play.
  • Bulk Savings: Discounts for large group bookings or extended stays.
  • Apparel: Compare online deals for family golf shirts to save over pro shop prices.

By embracing strategic financial planning, you can ensure that your family golf trip is both enjoyable and fiscally responsible.

Booking Your Stay

When planning a family golf trip, selecting the right accommodation is crucial. It affects not only your comfort but also the accessibility to golf courses and amenities that can cater to everyone, golfers and non-golfers alike.

Luxury and Relaxation Options

For those seeking a touch of luxury and relaxation, consider resorts that offer full-service spas and pools. These amenities provide a perfect balance to a day spent on renowned and challenging courses. Look for stays that feature top-notch dining experiences and serene environments for a rejuvenating retreat after a day of golf.

Evaluating Lodging and Golf Packages

While shoulder season may offer competitive rates, diligently review golf vacation packages, especially stay-and-play packages. Such deals typically include lodging and green fees, and at times, even meals. 

Analyze whether choosing a package simplifies your planning and delivers value against booking separately. Destinations like the Grand Strand are famous for weaving exceptional golf with attractive accommodation options.

Considering Non-Golfers and Families

When your trip includes family members who don’t play golf, ensure that your chosen lodging is near attractions or offers activities that appeal to everyone. 

Resorts near places like Disney can offer the perfect blend of golf for enthusiasts and enchantment for the family, turning your golf getaway into an inclusive family vacation. Accommodations with pools, spas, and proximity to sightseeing spots should be on your list.

Navigating Logistics

When organizing a family golf trip, attention to detail in your logistics can make or break the experience. Ensure you have the itinerary and transportation arrangements tailored to your family’s needs, including coordinating tee times, flights, and ground transport.

Setting Your Itinerary

Start by confirming your tee times well in advance, particularly if you’re aiming for popular golf courses.

An itinerary should reflect a balance between time on the course and leisure. Meals and other activities require booking ahead of time as well, especially for a foursome or larger group. Remember, firm up this schedule and communicate it to your family promptly.

Transportation and Accessibility

Equally critical is the transportation logistics. Opt for flights that arrive in the morning or early afternoon to avoid any rush or potential delays. If you’re bringing your clubs, ensure your flight’s baggage policy accommodates them. For on-ground travel, consider renting a vehicle large enough for all passengers plus equipment, or seek golf resorts that offer shuttle services.

For group payments, services like group payment apps or shared expense accounts can prevent any confusion or delayed payments among participants. Ensure every family member knows how expenses are being tracked and shared.

Moreover, if accessibility is a concern for any members of your group, this must be part of your planning when choosing your transport options and your accommodation.


Tailor your golf vacation to reflect your family’s preferences by carefully selecting courses that cater to all skill levels. Aim for a mix of leisure and challenge to keep everyone engaged and satisfied. Keep in mind the associated costs – top-tier courses and resorts will demand a higher budget.

Ensure you’re prepared for your trip by:

  • Researching course options and booking tee times well in advance.
  • Budgeting for all aspects of the trip, from green fees to accommodation.
  • Packing appropriately for varied weather conditions and dress codes.

Remember, the key to a successful family vacation is balancing golf with other interests. Find accommodations that offer both comfort and convenience to the courses, without compromising on the non-golf entertainment for the family.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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