With the UK having so many great golfing regions, and me having not long taken up the game, I have made it an ambition of mine to play and experience as many of these fantastic courses as possible - from the hidden gems to the Open Championship courses. I guess now that I have started the golfing bug has well and truly bit.
I was really interested in finding out if other forum members had been on golf holidays in the UK rather than jetting off abroad to, say, Spain, Portugal, the US and the like; and which regions they visited and which courses they played. I'm not talking about two or three weeks breaks as may be required to justify going abroad for a golf trip - anything between two to seven days would be ideal.
As well as this if you had any further information on how you went about planning your trips and any tips that you could give on doing so in the most efficient and cost effective way possible would be much appreciated.
Obviously playing the Open Championship courses in both England and Scotland is very expensive, with the green fees of each of the nine courses on the current rota being priced in excess of £100, and when this is coupled with accommodation, travel and food/drink expenses the cost can escalate pretty rapidly. For this reason I am keen to learn from experience and not break the bank on a single golfing trip, which would (hopefully) allow me to visit more than one of the regions I have been longing to play!
I am sure that achieving the aim of playing many great courses without costing an arm and a leg is attainable but I have done a little research on the options available and it appears that the best way of keeping costs down when planning a "home golf holiday" is through independent travel, accommodation etc rather than booking through a tour operator - which I am told can be pricey. If anyone can confirm through their own experiences then that would be really helpful too.
One method, I am told, is by playing in the various courses' opens which allows you to play for a fraction of the usual green fee, however if planning a trip to a certain area is there much chance that all of the courses in the region will be having their opens on consecutive days which would allow me to take advantage of them - I imagine that this would not be the case and I would probably be best timing my trip to coincide with the most expensive course's open and just pay regular green fees for the others in the area that I plan to play. Does this sound the sensible approach to take?
Living in Edinburgh I have good access to the East Lothian and Fife courses, which would possibly be many peoples' choice of area for a UK golf break, therefore, the regions I have earmarked as being the most desirable for an away trip at the moment would be the Northern Highlands (encompassing Royal Dornoch, Brora, Tain, Nairn, Boat of Garten etc) and the North East of Scotland (Cruden Bay, Murcar, Royal Aberdeen, Montrose etc) although once these areas have been visited I am keen to visit England's golf coast in the North West, the South East of England and also Northern Ireland and the Republic - so hopefully everyone on GM will have been to one or two of these golf zones in the UK and Ireland.
This clearly is a long term plan and it is likely to be the case that I will only be able to tick one off my list every year or two at best and any wisdom that could be passed on from those who have experience of such home golf breaks would be excellent to know.
Apologies for the long post and thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.