GOLFING – ‘ON TOUR”
If you are thinking about a golf trip away with your group or society, there are some ways the trip can be made more enjoyable AND organised. We joined the Cha-AM Golf Club for their ‘On Tour’ annual Event to look at how it can be done.
Booking the Golf Course
Clearly the most important part of organising an away golf trip is booking the golf course. This may not be simple particularly if there are communication issues and many courses are heavily booked in the high season. Expect email communications to be problematic.
The message is don’t leave the booking until the last minute and consider making a ‘recognisance’ trip to finalise arrangements and to checkout the accommodation. On-course accommodation is the preferred strategy to avoid confusion about transport to and from the course and to keep the group together.
The earlier the booking, the more difficult it may be to get the player commitment you need. Our suggestion is not to rely on verbal ‘bookings’ but insist on either email correspondence or a signature on a ‘sign up’ sheet. As you may be expected to pay for ‘no shows’ a deposit or even full advanced payments is not unreasonable.
A very clear and complete schedule, including costs is a MUST so that everyone knows what to expect. Perhaps include a website link to the golf course, their pictures will tell a thousand words.
Reliable, safe and insured transport is a necessity. Perhaps one bus tailored for the number of players rather than multiple smaller vehicles. This means everyone arrives at the same time and adds to the camaraderie and social side of the trip. Don’t underestimate travel time, including stopping en route and time to settle in before the first round.
The less uncertainty players have the better. Plan to have an information sheet both emailed and available to hand out on the bus, including flight lists and tee times. Even the most basic information should be included, such as meal arrangements and any planned presentations.
Avoid any uncertainty about the format for the golf and even the most minor details such as any Local Rules you may want to implement such as preferred lies. Being accused of changing the rules after play commences just creates controversy and disharmony.
On the Day
For a large group a small ‘advance party’ may be a good idea so that when the main group arrives everything is ready and no one is wandering around and confused. On the first day a ‘starter’ on the first tee is a final opportunity to make sure everyone on the same wavelength.
On Tour With The Cha-Am Golf Club
The Cha-Am Golf Club ‘On Tour’ Event was an overnight trip with two days of golf at the Mida Golf Course on the outskirts of Kanchanaburi. Over 50 players took a bus, leaving from the Municipal offices in town (overnight parking no problem) at 6.00 AM.
All players were emailed an information sheet, including the flight list some days before. This provided all the details, including meals, prize presentation arrangements and time for the return journey. The first flight on day 1 was at 12 noon so with a two hour plus trip there was plenty of time to settle in.
Accommodation was at the course although players could not check into the rooms until after the first round (11 AM check in). An advance party of three Committee Members arrived early to ensure that all was in place and welcomed the arriving golfers.
Mida golf course management was very user friendly and eager to make sure that all the players were comfortable.
Two days of golf followed with a combined stableford format on a course that was a great test of golf and in excellent condition. Probably the only change we would recommend to the planning was to describe the countback system in advance as this differs from country to country and should be understood before play commenced – next time!
The winners – our congratulations to Rogeir Heimstad and Wenche Utheim as the main ‘On Tour’ winners!