For those avid golfers who like to travel far and wide to play a good round of golf, the UK has to surely rank as one of the Holy Grail destinations. Whether you’re in the market for English rolling countryside, scenic Welsh valleys, dramatic Northern Irish coastal settings, or Scotland; the spiritual home of golf, there is a range of courses to suit all levels and playing styles. With this in mind, here are a few things to remember and consider before booking you British golfing bonanza.
Travel to the UK
Before you book flights, it’s important to have a clear idea of whereabouts in the UK you are wanting to spend your golfing trip. While the internal transport links are very good, you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the other end of your flight travelling internally.
All the main UK cities have at least one airport, but the main hubs across the country are Heathrow in the South, Manchester in the English North, Birmingham in the Midlands, and Glasgow in the Scottish West. Not forgetting Belfast if you’re planning on travelling to Northern Ireland. Due to the range of airports (www.which.co.uk/.../best-and-worst-large-uk-airports), you can scout out a good deal, particularly if you’re flexible with the dates you plan on travelling.
Where to Play
As stated above, there are a great many reasons to come to the UK to golf, but one of the big differentiators is the range of options and historical places that are close to all fans of the sport. You might be tempted to book a round in at St Andrew’s Old Course (www.standrews.com/.../old-course); one of the very oldest in the history of the game. The Barbazon at the Belfry (www.thebelfry.co.uk/.../golf) in Sutton Coldfield has hosted the Ryder Cup no less than 4 times and has seen many legends play its fairways over the years.
If you want to nip across the Irish Sea, many will already be familiar with the Royal County Down (www.royalcountydown.org/) – founded in 1889 with a patronage bestowed from King Edward VII. And not forgetting Wales, home to some of the UK’s best-loved rural scenery, Aberdovey (www.aberdoveygolf.co.uk/) tops the list of many golfer’s Welsh lists thanks to its unique placement on the edge of the Dovey Estuary.
When coming to the UK, there’s a couple of things you should bear in mind. Travelling by air can be an expensive business, especially when it involves booking both your clubs and luggage into the hold of a transatlantic flight. While it’s not for everyone, it might be an idea to look into renting clubs (www.travelgolf.com/.../renting-clubs-can-be-the) for your trip and remove the worry of your own gear being lost or damaged in flight.
Anyone who has been to the UK will tell you that the weather here can be very unpredictable (www.metoffice.gov.uk/.../long-range-forecast). It’s not uncommon to see bright spells and heavy rain over the course of a couple of hours, so make sure you are prepared for every type of weather and make contingency plans in the event of your game being rained off for a period of time. If it means having a few drinks in the clubhouse, that isn’t a bad concession to make!