Golf deals around the world for Spring 2013

It’s snowy and cold here on the Front Range of the Rockies. Golf seems very far away. So, to keep my spirits up and stay warm I’ve been researching a few international golf destinations in sunny locales.

Perusing Golfzoo, I found a great deal on golf at the Costa del Sol, Spain. Stay for seven nights and play five rounds for $945. Play three rounds at Almenara GC, one each at nearby San Roque Club and the Alcaidesa Links GC. This package includes lodging, rental car, and daily breakfast, based on double occupancy. The package is available April 1 through May 30, 2013. Visit Golfzoo.com for more details.

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I’m actually very susceptible to good deals, and even OK deals if the place is interesting. Golfzoo also has a special to Casa de Campo, an All-Inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. For $315 per person/per day, double occupancy, the Casa de Campo Golf Lodge Package includes

  • Four nights at the resort
  • Meals and drinks on the property
  • Unlimited greens fees at The Links course
  • Shared cart for 18 holes per day
  • One round on the Teeth of the Dog course (group forecaddie fee apply)
  • Complimentary use of the practice facility
  • Golf bag storage
  • Transfers from the airports (La Romana, Punta Cana or Santo Domingo)
  • All resort fees and taxes

This package is available from now until April 30, 2013.

I’ve never played in the Caribbean, but I’d love the opportunity to try this out! For a couple to visit for four nights, this totals out to $2520 without the airfare. Airfare from Denver to Santo Domingo runs around $5oo per person. This is not a cheap few days, but it sure sounds fun! If you have more money than I, check out Golfzoo.com for more information.

Just a note – I don’t receive any compensation or consideration from Golfzoo.com. It’s just a good site to find golf deals! Do you travel out of the United States (or wherever you live) to play golf? Where? Let us know!

P.S. What is a forecaddie fee? 🙂

 

 

Golf vacations and Costa Rica

The first week of April, I visited Costa Rica with a college girlfriend. The trip was a girl’s yoga getaway and a chance for both of us to wind down from hectic careers. Initially, I thought I might want to check out a few golf courses while there. It turned out that wasn’t practical, since we didn’t rent a car, and the resort where we stayed didn’t often have guests that played. Costa Rica isn’t blessed with an abundance of courses. My friend and I were in Guanacaste Province, which has 5 of the 12 golf courses in the country. I just didn’t find the time between the surfing lessons and the zipline tour to visit the golf course. We spent one night in San Jose, the capital, which boasts 5 courses, but weren’t there long enough to find the courses. Our flight was very early next morning.

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As my friend and I were headed home after 8 adventure-filled days, I began to think about how my vacation time is divided. Boomergolfbliss.com is not my full-time job, and the Job comes with a specific allocation of vacation time. Taking a golf vacation takes different planning than a non-golf vacation. When planning a golf vacation, my husband and I think harder about driving versus flying. If we’re flying, are we taking our clubs? If so, can Southwest Airlines get us there – they don’t charge for golf bags. If we take our clubs, we want to play at least twice while we’re there. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem worth it.

We have gone on trips where we didn’t intend to play any golf, but ended up renting or borrowing clubs and playing anyway. I’ve had mixed experiences with renting and borrowing clubs. I rented in Puerto Vallarta at El Tigre and nearly bought the set when I was done. They were a high-end Callaway, and I played very well with them. I’ve also rented some awful equipment and borrowed worse. I don’t find it much fun to play with awful equipment.

I would like to go back to Costa Rica and play the courses. The people were very hospitable and the country is beautiful. I can only imagine that the golf courses, particularly at the Four Seasons and the Marriott, are beautiful as well. I would like to find out!

Have you played any courses in Costa Rica? Is it worth going back for the golf? Let me know!

 

New airfare rules begin

Today, the Department of Transportation’s transparency rules go into effect. Starting January 25, 2012, advertised airfares must include any taxes and fees. When searching airfares, it may seem as though fares have suddenly jumped. In reality, the final price is the same.

For those of us who like to travel and often take our golf clubs along, it’s nice to know if there will be an extra charge for those clubs. M and I usually travel Southwest since there is no extra charge for golf clubs. If we don’t fly Southwest, we usually rent clubs.

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I think price transparency is a great idea and this new rule is a good start. But what about the rest of the industry? Why can hotels charge a “resort” fee and not disclose that in their advertising? Why can rental car companies add taxes and surcharges onto their pricing once you get to the counter without disclosure in advertising? Perhaps it’s time to take a look at these companies and require them to advertise the true price of their products and services.

 

More travelers choose to drive instead of fly

Is flying to a destination always the best choice? M and I often travel to play golf and in this era of long waits at security, rising airfares, and overfull flights, many people are deciding that driving is a better answer.

A recent poll by AirfareWatchdog.com asked the following question: In order to avoid flying (due to rising fares and/or other factors), how much more time are you willing to spend driving this year in comparison to last?
I’ll drive up to two more hours -14%
I’ll drive 2-4 more hours -15%
I’ll drive 4-6 more hours -16%
I’ll drive 6-8 more hours -15%
I’ll drive 8+ more hours-27%
I won’t drive. Fares may be higher but I’m still a flier-16%

In this poll, 45% of the respondents said they would drive up to 6 more hours in order to avoid flying. Another 31% are willing to drive at least 6 – 8 more hours. Driving about 8 hours can equal a minimum of about 4 hours travel time to fly: arriving 2 hours before a flight, the flight time of an hour, and 45 minutes to disembark and claim luggage. Are people tired of the hassles of flying, or trying to save money?
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George Hobica, of AirfareWatchdog.com comments, “The results show that despite higher gas prices, many consumers will be driving longer distances this summer than in past years. It’s not just economics, however, because despite higher airfares it’s still cheaper to fly on many routes rather than drive. We suspect that consumers’ reluctance to fly has more to do with airport hassles, bag fees, TSA lines, and possible weather delays. In any case, this isn’t great news for the airline industry.”

There are many considerations when making the fly/drive decision, including the cost of gasoline, hotel rates along the route, rental car fees, and the cost of your time. Using the Fly or Drive Calculator on Befrugal.com, vacationers can determine which mode of transportation is less expensive. The cost for a family of 4 to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico from Denver in a Toyota Rav 4 was 6 hours, 23 minutes and $147.00 for fuel and vehicle wear and tear. The cost for that same family to fly to Albuquerque was $991 and 5 hours, 44 minutes, including parking at the airport, baggage fees, and air tickets, but not including renting a car are driving to Santa Fe.

For us here in the Rocky Mountain west, the distances can be challenging. How do you decide whether to drive or fly?