Golf Travel Tips - Some Golf Travel Service Providers in Good Standing

Julie L. Moran

By Julie L. Moran

Established Golf Travel Agencies and Tour Companies

For your convenience, I've listed a few agencies and tour operators that have been around for a while, and are legitimate agencies and that cover some of the more popular golf destinations in the U.S. However, this list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many other excellent agents and companies out there.

For the entire United States, you can contact Golf Digest Golf and Travel Club at (800) GD-EAGLE or P.O. Box 4011 Harlan, Iowa 51593. They do charge an annual membership fee, but members receive discounts at over 2,000 golf courses and 1,500 hotels in the U.S., as well as airfare and car rental discounts. This is especially a good value for frequent travelers.

Another national company is Preferred Golf, which offers golf packages with discount greens fees and accommodations as well as airfare. 2134 Tremont Center, Columbus, Ohio 43221 or (614) 481-8845. For those who travel to the most upscale golf destinations, Great Golf Resorts of the World offers golf packages (you still save money but these are top-of-the-line accommodations and golf courses) at exclusive golf resorts throughout the world. (800) 442-4479 or 111 Presidential Boulevard, Suite 222, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004.

For the southeastern U.S. contact the Southern Living Travel Service (yes, in conjunction with the publication of the same name), which offers golf travel packages for many popular destinations in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, and other southern locales featuring terrific golf courses. This is a good choice for those traveling with non-golfers, since arranging golf is part of what they do, but their emphasis is on romantic or classy or otherwise unique getaways. (800) SL-TRIPS, 1760 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Also serving the southeast (certain key golf destinations in the Carolinas and Florida) is Golfpac, which offer golf and accommodations packages as well as some all-inclusive packages and car rental. (800) 327-0878, P.O. Box 162366, Altamonte, Florida 32716-2366.

Saving Money With Non-Profit Golf Associations

Some popular golf destinations have begun to form non-profit golf associations with member golf courses and hotels teaming up to offer money-saving packages. You may want to contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau or Chamber of Commerce for your chosen destination to see if they have any information or special golf packages, since these organizations usually are aware of these liaisons and encourage them as they obviously promote local tourism. In fact, some of these are a division of a Convention and Visitors Bureau or similar general tourism association.

A few examples in the Southeastern U.S. include Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday (800) 845-4653, which has numerous hotels and golf courses that offer money-saving packages; the Williamsburg Golf Association at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia (800) FOR-GOLF; Hilton Head Central Reservations in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (800) 845-7018, and Florida's First Coast of Golf, Inc. (800) 877-PUTT for Amelia Island and Jacksonville Florida and surrounding locations.

These non-profit golf associations which promote and/or offer area golf packages are becoming increasingly popular, and their numbers are growing nationwide. So it certainly doesn't hurt to ask if your travel destination offers such golf packages. *

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