If you’ve ever planned a golf trip to the British Isles or Ireland, you’re familiar with the following problem:
Most of the top courses there are private clubs that permit non-member play, but this visitor access can be extremely limited on weekends…which is precisely when most of us are over there.
According to the editors of Golf Odyssey…
“Typically, prime — if not all — weekend tee times are the exclusive domain of members and/or local residents (and clubs frequently host club or local competitions). Hence, a phenomenon we call the ‘weekend conundrum.’”
The good news is, there are ways to sidestep this problem. Here’s what you can do:
1. Plan ahead. Advance tee times at iconic courses such as Muirfield can get snatched up months or even a year in advance. Yes, the weak economy has loosened things up or even created new opportunities at private clubs that previously rejected weekend visitor play, but it never hurts to be the early bird.
2. Use weekends for resort or daily-fee play. Yes, there are some top-notch “public” courses in the UK and Ireland (including the recent additions of Scotland’s Castle Stuart and Trump International Golf Links). That’s the good news. The bad news is, these weekend tee times tend to go very fast, too. See No. 1 above.
3. Avoid playing on weekends altogether. If you can, either schedule weekday trips or use the weekends for traveling between regions or sightseeing.
Have you ever experienced “the weekend conundrum” when planning a UK or Ireland golf trip? If so, how did you handle it?
Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.