Time is short. And as a golfer, you can live a better life by having the links experiences you’ve always dreamed about. From playing with a Tour pro to seeing Augusta with your own two eyes, unforgettable experiences abound. Sure, it might cost you a buck or two, but a lasting golf memory is practically priceless.
NO. 1: AN OLD COURSE TEE TIME
Any person who’s ever taken a backswing yearns to play the Old Course at St. Andrews, the birthplace of the game and the most influential 18 holes in golf. Unfortunately, tee times are limited—demand for them is not.
How To Pull It Off: Your best bet is to apply directly to the St. Andrews Links Trust, either by phone (011-44-1334-466718) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), during a two-to-three-week window that customarily commences in late August and concludes in mid-September. Winners of this lottery are notified in October for tee times the following spring and summer. There are restrictions and requirements, so pay close attention during the application process. The payoff, if the lotto ball rolls your way, will be worth the price and the wait.
The Backup Plan: Other methods of gaining Old Course access include the Daily Ballot (enter by phone or in person, 48 hours before the day of play) and the Single Golfer walk-up (hit or miss). New for 2018 will be what’s called “authorized providers,” generally well-respected tour operators, such as PerryGolf, that have been licensed by the St. Andrews Links Trust and who can offer guaranteed tee times. Yes, you’ll pay a stiff premium (PerryGolf’s packages start at $2,895 per person, based on double occupancy), but this route guarantees your dream round—and a walk where Old Tom, Young Tom, Bobby, Jack and Tiger have all captured titles.
NO. 2: A GOLF CRUISE INTO HISTORY
Every year, June 6th commemorates the anniversary of D-Day, when more than 160,000 Allied soldiers landed along a 50-mile stretch of Normandy beach in an effort to liberate Western Europe from Nazi Germany occupation. Although fighting was heavy, the Allied forces secured a foothold for the future of Europe. If you’re looking to visit the site of this remarkable event in American and world history, and in a way that appeals to golfers, you’re in luck.
How To Pull It Off: Step aboard the Sea Cloud II for Kalos’s Normandy Golf Cruise. A leader in small luxury golf cruises, Kalos and the Sea Cloud II impress with personalized service, comfort and shoreline access. On your journey, you’ll crisscross the English Channel and play courses as diverse as England’s Royal St. George’s (13 times the site of the Open Championship) and Chantilly Golf Club, one of France’s loveliest layouts. Between rounds, you’ll make informative if sobering stops at Omaha Beach, the cliff-top battleground of Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery and Memorial, in Colleville-sur-Mer. Any year is a good year to make this voyage (prices start at $9,965 per person); 2019 will be particularly special, as it marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day.