Here are some of the Frequently Asked Question, we are asked on a regular basis, about coming to play golf in Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales.
We advise that the best time to come is between the first of April and the end of October. Some venues such as St Andrews and Carnoustie have regular tournaments at certain times of the year and the best way is to contact Golf Vacations UK and they will check availability for you.
The more well known and better the golf course, the earlier you need to make your enquiry for a trip. Courses such as Muirfield can be applied for up to 18 months in advance, whereas if you wish to play St Andrews Old course, bookings open up at the start of September for the following year; however planning to include the Old Course can start earlier if you wish to have other courses within the itinerary such as Royal Troon, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns and it is advisable to have the request for times in before they open their diaries in the Autumn.
Traditional Links Golf Courses sit on land that is adjacent to the sea. The ground is normally much firmer than parkland and is mainly sand based due to the course position. Links courses are normally laid out using natural terrain utilising the natural humps, bumps and sand dunes. Bunkers are usually deeper than Parkland courses and the sand is much coarser. Bunkers are usually smaller, deeper and riveted. Links courses do not normally feature trees but are more likely to have whin and gorse bushes and are more likely to be wind affected than the parkland courses.
Weather in the UK and Ireland can be unpredictable and we advise clients to bring suitable clothing to cater for inclement weather. It is not likely to be extremely cold during the months that we advise for travel; however a waterproof rain suit is a must, just in case it should rain on the golf course, which of course “it never does”
The course is accessible for all golfers with a current handicap that meets the limits set by the ruling body – the St Andrews Links Trust. Maximum handicap for men is 24 and for ladies is 36. Players must also be members of a recognised golf club.
Players can reserve a package with Golf Vacations UK which includes golf and accommodations within St Andrews or they can rely on the daily ballot which is drawn 2 days in advance.
Singles cannot enter the daily ballot, the only way is to go and see the starter the day you wish to play and he will try to place you with other golfers on the day. It is essential to approach the starter early on the day you wish to play if you wish to succeed in gaining a starting time on the course.
Caddies are not obligatory to play courses such as the Old Course, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and other championship venues; however when playing the Old Course, you can only rent pull trolleys after 12 noon. Prior to that you will either carry your own bag or take a caddy. Caddy fees range from around £40 + gratuity and these fees differ from course to course.
Currency for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland is GB£ Sterling and currency for Republic of Ireland is Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted in all of these areas mainly MasterCard, Visa and Amex. Diners Card is not widely accepted.
Driving licence from your home country is normally acceptable for car rental and authorisation to drive in the UK and Ireland. Limited Insurance is included in car rentals but wider insurance is also offered on collection of the vehicle.
Golf Vacations UK always advise that their clients take travel insurance from an agent in their own country and advice and referrals are available.
UK sockets are standard 3 pin plug and adaptors, which are widely available at airports, will be required. Power in the UK comes out of UK wall sockets at about 220 volts (actually 220-240). In North America, power is supplied at 110-120 volts.
If you plug in devices designed for use in North America without an adaptor, not only won’t they work, they may explode. At the least, they will certainly set off a rather fine fireworks display before they self-destruct. Having said that, many of the electrical devices you’d expect to take on vacation are dual voltage. Hair dryers, shavers, travel irons and clothes steamers all now come in dual voltage versions that can be switched over to 220-240 volts when you pack, so they will be okay with use of the adaptors.
Laptop computers and other modern electronics are usual made to operate at dual voltages and will switch over automatically. And battery chargers for camcorders, CD players, cell phones and other battery operated devices can almost always be plugged into English sockets (with an adaptor plug), even when the devices themselves cannot.