7 Things Not To Do On A Golf Tour

Some tips on how to avoid spoiling your golf tour

Things Not To Do On A Golf Tour
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The Golf Tour is a pinnacle of the golfing calendar. Months in the planning, it should be a hugely enjoyable event. Here are tips on how not to spoil it.

Things Not To Do On A Golf Tour

The golf tour has the potential to be, and really should be the ultimate trip for golf enthusiasts.

A few days away to play some great courses, enjoy the company of like-minded sportspeople, sample some local cuisine and generally have a great laugh.

But there’s also the potential for disaster on a golf tour and it’s important to be aware of the possible pitfalls. Here are 7 things not to do on a golf tour.

Offer to organise it

How the hell do we get from the caravan site to the course...

This is the fundamental and overriding imperative when considering what not to do on a golf tour… Do not, repeat Do Not offer to organise it.

If by some horrible set of circumstances, you’re pressganged into it or succumb to a moment of mad altruism then you can forget having a fun and relaxing time.

“Dave, what time is the coach? … Dave, when is the first tee time? …. Dave, will there be buggies? … Dave, do the sandwiches have shellfish in them? … Dave, Dave? Why are you crying Dave?”

Expect to play well

Lower your expectations

You’ve travelled to play three venues that have previously hosted the Portuguese Masters and are generally regarded to be very difficult indeed.

You haven’t played in three weeks.

You’ve just flown in, squeezed like a contortionist into seat 16B on a low-cost flight.

Basically, the chances of you recording over 30 Stableford points in any round are slim to none.

Reduce your expectations; from going out and crafting it round like Nicky Price, to going out and chopping it round like Nicky Clarke.

Go too hard on night one

It won't seem such a good idea in the morning...

Unfortunately, this one is impossible. But it would be nice if it weren’t.

You haven’t seen your golfing comrades for a few months, you’ve been excited about the trip for weeks and you have a terrible thirst after a long journey.

What happens then is, (whether you’ve yet played a round or not), the first night descends into “The Hangover Part Golf;” with people getting lost, head injuries, strange blue drinks served in goblets and concerning periods of time that nobody can remember.

Those who make it to the first tee the next morning, to play a world-renowned golf course, are barely able to put their shoes on, let alone make any sort of sensible contact with the ball.

Related: How to play golf with a hangover

Play off a false/unrealistic handicap

This will make you the least popular person since the press got wind of a new policy document from Ivan the Terrible titled; “No more Mr Nice Guy.”

If you don’t have an official handicap, play off the lowest you have been – Handicap revisions within the trip will take you to something reasonable.

If you start by saying – “I haven’t played for ages – I think 18 would be fair” and then proceed to score 45 Stableford points in round one, you’ll become a golf tour pariah – shunned in this trip and, most likely, the next.

Win too much money

Hand it over...

Bit like the above point, but can also apply to those with legitimate handicaps.

Even if you’re playing a blinder, don’t take too much cash off the other participants. They won’t thank you for it.

To be fair, it’s sort of hard to avoid this one if you’re outplaying the group… Just a warning that you might find yourself being spoken of in the same breath as “Mr, so-called 18-handicap” from the point above.

Wear matching outfits

Yeah - You look great!

Quite simply – It’s never going to look cool or clever.

Get thrown out of your hotel

Probably good advice whether you’re on a golf tour or not, but it can be particularly bad if you’re playing at an all-inclusive resort.

The rest of the group are unlikely to be sympathetic enough to fork out to change the itinerary so, with nowhere to stay and nowhere to play – it’s an early 16B on that low-cost airline home.

For you my friend, the Golf Tour is over.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?