As a budget-conscious golfer, you might think that golfing in the winter is out of your reach.
However, with the right planning and budgeting, you can enjoy a great golfing experience during the winter season. In this guide, I will provide you with everything you need to know to plan an affordable winter golf trip.
From the benefits of taking a winter golf trip to finding the best winter golf destinations, we’ll cover it all.
Benefits of taking a winter golf trip
Many golfers prefer to play during the winter months, but the weather just doesn’t allow it.
First, you will get to play golf when many golfers are struck indoors. There is nothing like playing golf in 60 plus degree weather when it is snowing or under 30 degrees back home. Second, these trips are a great break from the typical winter and the weather and course conditions it brings for many golfers. Plus you get to spend it with some golf friends and enjoy 3-4 days away from normal life.
Finally, you’ll get to experience golf courses that might be different from the type of courses you normally play. For example, a trip to Arizona enables you to play some amazing desert golf courses that brings about new challenges.
Top 7 best winter golf trips for golfers on a budget
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – This destination offers over 100 golf courses, many of which offer discounted rates during the winter season. You’ll be able to enjoy mild temperatures and beautiful ocean views while golfing.
- Scottsdale, Arizona – With over 200 golf courses available, Scottsdale is a golfer’s paradise. The winter season offers cooler temperatures and reduced rates at many courses.
- San Antonio, Texas – San Antonio offers a mix of challenging courses and warmer winter temperatures. You’ll also find affordable golf packages and deals at many courses.
- Orlando, Florida – Orlando is a popular destination for golfers year-round, but the winter season offers lower rates and fewer crowds. You’ll be able to enjoy world-renowned courses and sunny weather.
- Palm Springs, California – With over 100 golf courses available, Palm Springs offers a diverse range of courses to choose from. The winter season offers cooler temperatures and affordable rates at many courses.
- Kiawah Island, South Carolina – Kiawah Island is home to five championship golf courses, including the world-renowned Ocean Course. The island offers beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and world-class dining and accommodations.
- Robert Trent Jones Trail, Alabama – The Trail offers over two dozen golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Roger Rulewich, which are spread across Alabama and provide a range of golfing experiences. The courses are well-maintained, challenging, and offer stunning scenery. Additionally, Alabama’s mild winter climate makes it an ideal location for golfing during the winter months, with average daily temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
My Top 5 Trips
- Phoenix, Arizona – We played a variety of courses on a 4 days trip and enjoyed every moment. The weather was ideal in March and we would often play 36 and then catch an MLB or College Baseball game in the late afternoon or evening. The courses were amazing and the views of the mountains were stunning.
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – This trip is better in March or April and the weather isn’t a for sure thing like Arizona, but the range of golf courses and accommodations are something special.
- Pratville, Alabama – We played all 3 courses at the Capitol Hill part of the Robert Trent Jones Trails and appreciate the variety of courses and the customer service. Staying on site was very impressive and provided plenty of time to play golf and enjoy great good and beverages.
- Orlando, Florida – Not really known as a golf destination, the weather in January or February is hard to beat for winter golf. Plus, the accommodations are affordable with plenty of options due to Disney World being so close. Many people are looking to rent their time share or their house and accomodations are really affordable as is the flights from many parts of the country.
- Augusta/Atlanta Georgia – We visited the Masters Tournament on a Monday and then played golf in Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday. The best part of the trip was walking Augusta National and watching the practice rounds. Truly a one in a lifetime experience that is on the top of my golf experience list!
Make sure you are ready for your golf trip and your swing can hold up to the challenge:
Related: How to practice golf in the winter
One of my favorite golf books of all time – “A Course Called America”
Tips for finding affordable winter golf destinations
When planning a winter golf trip, it’s important to do your research and find the best deals. Here are some tips for finding affordable winter golf destinations:
- Look for courses that offer winter discounts or package deals. If you want to play more than 18 holes a day, some offer affordable re-play rates or a play all day rate.
- Consider destinations with a lower cost of living and lower travel expenses. For example, looking for flights that are cheap can help save a significant amount of money. For example, flying from Cleveland to Atlanta is more affordable than flying from Cleveland to Los Angeles, California.
- Research off-peak travel times for your destination to find cheaper flights and accommodations. Certain months in certain locations are more expensive.
- Consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations, such as Airbnb or vacation rentals.
- Consider driving instead of flying. This can save 300-400 dollars per golfer, especially if you have 3-4 golfers per car.
Related: Winter Golf vs Summer Golf
Planning your winter golf trip – what to consider
When planning your winter golf trip, there are several factors to consider.
First, you’ll need to decide on a destination and choose a golf course. Consider the course’s difficulty level, amenities, and fees. Who is going on your trip and what level of golf are they capable of?
You’ll also need to plan for transportation and accommodations. Look for affordable flights and budget-friendly accommodations, such as Airbnb or vacation rentals. As shared above, some golfers might prefer to drive and can handle a 10-12 hour drive and make it work to save some money.
Finally, make sure to bring appropriate clothing for colder temperatures and winter weather conditions. In some locations the temperature might range from the 50s to 80s.
Note: Don’t forget your golf travel bag if flying. Check out our recommendation below!
Packing for a winter golf trip
When packing for a winter golf trip, it’s important to bring appropriate clothing for colder temperatures and warmer weather conditions. Here are some essentials to pack:
- Warm layers – bring clothing that can be layered for added warmth, such as thermal shirts, sweaters, and jackets. Some mornings might start in the 40s and get all the way up into the 80s. This is common in places in southern Arizona during February and March.
- Waterproof gear – bring waterproof shoes, gloves, and a hat to protect yourself from rain. Unfortunately, when the weather gets warmer, thunderstorms are always a possibility.
- Hand and foot warmers – these can be a lifesaver on cold days or to start the day off before it gets warmer.
- Sunscreen – on some days this might be key, the sun can still be damaging to your skin.
- Snacks and hydration – bring snacks and water to keep yourself energized and hydrated throughout your game.
Related: Are golf courses open in the winter?
Saving money on accommodations and travel
Accommodations and travel can be some of the most expensive parts of a winter golf trip. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money on these expenses. Here are a few tips:
- Look for package deals that include accommodations and golfing fees. Some destinations provide stay and play packages.
- Consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations, such as Airbnb or vacation rentals. It all comes down to the budget for the golfers on your trip.
- Book your flights and accommodations in advance to take advantage of early bird discounts.
- Look for off-peak travel times to find cheaper flights and accommodations. Certain days of the week or cheaper to fly than others.
- Use travel rewards points or credit card rewards to save on travel expenses.
Affordable winter golf packages and deals
Many golf courses offer winter packages and deals to attract golfers during the off-season. These packages often include accommodations, meals, and discounted golfing fees. Here are some golf courses that offer affordable winter packages and deals:
- Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina – Pinehurst offers winter packages that include accommodations, breakfast, and unlimited golf on their nine-hole courses.
- Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina – Kiawah Island offers winter packages that include accommodations, breakfast, and discounted golfing fees.
- The Wigwam Resort, Arizona – The Wigwam offers winter packages that include accommodations, breakfast, and discounted golfing fees on their three championship courses.
Best winter golf courses to play for budget-conscious golfers
When planning a winter golf trip, it’s important to choose a course that offers a great golfing experience at an affordable price. Here are some courses that offer both:
- Tobacco Road Golf Club, North Carolina – This course offers a unique and challenging experience at an affordable price.
- Ocotillo Golf Resort, Arizona – Ocotillo offers a beautiful course with affordable rates during the winter season.
- Southern Dunes Golf Club, Florida – Southern Dunes offers a challenging course with affordable rates during the winter season.
- The Crossings at Carlsbad, California – The Crossings offers stunning ocean views and affordable rates during the winter season.
Conclusion – enjoying a great winter golf trip on a budget
In conclusion, with the right planning and budgeting, golfing during the winter season can be an affordable and enjoyable experience. By choosing the right destination, finding affordable accommodations and travel, and taking advantage of winter packages and deals, you can enjoy a great winter golf trip on a budget. So, start planning your trip today and experience the beauty and challenge of winter golfing.
A weekend getaway or more during the winter to play golf on beautiful courses is well worth it!