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Is 2015 the Perfect Time to Take a Golf Trip to Europe?



This article originally appeared on GolfVacationInsider.com

I try to keep on top of financial trends along with golf trends because sometimes, they go hand-in-hand.

This is one of those times.

The other day, I heard that the Euro had sunk to a nine-year low against the Dollar - hovering in the 1.18-1.19 range for the first time since 2006 (with a brief dip just below 1.20 in 2010).

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed an uptick in inquiries about European golf trips from American readers lately, especially to Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.

Ireland golf vacations (and others in the Eurozone) will likely be a bargain in 2015.

Thank you, exchange rate!

Since March 2014, the Euro has slid from nearly 1.40 to 1.19, meaning that today, your money will go 15 percent farther across the Eurozone than it did just a few months ago.

The Euro has fallen steadily against the dollar in recent months, to near-decade lows. Further drops mean great deals on travel to the continent.

In fact, the Euro may fall even further in 2015—Barclays and Citigroup have targeted $1.07 as a potential level for the currency. In that case, the 15 percent advantage vaults to nearly 24 percent against the Euro's early 2014 level.

And, with European economic instability, demand for hotel rooms and tee times is likely to be softer, too, leading to more availability and potential price cuts.

According to an article by a little publication called the New York Times last week, "Americans thinking of traveling overseas are winners in the currency swings.”

So, if you’ve been dreaming about a European golf vacation, now might be the perfect time to take it…or at least book it.

Normally, this news would only affect countries in the Eurozone (i.e. not the UK, the best golf destination of 'em all in Europe). However, the dollar has made decent gains against the British Pound in recent months (about 12% since July 2014). Still, your money will go farthest in the Eurozone, but you will get some extra bang for your buck in Great Britain now, too.

(The dollar has also made gains in the last year against the South African Rand and the Australian Dollar, so keep that in mind if you're mulling over a longer trip.)

Jan 13, 2015



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Ed Beckham's avatar
Ed Beckham wrote at 2015-07-04 16:36:44+00:00:

My friend and I will be taking a river cruise through the Burgundy region of France the week of July 12th. Any suggestions for a nice 18. Thanks

Dr Donna K Buechler-Furey's avatar
Dr Donna K Buechler-Furey wrote at 2015-04-22 07:17:48+00:00:

I am retired with a fixed income that lets me travel some but not to stay in triple rated facilities. I also have only been playing golf a couple years so very long courses would not interest me as I would just have to be letting people go ahead of me. Can you help me find golf courses that would fit my ability and cost ? Thank you Donna

Hedi's avatar
Hedi wrote at 2015-04-15 19:43:37+00:00:

Thanks exchange rates!

Rudy Nemetz's avatar
Rudy Nemetz wrote at 2015-02-12 16:08:51+00:00:

Hey Craig,

I am a senior on a tight budget and am looking for the absolute best prices for golf deals all over the world. I can afford maybe one trip a year for a golf holiday. Question; is this the site where I can find that super deal and if so how do I axis it. I am open to traveling with a group too as well (tour). Please get back to me when time permitting.

Happy links...Rudy Nemetz

Bosse's avatar
Bosse wrote at 2015-01-20 14:03:36+00:00:

Don't forget Sweden as an attractive golf destination. Especially south of Sweden have many wonderful golfcourses like PGA National, Barseback, Torekov, Falsterbo, Halmstad and lots of others. You should also not miss Stockholm where we have lovely Bro Hof Slott, ranked as no 7 of all courses in continental Europe.

Adding to that we have our own Augusta even if the Swedish name is Ågesta Golfclubb, my home course.

And for all you Americans - the Swedish krona have followed the Euro and from paying 6,33 for the dollar, we now have to pay 8,11. So everything is on sale if you pay with dollars.

Welcome to Sweden!

Ian Donaldson's avatar
Ian Donaldson wrote at 2015-01-18 06:40:25+00:00:

Great time for planning a golf trip to Europe with the current exchange rate.

With the Open being played at St Andrews Old Course in 2015 and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles still fresh in golfers minds, I think it will be a busy year for golf courses in Scotland in particular.

Now is the time to book Scotland Golf Trips.

John O'Callaghan's avatar
John O'Callaghan wrote at 2015-01-13 23:08:09+00:00:

Please keep me posted on golf tourism deals.Cheers.John

Tim Gavrich's avatar
Tim Gavrich wrote at 2015-01-13 22:42:40+00:00:

Hi Jim--

Glad to hear you're looking to play more golf! I must confess I'm not too familiar with Sacramento's golf scene though I have heard Haggin Oaks is a nice facility. Nearer to Napa and Sonoma, my best recommendation would be Windsor GC near Santa Rosa. Their senior (60+) rate ranges from $43 during the week to $60 on weekends, cart included. Knock $15 off if you like to walk (the course is very walkable). If you're around an 18-20 handicap, I think you'll have a great time from the Blue or White tees (or a mix of the two).

Cheers.

--Tim

Jim McElroy's avatar
Jim McElroy wrote at 2015-01-13 22:41:46+00:00:

Well hi there--- 1 Jan retired / 18 Jan will be 68 Like to play more golf. Have not played much over the 18 months. Use to be an 18 Handicap - need local courses to get going again. I live in Sacramento Ca. and would like to visit and play in Napa Valley, two Indian Casino not to far away and friends in Portland Oregon. Wife Still works so weekend plus 1-2 days is good right now. I can only dream about going to Ireland, playing a high class California course but that would be the later part of this year - still need to get going again

Do I have a Chance at some these places?

Thank You

Marc Villeneuve's avatar
Marc Villeneuve wrote at 2015-01-13 17:27:12+00:00:

Conversely , those of us in Canada , who usually travel to USA for a golf vacation , now have to expect to pay 15 % higher with the american $ so strong , so in fact unless american golf courses reduce their prices I'm afraid alot of americans may miss out on having canadian tourist visiting in the near future. Years ago NY state offered deals with accepting our $ on par. I took advantage of this deal. Lets hope for parity.

Pat's avatar
Pat wrote at 2015-01-13 16:34:12+00:00:

I'm always interested in finding new venues to suggest to my readers. I've been lucky enough to play in Ireland a couple of times, and would be happy to go back. What I find with my readers, however, that this kind of trip requires a lot of pre-planning and exchange rates are not too great a factor. But I do think it is important if you're planning an overseas vacation that you are aware of the changing rates. Thanks for the good info. I will pass it along.

Gregg Humphrey's avatar
Gregg Humphrey wrote at 2015-01-13 16:21:19+00:00:

Returned in mid-December from the best golf trip ever in the Sand Belt area of Melbourne, Australia and Tasmania. Exchange rate very favorable at a savings of 20% on our dollar vs. Australian dollar.

jimmy d's avatar
jimmy d wrote at 2015-01-13 16:02:29+00:00:

Yes, currency ,price of gas and health of local economy play a role in site locations to visit. Trust most golfer look at all-in cost economics in addition to the emotional elements of travel. Thx for heads up.

jim's avatar
jim wrote at 2015-01-13 15:48:28+00:00:

thanks for the wake-up call. too often we forget things that are right in front of us that would save us money and help us with travel plans. i'm canadian and we are getting hosed on u.s. exchange these days, so a european jaunt [with or without golf] isn't a bad idea.

David McDonald's avatar
David McDonald wrote at 2015-01-13 15:47:36+00:00:

I'm trying to plan a trip for my wife and me to Ireland for September, 2015. Who can help me with all aspects of the trip from airline tickets, auto res., and itinerary for about 15 rounds of golf beginning in Dublin and ending in the SE part of the country? I ctan line up B&B's, etc.,but I'd like to have help selecting some of the better golf layouts without feeling I've been raped financially. Any thoughts??

Jon Heisler's avatar
Jon Heisler wrote at 2015-01-13 15:38:50+00:00:

Hi Craig,

I've been organizing an international golf trip for the past 18 years. Our group tends to seek out the best authentic links courses on the planet and as I'm sure you well know the vast majority of those reside in the UK & Ireland. Consequently, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales have been the chosen venues for most of our trips.

Per the question posed in your video, yes, I do keep a careful eye on exchange rates and it does play a key role in determining our destination. However, based upon the golf courses we're playing and our preferred accommodations it's usually necessary to make our reservations / bookings well in advance - as in a year or more in advance.

That was certainly the case this past year when I was planning our July 2015 trip to Scotland. I made most of our initial bookings back in May / June / July of 2014. It's virtually impossible to determine where the Dollar will be with respect to the Euro or the British Pound that far in advance so we usually base our decisions primarily on the destinations as opposed to the currency.

Having said that, I'm pleased to see that the US Dollar has also strengthened considerably against the British Pound. The exchange rate was 1.4 to 1 during the peak of the financial crisis but aside from that period and a few months in 2010 and 2013 the US Dollar hasn't been this strong against the British Pound in over 10 years. And don't forget the exchange rate as recently as 6 months ago was 1.7 to 1.

For our 2016 golf our group will likely return to Ireland so I'm hopeful that the US Dollar maintains it's strength. Time will tell.

Kind Regards,

Jon

Rick Davis's avatar
Rick Davis wrote at 2015-01-13 14:48:41+00:00:

Hi Craig --

Certainly a worthy travel news item...that the Euro has fallen, and keeps falling, in value -- compared to the US Dollar...but "it's just my guess" that the average Joe -- or hacker in this case -- wouldn't have a clue what this "falling Euro" means in a practical sense. To my point, it's one thing to say there's been a 15% decline in the value of the Euro...but it's quite something else to say..."a golf trip to Ireland that would have cost $1000 in March...will now only cost you $850!" Just my view...but that's the kind of "finance language" that speaks to those who might have been longing to travel abroad...but who otherwise didn't quite have the necessary shekels as it were.

Look out Ireland...here we come!

h.neher's avatar
h.neher wrote at 2015-01-13 14:21:42+00:00:

What do you suggest for me, living in this downward Europe???

Lloyd's avatar
Lloyd wrote at 2015-01-13 14:15:28+00:00:

Yes, I'm very interested to take trips because of favorable exchange rates and once in a generation pricing. The Europeans have enjoyed opportunities to visit the U.S? "on sale". Now it's our turn.

Ru Macdonald's avatar
Ru Macdonald wrote at 2015-01-13 14:07:29+00:00:

Hi Craig, interesting post and it may impact Scottish golf tourism in 2015. Are you heading to the PGA Show next week?


Craig Better

Staff Writer

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.