If you’re like me, you probably dropped a bit of cash on various gifts for your loved ones this Holiday season.
That means that you’re probably looking to save a little on your next golf trip.
I’ve found a solution that could potentially save you hundreds on lodging for your next adventure.
Check it out…
I must admit, it is awfully convenient to stay at a comprehensive resort where you scarcely have to leave campus to eat, play golf or otherwise amuse yourself.
Two drawbacks, though. First is that golf resorts can be pricy (especially when you’re getting charged those dreaded “resort fees,” as commenters on last weeks tip pointed out).
Second of all, staying at a property designed such that you needn’t leave makes it hard to get a feel for the local culture. Now, there are certainly places where there is no real local culture, but if you’re journeying to a new spot for a golf trip and want to immerse yourself in the local scene and simultaneously save some dough, you may consider...
You may have heard of the now enormously property rental website Airbnb (pronounced "AIR-b-n-b") but it’s not just for itinerant hipsters looking to crash on someone’s basement futon...at least, not anymore.
Now you can rent entire homes, apartments, cottages, etc., and it’s become a huge force in the hospitality industry, increasingly popular among fans of the do-it-yourself vacation.
Budget-conscious golfers might consider using it on a trip as well.
In just a few minutes of searching, I found three great potential Airbnb properties in prime golf destinations:
St. Andrews, Scotland (in August) – There are a number of properties up for rental in the Home of Golf, but this one stands out for its affordability. At $97 per night and sleeping up to six guests, this two-bedroom caravan (admittedly the UK term for “trailer” – but a very pleasant one!) appears situated between the Castle Course and the Auld Grey Toon itself. A room at the Old Course Hotel would be about five times as expensive, and a room at the popular Rufflets Country House Hotel would be about three times this Airbnb property’s rate.
If the word “caravan” is a deal-breaker, note that other rental properties in St. Andrews are available for as little as $129 per night.
Hilton Head, S.C. (in April) – Suppose you wanted to catch the some of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head in April as a late-week golf diversion. This two-bedroom unit is near Palmetto Dunes’ Robert Trent Jones Course, which you could play in the morning before seeing some much better golf out of the PGA Tour’s best. Its balcony overlooks tidal marsh, a lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. The nightly base rate here? A very reasonable $135. The two-night total is $358, which includes a $50 cleaning fee and $38 service fee.
If you wanted to stay in one of Palmetto Dunes’ villas, you’d need to reserve a minimum of three nights, and the prices start from $199 per night, making this another nice deal.
Scottsdale, Ariz. (in February) – This desert hub of golf has plenty of resort options, from the low-key to the luxurious. Given the existing supply of rooms for all budgets, we found yet more Airbnb deals. This one, for example, seems well-suited to a Scottsdale buddy trip that combines golf and nightlife in the happening Old Town neighborhood, which is five minutes away.
The nightly rate for this property is $300, meaning a foursome spread out amongst the house's four bedrooms for three nights would pay just under $83 per night (including Airbnb's service fee). Talking Stick Golf Club, McCormick Ranch Golf Club and Camelback Golf Club are all less than 20 minutes away, making this particular property an excellent base for the trip. The lowest nightly room rate I could find at the nearby Westin Kierland Resort for the same time period is $409. In this case, Airbnb would save each golfer an absurd $326 per night. That more than makes up the difference in greens fees for resort guests and non-resort guests.
The way I see it, here are some pros and cons to using Airbnb for a golf trip:
PRO: Affordability. It is very possible to save 60-80% against the cost of staying at a hotel by renting a property available through Airbnb.
CON: You miss out on hotel/resort features like turn-down service and some level of convenience. Also, you yield the opportunity to play courses that are only accessible via hotel/resort stays
PRO: In addition to being cheaper, the property you rent through Airbnb may end up being nicer and/or more interesting than a hotel.
CON: It might not, but bad experiences are usually easily avoidable by checking the reviews posted on hosts’ pages.
PRO: Airbnb creates the sense of a true “home away from home.” More often than not, guests will be able to cook dinner in the kitchen where they’re staying, and generally come and go as they would at home.
What do you think? Have you used Airbnb for a golf trip or otherwise? Would you consider it?
Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.