November 20, 2021
Welcome to the Travel Mailbag from GOLF, a series in which our employees answer your course and travel-related questions. Do you have a question for a future mailbag? Tweet us at @golf_com.
How does a golf trip with children work? – @ garethpaul via Instagram
A golf trip? Big! A golf trip with children? It’s a little different now! But that doesn’t mean it has to be less fun than hanging out with your pals – at least it’s healthier. (Though there is a small chance you might think of how travel works while leaving the kids at home, but on the rare occasion that is the real question to discuss with your spouse, not with the highly regarded travel mailbag from GOLF.)
Nevertheless! As one of several fathers on the GOLF.com team, I raised my hand to tackle this tricky mailbag issue. First, however, there are a few things that need to be clarified. Is this a golf trip with just one father or mother and children or the whole clan? And are the children golfers? Or are you just on the move? Is it a golf trip with kids or a family vacation trying to squeeze some golf? The planning can look different. Outings with kids need kid-friendly activities, and more nifty extra-curricular activities for dad or mom can never hurt, either.
Either way, we’ll cover it all. Here are four tips to end a golf trip when it’s not all about you and your friends.
1.Water is your friend (no, not on the golf course)
Most major golf resorts offer at least one, if not several, pool options. For example, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is hosting the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open. There are two great courses you can play there. Also, take a look at these photos. When you’re done with a morning lap, the back of the resort is an unreal water oasis with slides, lazy river channels, pools, and sun loungers. Even mom and dad would love a place like this.
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My first golf trip with my wife and daughter was at Hammock Beach in Florida. I played golf on the Ocean Course one morning and my wife got a spa treatment the next day. The division of parenting responsibilities makes it easier for everyone.
3. Exceptional splendor
When it’s not all golfing all the time, finding other activities to fill up the afternoon is important. Play mini golf, go karting, shop downtown, buy ice cream, find a fun restaurant, stop at a brewery. The options are unlimited.
4. No 36-hole marathons
If your kids are older and enjoy golf this is fantastic, but they may not be ready for 36-hole marathons at Bandon Dunes just yet. Now all you have to do is bring your golf in different ways. Think of nine instead of 18 holes. Or play a short course or a par-3 instead of another round on a large hole. I was in Pinehurst just last week, and while the mega-resort has world-class golf, highlighted by its # 2 and # 4 courses, it also has a few less terrifying options for beginners and, better yet, a great one Short course and a huge putting green. You can spend hours there; and both are equally enjoyable for adults and children.
If you’re looking to explore more family-friendly golfing destinations, check out GOLF’s best resorts for families.
Josh Berhow is Senior Editor at GOLF.com. Born in Minnesota, she graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at [email protected]