While Singapore is known to have enough golf clubs to satisfy everyone from the beginner to the professional, some of the world's best golf destinations are located only a short plane ride away—giving you a great reason to venture out on your next vacation and explore what some of the neighboring countries have to offer. However, golf vacations can get quite costly due to high green fees and expensive accommodations. Below, we explore some of the best ways you can enjoy your next golf trip while saving some cash in the process.
Cost of top golf resorts in Asia-Pacific
For around the price of a weekend at an expensive golf course in Singapore, you can grab a cheap round-trip flight to an ASEAN destination and spend a weekend playing golf in Thailand or Indonesia. While playing Singapore's Serapong Sentosa Golf Club can set you back almost S$900 for two days, you can get a round-trip flight, hotel accommodations and a round of golf in Thailand or Vietnam for around S$950. This price can drop even more if you book your trip during the middle of the week or find a great package. For example, the Black Mountain Golf Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand has a promotion for a pool villa and green fees for around S$167 per night per person, which results in savings of up to 30% compared to playing in one of Singapore's luxury golf clubs for a weekend.
For golfers looking to venture outside of ASEAN, Asia-Pacific boasts some beautiful golf courses as well, albeit at a higher cost than if you were to stay within the ASEAN region. If you are looking for great deals or want to visit some of the best professional golf courses in the world, Australia may be the destination for you. For deal-seekers especially, Australia's Vines Resort in Perth costs only S$119 for accommodations per night and S$62.60 for a round of 18-hole golf. This ends up being a quite affordable getaway compared to other Asia-Pacific destinations, despite the S$800 round-trip flight. On the other hand, if you are looking for a high-end luxury getaway, South Korea's Southcape Owner's Club is an architectural marvel with a golf and accomodation package costing almost $500 per night. Though trips to this region might be expensive compared to playing golf in Singapore, you will have a chance to experience a different culture while trying your hand at some of the top golf destinations enjoyed by amateurs and professionals alike.
How to save on top golfing destinations
Regardless where you go, golf can be a very expensive hobby. Below are some tips we've prepared to reduce the financial burden of a golf trip.
Find ways to save on your flight
There are several ways you can save on your flight, including booking at least two months in advance, purchasing flights on weekdays rather than weekends and using comparison tools to find out which travel agent will give you the best deal. Additionally, you can save a rather significant amount by smartly utilising your credit card to book your trip. For example, many mile credit cards come with their own online travel booking portals that provide additional discounts or mile rewards on your flights and hotel nights. To gain airline miles this way, instead of going to a particular store's website directly, you would first visit your credit card's website and go to your shopping site of choice through the bank's shopping portal page. Doing so could help you save easily 10-20% on your trip either through earning direct discounts or through earning reward miles.
Find ways to save on hotels and green fees
The best way to save money on your accommodations is to look for resorts that combine your green fees into your room package. For instance, Thailand's Black Mountain Golf Resort's combined stay and play package can save you almost 50% per day than if you were to book a room and pay for green fees separately. Additionally, you can opt to stay at cheaper hotels or airbnbs not connected with the golf course. For instance, while a golf resort can cost up to S$300 a night in Vietnam or Thailand, you can find airbnbs in the golf club's vicinity between S$50-80/night.
To save money on green fees, you can look at the promotions golf clubs are having. For example, a lot of them will give you a discounted rate if you choose to play in the late afternoon or if you stay and play during the off-season. To save even more, avid golfers may want to apply for Maybank World MasterCard, which provides green fee waivers at 79 of the top golf clubs around the world, with an additional 10% discount on walk-in rates.
Protecting your wallet from unforeseen expenses with travel insurance
As much as it may seem unnecessary, purchasing travel insurance can be a great way to save on unforeseen golf expenses. For example, weather conditions like rain can easily cost hundreds of dollars in unused green fees. Also, those who will be renting golf clubs may appreciate the hired golf equipment coverage offered by some insurers, which protects you from expenses incurred from damage or loss of your rental equipment. There are several insurers that have policies geared towards protecting golfers, including unused green fee reimbursement and protection for your golf clubs and rentals against damage or theft. Additionally, purchasing travel insurance can protect you from theft, baggage & trip delays and will relieve some of the costs associated with inclement weather at your destination. The table below shows insurers who have great comprehensive golf coverage.
Miscellaneous ways to save even more
Saving on small costs can also end up saving you a lot in the long-haul. For instance, it is recommended that you bring all of your proper attire (including bug spray, sunscreen and other personal items) and pack light meals to prevent overspending at expensive restaurants and golf shops. Travelling with friends can also lead to group discounts (as well as some company). Bringing your own golf balls can help you save on costly golf ball prices. If your work schedule allows, golfing in the middle of the week usually means lower green fee rates by around 20-25% compared to golfing on weekends and holidays.