10 Mistakes to Avoid While Planning an Epic Guys Trip in the UK

Shown to play in the land of bonds, you’d better be prepared.

Tiffany Lynch

Several weeks ago, my colleague Shawn Zack (who had been in Scotland for the summer) accompanied me on an epic journey through the Land of Links, playing the next three host tournaments of the Open Championship (!) in three days – across three countries. I flew to Dublin and then back to Northern Ireland where we played the host in 2025 Royal Portrush), then to England (where we played the host site 2023 Royal Liverpool), then to Scotland (where we played the 2024 host site royal throne). Then I flew home.

This just wasn’t an available ride because we were a corny couple and book golfers. The beauty of the Open Championships – and the most important courses in the UK in general – is how well they fit in the towers outside the towers. As long as you are willing to pay a high price, they are willing to take your money. They rely on it, in fact, to keep the course in perfect condition and charge the locals at a very reasonable rate. (Most annual memberships range from $1,000 to $1,500.)

In other words, it’s time for you to plan your trip to the land of connections too! And while it’s hard to narrow your scope should Go (topic for another day), here are 10 lessons we learned so you don’t have to.

Oh, and if you want to see what came of our trip, here it is day 1 In Royal Portrush, the second day at Royal Liverpool and day 3 In Royal Tron.

1. Don’t forget the driver.

I’m not talking about the one you can’t stop chopping up. I’m talking about someone who can run a car on the left side of the road; A big mistake in the right is more expensive on the road than on the track.

There are plenty of ways to approach this, depending on your comfort on the other side of the road, the size of your group and the length of your drive. I flew to Dublin and then took a bus and train to Portrush, Northern Ireland. The rest of the way I entrust my safety to Zack, who misses a lot of the trail but keeps her running on the roads.

If you have more than one quad, it may be worth investing in a driver with one of those great vans or minibuses that will make you the envy of the countryside. Other than that, just make sure you have some sort of plan other than playing rock paper scissors at the rental car center when you arrive.

2. Don’t sleep in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is relatively far away. Prior to 2019, it was a long time absent from the Open rota. In other words, it’s often not people’s first instinct when it comes to big link trips. But manWhat will you see if you go?

We started our journey at Royal Portrush, one of the best golf courses in the world, with 18 holes covered over coastal coastal terrain, beach on one end and cliffs on the other. Downtown is just a short walk from the stadium, with a string of bars, shops, and restaurants on a spit sticking to the cool Atlantic.

Portstewart, another exciting seaside course rated on our site “Best UK and Ireland” Menu is a short drive from Portrush. You’ll find gems on your East Coast excursion, including your favorite Ardglass. And you can try for a while at the Royal County Down, which like Portrush is near the top of everyone’s list. Northern Ireland – it’s where it is!

3. Don’t forget to make a dinner reservation.

“A lot of daylight” is generally a good issue, especially on a golf trip. But many small-town restaurants in the UK may not particularly care that you decide to sneak in an additional nine holes after 9pm local time. There are many top link courses in these little pockets out of the way that have great vibes but also the chefs who get home at 8:30. Make a plan to go to avoid a mutiny by your hungriest crew.

4. Don’t recreate one of the worst moments in Rory McIlroy’s career.

This came in Royal Portrush as well when Zack paid an incredible tribute to the opening tee for the Northern Irish Championships at the 2019 Open by taking the hybrid and pulling the tow hook that settled in the exact same spot that McIlroy did, definitively out of bounds. Then he did it again, this time just barely at the border, just like McIlroy. There are plenty of iconic picks to emulate in these courses – try it out instead. (Or do what Sean did. A lifetime memory!)

5. Don’t stay in a different place every night.

This happened to me just before 4am when the alarm on Portrush AirBnB smashed me into a very amazing place. Please, please do not take this as a complaint; We planned our dream trip this way! But if you are going with a group of friends, remember: you be in vacation. Should do some sleep. And you should stabilize as much as you can.

There are so many epic stations across the UK and Ireland that it’s easy to try and pick them all at once. I advise you to resist this urge. Instead, rent a house somewhere. Make yourself a home base. Then wander from there, playing the coolest courses within a day’s drive. Feel free to have a couple of different bases at home, especially if you’ve been there for a long time. But there’s something nice about settling down in your room for a few nights – and something stressful about unpacking your suitcase only to repack it early the next morning. Speaking of this topic…

6. Don’t click in very Lots of golf.

Everything is relative, of course. It should be packed in a file Many from golf. But I wouldn’t pressure yourself to play, say, two inventory cycles in one day. That’s a lot of stress and sensory overload. If you’re there for a few days, I’d recommend the recipe for a dreamy course in the morning and then something smaller and friendlier in the afternoon/evening, for those so inclined. This is a land full of fun nine-hole, 18-second short, city courses with character and quirk even if they don’t end up on any list. Look for those at Bonus Golf. That way you’ll stay fresh for your next big task the next day.

6b. Don’t crush the ball.

Just a side note, but that speaks for itself.

7. Don’t forget your classes.

It is often cold in the morning. warm during the day. Cool in the evening. It is unpredictable between them. There’s a reason professional golfers (Tiger Woods included!) are drawn to the jacket, an objectionable piece of clothing: It performs an important function in golf. Bring some classes, folks. This is your #1 packing priority.

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8. Don’t forget your rain gear.

This is related to the number 7 but is arguably more important. If you play in the rain without rain gear, you will end up soggy, cold and miserable. Your clubs will slip. Your clothes will suffer. Your golf game will be irrelevant; You’ll just want the day to end. But with good rain gear (plus good layering), all things are possible. Footjoy helped take care of our trip, so we were well prepared with the best waterproof golf balls, and it made all the difference. While on our Royal Troon Journey, a massive rainstorm appeared out of nowhere. During a period of sideways downpour, golf felt ridiculous. But as we slowed down, we were… actually totally fine. The waterproof stuff works awfully. Rain gloves remain the best invention in golf. And you need to have a file Rain suit and rain gloves Before you think of anything else on this list.

9. Don’t hold up in all your anger.

This was another experience we had at Royal Troon: No negative comments. It’s a great idea in theory. Links golf tours come with unique challenges to the weather, conditions, and new courses, and some grumbling is normal. But the search for relentless positivity has, in my experience, had the unintended side-effects of building frustration instead. I left the tour thinking it was important to give yourself permission to get upset, at least for a moment. Everyone needs a pressure release valve so they don’t eventually explode.

Tiger Woods’ often-cited strategy makes a lot of sense in this context: Give yourself 10 steps. In other words, you can go crazy. You may be unhappy with your shot, the outcome of the shot, the circumstances, your state of mind, anything. (Woods will often remember.) But once you take 10 steps, it’s over. You are now in the next shot. Use this time to leave the past behind.

10. Don’t play hard strokes toys.

Want to have fun on your trip? Make sure you have some way to rate your rounds other than the outcome of playing the 18-hole stroke.

First of all, give yourself a break! You play new courses, you play a different style of golf, you potentially play in wind, rain and all kinds of challenges and you put pressure on yourself to perform.

Forget that! We forget at least some of it, at least. Have a fun match going. Links Golf is designed for game play. Friends’ Journeys are designed for team play. Try Stableford! Build a feedback system that ensures that the bell bush won’t ruin your day. You can still keep your score, of course. But by keeping your focus wider, you can ensure you keep your head in the game, enjoy your ride a lot more, and provide better company for the rest of your group.

I’ll let you get back to planning.

Dylan Diether

Dylan Diether

Golf.com Editor

Dylan Diether is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine / GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Massachusetts native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years of squabbling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, majoring in English, and is the author 18 in Americadetailing the year he spent as an 18-year-old living out of his car and playing a round of golf in every state.