© 2012; 2003 Connecting: Solo Travel Network & Diane Redfern. Information.
Note: This article is reproduced here for inspirational value alone and will not normally be updated.
Therefore, all facts, figures, and author's opinions are subject to change as time goes on.

Golfing & the Single-Friendly Travel Directory
Researching Solo Vacations

By Diane Redfern

Do you know of any sources for golf getaways/schools for single golfers? I e-mailed the famous John Jacobs Golf Schools about whether any of their schools in Canada and the US were more "single-friendly" for the over 45 age group. Got a terse response that they did not pay any attention to a person's status or age. They also have a pretty hefty single supplement at all of their schools! . . . Gillian H, Vancouver, BC

Golf getaways/schools for single golfers? It's a simple question but complicated to answer if I include Gillian's periphery remarks. Her idea of "single-friendly" raises concerns about disagreeable single supplements, age compatibility, and a considerate response from a holiday supplier.

Aha, now we face the complications typical of every solo travel plan. For some of us it's golfing. For others it's skiing, sailing, fishing, or any of a dozen different holiday wishes seemingly stymied by a travel industry configured for two – or more.

Is there a solution? I can't say for sure, but at least I can share how I would go about expanding my options if I were in her place. I'll start by answering the basic question:

When you find nothing of interest on CSTN's trip calendar, where do you go? First reference is always the Single-Friendly Travel Directory (SFTD). Let's look and see if it can help Gillian's dilemma.

Check Priorities with Cross Reference Indexes

Single-Friendly Travel DirectoryThe following suggestions apply to any sort of holiday plan, but I will demonstrate how to use the Single-Friendly Travel Directory (SFTD) using Gillian's priorities: golf, schools/getaways, single, over 45 age group.

The SFTD has 15 Cross Reference Indexes listed on pages three to five to help locate companies by their activities. Browsing through the indexes, I note that there is no category specifically for "golf," but there is one headed "Active, Sport-oriented," and also one headed "Learning, Study, Workshop." Perhaps Gillian saw the listing for John Jacobs Golf Schools in either of those categories.

Learning, Study, Workshop

The bad news about John Jacobs Golf Schools, according to Gillian, is that she received only a "terse response" to her inquiry and, in any case, they charge "hefty single supplements at all of their schools."

The good news about John Jacobs Golf Schools (and the reason the company is included in the SFTD) is that single supplements may be avoided because roommate matches are possible with "at least 31 days notice prior to a school's start date."

Alternatively, for those who don't want to share accommodation, "commuter" pricing is frequently available for those who would rather arrange their own private, less expensive lodging, say at a nearby bed and breakfast. This might be the solution for some but not for Gillian because she wants to know up front if her golf companions will be in the "over 45 age group," and she prefers to be with "singles."

I see also listed under the Learning, Study, Workshop category two possibilities that Gillian missed:

I'd suggest that Gillian mark those two for possible checking later on. But first, I would start by cross-checking two other indexes: Mature Travelers and Singles Only.

Mature Traveler and Singles Only Indexes

A quick scan of the Mature Travelers' index indicates the listing "National Senior Golf Association." Okay, here's a possibility, but does this company offer singles-only golf trips? Darn! I note that it isn't also listed under the "Singles Only" index, but still, I'd follow up and check the company description in the SFTD's Alphabetical Listings.

The description for National Senior Golf Association states "Golf trips for ages 50+. Arrangements for singles available on occasion, by request." – definitely worth checking to find out what is on the agenda. If, for whatever reason this company doesn't fit, Gillian and I must go back to comparing the two indexes – Mature Travelers and Singles Only – for another possible match.

>> I note that two other companies are listed under both indexes: Saga Holidays, and Solo's Holidays.

Of course the company names don't reveal whether or not golf trips are scheduled. A company's description in the Alphabetical listings may or may not be more conclusive, but at least its contact details are given, and it's only a matter of calling or visiting its website to find out. Even if a golf trip for singles isn't currently planned, who knows where an inquiry might lead.

Adjusting Priorities

If those inquiries lead nowhere, it's time to give up on a priority or two, but it's no time to give up on the Single-Friendly Travel Directory. There are over 20 companies listed under the Mature Travelers' index, any one of which might include golf among its programs. It may be a tedious process of elimination, but no one ever said that planning a perfect solo holiday is easy.

First on the list is Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel). I went to the website and the search term "golf" returned dozens of options and all for the 50+ age group.

Don't Give Up

And so it goes, one by one through the various indexes in pursuit of the trip that fits dates, style and pocketbook.

Other Cross-Reference Indexes to try in this instance would be:

Okay, I understand. This hit and miss process can be a pain. This is what travel agents are for, you might say. True, that is why I advise you to plan your trip alongside a local travel agent. The two of you should work together with your SFTD as a primary research tool.

>> DR

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