Image of St. Andrews

GOTTA GO TO THE HOME OF GOLF!

With a name like GottaGoGolf, there had to be golf trips for women. Well, I say, “No guts, no glory!” We’re heading for SCOTLAND and the home of golf next May 23-29 with up to 24 GottaGoGolfers.

I’ve been on golf trips with mostly men and others with mostly women, which qualifies me to say this: They’re different! Generally, the trips with men are about golf, golf and more golf, while the trips with women are about more than golf.

I’m hoping that GOTTAGOGOLF SCOTLAND will be unique in bridging the gender gap. It will be a trip featuring golf, but not in a boring, 36-a-day way.

And I promise that no one will have to bring a suit or a dress on GOTTAGOGOLF SCOTLAND, or any of our GottaGoGolf journeys. I hope you’ll come!

Image of reserve-your-spot icon

BY AUGUST 20 IF YOU WANT TO PLAY THE OLD COURSE AT ST. ANDREWS!

I’ll be escorting this inaugural GottaGoGolf journey, arranged in partnership with Women’s Golf and Travel Concierge, over seven days and six nights in Scotland. We’ll play the Old Course at St. Andrews and four other seaside beauties where women are as welcome as men. We’ll learn to understand Scottish (yes, I know, they speak English, but understanding is another story), play a match against some of the locals, soak up the history of St. Andrews and taste some scotch.

Here’s where we need to know your interest so that we can hold a spot for you and plan the ideal itinerary for our group. So please fill out the form here and show your interest with a fully refundable $100 deposit. When we are ready to send our applications for the Old Course August 27, you can either guarantee your spot on the trip, or release it and receive a full refund of your yes-I’m-interested $100.

We’re working on offering GottaGoGolf Scotland in the $3,000 to $4,000 range (per person, not including airfare), with:

  • six nights of first-class lodging, including three nights in Edinburgh and three nights in St. Andrews;
  • six breakfasts;
  • ground transportation to and from the Edinburgh International Airport and all scheduled venues;
  • welcome and farewell dinners;
  • a scotch tasting;
  • five rounds on seaside courses (with trolleys) that will include the Old Course and one other at St. Andrews;
  • two lunches included in the golf rounds;
  • a round at the Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews;
  • a visit to Edinburgh Castle;
  • and more!

Whether you’ve always wanted to take this bucket-list trip and didn’t have someone to go with, or you and your friend or spouse (yes, men are welcome) were waiting to join a fun group on an escorted trip, I hope you’ll join me on GottaGoGolf Scotland. Submit your form by August 20 if you want to play the much-in-demand Old Course — we’ve got a short window of time to get our reservations in!

—Susan Fornoff,

Editor and Publisher, GottaGoGolf

P.S. In the meantime, how would you like an emergency golf trip to CABO this February or March? I’m thinking five days and four nights in this easily accessible and warm destination. Or, maybe you’d be up for the Dominican Republic, where Women’s Golf and Travel Concierge has had great success with golf trips for women? You can let me know of your interest in these and other Women’s Golf and Travel Concierge destinations on this same form. You’ll see there’s even a Solheim Cup 2019 Scotland trip for those who’d prefer the excitement of a great international spectator event to our more participation-oriented journey.

Introducing your escort

Image of Susan FornoffI’ve loved traveling since my sportswriting days, and my last newspaper job was as travel editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. I’ve been on many golf media tours, organized family trips, and written golf travel articles for The Chronicle, The Grain, SFGate.com and American Life. Cori Brett (then Kenicer) and I teamed up to write the 2001 book Northern California Golf Getaways, published by Avalon Travel Publishing.

What have I learned from all this? I’ve learned that every destination has its sparkling gems and its hidden gems, and as a journalist I enjoy researching them. I’ve learned that it’s important to have a good bed to sleep in — mints on the pillow, not required. I’ve learned that the best group trips leave a little bit of room for individuals to do their own thing, even if that’s just a nap. I’ve learned that I prefer to tip someone to lug my clubs around rather than do it myself. I’ve learned that I don’t have to play well to enjoy a beautiful golf course, but I’d better always pack my “weathers.”

And here’s the reason I’m leading GottaGoGolf Scotland: I’ve learned that great experiences are even better when they are shared. I hope you’ll come and join in the fun!

Frequently asked questions about GottaGoGolf Scotland

How do I know I’ll have a great experience? I’ve taken many golf trips and organized golf tournaments, and I can tell by working with Barbara Gutstadt and Women’s Golf and Travel that there will be no stone left unturned. Barbara is full of great ideas. Besides, I’ve seen the application list and know many of the attendees. The chemistry on this trip is bound to make for a memorable time.

What makes this trip different from the others I’ve seen advertised? We are not going to Scotland to merely play round after round of 18-hole golf. We’re going to Scotland united by golf and the goal of experiencing the game with fun, food and good company. Oh, and  scotch! This is not going to be the kind of itinerary that will leave you needing a vacation from the game. We might play at twilight one day, but never at 7 a.m. (unless required to at St. Andrews).

What’s up with St. Andrews? If I sign up by Aug. 20, am I guaranteed to a tee-time at the Old Course? You are not, but we have a two-week window to apply for private group bookings, and are choosing dates that are currently unfilled. In mid-October, we will find out yea or nay and will plan around the dates. After that, it is costly to make name changes. Reserve your spot and we’ll tell you all the details.

Suppose I want to go and want to play the Old Course but am not selected? When we get there, we can try the daily ballot, which is where most tee times are allotted, and make an alternate plan for you on another fantastic course in case you still don’t get on.

Do I need an official index for this trip? Not for the trip, but, men must be under a 24 index and women under a 36 to play St. Andrews. Also, it is generally required that you walk the courses. They’ll be pretty flat, but remember that it is expected that we play 18 in less than four hours.

What does the itinerary look like? You’ll fly into Edinburgh on Day 1 and be transferred to our hotel for a welcome dinner that evening to learn to speak Scottish and drink scotch. Then we’ll  play golf two days, take a day off for nongolf adventures and our transfer to St. Andrews, and then play the remaining three rounds of golf. On the sixth night we’ll have a farewell soiree and cry and hug, and after golf on the morning of the seventh day we’ll saunter back to the airport. If you want to stay longer, you can let us know how we can help. So six nights of lodging, two dinners, five rounds of golf, all transportation, with fun add-ons such as a putting contest and maybe an impromptu nine along the way.

What golf courses will we play? Take a look at these beauties we’re considering in addition to our two rounds at St. Andrews: Craigielaw, Kilspindie, Gullane, Crail Balcomie, Elie.

Of course, if you want to play Carnasty (aka Carnoustie) or Muirfield, we’ll do our best to schedule those options. But Scotland is full of wonderful seaside golf courses that are not as expensive and not as humiliatingly hard as those, and we’re keeping costs down by choosing among the gorgeous lesser-known destinations to offset the courses at St. Andrews. I feel this way we get a feel for tourist golf and also Scottish golf, especially links golf.

Do I have to drive on the wrong side of the road? We are planning a trip where you will not have to drive at all. If you wanted to do it all yourself, you wouldn’t be coming with us, right? You’re spending a little extra to enjoy the ease and safety of coach travel. And you don’t have to worry about having one for the road, you can have one ON the road.

Are we staying in dive hotels? No, you can do that on your next trip. We’re not going Ritz, but I believe golfers who are tasting scotch deserve a good bed to sleep in. Here are links to a few of the properties we are considering:

Hotel Du Vin, Edinburgh

Craigielaw Golf Club Lodge

Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club

Hotel Du Vin, St. Andrews

Scores Hotel, St. Andrews

Exactly how much is all of this going to cost? Your roundtrip Edinburgh airfare, plus between $3,000 and $4,000 per person. I think $3,500 is a reasonable ballpark number for all that we plan to offer, but Barbara won’t let me guarantee that until everything is negotiated. She’s good at that. She also prefers to underpromise and overdeliver. So, please do not let your application hinge on a possible $500 per person variance one way or the other.