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Group golf trip in Vegas - suggestions/advice?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Nevyn, Jun 18, 2012.

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  1. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Hello all,

    Every year, a group of myself and 12-20 friends go on a golf trip together. Usually, these are fairly local (2-5 hour drives from home) and 3-4 days.

    However, for next year we were talking about spicing it up a bit. Vegas is in the running (unlikely due to flight expense, but could happen) as a potential destination.

    But while I know Vegas well, two things I know hardly anything about are getting good group rates, and golfing in Vegas.

    Any suggestions are welcome. What courses should we play? Is there a good place to go for good packages (either just golf or golf+hotel)? What is a good time of year to look at for good deals and still decent golf weather? Assuming we don't rent cars, what hotels are good at arranging transport to/from courses?
     
  2. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I am in charge of putting our group together every year. This was our 14th year.

    You are asking very general questions, but I will try to help.

    If you go in April or May the best deal is going out to Primm. Last year we paid $286 double occupancy for two nights at Primm Valley Resort and four rounds of golf. (One on arrival, two rounds second day, one round after checkout) Great golf courses in fantastic shape.

    Golf rates drop dramatically after May 31. I finally talked the group into going in June. We just got back last week. We ended up paying exactly the same amount, $286, for the same amount of golf and nights this year. But we played the in town, high end courses. Bear's Best, Badlands (two rounds), TPC Las Vegas. We stayed at Suncoast, in the middle of all of those courses.

    The magic number for getting good rates is 16 people. When you have 16 you are a "group" and they'll deal with you.

    Plan on getting cars. That is really the cheapest way to get around. It usually works out to about $80/person for four days. It doesn't matter if you get a small car for two people, or a mini van for four, it works out to about the same per person.

    Good luck.
     
  3. thespiritoftruth

    thespiritoftruth Tourist

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    A site to consider is www.golfnow.com
    I use them for booking a lot of my tee times while home, and have been looking at some of their rates for my trip to Vegas in a couple of weeks, as I may try to sneak a round of golf in.
     
  4. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the responses.

    Sorry I can't give much more detail. This is the advance planning stage so its tough to say how many we'll have, or what else they'll want to do.

    I expect it would be 2-3 nights and 4-5 rounds. Usually we play pretty nice courses. Last year we had 13 people. That could possibly grow to 16 or more but that may be a stretch for a trip further afield.

    Our trip is usually the first trip of June, but I'm not sure if we'd do that in Vegas. I don't know that the 100 degree heat would go over well. Is April/May the high season? And if so, are there also deals on the other side (February/March)?

    Big Tip, is there any sort of central contact you used for the high end courses, or did you have to book them individually?

    I forgot to ask, those rates you got, did they include Fri/sat nights or were they weeknights?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  5. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    There are services. I used one the first two year when we went to Biloxi. But I have found that I can get better deals just talking to the group sales person at each course. That goes for the hotel/casino too.

    Golfnow is a great site, but it really is not a resource for the group trips. These trips need to be planned and booked months in advance to get the tee times you need.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Big Tip has hit the mega-picture issues well:

    • Rent cars (or secure your own shuttle service)
    • Third-party bookers --StandBy Golf, GolfNow, etc. -- work best for small groups booking at the last second (if discounts are what you are looking for)
    • A la carte booking still rules in Vegas simply because Vegas doesn't really offer "golf resorts" to nearly the degree of other destinations. (For instance, my group is heading out in two weeks and we secured La Quinta Resort for $149/person single occ with unlimited golf at PGA West and La Quinta, $25 daily credit and resort fee waived. We've done Loews Ventana in Tucson for similar price, Four Seasons Troon/Scottsdale, etc.)

    Must-play courses: Las Vegas Paiute -- all 3. Primm. TPC Las Vegas and Bear's Best in Summerlin. Coyote Springs if you don't mind a drive from Vegas that's just a bit longer than heading down to Primm. Boulder Creek. Call the clubs and speak to group sales (though that often begins at 16). And do do do play Paiute.

    Other options: Have you considered Arizona? Greater Phoenix is THICK in great golf resorts; it's a far better golf market overall than Vegas, a major air hub, only Indian casinos but tons of non-golf stuff to do. Tucson is harder to get to with fewer options, but what's there is awesome and for summertime desert golf it's cooler -- but far from cool -- than the Big 3 (Scottsdale, Vegas, Coachella Valley).
     
  7. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    • I went out with a group of friends from high school a couple of years ago. That's where a got the idea of the cheap summer golf.

      Anyway, they contracted for one of those shuttles, the kind that you use to get to car rental lots. They hold about 20 people with luggage and bags. That was great fun, and worked out to about $100 per person. There is lots more coordinating required with that option. "Be there by 7:30am or be left behind." People tend to be on different schedules, especially in Vegas. lol.

      That's why we have mostly gone to just putting two people in smaller cars. You only have to worry about one other person showing up at the proper time. Also some people like to get to the course an hour early. Some people like to get out of the car and go straight to the first tee. Again, different schedules.
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Hell, Tip, with my guys we can be a foursome and still need multiple cars for that very reason. lol

    I lived on the edge of the California desert for a very long time, and summertime doubles in Indian Wells were just standard practice. Now not everyone is equipped to deal with 107 or 112 or whatever, but as you know, with some common sense it can be done and you can save a TON. And not all deserts are created equally, which is why I always suggest Tucson or particularly Scottsdale/Valley of the Sun.

    Vegas obviously has some other-than-golf inducements to it, however.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2012
  9. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    If you lay off of the alcohol before the round and at least wait until the turn to have a alcoholic drink, golf in that weather and low humidity isn't that bad.

    Our routine was a ton of water on the front and no more than 2 beers on the back, until we got to the clubhouse.:beer:
     
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  10. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Gatorade+Coors Light ... hydrate and intoxicate. That's a secret passed down from one of my Canadian buds.

    We often double up so we avoid the brews until it's all done. We always have one guy who craters, sometimes a couple holes into the second 18, always gone before we hit the turn. lol
     
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Thanks Ken, some great info there.

    I'm not ruling out any destinations at the moment. Basically we are Southwestern Ontario (Canada) boys, and our traditional destination is Niagara Falls. And every year someone says "next year we should go to X" (x is usually Myrtle). We've done Northern Michigan once.

    So this year I'm actually trying to present the guys with options, trying to do it soon enough that we can still book Niagara if its a no-go, and doing it myself so the guy who does our Niagara bookings isn't spending his life as our travel agent.

    So right now I'm trying to get a list of maybe 4-5 different scenarios to run by the guys of places we could try and the tradeoffs involved (ie: travel expense for Vegas/Arizona, driving time/lost days for Myrtle, etc).
     
  12. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    A wise formula indeed.

    If only I was golfing with wise people. There's a decent chance that if we play in 100 degree heat we'll have at least one hospitalization, lol.
     
  13. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Nevyn, it's a little work, but that's what you have to do.

    "Okay guys, here's the deal. Las Vegas, three nights at...., four rounds at.... $340. Maybe $80 for car. $350 for airplane. That's $770 for everything but food and gambling. Leave Monday, come back Thursday. Who's in?
     
  14. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    OT, but consider Vancouver Island. Long flight through Calgary out of London (?), but Victoria tends to be cheap except in summer. Better courses than Niagara. Problem is that it's difficult to book a great airfare until 2-3 months before you go. Lots of evening places to enjoy beverages in Victoria. Couple of good tour companies if you don't want to do the planning yourself - PM me for my recommendation.

    If you group book golf in Vegas, I concur that everyone should do a rental car. Depending upon the age of your crew, 36 holes + late nights on the town can be a stretch in Vegas. Maybe a winter trip to take some of the sting out of the heat, but that adds $$$$$$$. But there's just too much to do/see in Vegas, plus a pretty tough slog on the course, to make it a 100% enjoyable experience for some people. If you're into 18-hole days on this trip, compensated by the tons of activity your group will do on the Strip, then Vegas could be a nice change-of-pace.

    Back on-topic: If a casino offers a comp round somewhere, will that comp often include rental clubs? Transportation? Or for a low/mid roller, usually it's just the green fee? Want to know if it's worth $50 to haul my clubs, to perhaps get comp'd a round.
     
  15. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Vancouver Island is an interesting suggestion. I'm a bit concerned that travel time and flight cost would rule it out, but I'll at least give it a cursory look.
     
  16. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    One more quick question, how helpful are the group sales people usually when you're still talking about a potential trip?

    My experience with other locations is that as soon as they get a whiff that you're putting together options and not ready to book anytime soon, the amount of information/help they'll give gets limited in a hurry. Since I'm pricing out options very early in the process that could be a pain.

    Also, how soon before you can get pricing for the next year?
     
  17. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Clubs v. rental--If you're being comped at a place like Shadow, it is ALL inclusive. Best bet is to call your host if you're not swimming at that level of the evolutionary scale.

    Group sales -- I know I can't answer that, don't know if anyone can. I don't book a ton of group travel but can't really recall any standout performances or abject failures. Remember, Vegas is a rather awesome a la carte market given how gamblers subsidize everyone's hotel rates. And if you are three or four groups, it still might just be better booking 3-4 foursomes standalone. Hotel/play combos in Vegas aren't typically financial windfalls; just check Walters Golf's "offers" for its so-so stable of courses paired with its partner hotels.

    Green fees--Unless the economy does a miracle boomerang I'd think prices you see right now will be reflected next year.

    Rockies--Personally, if I'm flying west across the Great Maple Leaf, I drop wheels in Calgary and play up in the mountains. For you Canuckistanis, are you better off flying east-west in-country with WestJet or partaking of what seem to be rather value prices heading down south?
     
  18. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    depends on the course. the green fee at Shadow includes rental clubs, so whether you pay the $500 or get it comped, you don't pay anything for clubs. that's the only course i've ever played in Vegas. if you get a round comped at another course and they charge for rental clubs, i guess it would depend on how they do it and/or what your host does for you.
     
  19. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    A discount flight from Detroit (2 hr drive) to Vegas will reliably be a couple hundred cheaper than flying regionally across Canada. Haven't looked much at Arizona, but I think those airfare are a bit higher than Vegas (and lack of direct options to Tucson).

    Truth be told, I hadn't considered much in Western Canada. We have discussed the East Coast (PEI has some famous courses), but travel out there is awkward (longer drive than South Carolina, little in terms of close airports and direct flights).
     
  20. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Shoes, too.
     
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