For many, holidays are a time for doing things they don't typically have the chance to do. Whether it's taking in different cultures, experiencing exciting new cities, visiting world-famous wonders or just having the chance to relax in the sun - holidays offer the chance for something out of the ordinary.
For this reason, the notion of going on holiday to play golf seems like something of a strange concept to some - flying for a number of hours to only end up doing what they could in just a short drive from home.
This, however, is forgetting the unique opportunities that heading out on a golfing holiday can offer.
A change is as good as a rest
Put quite simply, golfing holidays can provide a break from the norm, even if the activity remains the same. Few people are blessed with having numerous golf courses within a short drive from their home, so boredom through familiarity can all-too-often set in. To combat this, holidays can offer a way for golfers to indulge - or even reinvigorate - their passion by playing on new courses and in different conditions.
This, of course, is the kind of experience that stays with a person. Then, later on down the line, if they (by dint of luck or skill) managed to score a birdie on a particularly difficult hole, the feeling of pride when seeing the pros fail will be incomparable.
Just as football has Wembley, cricket has Lords and rugby has the Millennium Stadium, golf has its much-vaunted, world-renowned destinations. The difference is, of course, that amateurs can go out and play on the same links as their heroes. If people were able to take a penalty at Wembley, bowl some overs at Lords or nail a touchline conversion at the Millennium, it would be no surprise if tourists began booking flights, hotels and holiday insurance just to have a go.
With golf, even the amateurs (barring some enforced handicap limits) can still play the courses they watch the professionals pit themselves against on TV.
Play with the pros
Some travel agencies offer chances to play with the pros for a round whilst on holiday. These could be invaluable both as an experience but also for getting tips on how to improve technique. They don't come cheap, however, so are reserved for only the most well-off travellers.
Others, meanwhile, may wish to research their trip beforehand and may end up bumping into a pro on their practice sessions without having to fork out hefty sums for the privilege. This is without doubt not the likeliest outcome, but also not the most expensive either.
So there may still be people who turn their nose up at those who book holidays to indulge a hobby or passion, but they are mistaken in thinking it's re-treading old ground.
Photo Credit: Flickr - jurvetson