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A round or two of golf is a great add-on to any business trip. It makes just as much sense on any holiday of course, but many business travellers make a point of heading for the greens.
You can sample some very different golf courses overseas, including ones with spectacular scenery, challenging holes, a fixture on the competition roster or simply for their iconic status.
Of course, that time during and after the game is an ideal opportunity to develop your professional and personal relationship with clients (especially prospective ones) and overseas colleagues. Plus it's a great way to de-stress from the business of your trip and even get in some gentle exercise.
If you're a golfer who doesn't already pencil in a round when travelling, consider this as a possible new year's resolution – and start planning now for your first golfing getaway of 2019.
Is your airline golf-friendly?
For the most part, airlines no longer allow for what is classified as "sportsman’s luggage", which includes not only golf clubs but a complete "golf set" typically defined as up to 14 clubs, 12-14 balls and a pair of golf shoes. These should all be enclosed in a recognisable carrying case.
Some airlines are very golf-friendly, offering a complimentary allowance for your golf set in additional to your normal baggage entitlements: that roster includes Air Calin, China Southern, Malaysia Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.
Whichever airline you're flying with, check its policy on golf kit – including any extra allowance which may apply due to your frequent flyer status – and plan your baggage accordingly to avoid getting stung!
Invest in a decent bag or cover
Don’t just throw your rain hood over your set of clubs and hope for the best! Spend up on a good travel cover for your clubs, something that has sufficient padding to protect both your bag as well as the contents inside.
Club Glove and Sun Mountain are the industry leaders and most trusted travel covers out there with superior padding as well as compartments and pockets for shoes as well as other accessories.
Protect your woods
Airlines won't necessarily treat your clubs like fragile items. They can get thrown around just like every other piece of luggage, and your woods – especially that driver – are going to get a lot of pressure and stress put on them. Keep your tour/alignment sticks in the bag or even get a broom handle to take the pressure off the longer clubs.
Check the condition of the golf courses you'll be playing
Many golf courses around the world plan various types of maintenance at different times of the year, so check with the course beforehand to see if there has been any work done on the golf course and how affected the golf course is, instead of just turning up to find cored greens or the course in some condition you weren’t expecting.
Pack the necessities, and more
You plan your 'business' wardrobe ahead of your trip? Do the same for your golfing gear. Allow for pairs of shoes and ideally matching caps. Don’t forget your rain gear, umbrella, range finder, extra golf balls and tees and an extra rain glove. Mother nature can be cruel, especially on the golf course - so be prepared.