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Tired of the same local courses? Want to add adventure and sightseeing to your next golf outing? Here’s how to pull off a successful golf road trip, mixing golf and the lure of the open road.

Find a Theme

It’s easy enough to come up with the idea of visiting the most highly rated courses within a region or the most famous courses across the country. Why not add a twist? Look for the oldest courses in a state, ones that saw historical shots in golf, or courses with unusual stories (ever heard of the Prison View Golf Course in Angola, LA?). You could also plan your trip around courses that offer challenging shots—try your luck with the infamous floating green at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. Once you pick a theme, the rest of the trip should fall into place.

Bring Your Car in for a Checkup

Even if your car isn’t due for an inspection or basic maintenance, take it in and have them give it a close look before your trip. Check the tires and see if they’re due for rotation. Make sure the brakes are doing their job. Top off all the fluids, change the wiper blades, and ensure the engine is running smoothly. You’re going to be covering a lot of ground while carrying a lot of weight in luggage and equipment. Make sure you make it to all your tee times in one piece!

Make Your Reservations, Then Work Around Them

When planning your golf trip, it’s best to make the games the centerpiece, then expand outward. Call the courses you want to visit to see what times are available. Use these times to calculate how long it’ll take to get from one place to another and how much free time you’ll have on either side to do other things. Ask the staff at the course for suggestions on places to stay, eat, and enjoy yourself. You won’t be the first to ask, and more than likely, they’ll already have suggested plans and itineraries available. You’ll likely hear about local attractions you might have missed too.

Keep in Shape

If you plan to hit one golf course after another, playing 18 or more holes a game, be sure your body, mind, and soul are up for it. Stretch and work out between games, but don’t overdo it, so you can remain loose and pain-free on the course. Meditate to cool down. Enjoy yourself but get enough sleep and avoid celebrating yourself into a raging headache the next morning. This is a once in a lifetime trip—don’t spoil it!

Be Flexible in Your Plans

Nature has a way of imposing itself on vacations and golf games, so don’t be surprised if it makes an unpleasant appearance or two on your road trip. If you want to know how to pull off a successful golf road trip, just remember to keep your sense of humor and enjoy the time you’re spending with your fellow passengers and golfers, no matter what happens!