By now you are already well back into the swing of things work wise. The summer holidays are already a distant memory now that you are back at work, back in traffic, and back into day to day routines.

No need to get deflated though, turn that frown upside down by planning your next getaway. Better yet, make it a getaway just for the guys.

Yes I am of course talking about the time honoured activity that is ‘The Golf Tour’. In South Africa there are incredible golfing destinations all well within reach both geographically and financially, so it’s a real must do.

Whether you already have an existing annual tour, or you want to get one going, here are some essential tips in planning the perfect one.

Golf tours when you are young are pretty much about getting blind drunk and playing hungover, while being fiercely competitive in a number of creative ways. As you get older all of that softens naturally, so it’s important to get a tour with people who are more or less on the same wave length. The temptation is to spread the net invite wise, but a good golf tour should never have more than 12 people as an absolute maximum. You want to keep things manageable, so 8 is probably the best number, plus you ensure quality over quantity people wise.

Golf Tours may be a tour, but you don’t want to be trekking from course to course each time. Try find places where you can set up a home base, then at the worst have a 10-15 minute drive prior to playing a different course. A home base such as a holiday rental house is very much the way to go accommodation wise.

Cost wise this is great as not only do you have a value place to sleep, but also a base to prepare meals, enjoy boozy fines meetings, and really make a place your own.

Each tour needs a dedicated organizer. Someone that takes control from the start and acts decisively in putting all the elements in play. It becomes a nightmare when things are discussed over emails such as courses, accommodation, play formats etc. One person, one way of thinking and everyone then just pays him up front. Leave nothing to chance, and have as many elements paid for as possible before the tour even starts.

Get in touch with the courses/golf resorts early and negotiate a good deal with them. Then when factoring in a budget, make sure you have some wiggle room for extras that may pop up like drinks, snacks, or funny prizes.

If budget isn’t too much of a thing, there is of course the option of utilizing golf tour operators.

Golf tours are about fun first, golf second. Try then to find venues that are in keeping with that so you can really create an enjoyable tour. Trying to play at exclusive courses may seem like a good idea, but sometimes they are very limited with regards to really enjoying a day out with the guys. Always think about things that the group can do outside of golf too, so perhaps have a think around what big sporting events are taking place around tour time.

Being able to visit a sports stadium for a big game after a morning round is cool, and if there is something big to watch on TV, make sure the place you are staying has suitable screening capabilities.

As we get older the golf game suffers with kids and work and things like that coming into the fray. Having a solid golf tour to look forward to then is a great way of hanging onto something that you love, and enjoying it on a greater platform so to speak. So with a bit of work and following the above basic guidelines, you can have a tour that really evolves over the years, and guarantees that you stay in touch with your good mates.

Happy planning!