Stay and Play: Tips for The Ultimate Golfing Getaway

Magalies Park resort near Hartebeespoort
Magalies Park resort near Hartebeespoort

Autumn is the perfect time to book a golfing getaway with your golfing buddies or your partner if they enjoy golf. The weather is cooler, and rain is less likely but the fairways remain lush and inviting. Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, and avid golfer, shares some great tips to help you plan the ultimate golfing getaway without blowing your budget.

Lamont recommends a ‘Stay and Play’ resort, where you can all stay together in a chalet(s), bonding over shared good times and avoiding having to drive post the 19th hole. For example, First Group’s Magalies Park resort near Hartebeespoort offers the best of both worlds with beautiful chalets and a fantastic golf course. It is also relatively close to Johannesburg, Pretoria and surrounds so it won’t break the bank in terms of travel costs.

However, variety is the spice of life and if you enjoy conquering more than one course, Lamont suggests that you opt for a resort conveniently located near several golf hotspots. For instance, if the coast appeals, choosing to stay at resorts such as La Cote D’Azur or Margate Sands on the KZN South Coast will give you access to excellent golf courses in close proximity such as San Lameer Country Club, Margate Country Club, SouthBroom Golf Club and even the Wild Coast Sun, a 30-minute drive if you want to take a walk on the “wild side” and budget allows.

To make the most of your budget during your golfing getaway, Lamont offers the following tips:

1. Look for specials: Many resorts offer special packages and discounts for golfing getaways. Keep an eye out for these deals to maximise savings on your trip.

2. Avoid peak season and long weekends: Booking during off-peak times and avoiding long weekends can save you money on accommodation and green fees. Many golf courses offer reduced rates on quieter days of the week to attract players. Researching courses with these discounts can lead to significant savings if you’re flexible on dates. Additionally, consider booking later tee-off times for a less crowded experience, which can be especially helpful if you had a big night before.

3. Stick to 18 holes a day: Playing 18 holes a day instead of 36 not only lets you savour the game without stretching your budget but also sets you up for a better experience the next day. By pacing yourself, you’ll avoid stiffness and have time to unwind, whether it’s at the spa (yes, men can enjoy this too!) or throwing a line in the water.

4. Share rooms: If you’re aiming to stretch your budget and there are a few of you, consider sharing rooms so you only need one or two chalets. Just remember to inform the resort beforehand so they can arrange twin beds.

5. Cash in on big-group discounts: The larger your group of golfers, the better your bargaining power to negotiate better rates for green fees. Also, consider chatting with the resort about arranging a set menu at a fixed rate. This can be a great way to stick to your budget while still enjoying delicious meals during your stay (or there is always everyone’s favourite – the good ol’ “tjop and dop” around the fire).


6. Bring what you need from home: Have a checklist to serve as a reminder because although this might go without saying, it has been known for people to leave the most important things for a trip at home such as their golf clubs or golf shoes. You certainly don’t want to have to hire them and additionally, buy extra balls, tees and all other golfing essentials before you arrive to avoid paying premium prices.

With these tips in your bag, your golfing getaway is sure to be a hole-in-one. Lamont concludes, “Always remember that a bad round of golf is better than a great day at the office. So, get ready to tee off and make lasting magical memories with your golfing mates.”

For more information on First Group resorts, go to: