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Goswick Golf Club

The perfect golf trip on a budget? Here’s where our experts say you should go in 2024

On The NCG Golf Podcast we posed a question: Put together an expedition for under £400 in green fees. Here’s what our contributors came up with…

 

Four hundred pounds. It’s not enough for a tee time at Turnberry. It’ll will swallow up most of your budget at Muirfield. You could complete the Championship course at Carnoustie, double up with the Burnside, and have just enough left for a pint in the famous hotel.

While we know the price of the very best courses in Great Britain & Ireland continues to rise, we also wanted to pick out some value – a selection of layouts that won’t break the bank if you visited in the height of this summer.

On The NCG Golf Podcast, we were joined by two special guests to talk about what makes a great golf course and we also hit them with a poser.

We asked NCG Top 100s chairman Dan Murphy, and David Jones, better known as UK Golf Guy, to put together a golf trip they could do in 2024. But there was a catch. There had to be multiple courses and the green fees could not total more than £400.

So where did they decide to go, and how much would their recommendations hit you in the pocket?

Let’s look at their golf trip shortlists…

Best golf trips on a budget: What our experts recommend

Conwy Golf Club

‘North Wales is an amazing golf trip’: Dan Murphy, NCG Top 100s chairman

There are three places where I think the best value is over my travels. The first is Wales, and North Wales specifically seems to be even more competitively priced. I think that is an amazing trip.

Bull Bay (£35) is a real favourite of mine that people don’t go to too much.

Obviously, you can sweep Conwy (£85), Aberdovey (£100 on Saturday), and Royal St David’s (£115 between May and September), and that is an amazing trip.

You are compromising nothing on the quality of the golf on that trip and you are getting some fantastic GB&I Top 100 courses there.  That is a phenomenally good option and North Wales is quite accessible.

Then the other part of the world that I think is great value and has got significant charm would be the Northumberland coast, which has some very interesting, quirky, and distinctive courses.

Whether that’s Bamburgh Castle (£70), or Dunstanburgh Castle (£40), and we’re all big fans of Goswick (£100), you’re never too far away from the sea, the castles, and the beaches.

My other option, if you weren’t factoring in transport, would definitely be to look at the Scottish islands and you really wouldn’t pay much in green fees.

If you took yourself up to Ullapool (£35) and then went across to Stornoway (£40) and worked your way down past Askernish (£60 to £70), Barra (£10), and you might even end up at The Machrie (£180). I’m not sure you could get Ardfin on this budget but I think the Scottish islands offer some amazing value.

It’s just the complication of the logistics and it takes a bit of getting to and getting around but those three options offer fantastic value and great golf.

best opening tee shot in golf

‘The West of Scotland is not as hard to do as you think’: David Jones, UK Golf Guy

One of mine was Northumberland as well because it’s just a lovely trip to do and if you want a big night out in Newcastle and then go up to Goswick, to Bamburgh, to Dunstanburgh and to Alnwick Castle (£35). That’s one [a trip] that I would absolutely do.

The other one – and I always think it’s a bit cheating talking about anything more remote – but I would say a trip to the West of Scotland. It’s not as hard to do as people think.

People think: Machrihanish, Machrihanish Dunes, Dunaverty, and Arran – it all sounds too difficult. It’s really not. You get yourself to Glasgow and you get the ferry across to Arran.

When you’re there you have to play Shiskine and Corrie. I think Shiskine is £36 next year and Corrie is £25. You can play Brodick as well (£35 at weekends), which is about the same amount of money and you can go to Lamlash (£40) if you want.

You could do the whole trip just there but you can then get the ferry or come back via Campbeltown and do Machrihanish at £125 and Machrihanish Dunes at less than £100. Dunaverty will be half that again.

Those courses would cost you £290. I did it last year, took the ferry with a car between four of us that came to £30 each. We stayed in an AirBnB on Arran and paid £90 a night for the four of us. We did that trip for around £300.

People think it’s really hard to get to but it’s not when you are in Glasgow. It’s a three-hour drive to Machrihanish. It gets light at four in the morning and gets dark at 11 in the evening – so there is plenty of time to play.

Now listen to The NCG Golf Podcast

Dan Murphy and David Jones join Tom Irwin and Steve Carroll to consider what makes a great golf course, discuss the price of playing the top courses in GB&I, consider a value golf trip, and get stuck into golf ball roll back.

To listen to the podcast, click the banners on the top and bottom of this article. To listen to the specific episode, you can also click here.

What do you think of Dan and David’s selections? Where is your idea of the perfect golf trip in terms of course quality and price? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.

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