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PGA professionals benefit in a variety of ways by helping their members travel to play golf in the U.S. or around the world:

— Create a closer bond with your members and build better long-term relationships.

— Build your creditability and job security by providing a wonderful travel experience your members will always treasure.

— Receive 4% in either PGA Golf Retirement Plus or by check. You’ll earn a tax free amount on the total invoice.

— Receive your 4% whether you travel or not. If you don’t have the time or inclination to travel, you’re still rewarded.

— You don’t need to invest a lot of time in the coordination and execution of the trip as Premier Golf travel specialists create the itinerary with your consultation and do all the time-consuming, detail-oriented planning.

— If you travel, you’ll play some of the best courses in the world and you can talk about your experiences to members who want first-hand knowledge.

— As time goes on, you’ll become an expert in golf travel and can answer member questions about great places to play.

— Traveling to play golf makes your members happy and that’s a goal every PGA pro is seeking.

If you want to talk about all of the various benefits and the many golf travel options, please contact Chad Seymour, Premier Golf Travel Specialist, who was a PGA Professional for 32 years. Chad can be reached at chad.seymour@premiergolf.com

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Let’s face it, with our hectic lives and commitments, procrastination is inevitable. Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to procrastinate when you’re planning to attend a major golf event or play golf in a popular destination like Scotland. It’s extremely beneficial to plan ahead to make sure you get the type of hotel accommodations and tee times you want. If you wait too long, you’re playing a “what if” game in regards to availability.

Next year will be a phenomenal year for golf travel with exciting major events at world-class venues. While they may seem in the distant future, your planning should start sooner rather than later.

Here are some important tips:

— International flights go on sale about 11 months in advance.

— Major golf events are increasingly popular as golf travel experiences and packages sell fast.

— Tee times are limited, especially at big name courses favored by Americans. Reserve early and you don’t have to fret  about getting on your favorite course.

— The earlier you book, the better chance you’ll have of securing your most desirable accommodations choice.

— Your golf travel specialist has more time to fulfill your specific requests if you contact them months in advance.

–Booking early helps you research and plan other activities you might want to add to the experience.

Masters (April 9-12, 2020)

With Tiger Woods back in Masters form, next year’s Masters will be exciting to see if he can win again and tie Jack Nicklaus with six Green Jackets. All of the young guns like Rory, Dustin, Brooks, Jordan and Justin will be in the mix, too, so 2020 is shaping up to be a fantastic Masters.

International Pro-Am–Cornwall and Devon–Southwest England (May 31-June 6, 2020)

Stunning coastal hotels, big name courses like St. Enodoc, Trevose, Saunton and Perranporth and a plethora of castles, museums and quaint villages dominate next year’s International Pro-Am in Cornwall and Devon. Three amateurs join up with a PGA Professional for each team in this friendly competition with lots of fun on and off the course.

Open 2020–Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent, England (July 21-19, 2020)

This legendary links layout first hosted The Open in 1894.  Next year will be the 15th time Royal St George’s will host the Open.  It’s located in Sandwich, Kent in southeast England approximately 90 miles from London.

Ryder Cup 2020–Whistling Straits in Wisconsin (September 25-27, 2020)

Set along the shores of Lake Michigan, Whistling Straits is a high risk/high reward course that encourages players to go-for-broke on many shots. It promises to be a spectacular Ryder Cup oozing with dramatic golf shots and patriotic fervor.

Scotland Tee Times Tips

“I know traveling golfers have heard many times that they must book early for golf in Scotland, but that’s not an exaggeration,” says Euan Findlay, Premier Golf’s manager of European operations and a long-time resident in St Andrews.  “The big name courses are in huge demand and some of them have stipulations on the exact days and times you can play, so you’re not really dealing with an open tee sheet every day of the week.”

–American’s absolutely love to play golf in Scotland. Consequently, the competition for tee times is fierce especially for the Old Course at St Andrews, Open Championship venues and courses like Muirfield and Renaissance Club have strict policies on public play.

–If you want to play the Old Course in the main season between April and October it’s recommended that you submit a request to play at least 12 months in advance and 18 months ahead is even better.

–At Muirfield, tee times can only be booked on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:40 and 9:50.

–At Royal Troon visitors can only play from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

–At Kingsbarns, tee times are available from August 1st for the following year.

So, don’t delay on golf travel plans and you’ll increase your chances of having the perfect trip.

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1. Royal St George’s will host The Open in 2020 for the for the 15th time. Past champions include Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Darren Clarke and Ben Curtis. The Open was last played at Royal St George’s in 2011 when Darren Clarke held off Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to claim the Claret Jug.

2. In 1894, Royal St George’s hosted The Open, which was the first time the Open Championship was played outside of Scotland. The 149th Open will be played from July 12 to 19, 2020.

3. Long regarded as one of England’s best links courses, it was founded to be a rival to St Andrews. It’s the only open rota course in southern England.

4. Similar in style to Muirfield, with each nine broadly circular in design, Royal St George’s is not a traditional out and back configuration. It has a non-contrived, natural look and feel with wildflowers, dune grasses and views over Pegwell Bay. Some of its more interesting features include thatched roof shelters, a tall and deep bunker cut into a huge dune on the 4th hole and symmetrical fairway bunkers on No. 15 hole.

5. It’s located in Sandwich, Kent in southeast England approximately 90 miles from London. Sandwich is an historical town with a population around 5,000 people. It still has many original medieval buildings, churches and public houses.

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The excitement and anticipation is palpable for the the expected Spring 2020 opening of Dumbarnie Golf Links, an upscale, daily-fee, genuine links course currently under construction near St Andrews, Scotland. Construction began in May 2018.

Things To Know

Location–Dumbarnie is set 9 miles from the center of St Andrews on the north shore of the Firth of Forth in a secluded corner of the East Neuk of Fife directly across the water from Muirfield. The site is part of The Balcarres Estate which is owned by Lord Balniel.

Course DesignerClive Clark, a former Ryder Cup player who has designed 35 golf courses in the U.S. and Europe. Among his U.S. designs is Belgrade Lakes in Maine, Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and the Celebrity Course at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California. He also designed the award-winning The Manor House course in Wiltshire, England. “Dumbarnie Golf Links is like a dream come true for a golf course architect like myself,” says Clark. “It’s not every day you get to work with a mile and a half of pristine, ocean-front land that will form one of the best golf courses in the world. It is an exciting project to say the least.”

Course CharacteristicsDumbarnie has a mile and half of sea frontage with views of the Firth of Forth. Fourteen of the holes will have views of the Bay and the Firth of Forth. There are three potentially driveable Par-4s and the course ranges in yardage from 5,300 to 6,900 with a special set of professional tees that can stretch the course to 7,600 yards. It will be similar to Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart where land is selectively enhanced somewhat by innovative earth moving techniques.  Since the entire site is sand-based, Dumbarnie Golf Links will be categorized as the 247th authentic links golf course in the world. All 18 greens have already been seeded with a fescue/bentgrass combination, and 17 fairways have already been seeded. Tee boxes and walking trails will feature a rye/fescue grass combination.

ManagementDumbarnie will be managed by OB Sports, a Scottsdale, AZ-based management company that manages 60 courses and country clubs in the U.S.. “This is a passion project that is very personal to me, as words alone can’t begin to describe my joy in seeing Dumbarnie Golf Links come to life,” says Orrin Vincent, Founder of OB Sports. “It’s a bucket list destination that we envision to become the latest in the line of first-class links golf courses, including the nearby Old Course at St. Andrews and Kingsbarns.”

Clubhouse–It will be situated 100-feet above sea level with panoramic views of the golf course and the Bay.

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Awesome golf in New Zealand

Predictions are hard to make, especially when it comes to the weather. That said, you probably already know you’ll be seeking a nice, warm place to play golf next winter. You know you’ll want to escape shoveling snow, scraping windshields and frost delays –that’s a given.

While the winter of 2020 seems a long way away, it’s best to start planning a golf trip now to get the best deals, tee times and accommodations at spectacular warm golf destinations around the world.

Here are five important things to know:

Where to Go—While Florida is a desired location in the U.S. to escape the rigors of winter, an expanding list of international destinations are seeking bone-chilled American golfers. Among the more popular are Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Dominican Republic.

Every Hole at Tara Iti Golf Club in Mangawhai, New Zealand | Golf Digest - YouTube

Escorted TripsPre-arranged with fixed itineraries, these trips allow you to fully immerse in a golf destination with attentive support by a local representative, who will guide you every step of the way. If you’re looking for a fantastic, well-planned golf trip to places like New Zealand, Australia and South Africa accompanied by a helpful professional guide, an escorted tour is a superb choice.

Wine tastings, a nice pairing after golf.

Flight Price Increases—International flights go on sale about 11 months in advance. According to recent statistics, the optimum time to buy is in the 7 to 9 month time frame. By delaying to the last few months, the prices rise incrementally.

Limited Tee Times—Regardless of where you are in the world, tee times for big name courses, especially those ranked in the Top 100, are at a premium. Like anything else, the earlier you can commit to a trip the better chance you have of securing a desirable tee time to your dream courses. View the top courses in New Zealand.

Safari in South Africa

Adequate Lead Time—By booking early, you allow more time for consultation with your golf travel expert to customize the desired blend of off-course activities. You’ll be less likely to miss out on hugely popular attractions, activities and experiences.

Table Car Mountain in South Africa

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It’s on everyone’s “Must Play” list in Scotland and Muirfield has recently announced tee times are open for 2020. Formed in 1744, Muirfield, near Gullane in East Lothian, is the world’s oldest golf club and it only offers a limited number of tee times for visitors each year. If you want to play next year, Premier Golf can make it happen for you if you act promptly.

Things to Know

–Muirfield only allows visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays (18 foursomes each day).

–Players have an option of 18 or the Muirfield experience of 36 holes (18 holes in the morning, lunch in the clubhouse and 18 alternate shot holes in the afternoon). Ladies are allowed to play if accompanied by a man.

–The tee times sellout quickly. For instance they opened up on March 26, 2019 and already on June 23, 2020 9 of the 18 tee times are taken.

–Playing at Muirfield from May to October is ideal.

–Muirfield has hosted 16 Open Championships.

–It’s designed by Old Tom Morris with later changes by Harry Colt and Tom Simpson.

–To play well at Muirfield you must not miss fairways and avoid bunkers. Thick, high rough borders every fairway and there are lots of well placed bunkers.

–There is no pro shop at Muirfield. Caddies are available but no carts. There is no logo merchandise sold on-site although some golf shops in Gullane sell non-authentic logo items.

–Visitors must have recognized handicaps of 18 or less and should bring with them certified handicap certificates as these may be required prior to play.

–Muirfield is a traditional golf club and one such tradition is that after 10am, jacket and tie is worn in the Smoke Room and Dining Room.

–A full driving range, chipping area and putting green are available for your use, prior to play. Complimentary practice balls are provided.

–If you want to plan a Scotland itinerary for 2020 to include Muirfield, click to Premier Golf or call 866-260-4409 and talk to one of our international golf travel specialists. Don’t delay as Muirfield tee times are extremely popular.

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While Juli Inkster is the captain of our 2019 U.S.A. Solheim Cup team, Barbara Gutstadt, who is the guide for Premier Golf’s Solheim Cup travelers, can be looked on as a captain as well. She’ll be hosting Premier Golf Solheim Cup spectators at the event and “coaching” them to have a great time.

Premier Golf has partnered with Gutstadt’s Women’s Golf & Travel Concierge to provide authorized packages to Solheim Cup 2019 at Gleneagles in Scotland.

An avid golfer and intrepid traveler, Gutstadt has hosted groups to major golf destinations around the world and has successfully planned and executed package excursions to multiple Solheim Cups. She’s regarded as the preeminent expert in women’s golf travel and has guided trips for associations, corporations, country club members and individuals.

Gutstadt is known for her keen eye to detail and high level of individualized service.

“We’re tremendously excited about our packages to Solheim Cup 2019,” Gutstadt says. “With our vast experience and knowledge about the event, we offer clients the best way to fully immerse and enjoy this amazing golf competition.”

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Two of the most well-liked and friendly people in golf are set to battle in one of golf’s most passionate competitions, the Ryder Cup.

U.S.A. Team captain Steve Stricker and European Team captain Padraig Harrington have received instant respect from the golf world since they were recently announced to lead their teams.

Below, listen in their own words what being named a Ryder Cup captain means to them and how they’ll manage their team and overall responsibilities in the months leading up to the matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin September 25-27, 2020.

STEVE STRICKER

Steve Stricker named 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain (Full press conference) - YouTube

PADRAIG HARRINGTON

Pádraig Harrington on Ryder Cup Captaincy - YouTube

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VisitScotland wants more women to play golf in Scotland. They recently debuted a video content campaign, which has adopted the #HerScotland hashtag. Watch the entertaining  60 second video below:

Her Perfect Golf Trip - #HerScotland - YouTube

The campaign will also be used to help support raise awareness of The 2019 Solheim Cup, the most prestigious event in women’s golf, which is being held from the 9th – 15th September over the PGA Centenary Course, Gleneagles. The event aims to attract 100,000 attendees, providing an economic boost for Perthshire and Scotland as well as showcasing the country as an inspiring and welcoming golf tourism destination.

As well as boosting Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf on the global stage, the tournament hopes to inspire a new generation of children and, in particular, girls to take up the game invented in their home country.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, says: “VisitScotland is proud to be doing something that no other tourism body has done before by investing in a female focused golf destination marketing campaign. We pride ourselves on being a forward thinking and innovative organization and I believe this campaign will help to put the focus on Scotland as a female friendly golf destination.

“Scotland’s commitment to women’s golf is unquestionable with an investment in excess of £23 million since 2007 through our staging of both the Women’s British Open and The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open cementing our reputation as the Home of Golf.

“It is a huge year for women’s golf in Scotland as we are set to host The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in September. The event offers us a significant opportunity to increase the number of female golfing visitors to Scotland. Add in a TV broadcast audience with the potential to reach more than 600 million households it means a lot of eyes will be firmly fixed on Scotland.”

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Amid the sea of new golf equipment, fashions and colorful travel company booths at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in January, we talked with Chad Seymour, who recently joined Premier Golf as a travel consultant.

Recently retired as PGA Head Professional at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio Seymour brings valued insight from a PGA Professional’s perspective. During his 32-year career at Westfield CC, Seymour served on the Northern Ohio PGA’s Board and worked through all the offices concluding as President of the section from 2009 to 2011. He also served as a National PGA Board of Director from 2013 to 2016.

One of the issues Seymour wants to help his fellow pros with is planning for retirement.

A travel enthusiast, Seymour says pros should educate themselves on the Golf Retirement Plus Program and how it can help them in a variety of ways.

Premier Golf’s 4% PGA Golf Retirement Plus Program is ideally designed so pros can earn a tax free amount on the total invoice,” Seymour says. “It’s one of the best programs I’ve seen because it takes the burden of planning for the trip off the pro’s shoulders while helping him or her add to their retirement account.”

Seymour says some pros don’t realize they don’t have to travel with the group they organize and they can still earn the 4%.

“Not every pro likes to travel or they don’t want to be away from their club for an extended time and that’s understandable,” he says. “It’s really simple though. I plan with the pro and coordinate the logistics with Premier’s team of travel specialists and the pro ends up making 4%.”

He continues, “I fully understand the demands and complexities of being a club professional and I work as a conduit between the pro and Premier to make the entire process as stress free as possible.”

Premier Golf plans trips to a wide variety of in-demand golf destinations in the U.S. and around the world. Some of it’s most popular U.S. destinations include Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Bandon Dunes, Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island, American Club, PGA National, PGA Village and Erin Hills. Internationally, Premier Golf offers exceptional itineraries to Scotland, Ireland and other in-demand destinations. In its “Pro Goes Free Program”, a PGA Professional travels free with seven paying amateurs as well as receiving the 4% Golf Retirement Plus proceeds applied to their account (or cash equivalent).

“All the pro has to do is tell me where and when they want to travel and how many will be in the group and I take it from there to plan an itinerary with the Premier team, who arrange tee times, accommodations, air travel and non-golf activities customized for the unique requirements and abilities of the travelers,” says Seymour, who has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Scotland, Ireland and the Caribbean. “We even provide professional proposals and marketing support to help pros inform their members about the trip.”

Why should club professionals choose Premier Golf over other travel companies?

Seymour answers: “Premier Golf has long-standing relationships with the PGA of America and club professionals and they do their very best to accommodate the needs of the club pro. I’ve been a Premier client for more than 20 years. One of the reasons I joined their team was to make the entire process even easier for the pro and his members. Premier has more than 25 years experience organizing golf trips around the world and they’ve established amazing relationships with courses and hotels. They also have a lowest possible price guarantee, which assures travelers of the best deal.”

Seymour strongly believes traveling with or coordinating travel for members is “a great way to build trust between each other.”

“Traveling together with your friends and fellow members helps establish a bond for a lifetime,” Seymour says. “For the pro, one of the side benefits of arranging trips for your members is you gain their trust and I believe you establish more credibility and job security.”

He adds, “Premier Golf’s 4% Golf Retirement Plus has so many wonderful attributes and I hope club professionals continue to take advantage of this great program.”

Chad can be reached at chad.seymour@premiergolf.com

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