Taking a golf vacation used to mean either barnstorming with your pals or getting away with your spouse to an all-inclusive resort. Not anymore. As luxury travel becomes more tailored to individual (and expanding) tastes, tour operators are increasingly offering golfers customized itineraries around the globe.
"Today's travelers want adventure and excursions as well as golf," says Amber Raleigh, founder of Effortless Vacations (888-532-7352, effortlessvacations.com). "They want incredible food and wine. They want special leisure activities." On golf trips to Mexico's Riviera Maya, for example, her company orchestrates tours of ancient ruins and the jungle.
Combining luxury with unparalleled access, London-based Latitude International (firstname.lastname@example.org) was cofounded by Dominic Hampshire, a former aide to Britain's royal family. It offers U.K. tours that provide entrée onto such exclusive courses as Carnegie Links at Skibo Castle and Loch Lomond Golf Club and a dinner with Seve Ballesteros. "We look after you the way we'd look after the royals," says Hampshire.
Tour companies are also designing golf and cultural trips in countries seldom associated with the game. In April, PerryGolf (800-344-5257, perrygolf .com), long a specialist on the British Isles, began offering custom tours of China, with visits to the Great Wall, Hong Kong and Shanghai's Old City as well as to notable courses. "Our task is to take our reputation as 'golf operators' and become known as 'golf-lifestyle operators,'" says Gordon Dalgleish, who cofounded the company with his brother, Colin.
Expanding your horizons has never been easier.