A DIY trip could be good if you have some sort of local knowledge of the place you are visiting, whether it’s because you have already been there before or you have friends that live there and give you a hand in moving around. Otherwise, planning a trip yourself can be a lot of hassle and requires a lot of specific knowledge.
For example, despite all the travel books and online guides, it is still not that easy to find out about lesser known but excellent golf courses, or about small but well located, quality accommodations such as historic villas and rustic country houses.
Countries like Italy also have particular habits when it comes to golf clubs; for example, most are closed at least once per week and their schedule is often packed with tournaments. Traveling golfers who are not aware of these details might suddenly find their weekly itinerary around local golf courses thrown out of whack! Also, on a busy day at a golf course, a tour operator with local business can have more sway over getting tee times for you.
Not to mention possible problems with transport: driving and time distances between what appear to be straightforward routes on the map are legendarily dramatic, especially in Italy, and a good tour operator knows you can’t play two golf courses on the same day even though you think you can.
Finally, as a single traveler you will probably find yourself paying full price for everything you purchase, from green fees to meals to hotel accommodation, while a good tour operator with lots of local business and good connections will surely get you a better deal and make sure you do not fall in any infamous tourist traps that often leave visitors quite disappointed!
So, a good tour operator will make every aspect of your trip easier, especially the planning and transportation. Not only, you will have access to local knowledge and get great advice for authentic restaurants and the tons of fun activities that Italy has to offer throughout the year (just to mention a few: wine tasting, pottery lessons, theater and opera, sailing, trekking, cultural sightseeing, and so on…).
What about the expenses? Well, without the correct knowledge, a DYI trip can cost you just as much – if not more – than relying on a tour operator: just think about the extra time you have to spend planning, researching places, potentially getting lost around Italian roads and (unfortunately) getting ripped off by local ‘touristy’ businesses that do not provide the right quality for what you pay.
Finally, do not think that all tour operators provide you with standard packages! Some are specialized in customizing experiences based on travelers’ needs and desires, making your Italian golf break unique and authentic.
This post was inspired by http://www.forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2011/05/14/the-best-golf-tour-operators/)