A Stitch in Time Saves Nine (Holes)
By Rob Carey
Many meeting planners think of golf as an activity that necessarily eats up most of an entire day on the agenda. But that does not have to be the case.
In fact, half a traditional round—nine holes of golf—can be the perfect activity for when a group needs an early-morning or late-afternoon teambuilding activity, or simply a long lunch break. Because if you are going to bring a group to a resort, it is counterproductive to force attendees to look longingly out the meeting room windows, fretting that they have no time to stroll that beautiful golf course just a few steps away.
Starting the meeting at 7:30 and ending for the day at 3:00 allows about three hours for folks to play nine holes and still get to a reception and dinner. What’s more, the resort will love that you are sending golfers out at a time of day when the course is usually empty.
At least one resort that has created a specific plan for quick group jaunts onto the links. Omni ChampionsGate Resort in Orlando offers the “9 at 9” and “Sunset Swing” golf packages for meeting groups; “9 at 9” includes breakfast, nine holes of golf, and a roving teaching pro to give players tips as they move along the course. The “Sunset Swing” package offers lunch before the round, or a casual dinner after the round, in addition to the same golf amenities.
Other resorts would surely be amenable to creating a similar program if a planner requests.
Besides being able to satisfy your attendees’ golf cravings in fewer than three hours, a half-round of golf has the advantage of being a little more than half the cost of a full round.