Great Coach Drivers Make a Big Difference On Golf Trips
Sinking putts for birdies, enjoying a wee dram or frosty brew at a friendly pub and walking with knowledgeable caddies who know every mound and bunker on a course are just a few simple things that help make a great golf trip to the British Isles.
You can add having a well-informed, conscientious, fun-loving driver as an important component of assuring a stress-free, fun and memorable trip.
We recently met with driver Martin Woulfe and director Philip O’Callaghan of J.O’Callaghan & Sons Luxury Transport of Killarney, Ireland at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. They presented Premier Golf Managing Director Ann Mabry with a plaque commemorating 15 years of working together.
In business for 50 years, J. O’Callaghans has thirty vehicles ranging from large coaches accommodating up to 52 people to luxury VIP coaches to personal cars for two people.
Sitting at our booth, surrounded by a sea of golf travel exhibitors, Woulfe and O’Callaghan talked about the advantages of having a private driver compared to a self-drive trip.
“Traveling with a driver/tour guide alleviates all the stress of worrying about tee times, dinner reservations and other things that take the fun out of a golf trip,” says Woulfe. “Plus, I know all about the courses they’ll be playing for the first time, I coordinate with the caddies and I’m educated about all the best restaurants and pubs.”
A driver with J. O’Callaghan’s for more than ten years, Woulfe, though not an avid golfer, says he has walked every course more than twice and has never had a group miss a tee time.
“I’m like a concierge and I can accommodate a wide variety of requests,” Woulfe says. “Per request I’ll stock the coach with requests of soft drinks, water, beer, whiskey, vodka or gin depending on the what and how much the client wants. It’s simple, we buy what they want, keep the receipts, and then settle up a couple of days before the end of the trip.”
Contributing to the stress reduction, says O’Callaghan, is a driver’s local knowledge of roads and traffic patterns.
“Our drivers know all about where farmers travel, school bus times and other things that can impede travel to and from golf courses, hotels and restaurants,” he says. “For anyone that’s ever traveled in Ireland or Scotland, you know knowledge of the roadways is absolutely imperative if you want to be on time. Our drivers take great pride in knowing where and when to travel.”
He continues, “A great driver with a positive attitude, knowledge of the courses and roads and lots of connections with pubs and restaurants can make the trip worry free with lots of laughs along the way.”
If your taking a golf trip with a driver, Woulfe and O’Callaghan offer these important tips:
–Don’t bring hard case golf club travel bags because they’re very difficult to store and don’t offer the flexibility of soft cover bag.
–Try not to do too much on the first day. You should relax, recover from jet lag, get your bearings so you’ll conserve energy for the rest of the trip.
–Always keep your driver informed about the need for caddies or cancelling dinner reservations for certain members of your group. Drivers have cultivated relationships with many golf clubs and restaurants and could damage their reputations if they don’t alert to any changes.
“Customer service is everything to us,” O’Callaghan says. “Americans are very genuine people who have great interest in our golf courses and culture and it’s our goal to provide them with everything they need to fully enjoy their golf vacation.”