As anybody who has been on an international golf trip can tell you, there's nothing like it. Whether you're visiting Scotland or Ireland, continental Europe or the Far East, you'll come home with memories that will last forever. We suggest you reach out to all four of these top tour operators by phone or online. Let them know roughly where, when and how you want to travel. They'll assemble detailed sample itineraries, with a variety of price points, for free. Pick the one you like best and go—confident in the knowledge that your "trip of a lifetime" will live up to expectations.
The web has made do-it-yourself golf-trip planning, even for international excursions, easier than ever. This is especially so for repeat visitors, who might feel comfortable creating their itineraries after learning their way around a destination the first time. But using a pro does have its advantages. A plugged-in tour operator might have access to lodging, tee times and even courses that you do not. It might let you in on discounts unavailable to the general public. And of course there's the convenience of having someone handle all your arrangements.
We selected these Editors' Choice tour operators based on personal experience. Golf Digest editors know the principals at these firms and—lucky us—have used their services. Carr Golf and Celtic Golf tend to be a bit more Ireland-focused, and Haversham and Perry tilt slightly toward Scotland. But you'll be in good hands no matter where they take you.
Want help on a trip within the United States? We suggest you reach out to local outfits in the markets you want to visit. The official tourism websites for Orlando and Scottsdale, for instance, have links to companies that combine lodging and golf in discounted packages. Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, a marketing consortium, can put you in touch with dozens of recommended trip planners there. Not every destination is sure you need so much hand-holding, though. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama prominently features a "build your own package" tool on its home page. We've tried it—and it's no more challenging than a tap-in putt.
Haversham & Baker Golfing Expeditions