November 9, 2008

Surveying The Experts

More than 1,200 readers have written to us this year, hoping for a Golf Digest Ambush on their next buddies trip. We recently surveyed these group organizers to learn more about their golf getaways. (The percentages do not always total 100 because of rounding.)

Length of a typical trip

Two days or less: 1%

Three days: 27%

Four days: 40%

Five or more days: 31%

Number of rounds

Two or fewer: 2%

Three to five: 57%

Six to eight: 32%

Nine to 11: 7%

Twelve or more: 2%

Average number of players:


Per-person cost, not including airfare

$500 or less: 29%

$501-$1,500: 59%

$1,501-$3,000: 11%

$3,001-$5,000: less than 1%

Favorite winter destinations

  1. Florida

  2. Phoenix-Scottsdale/Arizona

  3. Myrtle Beach/South Carolina

Favorite non-winter destinations

  1. Myrtle Beach/South Carolina

  2. Michigan

  3. Pinehurst/North Carolina

Where we'd go if money were no object

  1. Scotland/Ireland

  2. Pebble Beach

  3. Bandon, Ore.

__The most important factor in deciding where we go __

Quality of courses: 42%

Price: 19%

Ease of travel: 15%

Weather: 11%

Closeness to our homes: 5%

Other: 8%

How the lodging works

All of us share rooms: 55%

Some share rooms, some don't: 36%

Single rooms only: 9%

Ideal evening entertainment

Watching TV, playing cards: 42%

Local bars: 23%

Casinos/gambling: 14%

"Gentlemen's clubs": 8%

Other: 13%

Per-day alcohol consumption

Two drinks or less: 12%

Three to six: 46%

Seven or more: 27%

No idea -- it's all a fog: 15%

How often I daydream about my next buddies trip

More than once a day: 17%

Once a week or more: 48%

Monthly: 25%

Quarterly: 7%

Never: 3%

Your spouse gives you a choice: If you take your annual buddies trip, you must agree to three straight weeks with no football viewing. Your reaction:

Book the tee times: 92%

You know football is a religion, right?: 8%

At the end of a typical trip, I'm feeling ...

Overgolfed: 11%

Sated and happy: 68%

Like I need more golf: 21%

Have friendships ended over something that happened on a buddies trip?

Yes: 6%

No: 70%

Bent but not broken: 24%

__The most anyone has lost gambling on a trip (average for all respondents): __


On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most intense, the competitiveness of the golf on the average trip:


__Top-five offenses that would get a person uninvited from next year's trip (ranked by number of mentions) __

  1. Cheating

  2. Being rude or obnoxious

  3. Fighting or violence that causes damage

  4. Being cheap or short of money

  5. Missing tee times or quitting mid-round