When TGI Golf Partnership launched the TGI Golf Travel division, a wholly owned subsidiary of the business, in 2017, there was a clear goal in mind; they wanted to take golf travel to the next level.
As part of the parent TGI Golf Partnership – a group owned by the best golf retailers in the UK & Ireland and run by industry experts that provide professional guidance and expertise to club professionals who operate retail outlets at clubs across the UK and Ireland – TGI Golf Travel are not your run of the mill travel agency.
TGI Golf Travel tailor trips to the exact requirements of the consumer, whether that be long-haul or closer to home, from couples to large groups, with the focus on personal service and guidance, right down to selecting your seat on the plane and checking you in.
Having started with one full-time employee who oversaw the entire TGI Golf Travel operation, they’ve now grown and employ six staff who work full time in the golf travel branch.
Sales consultant Stuart Thompson has over 35 years’ experience in the industry and joined TGI Golf Travel in 2020 and has been integral in an expansion that has seen more luxurious destinations become commonplace choices for the clientele. “We’ve travelled a lot of the world,” Thompson says, “we don’t just do Spain, Portugal, Turkey and those kinds of destinations. We do South Africa, Mauritius, Barbados, The Dominican Republic, all over the Caribbean, you know, different sorts of locations that are all big golf destinations as well.
“They can be ‘bucket list’ trips, really. Some people want to go to the Masters, some people want to go to Mauritius, but if you want it, we can arrange it. I’ve sold Mauritius for about 17 years now, and people don’t know it as a golfing destination but it’s actually one of the most popular golfing destinations.”
Although TGI Golf Travel have the advantage of being able to market through their PGA Professionals and the Golf Clubs themselves, customers can contact them directly, though trips organised by club professionals which incorporate teaching elements are becoming more and more popular all over the country.
“One of the PGA Professionals we deal with puts a trip together,” Thompson recalls, “they send it out to all members that there is a coaching trip to Turkey, we have 43 people on that trip already for next year.
“It’s custom fit for them too to make their life easier. Once we get the numbers, we put everything in place for the pro. We book the flights, we book the tee times, we book their range, all the transfers. The pro is treated exactly the same way we treat all of our clients, which is to make life as hassle free and to give the best possible experience.”
TGI Golf Travel also organise Europe’s largest Pro-Am team event which is held annually in Turkey in March, last year hosting 84 four-player teams (90+ in 2024) which allows a pro and three club members or guests to avail of a ready-organised trip and add genuine competition to a visit abroad.
“You’re looking after 300 odd people,” he explained, “going down there, doing exactly the same thing and it’s replicated all the way around throughout the year to the customer.
“And then you get that Trustpilot review when they come back and they’ve had a really good experience and they’re happy with the service, you know, and then that’s where you gain. Your best form of marketing is word of mouth, you gain more business from that than anything else.”
Golf is, of course, the primary factor in most of what TGI Golf Travel sell, but it’s in no way limited to that. One of the latest offerings is a South African Trip where holiday-makers board a luxurious sleeper train and take around the Northeast, taking in multiple cities, golf courses, glorious scenery and the opportunity to see big game on safari, all the while returning to what is effectively a mobile five-star hotel.
“Those kinds of long-haul holidays tend to be very popular with couples,” Thompson says. “A lot of the time we’d get groups of guys or girls going on a trip to Portugal or Turkey or those kinds of locations, because there are a lot of couples that play golf and often there could be five or 10 couples who’ll go together. And even if one of them doesn’t play golf, you’ve got glorious beaches etc in the likes of Thailand and Mauritius which is a big attraction in itself so a non-golfer is never going to feel left out.”
And when you’re booking anything with TGI Golf Travel, you’re safe in the knowledge that the agents you’re dealing with and often relying on for advice know exactly what they’re talking about, unlike many of the other Golf Travel agencies.
“Where we get the leading edge is that we’re not working from brochures,” he said. “We’ve been there, seen it, done it and that first-hand experience goes a long way.”
It certainly sounds like one to consider and if you’re looking at travel in the coming months or year for golf then check out tgigolftravel.com for all the details.