How to Throw a Bachelor Party for Golfers in Southern California
December 19, 2016
Congratulations! You’re getting married.
Now all that’s left is an insane amount of planning over the next several months, plenty of uncertainty about things like floral arrangements, how high the cake is going to be, color scheme, whether the folding chairs will have padding or not, band or DJ, inside or outside, summer or fall, buffet or sit-down, trying to tell the difference between beige and off-white, and “oh-my-gosh, I think I think I want to do a sea-theme instead.”
It’s a lot to process – but don’t worry: While she’s planning (and you’re corroborating the plans) for her dream wedding, your best man is busy planning the most kick-ass golf bachelor party the world has ever seen.
So fret not.
Southern California is one of the most exciting places in the world and offers more to do than just golf, which makes it the ideal place for a golfing bachelor party.
If you want to fill your mornings and afternoons on the links and your evenings enjoying the sights and sounds that SoCal has to offer, then this guide is for you.
Step 1: Figure Out Where You’re Playing
The most important part of any bachelor party is the planning stage. When you’re creating an itinerary, it’s important to get it finalized well before you arrive at your destination.
There’s plenty to consider when selecting courses — abilities of players, proximity to hotel or other other activities, price, etc. That’s why it’s so important to do some homework before you go.
Santa Barbara – Sandpiper, Glen Annie and Santa Barbara Golf Club – All three are wonderful golf courses. Sandpiper and Santa Barbara have great ocean views. All are public, very welcoming and easy to get to the marina and downtown Santa Barbara for after golf food and drinks.
San Diego – Unlimited number of choices here. Great golf, views, food and drink at Torrey Pines. Stay at the Hilton and walk to the course. Easy to get to La Jolla for an abundance of choices for food and drink after golf.
Coronado Golf Club – Doesn’t get much better than that. Stay on the island at the Hotel Del or almost equally impressive, but more affordable, stay at the Coronado Marriott. Short walk to the ferry to take you to Downtown San Diego or just stay on the island for beach, food and beers. Absolutely awesome.
For 5 star service, stay and play at The Grand Golf Club – will surpass expectations if you don’t mind paying of the service and ambiance.
Sycuan Resort – lots to offer for golf and gambling. Very reasonable too.
Balboa Park Golf Course near the zoo — lots of fun and near downtown too.
Gaslamp District never disappoints a party goer.
Palm Springs – Again, lots of unlimited choices here too depending on one’s budget. However, if you go after May 1st, it’s more than a little reasonable. You can stay at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in the summer for $59.36 holes of golf at your doorstep with all the restaurants and bars you need right on property. An electric boats takes you to your restaurant of choice
Indian Wells Golf Resort – 36 awesome holes at your doorstep. Stay at the resort or walk across the parking lot to Marriott’s Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa. Both are awesome places.
Rent a condo/house at PGA West and play three of their public courses.
36 holes of great golf at La Quinta Resort – Everything you need is right on property.
Now that you’ve got your courses selected, it’s time to figure out logistics.
Step 2: Agree on Games/Bachelor Challenges
Odds are, this trip is going to be filled with plenty of gambling, games, dares and challenges, so it’s good to at least figure out what the “official” ones for the week will be.
For instance, at a friend of mine’s SoCal bachelor party, he was required to take a shot (of liquor) every time he lost a hole on the golf course. There should always be some type of challenge like this.
On the course, there should be games finalized ahead of time, too. Here are a few easy favorites that anyone can compete in:
Let it Ride
Remember, just because it’s his bachelor party, doesn’t me he gets to win. In fact, you should try to take him for as much as you can during this trip. So try to pick a game that you know he won’t dominate at. It’s no fun to lose money to the guy who’s getting married.
Step 3: Other Entertainment
Once you’re done playing golf, it’s highly unlikely your group will be heading to the hotel to sleep — you’re probably going to head out for the night and look for some libations.
What you choose depends on your schedule and what everyone in the group likes to do. If you’ve got some heavy partyers, you might want to head to the bar. If your group is more relaxed, maybe a Padres game or something of the sort is a better option.
Here’s a list of some popular SoCal hangouts to consider adding to your itinerary:
San Diego Padres game (in season)
Gaslamp District – Party central
Step 4: Where to Stay
One of the keys to a great bachelor party is being able to do all of the drinking, yelling, and storytelling you and your boys would like without the fear of a DUI or a $600 Uber bill. There’s nothing worse than ending up in the drunk tank or trying to open a new credit card to get airfare home.
When you get off the course, you should have a pretty good plan for the night out – and it should all be close by.
Here are some of the best lodging options for your group:
Santa Barbara – any hotel near downtown will do. You’re only there to sleep.
San Diego – any hotel in the Gaslamp District. Again, you’re only there to sleep.
Palm Springs – Any Resort, lots to choose from or rent a house. Easy to find and inexpensive for a group of guys.
Step 5: Travel Plans and Logistics
Now, this may be very easy for some groups, but other planners will find this to be the most arduous part of the entire process.
If most of your bachelor’s buddies are close by, then carpooling is easy enough to figure out, but if they’re coming into town from all corners of the globe, than things get tough.
Packing your gear
Pack light — leave rain gear and jackets in your regular luggage and bring it to the course as the weather requires.
Leave space for “Necessary Accessories.”
The lighter your bag, the easier life will be for everyone: You, the TSA agent, the cabbie — EVERYONE.
All that room you left will now be filled up with “necessary accessories.” These are items that may not be in your bag for routine round, but are musts for fun, alcohol-fueled bachelor party rounds:
Flask (or full bottles if you want to carry it)
Ultimately, you’ll be responsible for all of these items so how much or how little you bring will depend on your tastes and the tastes of the group. You’ll also have to lug these things around, so make sure they fit what you want to get out of the day, night or week.
Step 6: Finalize Itinerary
You really can’t underestimate how important finalizing the itinerary is. As the Best Man and Bachelor Party Coordinator, so much of the trip is reliant on your being on your game. It’s your job to keep ducks in a row and insulate everyone else from dealing with problems.
Before you hit send, review this checklist:
Have you booked and confirmed all tee times?
Are the hotel reservations confirmed?
Be sure all arrival times and locations are confirmed and that transportation is organized
Have all games planned and gambling dues collected (if possible)
Have any dinner reservations confirmed
Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, then you’re all set to go. Just make sure you have everything set up before you leave, otherwise your trip could be spent trying to keep “frogs in a wheelbarrow” instead of the memorable night you were planning on.
Now It’s Your Turn…
Now that you’re armed with everything you need to host one killer Southern California golf-themed bachelor party, all that’s left is to do it.
If you remember to follow the steps laid out above and keep to a detailed itinerary, there should only be room for fun and debauchery — no in-fighting or disagreements, no squabbles or brewhahas.
So go to the bar, hook one of your single golfer buddies up with the next girl he sees, get him engaged and throw an awesome SoCal golf bachelor party of your own!
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