Seventy-eight thousand dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to, but it will still buy you a 'round-the-world golf trip on a private jet.
High-end tour operator TCS World Travel has teamed up with Kalos Golf to organize just such a junket, a 24-day excursion that departs Oct. 8 and spans nine countries and five continents with stops at 12 courses along the way. (Click here for the full itinerary and booking information.) The $78,450 per head tab covers meals, transportation and green fees at clubs ranging from Valderrama in Spain to Chiangmai Highlands in Thailand. But that alone can’t justify the lavish outlay, can it?
Here are seven other perks included in the price:
Forget swing doctors. What every golfer needs is a traveling physician, and this trip includes one, ready to fill prescriptions, administer first aid and fulfill any other obligations covered by the Hippocratic oath. Ask nicely, and the doc might even tell you if your takeaway’s too flat.
Ze (Really Nice) Plane!
Gulfstreams are all well and good, but they’re not nearly as roomy as a customized Boeing 757, its standard commercial interior stripped and fleshed out with 78 business-class seats, all of them equipped with iPads, Bose noise-cancelling head phones, in-seat power outlets and on-demand entertainment.
Maxed-Out Mini Bar
Chicken or fish? On a luxe getaway like this, the usual mid-air culinary options give way to more opulent selections, like rack of lamb, prime rib and poached lobster tail. A professional chef takes care of the cooking, and an open bar offers bottomless pours of Johnnie Walker Black Label, among other top shelf spirits and wines.
Playing 18 holes in one day is a lot to ask, but these tour operators compensate you for your hardship. Spa in Mauritius? Sounds auspicious. Apres-golf on the island nation comes with your choice of treatments at the Four Seasons (a rub-down, perhaps, with invigorating Madagascan body oils?). In Dubai, meanwhile, options after your round at Dubai Creek include a helicopter ride over the capital; a personalized tour of Burf Khalifa, the world’s tallest building; or a royal feast in the dunes outside the city, replete with live entertainment from belly dancers, palm readers and henna tattoo artists.
Short Cuts and Police Escorts
Clearing customs can be such a drag, unless you’ve got the standing of a foreign dignitary. “In some of the smaller airports, we slip through the diplomat line,” says Andrew Lorence, assistant expedition leader for TCS World Travel. It gets even better when you touch down in Bali, where the traffic can be a bear. Local contacts there arrange for a police escort from the airport to the Greg Norman-designed Nirwana Bali Golf Club. Circumventing bottlenecks trims your travel time to roughly 40 minutes for a journey that can take more than two hours.
A Tip-less Trip
A fiver for the bellman. A ten-spot for the concierge. When you’re on the road, all that gratuity-giving can start to feel … gratuitous. On this excursion, though, ground staff handles all the tipping. Consider it an up side of shelling out so big: saves you from getting nickel and dimed.
Edification on Your Vacation
Meet John Rennie Short, professor of geography and public policy at the University of Maryland, and the author of 37 books on globalization and geopolitics. His work has been translated into Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Korean and Spanish, but he speaks flawless English, which he’ll demonstrate repeatedly mid-flight, delivering insightful lectures on the politics and culture of whatever destination you’re off to next.