Writer roundtable: How would you spend your tax refund on golf?

The average U.S. tax refund in 2014 was $3,211 as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

At Golf Advisor, our editorial team couldn't help think about all the things we could do to our game with that kind of cash before it ends up somewhere awful like an IRA or college fund.

From a couples trip to golf gadgets to links golf overseas, we've got big eyes this Tax Day in 2015.

What would you do with your refund?

Jason Scott Deegan: A luxury couples trip to the American Club, Wisconsin

I had big dreams with my refund. I wanted to have a golf bender of a lifetime -- with some instruction by Charlie King and a club-fitting by the on-site TaylorMade Kingdom -- at Georgia's Reynolds Lake Oconee during Masters week. Alas, the budget won't hold up at $1,200 a night.

Any other time, it's very doable with money leftover to buy a new driver. Then another idea popped into my head -- a couples trip to the American Club in Kohler, Wis., an hour north of Milwaukee on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. It accomplishes two goals in one: The wife stays happy with a nice spa getaway, while I knock off four bucket-list, top-100 tracks.

The Dye-Abolical package includes four days/three nights at The American Club or Inn on Woodlake, allowing for rounds on the Meadow Valleys Course and River Course at Blackwolf Run and the Straits Course and Irish Course at Whistling Straits, host of the 2015 PGA Championship. The package -- which starts at $1,210 per person for The American Club with a small daily surcharge for the non-golfer ($20-$50) -- also pays for cart fees at Blackwolf Run, caddie fees at Whistling Straits, a half-hour of instruction, some logo items as a gift and 20 percent off treatments at the Kohler Waters Spa.

While I'm playing golf, my wife would have two days at a five-star spa (at an estimated cost of $350 by a Kohler representative) and access to the Sports Core Health & Racquet Club. In her free time, she could hike trails, shop or tour the unique Kohler Design Center. We would dine at night like royalty at the Immigrant Restaurant (the resort's four-star restaurant), the Horse & Plow and the Wisconsin Room. The resort's estimated meal cost per day for couples is $150-$200, but I'd say it balloons closer to $250 if you're going all-out with wine at dinner. So doing the math -- $1,000 for four days of food, $1,400 for the package and $400 for the spa -- I've still got $400 for travel expenses. All thanks to Uncle Sam.

Video: Ginella on where to spend your tax refund

Mike Bailey: Gadgets, instruction and a weekend of golf in Dallas-Fort Worth

Something I've wanted for a while is a remote-control power caddie. I see them over in Europe more than I do in the States -- especially Scotland and Ireland -- since, after all, they pretty much walk all the courses over there. Over here, it's often too hot, or most of our resort courses are unwalkable or walking is not even allowed.

I have my eye on the Cart Tek GRX1200 R, which normally retails for $1,000, but I was able to find it on the Internet for $800. You can't really check it on a plane, so my golf journey is going to be by car, which is just fine.

Next, like Jason, I wouldn't mind upping my game, and the other day I was introduced to a great learning tool -- the RoboGolfPro. A friend of mine and one of the best teachers in the state just purchased one of these remarkable $150,000 machines for his (Matt) Swanson Golf Center in the Champions area of Houston. One hour with him and the RoboGolfPro -- which basically develops muscle memory for a perfect on-plane swing -- costs $200. Five sessions on that thing over a period of about a week should do it. Now, I've got $1,400 left, so I'm going to drive up to Dallas with a buddy or two, stay at a Hilton Garden Inn and head out to some of the DFW area's best walking courses.

Gas and hotel over four days and nights shouldn't be more than $600, a few meals, including grub at the Metroplex's best barbecue joints such as Pecan Lodge and Hard Eight BBQ, is less than $150, which leaves $650 for green fees and a couple of golf shirts. My course lineup would include Stevens Park Golf Course and Tenison Park Golf Club, two gems in the Dallas muni system; the recently redone Luna Vista Golf Course; maybe the Byron Nelson-designed Grapevine Golf Course; and the capper for me, private Colonial Country Club. Just have to find a member or a media day for the last one.

Brandon Tucker: A week in Scotland

I'm expatriating my U.S. Tax refund to Scotland for a killer links golf trip. I know there are a lot of golfers out there who believe it's entirely too expensive to pull off -- and it can be if you only play Open Championship venues and stay at five-star hotels -- but your foursome can make it work in 2015, including airfare, for about $3,000 per person.

To start, factor in a trans-Atlantic flight for around $1,000 and a split minivan or SUV hire and fuel at $250 per person. With six nights of split lodging at a two or three-star B&B or hotel, plus a $75/day food & beverage per diem, tack on another $750-$900. Most accommodations provide a hot breakfast, so get used to filling up on blood pudding, bacon and haggis first thing in the morning.

That leaves six rounds to play golf and about $1,000-$1,200. Think you have to skimp? Hardly. On my golf trips, we play 36 a day, and that's no different on this one. Stick to St. Andrews-Fife and East Lothian, and you'll get your fill. Playing the same course twice is always encouraged, because they're just so interesting -- and day tickets, offered by most clubs, are a great deal.

Begin in East Lothian at Gullane No. 1 (2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open host) and Gullane No. 3 (day ticket: $150). Then head east to Dunbar Golf Club (day ticket: $135) and finish your East Lothian tour at one of Scotland's most unique links, North Berwick Golf Club ($190 day ticket).

Make the one-hour drive over the Forth Bridge to St. Andrews and buy a three-day unlimited golf ticket from the Links Trust ($300), which is good for all six Links Trust courses besides the Old. The New Course, Jubilee Course and Castle Course are all fantastic, Top 100-worthy links, and the ticket allows the option for multiple rounds each day. If you happen to be in St. Andrews on a Sunday, you can still walk the entire Old Course. Bring a Frisbee or a football and hang out on the course all afternoon.

If your feet and wallet have one more day left, tack on a day pass to Crail Golfing Society ($150), about 15 miles east of St. Andrews, to play their two dramatic and vastly different links on the edge of Fife. Or enter the Old Course ballot for a crack at golf's holy grail ($240).

So ... who's comin' with me?

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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Writer roundtable: How would you spend your tax refund on golf?
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