Ranks Haversham & Baker as ‘World’s Finest’ in Golf Travel

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Cincinnati firm joins global elite in high-end customized travel arrangements.

In offering an independent review of the World’s Best Bespoke Travel Providers, named Haversham & Baker Golfing Expeditions as the finest in the field of golf. Sam Baker, who launched the firm from his kitchen table in 1991, says that was the game plan all along. “I have long been an admirer of the Abercrombie & Kent approach to travel and firmly believed there was a place for something similar in golf. There were plenty of tour operators offering turn-key ‘packages’ which, I’m sure, have a place with some who play the game. But for the members of private clubs and the PGA Professionals who serve them, there was nothing. We set out to fill that space and have.”

By happenstance, Larry Olmsted, writer of the review, ranked Abercrombie & Kent as best in General Travel. Drawing upon his own twenty+ years of personal experience with high-end travel firms, Olmsted cited as among the many reasons for singling out A&K, H&B and four others, “These companies all know that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, and they do.”

The legend of H&B has steadily grown over the years to where the firm is routinely cited in golf and other travel related media. Sam Baker has become somewhat of a high-end golf travel guru whose input is sought by leading print and broadcast journalists seeking insight on the subject. Sam and his firm have been quoted and cited in The New York Times, Golf Digest, Golfweek, PGA Magazine and Elite Traveler among others. “It’s especially satisfying when others in the industry offer independent validation of what we feel makes us different. For instance, when Bernard Murphy the General Manager at Gleneagles was asked to recommend a good travel advisor he not only named us first, he used the word ‘agency’ to describe our firm and ‘tour operator’ to describe the others. It may seem like a subtlety to some but there is a different between a firm that acts as your ‘agent’ and one that simply operates tours.”

Baker and his son John, the firm’s Managing Partner, assert that H&B is so different from traditional tour operators that more appropriate comparisons might be with more established high-end brands. “Every private country club member who goes on an H&B expedition is asked to complete an evaluation form. Keep in mind, this is a tough crowd to please. They’re asked to rate their experience on a scale of 1-10 for overall satisfaction. The average rating for our most recent year was 9.4,” Baker reports.

This puts the Cincinnati firm in a class that includes some of the finest brands serving a similar clientele; Nordstroms and Bergdorf Goodman: 8.4 (survey conducted by Luxury Institute), Lexus 9.1, Mercedes 8.5 (J.D. Powers) and Ritz-Carlton at 8.1 (People Metrix).

Baker had this to say about the comparison, “The satisfaction numbers for the other brands are based on surveys conducted by independent sources. Ours is based on surveys submitted voluntarily. So the apples to oranges rule applies to some extent. Still the numbers do reflect the overall satisfaction of those we serve and of all the things we’ve accomplished over the past twenty-plus years, this is the one for which I am most proud.”

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Paul Spreadbury
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