How To Run a Successful Golf Outing
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Twelve to Nine Months in Advance
Select a Golf Course, Date and Time
The key to a good turnout is proper planning. Golf courses start booking outings a year in advance. Choose a location and time best suited for your needs. Decide on the format of the tournament because that will help your determine whether your event requires tee times or a shotgun start.
Select a Tournament Director
This person should be detail oriented and dedicated to your cause. The tournament director does not have to be the greatest golfer but has at least played in a few golf tournaments.
Choose a Cause
Why do you want to hold a golf tournament? The answer to this question will decide your theme of the tournament and who will participate in the event.
Select On-Course Contests and Events
Contests during your tournament will keep your golfers interested and looking forward to the next hole. Try to have at least one contest per nine holes and make certain to reward your winners with a prize. (Hole-In-One Contest, Closest To Pin, Longest Drive, Straightest Drive, etc.)
Determine Additional Activities
If you plan to include food and refreshment services, pre-tournament contests, auctions, raffles, guest speakers, etc. make sure to account for the space and supplies necessary.
Create a Budget
Determine your entry fee by what your target market can bear and plan your expenses around that. Make sure you budget for any surprise expenses.
Nine Months in Advance
Sign Up Volunteers
You will need at least 3-5 volunteers on site the day of the tournament and as many you can get to help with selling sponsorships.
The more exposure your tournament receives, the more participants and sponsors you will get. Besides the entry form, there are many other ways to publicize your tournament.
- Radio and TV: Search for free opportunities to announce your tournament. Public service announcements, local talk shows, press conferences, and local calendars of events are all effective.
- Newspapers: Local shoppers guide and other free publications are a good way to get the word out. Create a press release kit for your tournament to receive free advertisement. Placing an ad in the local paper can be very effective but very costly.
- Signs and Banners: Place them in high traffic intersections and other areas.
- Flyers and Posters: Post them at golf courses, offices, local stores, etc.
Selling sponsorships is the way to acquire the commitment that leads to a successful tournament. Sponsorships should be developed between the tournament and local businesses. Design various levels of sponsorship. Each level should entail some form of tournament recognition and participation. Various levels may include:
- Title Sponsor: company name would appear on all golf marketing materials, playing spots, tee sponsor signs, reception signs, etc..
- Supporting Sponsors: receive hole sponsorship signs and playing spots.
- Hole Sponsor: receive hole sponsorship sign and program listing.
- Registration, Mulligans, Beverage Cart, Reception Sponsor: logo and/or message would be placed on signs at the respective locations.
- Arrival Package Sponsor: logo and/or message would be placed on all tees, repair and golf balls.
The key to selling sponsorships is to convey to your sponsors that they are getting their money’s worth.
Six Months in Advance
Make sure your invitation is appealing because this is your primary source in attracting participants. The invitation has to be laid out with as much detail as possible. These are the essential pieces of information needed:
- Name of tournament and title sponsor
- Date and time
- Name, address and telephone number of the tournament director
- Entry fee
- Entry deadline
- What is included in the entry (green fees, cart, dinner, arrival packages, etc.)
- Prizes and contests
- Name, address and telephone of participant
- Name, address and telephone of others on team
- Foursome Preferences
- Shirt size
Create list of Possible Participants
This list could range from employees and their family members to local businesses.
Finalize Food and Refreshment
Decide on the menu, beverages, entertainment, and decorations. Make sure the room you are using can accommodate your tournament size.