How to Plan A Golf Event

How to Plan a Successful Golf Event Planning Tips from On the Ball Promotions

Whether you're organizing a tournament, hosting a golf charity fundraiser, or coordinating a reunion outing, planning a golf event takes time, dedication, and a little ingenuity. We know how much work goes into planning these events, so if you're just starting the process, read through these tips and ideas. Happy golfing!

Getting Started: Look for Help

If this is your first time planning an event, you may want to consider hiring a professional event manager or coordinator. There are many companies that specialize in golf event management that have both experience and connections in the industry.

If a professional planner is not in your budget, a cheap (or free) alternative is to recruit volunteers. Host a planning meeting at a local restaurant, or meet at the golf course club house. Provide your volunteers with snacks and drinks and create a positive environment for creativity and brainstorming. This is where you can delegate certain duties to volunteers and divide up the work involved.

Find the Perfect Venue for your Golf Event

Once you have an idea of how many golfers you hope will attend and what type of event you are planning, you need to start looking around for a golf course or country club to host the event. Sometimes that's as easy as finding the closest one and working with what they have. If you have many options to choose from, there are many factors to keep in mind:

  • There are many different types of golf course venues to choose from, all with varying amenities, package options and prices: private country clubs, public / municipal / park district golf courses, hotel golf courses, and 9-hole and par-3 courses.
  • Keep attendees in mind when choosing a venue to make sure guests will enjoy themselves and feel comfortable at the chosen location.
  • Many golf courses can accommodate up to 144 golfers, but are also willing to work with smaller groups.
  • Be sure to ask about amenities offered at the venue, such as use of banquet halls, golf carts, driving range, and food or beverage cart.
  • If you plan on serving food at the event, be aware that many country clubs and golf courses do not allow outside caterers, so plan accordingly and ask to meet with their chef or event coordinator to ensure you will have enough food for your guests.

As with planning any big event, don't be afraid to shop around for the right venue.

Plan for Weather

It is also imperative that you plan for any weather condition. Rent a tent for the volunteer and registration area to shade from the sun. The golf course may already have tents that you can use or rent. Make sure to have plenty of water for your golfers and volunteers, especially for summer golf tournaments.

Make it Memorable with a Fun Event Theme

This is the really fun part! A memorable golf tournament or charity fundraiser theme is likely to attract many sponsors and excite your guests. Don't be afraid to think outside the box in developing a theme. Get together with your planning committe for a few brainstorming sessions and let the ideas flow. We've compiled a list of fun golf event theme ideas, to help get you started.

How to Secure Sponsors for your Golf Tournament

Secure sponsors well in advance, as it may take some time to receive all the logos in the proper formats. Generally, vector art files (such as Adobe Illustrator files) work best because they can be scaled to any size without losing detail or quality. Companies often have strict branding guidelines, so have all logos approved before printing them on any materials. Sponsor logos are most often used on promotional marketing materials, event registration forms, event day banners, signs, and tournament giveaway items.

You might entice more sponsors if you offer different levels of sponsorship. For example, the "Gold Level" would have their logo imprinted on giveaway items, a clubhouse banner, sponsorship signs at each hole, and receive free event registration. "Silver Level" could have their logo imprinted on giveaway items, sponsorship signs at every other hole, plus free event registration. "Bronze Level" could have sponsorship signs at every third hole plus free event registration. Whatever levels you come up with, having it spelled out gives potential sponsors more confidence in funding your event.

Fundraising Ideas for Golf Events

When you're budgeting for a charity outing, it might seem difficult to have enough left over to give to the group or organization. Here are a few easy fundraising ideas:

  • 50/50 Raffle: This is one of the easiest fundraisers. Half of the proceeds from ticket sales go to the charity, and the other half to the ticket holder. Quite often the winner will donate some of their winnings back to the charity.
  • Silent Auction: Ask sponsors or local businesses to donate their goods and services.
  • Business Sponsorships: Offer different levels of sponsorship. Sponsors who give more will have more visibility in promotional materials throughout the event. Don't forget to ask for donated goods as well, as that is very good advertising for event sponsors. Businesses can sponsor different holes on the course.
  • Golfer Sponsors: Have players ask family and friends for donations. Many non-profits use this tactic for charity golf events.

Advertising Ideas for your Golf Tournament

Word of mouth can be a strong tool, so don't be afraid to casually mention to friends, coworkers, and family that you are organizing this memorable event. Depending on your community you might be amazed at how quickly word will spread. But in case that doesn't work, here are a few other easy ideas to get golfers talking.

Your success is largely determined by player turnout. Advertise in local newspapers and online. Hang signs and flyers at the golf course venue and local golf equipment stores. Writing a press release and contacting the local news media is also a great idea for maximizing your exposure. Talk to your local radio station to either advertise or set up an on-air interview. Offering a reduced registration fee for early signup is a great tool for generating early interest in your event.

Consider using social media to enhance your marketing campaign; whether you use Facebook, Twitter, or a forum for golf enthusiasts, word spreads fast online. If you have an approved email list, consider sending an evite to golfers.

Smile! Photo Ops & Complimentary Gifts

Help guests remember your event! Hire a local event photographer to take both candid and posed pictures at your event. Hiring a celebrity to pose with golfers for photos is a popular idea. If a celebrity is out of your budget, try a cardboard cut-out! It will give event attendees something to laugh about.

Order personalized photo folders or picture frames with the event name, date, and sponsors imprinted on them to include in the goodie bags. Event sponsors can help offset the cost of prizes and other promotional materials. Offer prizes and awards at the ceremony or after a meal to conclude your golf event.

When in Doubt, Ask Questions

Communicate often and early with your golf course venue. Learn what their rules are and explain your event in detail so they know what to expect. Proper communication will go far in ensuring a fun and memorable golf event.

Let On The Ball Help Promote Your Event

Whatever your promotional needs, On The Ball has the unique giveaway items for golfers to make a lasting impression with event attendees. Our promotional products representatives are here to help you through the process and ensure you receive exactly what you envision.