Planning the Perfect Golf Tournament
s your company looking for a fun and effective way to raise money for an organization that’s near and dear to your heart? A charity golf tournament is an excellent fundraising platform that participants, sponsors, and attendees will enjoy.
Planning the perfect golf tournament requires significant time and money, but it can yield substantial benefits for the charity of your choice. There’s a lot that goes into executing an event like this, which is why we’re sharing our tips-of-the-trade so you can “ace” your event!
Define the Goals for Everyone
Defining your company’s goals for the golf tournament is the best way to set up your event for success. First, determine the objective and how you plan to achieve it. What kind of goals should you be reaching for? Here are a couple of questions to consider:
- What is our purpose for this golf tournament?
- Who’s benefiting from the event and how?
- How much do we plan to raise?
A master strategy deck that clearly states your goals for the tournament can help keep everyone on the same page. Be sure your goals are defined, fundraising intentions are clear, and the beneficiary is identified when planning a golf tournament.
Create a Budget
Ideally, you should determine your budget early on as it will help guide your decisions through the planning process. Take into account your anticipated expenditures, such as marketing and advertising spend, golf course rent, green fees, hiring of third-party event planners, food and drink, and golf gift kits. You never know when things may go awry, so be prepared to have room in the budget for last-minute or unplanned expenses, too.
Select the Golf Course
Once your budget is sorted out, you’ll need to decide what golf course you plan on hosting your tournament at.
Consider the golfers who will be playing your tournament. Are they casual or intermediate players from your company, or are they PGA pros? You want your participants to be comfortable and equipped on the course you choose so they can raise the most money possible.
Selecting the best golf venue is a crucial component of the tournament’s success. You’ll want to think about the players’ skill level, venue location, and price.
Gather an Army of Volunteers
To pull off a successful tournament, you’ll need to have a lot of helping hands. Enlist volunteers who are knowledgeable about golf, have a passion for the cause, and are skilled in planning events and organization.
Assign your team to areas where their skills can be most utilized. Volunteers who are experienced golfers or understand the game can help answer questions that come their way at the information or registration tent, or they could be useful caddies to the participating golfers.
Those passionate about the cause can help spread awareness to attendees, while your team with exceptional event planning and organization skills can lend a hand in the operations and logistics of the tournament. Wherever they’re most suited, make sure the volunteers are also comfortable manning their assigned stations.
Sponsors are essential for a prosperous golf outing. Generally, golf tournaments have a headlining sponsor and several tiered sponsors.
A headlining sponsor generally receives the most brand exposure during the event. Adding the headliner’s logo on all media, or naming the players’ lounge or award ceremony after them, is a great way to make sure their investment is well-placed.
Tiered sponsorships allow businesses the option to choose how much they want to donate. Companies who become a tiered partner can enjoy seeing their name and logo at a specific area of the tournament. Branding opportunities are endless and can include sponsoring a hole, outfitting the players and volunteers with golf attire, or supplying the open bar and bartenders.
Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
Now that your goals, budget, golf course, volunteers, and sponsors are worked out, you need to spread the word about your event! On the invitation, make sure to include all of the important details: date and time, location, the sponsors, entry fees, etc.
Think about your company’s established channels of communication and use them to your advantage. Do you have a massive social media following? Post the invite as an event! If you have a solid list of email contacts, send an evite (email invitation). Going for a more formal look? Printed invitations can help achieve the look you’re aiming for.
Don’t be afraid to cap the number of attendees that you allow to enter the event. Depending on the invitee type, a more intimate group could be all that you need to reach your desired result.
A large participant pool could make the event go on longer than anticipated. Taking time to scope out the golf course layout, confirming player count, and staggering tee-times can help keep the tournament moving along efficiently.
Keep the Food and Beverages Flowing
Your golfers paid their entry fees to support your cause, so make sure they’re well taken care of on tournament day! Don’t forget to coordinate food with the venue and where to set up. Whether you use their on-site food services or a catering company, the venue may have a specific location in mind for plating and distributing meals.
Almost as importantly, supply your volunteers and participants a place to eat quietly away from the crowds. Make sure you have snacks and beverages available to them so they don’t go hungry!
Make it Memorable
You can make the 18-hole event even more fun by hosting contests throughout the day. Awarding prizes for the longest drive, coming closest to the hole, and the wackiest golf outfit are a few ways to keep the competitive (and giving) spirit alive!
Photo booths and golf-inspired cocktail drinks are also unique ways to ensure everyone in attendance has a memorable experience.
Raise Extra Money with Prizes
Having raffles or silent auctions at your event is a great way to raise extra funds. Talk to your sponsors, local businesses, and sports teams to see if they can donate some prizes or goodies to bid on.
If you’re gifting the items, think about offering something like a custom Fender guitar or a North Face Groundwork Backpack to really wow the crowd!
Send Everyone Home with a Swag Bag
Everyone loves a good swag bag, especially when it’s brimming with thoughtful and cool promotional items. You might consider a blend of golf promos and everyday products when creating a swag bag for everyone in attendance.
A sports bag with a golf towel, a Bluetooth speaker, and a 3-in-1 divot tool is the perfect swag bag for your golfers and volunteers. For spectators, swap out the sports bag for a tote and the divot tool for a tumbler! It’ll surely be a crowd-pleaser!
Ask for Feedback
Lastly, send a follow-up thanking everyone who helped with the golf tournament. Be sure to include in your thank-you photos from the event, how their contributions benefited the charity, and a section where they can provide feedback.
Ask them to include what they liked about the golf tournament and what areas need improvement. There are always going to be hiccups with every event, but their honest feedback can help your operations improve for the next one!
There are a lot of moving parts to a charity golf tournament, but the outcome is so rewarding. Strategy, hard work, and dedication can help you spread awareness about the cause or organization you’re supporting and allow your brand to display their philanthropic arm to the world!