For many, golf is more than a hobby. Avid golfers can’t get enough of teeing off at their favorite golf courses and when they can’t hit the links, you’ll likely find them glued to the television watching the pros tee off at the world’s most beautiful golf courses. Even for those who happen to be less serious about the sport, golf is still a popular way to spend a sunny afternoon. Golfing is also a well-established pursuit for business and social networking as well as an excellent venue for fundraisers. If you are tasked with planning a golf outing, you’ve come to the right place! The team at American Tent has plenty of experience with golf event planning and golf tents! Keep reading for our golf tournament planning guide.
#1. Plan a Budget and Find Sponsors
Golf is not known as the most affordable sport. After all, grooming and maintaining a beautiful course takes a lot of work and those costs get handed down to golfers who get to take advantage of those greens. That’s why it’s of utmost importance when planning a golf tournament to carefully plan a budget. You can certainly charge participants a fee and ask for donations, but you’ll probably still need to generate additional funds. Selling raffle tickets is a time-tested method to raise money at golfing events. Ask local businesses to donate goods or services for a raffle in exchange for promoting their business at the event. You also should start planning well in advance of the tournament so that you can line up as many sponsors as possible. It’s typical to have a sponsor for each hole, so make a list of at least 18 potential sponsors. If your golf event is a charitable fundraiser, look for sponsors who share a passion for that particular charity. When pitching the event to potential sponsors, be sure to include the “WIIFM” otherwise known as “What’s in it for me?” Tell sponsors about exposure opportunities for their business and also networking opportunities. You should also throw in some free golf tickets to sweeten the deal!
#2. Determine the Format
As you plan your event, think about your golf teams. Are you recruiting experienced, competitive golfers? Or, will the tournament participants be mostly novice golfers? It’s important to think about the types of players who will be involved because serious golfers take golfing, well, very seriously! You probably don’t want to mix golfing newbies with seasoned golfers to avoid frustration on both parts. That’s why when golf tournament planning, you may instead want to plan on competing in tiers to keep a level playing field. You can score using handicapping to help everyone play competitively, even if their golf score is nowhere near par for the course. You can also give out prizes that have nothing to do with hitting a hole in one. For example, you could give prizes for the best golf attire. Another consideration is when you plan to hold the event. If you have local businesses participating, a Friday afternoon golf outing is a popular choice. Who doesn’t want to get out of the office and enjoy a sunny day on the links instead? Golfers often like to hit the course early, so a Saturday morning event is also a solid option. When in doubt, ask your participants about their preferences.
#3. Choose the Right Course
Choosing the right course is extremely important when planning golf outing events. Some things to consider include:
- Cost: Do your homework and call several courses to get prices. Be sure to let them know if you’re planning a charitable event to find out if they offer discounts for special causes for large groups. You don’t necessarily want to choose the cheapest course since you often get what you pay for!
- Location: Think about where your golfers are coming from when choosing a course. If golfers have to travel too far, that may be a deterrent from participating in the event, especially when gas prices are on the rise.
- Difficulty: Unless you know that your participants are all skilled golfers, you probably don’t want to pick the most difficult course. Golf should be fun, not frustrating!
#4. Have Food and Beverages Handy
When vetting golf courses, ask about the availability of food and beverages. Most courses offer their concessions, but if your event is for charity, they may make an exception and let you serve up your food. If that’s the case, then pop-up tents with grilled burgers, hot dogs, and other snacks will be a hit with hungry golfers. With the courses’ permission, you also may be able to set up a golf canopy that includes cold beverages to quench your golfers’ thirst. Again, be sure to check with the course, especially if you plan to serve alcoholic beverages at the golf tent.
#5. Get Banners, Flags, and Tents
Make sure that your event doesn’t go unnoticed! You will need to plan for:
- Banners: Welcome participants and advertise your event to the other golfers on the course. If you are raising money for a good cause, be sure to give non-participants an easy way to donate to your charity.
- Flags: Make it easy for golfers to stay on course and give your sponsors some promotional space with flags at each hole.
- Tents: Make sure your golfers know where to gather with custom tents that include the name of the event and any logo(s) that you may want to include.
#6. Prepare the Prizes
Now for the fun part - giving out the prizes! As we mentioned, the competition doesn’t have to be serious. It’s often a lot more fun when it’s not so intense. Instead of awarding the best game, consider giving out prizes for the loudest golf shirt, the worst swing, or the most time spent in the sand trap. Prizes can be fun too. Funny gag trophies will give lucky participants different kinds of bragging rights. Otherwise, gift certificates to local restaurants, tickets to baseball games or other sporting events, or even golf-related prize packages are generally welcome rewards.
Now that you know how to run a golf tournament, all you have to do is to get started! Golf tournament organizing doesn’t require a professional golf event planner, but it never hurts to get a little help from the experts. That’s where the team at American Tent can pitch in with guidance on how to choose the best tent for your golf tournament. We take pride in using the highest quality materials in our tent manufacturing process. Our golf tents are fire resistant and 100% waterproof, making them the secure shelter you need in harsh weather conditions that can appear out of nowhere out on the golf course. Shop tents at American Tent today!