Planning Event Registration for A Golf Tournament 101

Golf can be more than just a sport. The game of golf can be a wonderful bonding opportunity for the whole family. Adults can play with children since it does not require adult strength or specialized accuracy (it does require patience).

Being hailed as the 10th most popular sport in the world, it’s no question that a lot of nonprofits and charities use golf tournaments as a means to raise funds. However, though planning a golf tournament fundraiser can be fun, it is no easy task. 

As an event planner, you are required to research, organize, and manage the charity golf tournament. These responsibilities can be overwhelming but with the right advice and tips, you are on your way to success.

But why would you even plan a golf tournament? What makes a golf tournament better than other types of fundraising events

Golf tournaments are great fundraisers for an organization or charity for several reasons:

  1. Golfers often have money. As stated in Donor Data & The Golf Fundraiser, 90% of fortune 500 CEOs are golfers, and golfers have an average income of $80,000, which is substantially higher than the average income. Making a golf outing a great avenue to raise funds.
  2. Everyone wants to get outside. People like activities that get them outside in nature but in a controlled environment.
  3. VIP access to golf clubs and courses. Large groups and events can get golfers on courses that would otherwise be prohibited or unavailable
  4. Competition breeds competition. Use the game of golf to encourage people to not only win the game but win the game of donating.

Read on and find out how to organize and set up a golf tournament with ease.

1. Lay The Competition Target

Setting goals and working towards them can increase the likelihood of achieving success by up to 50%. Due to this fact, it is vital to set and write down target goals before starting out any undertaking.

As an event planner the first thing you need to do when planning a golf tournament is to clearly identify the target goal of your golf tournament. When the goals and objectives are clearly stated, planning will be smooth.

Once you set broad goals for how much money you’ll raise, you can break that goal down into smaller goals and objectives such as the number of participants, average donation per participant, etc.

Aside from being clear and concise, be sure your tournament goal is SMART. Lead your team in answering and creating actionable steps to these questions:

  • What do you want to achieve with your golf tournament?
  • How much are you going to raise at the fundraising event?
  • How many sponsors and sponsorship packages will you “sell”?
  • If you’re going to sell tickets and sponsorship packages, what would be the possible costs? How do you deliver or measure value to sponsors?
  • How many attendees will you cater? 
    • The number of golfers who will be playing
    • The number of spectators who will watch.
    • The committees and volunteers
  • How will you achieve your tournament goal? How are you going to track your progress?
  • Is your tournament goal worthwhile?
  • Will you get it done within the time frame given? 
  • How will you raise awareness of an issue for a charity or a fundraiser using your golf tournament?

Whatever goals and purpose you have in mind, let committees and volunteers know to encourage them to get involved in the planning and execution. Together, you can all brainstorm on specific action steps leading toward that goal. 

2. Figure Out the Budget

One of the crucial steps in planning a golf outing is figuring out the budget. Determine how much your event will cost and work out a budget. To do so, list all necessary expenses from planning, marketing, and execution.

As you figure out your tournament budget, get quotes from different agencies to have better options. Agencies such as catering, staffing, golf course, and car rentals. After getting quotes, set proper allocations for the budget. It is best to be conservative with budgeting in order to cover all costs. You should allocate funds for any unexpected eleventh-hour expenses. 

Player registration fees should cover most of the expense but keep in mind not to overprice. To avoid overpricing, add a little more than your average expense per golfer, for error, for charity, or for profit. For easier and more automated event registration you may partner with Event Espresso.

To make registration inviting even with fees, design a tempting registration scheme. An example would be creating a bundle for buying tickets where a registrant or participant is given a discount for a bulk ticket purchase or for multiple registrations.

3. Assemble a Committee

Planning a golf tournament can be a sophisticated task even for a proficient event planner. To help you with planning, hire an expert or look for someone familiar with golf if you have not played or been to a golf outing. 

A reliable volunteer team, especially those who are golf outing fans or who play golf can work like magic as they know what to look for in choosing the venue and what are possible needs of players are. Furthermore, they understand how to materialize your fundraising goals.

Aside from having someone familiar with golf tournaments, you may also need to hire event staff for extra help. This may pertain to the security, staff for registrations and check-ins, caddies, officials, caterers, and others.

4. Find the Perfect Venue

Partner with the right golf venue that can offer you what you want; the size, the amenity included, the number of players (more players mean that you also need to have multiple courses), and the course itself. As I have mentioned, skilled players prefer challenging courses. 

Once you have found the course that matches your vision, book the venue as early as possible to lock in on dates.

It is also best to take note of what golfers look for in a course as this can be a deciding factor for them to participate. What do golfers look for? Fun and challenging, excellent course conditions, accessibility for mobility, outstanding management and customer service, facilities and equipment, and overall value.

5. Get Sponsors

Sponsors play a great part in golf events, and when planning a golf tournament, you need to offer impressive sponsorship packages. An example is a Tee Sponsorship, where you place sponsors’ business or organizations’ signs on one of the holes in the golf tournament. It’s a great opportunity to build brand awareness for the sponsors.

Golf word with golf club for tournament

To make sponsoring easy and attractive, create a ticket or an inviting click button on your event website, tickets that one or multiple sponsors can “buy” to reserve their sponsorship. And as part of their sponsorship, you can allow them to register a limited number of players for the golf outing.

For your sponsors, look for local businesses and corporations who are willing to sponsor the tournament for advertisement and promotion. Aside from marketing their company, explain what’s in it for them. Sponsors love to give when they know that their money is put to good use. 

The more companies supporting your tournament, the more appealing it will be to possible participants. And of course, the more funds you’ll gain.

6. Pick a Tournament Format 

The format of your golf tournament should be aligned with your goal and purpose. Is it for competition? Is it to raise funds? To create a network? Or simply to entertain? Considering the purpose will help you decide on which format to choose.

Choosing the right format is important as it influences players’ decision of participating or not, yet it works vice versa as you also need to take into account the ability of your players when selecting a format.

Identifying the ability of the players will help you avoid mixing the amateur with the more skilled player or golf pro. As more skilled players will require a more challenging format while amateur players are for more recreational ones.

One of the most popular formats where experienced players and recreational players can play together is the scramble or best ball.

7. Leverage with an Event Website

It’s time to start marketing your golf outing by setting up your event website. Website is a very influential marketing tool for events. It helps in rousing enthusiasm while providing information about your golf tournament.

What’s also great about having an event website is that it displays only your event, unlike social media platforms that have too many displays that can distract your target participants from important announcements.

Event websites also showcase and promote your sponsors. You may expose them not just through displays of their logo but you may allot a space for them to tell a little about their company where viewers can click a link that leads to their site to know more about them.

One of the most important things about having a website is that it becomes a platform for accepting online event registration. Event Espresso or Event Smart can help you with this. Event Espresso can also help you sell tickets for your golf outing and do this fully online for convenience. You can even customize registrations based on your event. Registrants for fundraising tournaments can register as a member, an agency, or an associate member of their fundraiser.   

Best of all, you can plan unlimited events with unlimited tickets. This can range from charity events to corporate events. And you get maximum profit because Event Espresso doesn’t charge any commission or ticketing fees.

8. Market your Event

After setting up your event website or having Event Smart set it up for you (which is easier), it’s time to market your event and your event website. To market your event effectively, here are some tools:

  • Social Media posting
  • Email
  • Press release
  • Print materials such as posters and flyers
  • Text marketing or Short Message Service
  • Radio and television
  • Signs, banners, and billboards

9. Prepare Food and Drinks

Tournaments take more time than a typical round of golf and golfers love it when you have quality food on your golf outing. As an event planner, you should include food and drinks in your planning. Offer pre-event meals or refreshments.

You can offer free snacks or meals (for sponsors) during play or the organization can sell them in carts, huts or shacks throughout the course. If this is too much task for the nonprofit, tap vendors. Hiring local food businesses is also one way to support the community. After-game meals or some hors d’oeuvres are also a wonderful way for everyone to have fellowship.

Before making finalizations on your food and drinks plan, be sure to coordinate with the course venue. Some golf clubhouses offer food and drinks. If not, caterers and local food businesses are your best option. But prior to hiring food vendors, ask the venue what you can bring and what you are allowed to do and what not. Especially if you intend to bring in alcoholic drinks.

10. Create an Enjoyable Environment

Golf outings are the majority’s favorite because it’s fun and challenging. Go the extra mile to provide an enjoyable environment for everyone. Have different contests such as closest to the pin, hole-in-one, straightest drive, putting contest, etc. that players can compete in other than just competing for the grand prize to make your golf outing more stimulating.

Two women enjoy playing golf

Remember that when everyone has a positive experience, they will most likely show up to your next fundraising event.  

11. Choose a Merchandise

Having merchandise for your golf tournament is a big plus. Golfers love free gifts! Even though it isn’t really free. Some offer tee gifts as their own version of a swag bag. Aside from golfers loving tee gifts, it is also a great way for sponsors to advertise. Include featured products or new products of your sponsor to give away.

Practical and less expensive but unique items are also great giveaways to your golf event. By giving less expensive yet relevant items, you can give as many items as you can.

Great golf-related giveaways include any item with the sponsor’s logo. A hat, golf glove, towel, golf ball, tee, guest shirts, ball markers, sunglasses, ditty bag, and club cover, are some great giveaway ideas.

12. Give Appreciation and Rewards to Everyone

You know that an event is beyond successful when your participants leave satisfied and excited for more. One effective way to do this is to show appreciation and present rewards to everyone (participants, guests, staff, donors, and volunteers). 

It can be as simple as a mug or a tea cup, a hat or a tote bag or a souvenir that they can display on their desk or office. One that depicts their unique winning from different contests such as, closest to the pin, hole-in-one, straightest drive, or any nice mementos, other than a tacky trophy or plaque.

Other rewards can be cash prizes, gift checks to a golf shop, or gift certificates. You may also give rewards such as a ticket to other sports events or restaurant gift certificates or a premier night movie ticket. The key is to be creative. Do not just limit your rewards to just about golf. 

13. Wrap Up with a Fun Fellowship

Awards at the end of the games may be something that golfers anticipate having, but they can be expensive especially if you are having a golf tournament fundraiser. The icing on the cake that golfers are also excitedly looking forward to is the banquet or dinner fellowship.

Many golf courses offer their banquet room but it can be pricey. As a golf outing planner, look for a nearby party venue for a lesser price. Having a different environment is refreshing for the golfers after a day of golf games. 

During the banquet, grab the opportunity to make announcements or have some raffle or games for a fun and relaxing environment where everyone can make jokes about their gameplay or recap their game. This is also a great avenue to have auctions to raise additional funds.

Turn Your Plan Into Action

Thoughtful planning for your golf event is essential, whether it is for a corporate golf tournament, an organization’s annual golf tournament, or a charity golf tournament. You have to consider a lot of things from budgeting to creating sponsorship opportunities.

You also have to make sure you pick the right golf course with the right environment. And you have to decide on a suitable golf game format with corresponding awards. Lastly, you have to design a marketing plan and set up an event website. Good thing that there is the perfect tool that will help you leverage your golf tournament planning.

Event Espresso is the best partner for your tournament planning. We can provide you with a more manageable way to plan a golf tournament from your website. Event Espresso is a WordPress golf tournament plugin that can help you raise funds and meet your fundraising goals for your cause by helping you organize a golf fundraiser or golf outing.

What’s even better is that your free trial is just a click away. Try our free demo now!

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