Keys To a Successful Golf Tournament
For decades, golf has been known as America’s favorite pastime; where men, and now many women, go for friendly competition, cold beverages and good old-fashioned fun. According to the National Golf Foundation, golfers played about 490 million rounds on U.S. courses in 2012, a 5.7% increase over 2011 – the first sizeable jump in the number of golf outings since 2000. Many companies integrate the sport into their extracurricular activities, too, whether it’s charity golf tournaments, team-bonding outings or a few rounds at a prestigious course as an incentive gift. Tournaments are a proven fund raiser for non-profit organizations.
Five Important Planning Steps
- Secure Sponsors. Golf tournaments can be pricey and many of them rely on products and donations from sponsors of all sizes and industries.
- Support a Charity. Of course, it may be a charity putting on the tournament, but businesses are much more successful if they associate their event with a worthy cause.
- Establish Committees. Four committees (or subcommittees) are essential: Fundraising, Logistics, Volunteers, and PR/Marketing.
- Engage a Social Media Guru. Provide a photographer who is tech savvy and has social media skills so they can integrate event updates and details into posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Provide Prizes, Awards and Auction Items. Tournaments are great for giving out branded items. Offer gifts for hole in one, closest to the pin, longest drive, etc. and provide goodie bags for the players, filled with relevant items. Don’t forget to give awards to the top fundraising teams.
Live, silent or on-line auctions can turn regular events into huge events. The bigger the items offered, the more money you’ll make as any donated or discounted item/services can net 100% in revenue. Don’t settle for just gift baskets! Popular items include trips, dinners, professional services, golf outings, sports memorabilia, appliances, iPads, etc. Silent auctions tend not to disrupt the flow of an event and are flexible, as you can offer as many items as you want – the more the better. Start your auction well in advance of your tournament by using all of your communication channels. Raffles typically feature items like golf merchandise, gift certificates and premiums. Poker chip ball markers with a peel off label works well for raffles. Golfers will pay $10-$100 per poker chip for a chance to win big prizes, thus you make money on the raffle and on the sale of the chips. Isn’t fundraising fun!
Here are some of our favorite products for golf promotions
Pitchfix. This hi-tech, and fun divot tool is in high demand. It is branded with a removable ball marker. The XL 2.0 version has a second side imprint area, large enough for two extra logos. Pitchfix also has a tin option in which each golfer would receive a branded tin containing a logoed tool, hat clip and extra ball marker (thus four imprint areas) all for under $25. The golfers, sponsors and fundraisers love this product.
Poker Chip Ball Markers. Drink tokens-with two $500 sponsors = $1,000. The chips cost $1.49 so with 100 golfers that’s $149. That will leave you $850 for drinks. When the beverage cart comes by, they will put a mark on the chip to show you received your beverage, leaving the advertising with the golfer. Another use for the chips would be a peel off tab with a hidden prize underneath or numbers for a drawing.
Cooling Towel. These have been in high demand for the past five years. Just wet the cooling towel and it cools down to about 65 degrees. As long as it’s wet, it cools, and when it dries out, just add water. Multiple logos can be printed on the towels! In addition, the instruction card can be digitally printed, allowing more space for sponsors. The towels sell for $6-$8 so with 20 sponsors at $1 each, the charity earns a cool profit of $12+ each.
Scramble Pic. The scramble format for tournaments is very popular as it’s the least intimidating and easiest-to-keep-score option. Scrambles can be played by 2-, 3- or 4-person teams with all team members hitting their own ball. After each shot, the team decides which shot is the best one. Everyone shoots again from that spot, and so on, until a ball is in the hole. A great way to keep the game moving is the Scramble Pic, which lets players pick up golf balls without having to get out of the cart. Ten sponsor logos will easily fit, making this a great sponsorship opportunity.
Wait, there’s more. Don’t forget hole sponsors complete with signs, branded golf balls, sponsored apparel, and on and on. Tournaments take a lot of work but can have a tremendous pay-off. Most annual events begin planning right after one tournament finishes. Take a look at our comprehensive golf tournament planning guide.