18 Holes (Steps) to a Successful Golf Tournament

By Phil Immordino

How does your golf tournament do? Is it growing each year or loosing steam? If you have produced a tournament more than once it is easy to forget the basics. The average tournament in this country raises $5000.

Over the next few months we will cover in depth the key steps in hosting a successful golf tournament. If you would like to be above average, make sure that you follow along with us in Tee Times and learn the secrets to mastering these important steps.

Here is an overview, hole by hole, of what we will be covering.

Hole #1. Define Your Purpose – Have a clear objective and purpose for your event.
Whether it is fund raising, entertainment, competition or networking make sure it is clear and that everyone is on the same page. A team is more effective if they are working together. Make sure that you and your committee are clear on the main objective

Hole #2. Develop a Committee – Don’t do it yourself. There are plenty of people that want to get involved. Delegate all responsibilities and then hold everyone accountable. The bigger the committee, the more contacts, which means more sponsors and more golfers.

Hole #3. Set Specific Goals – Set clear and specific financial goals. Be aggressive and set your sights on 20% higher than last year’s event. Identify where the money is going and let everyone know.

Hole#4. Create a Budget – Identify the income sources and expenses, then stick to them until the end. It is too easy to go over budget and blow the profits.

Hole #5. Develop a Timeline – Give yourself at least 6 months to plan an event. When working with volunteers, you want to give them plenty of time to accomplish their tasks.

Hole #6. Choose a Date & Location – Check all calendars not to conflict with other events, in your area, to insure maximum participation.

Hole #7. Negotiate the Best Deal with a Golf Course – To get the best price from a golf course you need to consider shoulder seasons and an afternoon shotgun Monday through Thursday.

Hole #8. Decide on the Proper Format – The key to a successful format is the caliber of golfers. Whether it is a scramble, best ball or Callaway, let your golfers decide on the format.

Hole #9. Selling Sponsors – Sponsors are the profit. The more sponsors you have, the more money you make. Give them something of value; don’t just ask for a contribution.

Hole #10. Acquiring Gifts and Prizes – The quality of your gifts determines the quality of your organization. You will keep golfers coming back year after year with quality prizes.

Hole #11. Promotion – The number one way to promote your event is through networking. They will play in your tournament if they have a relationship with you or someone on the committee.

Hole #12. Recruiting Golfers – To sell out your tournament have 9 committee members sell 4 foursomes, done.

Hole #13. Choosing Games and Contests – The more games you have, the more fun the golfers will have, plus it allows more individuals to win stuff.

Hole #14. Finalize Logistics – Make sure that every little detail is taken care of. Make sure that golfers have the best day on the golf course ever.

Hole #15. Build Memories – Leave a lasting impression with photos, videos and logo’d merchandise, so that they will think of you throughout the year.

Hole #16. Wrap Up – Pay you bills on time and clean up. Leave a good impression with everyone you come into contact with.

Hole #17. Follow Up – Send thank you letters to everyone and up date your database. Stay in touch throughout the year.

Hole #18. Start Next Years Event – Before you are finished with this years event start selling next year by offering discounts to sign up early.

If you follow these basic steps I guarantee that your event will be successful year after year. Follow my features each month in Tee Times as we go “in depth” on each of these topics to help you reach your tournament financial goals and exceed your players expectations.

For help with your upcoming golf tournament contact the Golf Tournament Association of America.
pimmordino@gtaaweb.org or www.gtaaweb.org