Hole #7 – The Golfers

By Phil Immordino

Without golfers what do you have? Not much. Golfers are the reason the event is successful. The more golfers the more exciting an event, the more you make and the more that sponsors are happy.

The average tournament in the U.S. is comprised of a mere 72 golfers. It takes the same amount of time to produce an event that is sold out with 144 golfers as it does with only 72. So lets sell out our next event. How can we do that? Lets discuss a few ways.

What Do Golfers Want?
First we must ask ourselves “What do golfers want?” If you give golfers MORE of what they want, they will come and they will tell their friends. Here is what our research shows that golfers like.

Great Golf Course – Golfers don’t want to play the same old golf courses. They are looking for a course that they don’t get to play on a regular basis. They want something special and unique. Event organizers should not be afraid to spend a little more money in order to hold the best event at the best golf course in the area.

Fun Gifts and Prizes – Take the time to create a great and truly memorable goodie bag. A package of gifts that golfers love and get excited about. The most popular gifts for a goodie bag are: shirts, hats, balls, towel and glove. Quality speaks volumes. Don’t go cheap. Consider giving lifestyle gifts as well as golf gifts. Lifestyle gifts will range from etched glassware, embossed leather bags, and virtually anything that a person uses day-to-day that you can put a sponsors logo on.

Good Food And Beverages – Golfers love good food, not another hot dog. Go above and beyond to prepare them a great meal and pay for all of their drinks. It is worth it, they will remember the food. No one remembers that burger or hot dog; they will remember the Italian buffet, open-pit BBQ, or Hawaiian Luau.

Networking Opportunity – Golfers want to take the day off from work, play golf and call it work. They feel guilty golfing during the week but if they meet someone that they can do business with, make a solid business connection or even a sale… it makes the whole day worthwhile.

Value – Golfers really want value. Value means that you are providing golfers more than they pay for. Do not over price your event. Give them their monies worth and a lot more. Building a reputation for being the best event starts with ensuring that the golfers have fun, create memories, and can’t wait for next year’s event.

Why Do Golfers Participate?
Golfers participate in events for a variety of reasons. Event planners must try and understand their motives and push the right buttons to inspire golfers to sign up!

#1 Reason – A friend asks them to play. No one wants to golf alone and its always more fun with people we know and have fun with. Friends will recruit friends to golf!

Clients Invite Them – Sponsors, businesses, and potential partners will invite golfers to play to build relationships and ultimately grow business.

Contacts for Business – Again business connections at golf events are plentiful. Opportunities to network and sell their brand and build relationships.

Unique Tournament Format or Location – People in general and especially golfers are always looking for some different and special to participate in. The best courses, new competition, bigger payouts, celebrities, and more.

Value – When golfers see a great deal they will come! They want a GREAT course, awesome gifts, delicious food, at an amazing price!

Sense of Urgency – We don’t want to miss out on an event or anything that our friends are excited about. Golfers sometimes wait until the last minute to sign up but they don’t want to miss the opportunity if they feel like the event has value.

The Cause – If golfers are excited about the cause and they can really believe in it then signing up, paying a fee, and donations are no problem. After all, they get to golf, hang out with friends, and it’s not work!

Recognition – There may be some valuable exposure for themselves and their company. If golfers can be seen giving your cause a big donation, winning the event, or just having fun it’s worth their time.

Where Do We Find Golfers?
To recruit golfers we must first find them. Here are the best places to find golfers.

Friends, Members, Donors, Customers and Vendors – Get that contact list out and call, write, and visit everyone to find golfers.

How Do We Recruit Golfers?
Friends asking friends is the number one way to recruit golfers. Reward volunteers for recruiting the most golfers and teams.

Businesses asking their vendors and clients.
Direct mail to a qualified list.
Golf course contacts and local golf associations.
Advertise to target markets such golf communities and associations.
Editorial coverage in targeted golf magazines, publications, and websites.
Media coverage to include television, radio, internet webcasts, and social media.
Brochures get attention and generate interest. Show the value and create excitement.

Returning Golfers – Create that memory and if the golfer had a great time the year before they will want to participate again and again.

Don’t take it for granted that golfers will sign up. Your golfer recruiting committee must continue to seek out and ask golfers and assist them with getting signed up. Whatever it takes to get the golfer to sign up and pay.

Secret Weapon – If you want to sell out your event try the “9-4-4 Rule”. Are you ready? This is the guaranteed method for filling up your next event. It’s so simple… 9 people on your committee invite 4 people that each bring a full paid foursome to the event. The result is a sell out of 36 teams and 144 golfers!