Golf outings can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a lot of work.
If you have never run a golf outing, you may not know all that is involved and what goes into it.
Luckily, with the millions of golf outings run every year, many people have learned the best ways to complete these outings.
We have gathered our top ten tips for running a successful golf outing.
Whether you have been running outings for years or you are running your first, there are tips on this list that can help you succeed.
How to Run a Golf Outing (10 Tips)
1. Choosing a Golf Course
Probably the most critical part of running a golf outing is making sure you choose the right golf course.
There are several factors to finding the right golf course.
Most importantly, you want to choose a course which has a staff that is willing to work with you.
If the staff is open to your ideas, willing to help your tournament be a success, and allow you to increase the revenue your outing produces, then you have found a great course.
Another important thing about the course you choose is the difficulty of the course.
You will want to choose a somewhat player-friendly course.
For instance, a challenging golf course will cause some players to skip the outing out of fear of it being too difficult for them to have a fun day.
The golf course should also be a place where people want to play.
The more interesting the course, the easier time you will have to get people to sign up.
If you have an outing at a private club, many people will sign up because it is their opportunity to play at a private golf club.
The nicer the course, the more interested people are going to be to play there, even if the price is higher.
Generally speaking, the nicer, more exclusive golf courses cost quite a bit more than the standard public golf course.
2. Pick a Good Format
Another important part of a golf outing is making sure you choose the right format.
Most golf outings are scramble or best ball tournaments.
The scramble format is usually the most popular because people can have a bad hole and the pace of play keeps moving forward.
The scramble is a team-type format where each time the golfers hit, they choose the best shot, and then everyone plays from there.
The best ball format is where everyone plays their ball, but only the lowest score for the hole counts.
This helps to speed up play because, if a golfer has an awful hole, they can pick up the ball and let another team member’s score for that hole count.
Very few golf outings do individual golf competitions as opposed to a team.
With individuals, it can be challenging to do handicapping and make sure the event is being played fairly.
One great tip is that, if you are playing your outing at a top course people will want to see, make it the best ball format.
Golfers who are interested in events like this probably want to be able to play their golf ball throughout their round.
If they have to play a scramble format, they may be less likely to sign up for the event.
As an organizer of a golf outing, remember that the format you choose to play will significantly impact the pace of play.
If you need players to finish at a particular time because of course restrictions or a dinner or lunch, make sure you plan accordingly.
3. Attract Sponsors
If your golf outing has a good mission, then people may want to sponsor the event.
If you are raising money for a charity or supporting a worthy cause, chances are companies and individuals will want to sponsor the event.
You can use sponsors for many different things.
Very commonly, sponsors will put their name on the tee box of the golf course, but you can have driving range sponsors, green sponsors, cart sponsors, and food sponsors.
It is a good idea to vary the level of sponsorships.
Allow people to have the opportunity to donate $100 or $10,000.
Sometimes, if you try and look for all big-time sponsors, some people will be turned off by it because they feel they can’t participate.
You will get a lot more sponsors if there are levels for all people to participate.
In addition to sponsors, you should also look for donations for your golf outing.
Donations can be used for prizes and giveaways, and it can also be used for tee gifts.
See if a local company will donate one of their products or services as part of their participation in the event.
This is an excellent way for people to advertise for their company while helping your outing.
Putting together tee gifts and prizes can be expensive, and having these donations will help quite a bit.
One great way to use donations is to raffle them off after the outing.
You can have people buy raffle tickets, and they will get to compete to win the different prizes.
If you have to purchase all of these prizes, it will add significant costs to your outing and planning.
The more you can keep the costs down, the better your outing will do.
The ultimate goal for golf outings is to have them make money.
The better you can do collecting sponsors and donations, the more money your overall outing will produce.
5. Simple Tee Gifts
People love free stuff.
When they show up for a golf outing, they are expecting to get a care package or a goody bag.
This has become a standard as part of golf tournaments.
Even if you keep this tee gift simple with a sleeve of golf balls and a few tees, it will go a long way with the golfers who are playing in the tournament.
They will feel as though they are getting something for the money they paid to play.
One of the things people will talk about after an event is the tee gift they received.
Packaging the tee gift properly also makes an excellent presentation when the golfers arrive for the event.
It’s simple touches like this that will leave a lasting impact and keep golfers returning from one year to the next.
Golf outings are usually something that repeat from one year to the next, and maintaining a solid base of participants and sponsors is only going to make life easier.
6. Have Golf Knowledge
It is impossible to run a successful golf outing without golf knowledge.
You don’t have to be a great player to be able to coordinate and start a golf outing, but somebody on the committee needs to understand.
Golfers are a unique group of people, and they might not like what you think golfers will like.
Making sure you have everything in place that will keep golfers happy, entertained, and enjoying the event takes some golf knowledge.
Choosing the right course and the right format takes quite a bit of golf knowledge as well.
Without a person on the committee who likes to play golf, you may end up choosing a course players don’t want, and it will hurt your signup rates.
If you don’t have anybody you know who could work as part of your committee, talk to the staff of the golf course.
The golf professionals at the course have been trained on how to run a successful outing.
This is something they probably do at least once a week in the busy season.
Ask them for suggestions, ask them what works well, and ask them what they need from you.
These people are here to help, and they are indeed the experts when it comes to golf tournaments and events.
7. Communicate with Participants
People often sign up for a golf outing, and then they don’t hear anything else about it until they show up the day of the event.
This is a mistake on the part of the golf outing organizers.
The more you communicate with your participants, the better the chances they will be engaged and interested in the event.
You should collect email addresses, mailing addresses, and phone numbers when people sign up for the event.
Try to set up a weekly or biweekly email leading up to the event letting people know what the day is going to be like.
Let people know what to expect and what they should bring with them.
This increased communication will make a big difference when it comes to player comfort and understanding.
Nobody likes to show up the day of the event and not know where to go, whom to talk to, or what is in store for them.
Keeping open communication will allow you to have a better relationship with your outing participants, and it will keep them coming back each year.
Another great way to leverage this communication is to ask your participants for help.
Do you have two more teams left to fill?
Are you feeling like you need more sponsors?
Reach out to the people who have signed up for the outing and let them know these things.
Some offices or businesses will volunteer to bring another foursome of golfers once they find out there is still room in the event.
8. On Course Competitions
When you have golfers with you for the day, you want to make sure you capitalize on the entire process.
Make sure you add some on-course contests to help increase the success of your golf outing.
The two most popular on-course competitions to try are Beat the Pro and Mulligans.
For Mulligans, you will sell golfers tickets for mulligans before they head out to play.
They can cash in their tickets anytime they want to save a shot or two on the golf course.
Sometimes mulligans will cost five or ten dollars each, and it can be a great extra source of revenue without any extra cost.
The Beat the Pro contest will take place on a par 3.
Most of the time, this works as a double your money kind of contest.
The players bet that they can get closer to the hole than the pro.
For instance, if a golfer bets twenty dollars that they can beat the pro, and they do, they get $40 back.
If the golfer misses, then the outing coordinators keep the $20.
Although this may seem like it could cost money, most players are not capable of beating the pro.
Some golfers will bet $100 or more to try and beat the pro, and it can be an entertaining contest.
The other great thing about the Beat the Pro contest is that you can use a person who is important to the event; you don’t need to use the golf pro from the golf course.
This is another way to get people excited and interested if they are trying to beat someone they know.
9. After Golf Entertainment
Having entertainment for golfers after an outing is essential.
Most people expect dinner and some events to take place after the golf outing.
The great thing about adding this kind of entertainment to the end of a golf outing is that it helps attract non-golfers.
Sometimes you will have an outing with 100 golfers, but you could have 200 people come to dinner.
You can charge different prices for coming for dinner only and can raise a lot more money for your cause.
Some modern outings are conducted with poker tournaments or concerts taking place after the event.
This will help to increase the pricing people will pay to attend your outing, and it will be easier to fill the tournament as well.
Depending on what your cause is, you may be able to get some of the after-golf entertainment donated.
A local band may want to gain some exposure, and they could donate some of their time to play for the golfers after the round.
This is still another way to get more people to attend the second part of the day.
When you have more people at dinner or an event, you will see that your raffles will raise a lot more money.
Make sure you increase the number of raffles you have for people to purchase if you are having a large event after the golf.
10. Put Together a Team
A golf outing is a big project.
For one person to take on this project will take a ton of time, and it will be stressful and difficult.
To run a golf outing, you need to know about golf, have an understanding of charitable donations, and know quite a bit about advertising and marketing as well.
This is a lot for one person, and most people don’t have the skill set to do all of this on their own.
Some of the best golf outings are put together by a team of people.
If you can find a team and put together a committee, you will have a much better chance of running a successful outing.
Try to put a person in charge of finances, someone in charge of golf and formatting, and have a go-to person for signups and changes to the groups.
There are many jobs, and splitting them up fairly is one of the best possible ways to make sure the outing is successful.
This is especially important on the day of the event.
You will need people to handle registration, be out on the golf course, and handle scoring and prizes as well.
Having a team of people is the best possible way to get this done.
Most golf outings will have at least ten volunteers helping to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Hopefully, our list of the top ten tips to run a golf outing has made you feel as though you are more capable than before.
When you run your first golf outing, you will make mistakes.
There will be things you wish you could do over, and you will learn what works and what doesn’t work.
Running a golf outing does not need to be difficult, but it does need to be organized.
If you are not organized and have skipped or shorted when it comes to planning time, you will see the negative impacts on your event.