How to run a golf tournament

It’s rare to meet anyone who likes golf just a little. Golfers are typically all in with their love of the sport. Who can fault them? 

Golf courses are serene, and you play the game at a relaxed pace with companions. There’s ample time for private conversations in the sunshine — which might explain why a golf course is the site of so many business negotiations (potentially concluded over a libation in the clubhouse).

Golf tournaments are perennially popular, both for spectators watching the pros play at famous golf courses around the world and for amateurs playing in local tournaments. 

Golfers are a pretty competitive lot — most players track their average over the course of their entire lives. And they tend to have disposable income. After all, a good set of clubs and a club membership aren’t cheap. 

If you put all of these factors together, it shouldn’t be surprising that tournaments are very popular fundraising events. How popular? By one estimate, there are more than 800,000 golf tournaments each year in the United States. 

Golf tournaments are powerful fundraisers

At the pinnacle of charity golf tournaments are events like the $10 million Champions for Charity fundraiser for COVID-19 relief that featured golf luminaries Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. By contrast, a typical local golf tournament with 72 players will raise about $5,000. But well-run, long-established tournaments can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for a good cause.

By far, most golf tournaments are geared toward amateurs and meant to raise funds for a charitable organization. A good example of such an event is the annual fundraising golf tournament for The Villages Honor Flight, a veterans organization in The Villages, Florida, that helps aging veterans — particularly those from World War II — visit the memorials in Washington, D.C., honoring their service. 

The tournament registration fee is $100 this year and includes a cart, greens fee, continental breakfast, and a box lunch. To make registration easier for everyone, the organizers include a payment processor integration for PayPal on the registration form.

Running a golf tournament requires a team

Running a successful golf tournament is a big job — or to be more accurate, several big jobs. Amateur and semiprofessional events, such as those for charity fundraisers or high school and college golf teams, require a great deal of logistics to reserve the course, secure the necessary financial support from sponsors, register players, feed everyone during the long hours of play, and countless other details.

If you look into what makes a golf tournament a success, you’ll probably find a committee of volunteers with a diverse array of skills. For your tournament, make sure you recruit committee members who are avid golfers and advocates of the organization your tournament is supporting. 

Good candidates for the committee are those who are more broadly involved in business and community affairs — they’re more likely to have the knowledge and connections to persuade sponsors and donors to support the event.

You need competent, committed people who can focus on the following tasks:

  • Overseeing sponsorships 
  • Recruiting golfers for the tournament 
  • Securing donated gifts for every participant and prizes for the winners
  • Managing logistics during the event and the ceremonies to follow
  • Handling public relations
  • Running related events (such as an auction) 

Staying organized is crucial

You obviously want to see swarms of golfers registering for your event, but you have to put first things first in order to ensure a successful golf tournament. 

Getting sponsors is your first concern — they can determine whether you can afford to secure a desirable course. The better the course, the more likely you are to get a lot of golfers who want to participate, so the sponsorship subcommittee needs to work their networks to get the best sponsors. When they secure a sponsor, they can use Jotform’s golf tournament sponsor form template to seal the deal.

Once your sponsors are in place, it’s time to secure the course. Members of your committee who are members at desirable private clubs should take the lead for this step. Remember that golfers love to play at courses they don’t always have access to, so a great golf course can expand your reach far beyond those who support the charity. 

And once you have the course set up, Jotform’s golf registration form template is ideal for registering players and storing the information so you can reach out to them leading up to the tournament and in the years that follow.

Golf has been a wildly popular pastime — and often an obsession — for centuries. And for many years, running golf tournaments has been a proven way to raise funds for worthy causes. Let Jotform help you make your next golf tournament a success with our customizable form templates. 

This article is originally published on Aug 20, 2021, and updated on Sep 16, 2021.
AUTHOR
Peter Page is a professional writer whose career began in print. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders as an editor at Entrepreneur.com and Green Entrepreneur. He is now editor for contributed content at Grit Daily News.

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