Golf Tournament Contests to Drive Revenue

Golf Tournament Contests to Drive Revenue

Golf tournament contests are an excellent addition to any charity golf tournament, golf marathon (golf-a-thon), or golf fundraising event. These contests add excitement to your golf fundraiser by giving golfers an opportunity to win money and prizes. They also allow your organization to raise more money for your cause by collecting participation wagers and fees. In this article, we share some popular golf fundraising ideas for including golf tournament contests as part of your upcoming event.

7 Popular Golf Tournament Contests for Fundraising and Charity Golf Tournaments

The following contests are the most popular contests for fundraising and charity golf tournaments.

Hole in One Contests

Probably the most popular contest to offer during a charity golf tournament is a grand prize for a Hole-in-One. Because it is so rare that a participant will actually shoot a hole-in-one on any particular course, the hosting organization will often advertise an extravagant grand prize such as $10,000 cash or a new car for the winner. Of course, there is a chance that someone does hit a hole-in-one, so a hosting organization must protect itself by purchasing a hole-in-one insurance policy. This allows the tournament hosting organization to advertise a large grand prize without being liable for paying for it if there should be a winner. Hole in One insurance is generally relatively cost-effective and is based on the number of players at your event.

Beat the Pro Contests

For this contest, a golf pro is stationed at a par 3 hole. The Golf Pro will tee off first and then individual players can wager an amount that they can hit closer to the pin than the pro. If a player does not hit closer to the pin on his drive off the tee, then the money he wagered goes into the pot of donations towards your cause. If he does beat the pro, he gets double his wager back. When implementing this type of contest, be sure to have a volunteer with a measuring device to ensure accuracy. You’ll want to make sure you have a good pro working for you in order to make money from this contest. The golf course you host the event at should be able to recommend someone with skills and consistency and they may be on staff.

Pro for Hire

In this contest, instead of competing against the Golf Pro, individual players or teams can choose to “hire” the pro to hit their drive on a very difficult hole (which could end up saving them a couple of strokes and could be important in a heated competition). If prizes are awarded at the end of the tournament based on team or individual scores, hiring the pro could be very desirable. Of course, the pro should have a skill for hitting long drives, and therefore charging $20 for the service makes sense. If your charity event doesn’t offer prizes for the best individual or team golf game, then this contest is not for you.

Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive Contests

A Closest to the Pin Contest typically takes place on a par-3 hole, and the drive that lands closest to the pin wins. A volunteer will inform players that if they’d like to participate, there will be an entry fee of $10-$20 (or sometimes more), and they will be eligible to win a variety of great prizes such as free golf balls, rounds of golf, gift certificates, golf shirts, and more. These prizes are typically donated by sponsors and the hosting golf course, allowing the money raised from the entry fees to go toward your charitable cause. A second volunteer will be stationed on the green near the hole to measure and keep a record of distances. The winners will be announced at the end of the tournament. This same philosophy can apply to a Longest Drive Contest, where an entry fee will make participants eligible to win prizes.

Putting Contests

There are generally two kinds of putting contests: a single or one-putt contest and a combination or three-putt contest. As the name suggests, in a single putt contest golfers get the chance to make one putt to win a prize. In combination putting contests, golfers must make all three putts to win. Putting insurance can also be sold for this type of hole in one contest if you wish to offer a large prize (which of course, allows your nonprofit to charge more for the contest tickets). 

19th Hole Contests

There are only 18 holes played in a typical charity round of golf (unless you’re hosting a Golf Marathon, which is a fabulous way to raise more money), so the 19th hole represents the golf course clubhouse. Here is how this contest works – the first 20 golfers (5 foursomes) or another specified number to return their completed scorecards to the clubhouse are entered into an exclusive raffle contest. Raffle prizes are donated by sponsors and the golf course or country club, so this is another contest that doesn’t cost your organization anything to run and allows you to raise money by selling raffle tickets.

When Should I Run Golf Tournament Contests?

Often, tournament planners will have one on-course contest on the front nine and one on the back nine. Be sure to include these details on your golf tournament website, as these contests add a little excitement to the players’ typical 18-hole golf game and provide an opportunity to make some extra money while teams are on the course. If you decide to go with one of the contests requiring a golf pro, be sure to check with the course to find out how much the golf pro charges for the service. Perhaps the golf course can include these services as part of your tournament negotiations.

Charity Golf Tournament Websites and More Golf Resources

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Still looking for ideas for your golf outing? Check out this great article on golf tournament fundraising ideas before, on course and after an event. We cover mulligan and product sales, helicopter ball drops, silent auctions, and many other exciting fundraising options.

GolfRegistrations also offers golf tournament planning tools to help you with your upcoming event. We’ve provided numerous guidelines, how-to tips, and sample templates you can download and use for your event including tournament planner & checklist, golf tournament budget, golf flyers, tournament entry forms, and more.