Planning the Perfect Golf Tournament: Tips and Strategies

Golf Tournament Planning

Run Successful Golf Outings with these Free Golf Tournament Planning Resources

GolfRegistrations provides golf tournament planners with a complete set of free tournament resources to help make your outing a success. Our golf tournament planning resources include a planner with a checklist, a Microsoft Excel downloadable budget, a set of standard letter templates, and more. These free resources, along with our software platform, are part of our commitment to helping large and small nonprofit organizations run successful and profitable golf tournaments year-round.

Now let’s discuss the ten steps to golf tournament planning success!

Step 1: Selecting Your Planning Committee

Selecting Your Golf Planning Committee

A strong golf tournament planning committee with the right balance of dedication, special events experience, and communication skills is key to your tournament’s success. 

Here is a list of members or sub-committees that are typically part of a golf tournament planning committee:

  • Event Planner: This is the primary tournament manager who heads up the committee and handles important logistics of the golf event. The event planner is responsible for being the venue and vendor liaison, managing day of event logistics, approving the golf tournament software, and volunteer management.
  • Treasurer: The tournament treasurer should have a knack for numbers. They work with the committee to project tournament costs and fundraising goals, then assist with bookkeeping, reconciling throughout the event, and reporting the final numbers after the event.
  • Secretary: The secretary is responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of each meeting, along with tasks and assignments. 
  • Sponsorship Recruitment: Sponsorship recruitment includes obtaining corporate and business sponsorships, monetary donations from individuals, and procurement of in-kind donations for prizes or services needed. 
  • Marketing: Marketing is an overarching umbrella of several types of efforts to raise awareness and garner attention for the fundraising event. Marketing Committee members are tasked with responsibilities such as media/public relations, social media, and graphic design.

Step 2: Determining Tournament Logistics

The logistics of the golf tournament involve establishing the basic details revolving around the event – the what, when, and where. Here are some things to discuss with the golf committee and the golf course staff:

  • Event Date and Time – Having a golf course in great condition during the time of your tournament is one of the key appeals to your golf day.
  • Course Location – If you have the budget, private and exclusive clubs can bring in golfers.
  • Deciding on the Golf Tournament Format – While the scramble is certainly the most common, you can consider golf marathons and other golf tournament formats.
Determining Golf Tournament Logistics

Step 3: Golf Tournament Budgeting

Golf Tournament Budgeting

How much money do you want to raise? Setting a reasonable, optimistic financial goal is key to successful golf tournament planning. A successful golf tournament assures that the budget has been discussed and planned to cover your costs and raise the needed funds for your charitable cause. Knowing your costs is the first step of budgeting. This will also help determine your golf entry fees and awards banquet pricing and set the threshold for monetary sponsorship goals.

GolfReg makes it easy! Use our free Golf Tournament Budget Download.

Step 4: Creating a Great Golf Tournament Website

Your golf tournament website is the central hub for distributing information about your tournament. Don’t skip this step, as it will save your team the hassle of manually managing registrations and sales, handling cash payments, and completing foursomes. GolfRegistrations offers the industry-leading platform for fundraising golf tournaments, and we offer a free trial so that you can test out the functionality with your golf committee.

With our golf tournament software, your organization’s mobile-responsive website will be administered and managed via the administration area. Tournament administrators can:

  • Register players and teams with the ability to ask handicap and custom questions.
  • Manage foursome pairings, schedule tee times, and starting holes.
  • Sell golf tournament products to increase revenues – including dinner only, bar tickets, mulligan packages, and raffles. (These are customized in your tournament administration area.)
  • Configure custom sponsorship packages and promote sponsors online.
  • Easily integrate with various payment processors for secure credit card processing.

GolfRegistrations Is the Industry-Leading Golf Tournament Website Platform for Nonprofit and Charity Events

Step 5: Finding Golf Tournament Sponsors

Finding Tournament Sponsors

Corporate and community sponsors fulfill a critical role in any successful golf tournament fundraiser. These corporations and local businesses help increase awareness for an event by promoting it to their employees and customers via social media, which is helpful when it is time to attract the attention of local media and recruit golfers. Most importantly, sponsors create a financial backbone by helping to offset tournament costs which are generally quite high. 

Sponsorship can be one of the most challenging aspects of planning any fundraising event. However, proactive planning, a strong and communicative team, and consistent follow-up are the keys to obtaining adequate sponsors to make your event successful.

Read more on attracting golf tournament sponsors for your tournaments.

Step 6: Recruiting Golfers

Once the tournament date and location have been finalized, prepare the event collateral, including a personalized letter and/or email to potential golfers. This should be sent to your organization’s mailing list of supporters, local golf players, past event participants, and local businesses. This is a great opportunity to educate community members on the importance of their support and the cause that their contributions will be helping.

Make sure to again begin with the planning committee, having members reach out to their networks for anyone that they know that might like to participate in the golf outing. Then begin outreach to local businesses, golf associations, and community outlets to reach out to new people within the area. Also, contact local media outlets to pique interest in those who have not heard of your organization or the event.

Send all potential golfers to your golf tournament website to easily and securely register and pay online.

Recruiting Golfers

Step 7: Managing Volunteers for Tournament Day

Managing Volunteers

Strong volunteers are the backbone of your golf tournament. While the golf course is the main attraction, the reason why the event is so enjoyable is a strong volunteer team making sure that every attendee is taken care of with attention. While these are some tasks to remember when finding volunteers to help with the event, the volunteer leader is the glue of the team. This may be a tournament committee member or another trusted volunteer with experience, calm composure, and a solution-oriented attitude. 

You’ll need volunteers to help with the tournament setup and take down, registration and welcome, the awards ceremony and presentations, raffle tickets, and silent auction sales. It’s always wise to have a runner that can do anything that comes up, too.

Step 8: Implementing Contests to Increase Fundraising Potential

Golf contests and activities can add more variety and fun to a golf tournament and another way to earn significant funds for the event. Best of all, they are easy to run. Hole in One contests, Beat the Pro, and putting contests are some of the most popular options to add to your golf tournament planning.

Read more on golf tournament contests.

Implementing Contests to Increase Fundraising Potential

Step 9: Organizing the Awards Banquet

Organizing the Awards Banquet

Hosting a golf tournament awards banquet offers an opportunity to thank your attendees and sponsors for participating and offer recognition for your event’s best players or fundraisers. It is also a great chance to share your cause and achievements. Remember that some golfers are just being introduced to your organization. The banquet can be a full sit-down dinner reception or something less formal – such as a BBQ or taco line. 

When done well, the awards banquet also offers an opportunity to increase the funds raised at your outing significantly. Individual tickets or tables can be sold to those not attending your outing. This gives partners and non-golfers a chance to enjoy the fundraising event. 

Fundraising raffles are a great way to raise money and engage attendees that are not playing in the tournament but attending the reception. The success of your raffle relies on great raffle prizes, so raffles also mean an extra effort towards in-kind sponsorship acquisition. If impressive prizes are lacking, you should also consider purchasing prizes. We offer amazing and one of a kind vacation packages for sale.

Hosting successful live and silent auctions can also dramatically increase the funds raised at your awards banquet. Again, selecting or procuring appealing auction items is key to your success here. Live auction items should be limited in number and should be high-value items. Silent auctions are great for smaller items you have received via in-kind donations and can take place throughout the banquet.

Step 10: Wrapping Up the Tournament

Be sure to have a full committee meeting within seven days of the tournament when everyone’s memories are fresh. At this meeting, everything is discussed, evaluated (what was successful and what wasn’t?), and documented for next year. Remember that even key volunteers and nonprofit staff members often change from year to year, so you cannot rely on people’s memories. Document everything in a file that can be handed over to next year’s golf tournament planning committee to take advantage of all of your lessons learned and build on your success.

Write a great thank you letter that describes your success, including how much you raised and what you plan to do with the money. Send it to all of your golfers, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters. Thank everyone for their contributions, and highlight your key sponsors. Add this to the home page of your golf tournament website along with some photos from the golf tournament.

Wrapping Up the Tournament

Golf Tournament Registration Websites

Whether planning a small golf outing or a large corporate fundraiser, GolfRegistrations has the best golf tournament platform to assist your team with many golf tournament planning details – allowing you to focus on a more successful tournament every year. Our golf tournament software includes:

  • Online golf registration, with the ability to ask golf handicap and custom questions
  • Sponsorship sales and promotion on your website
  • Unlimited golf product sales (for mulligans, golf shirts, raffles, and more)
  • Foursome pairing and management
  • Starting hole and time generator
  • Detailed financial reporting data
Golf Tournament Project Checklist

How to Organize a Charity Golf Tournament

What’s the key to pulling off a successful golf tournament? It’s planning and organization, of course. Sometimes the hardest tasks to tackle lie in the initial tournament organizing and planning stages. In this article, we cover the most important tasks for organizing a successful charity golf tournament, including:

  • Assembling Your Charity Golf Tournament Planning Committee
  • Selecting & Negotiating with the Golf Course
  • Managing the Details of a Golf Tournament Fundraiser
  • Adding Additional Revenue Boosters
Golf Tournament Planning - Tournament Budget

Golf Tournament Planning Budget

Financial tracking and planning is one key ingredient to event success in golf tournament planning. The golf event budget is pre-populated with all major golf outing income and expense categories and includes a profit/loss summary for both estimated and actual expenses. Whatever size event you are hosting, whether you are just beginning, or are a seasoned pro, this budget will serve to help predict and estimate costs, as well as monitor income and expenses throughout the planning stages. Further, the budget can later be reviewed with a consultant, to help you with product ordering, fundraising and profitability goals.

Golf Tournament Planning - Flyers

Golf Tournament Flyers

Golf tournament flyers help organizations spread the word about charity golf tournaments throughout the community. Marketing and promoting a fundraising tournament is an essential part of the planning process that cannot be overlooked. In addition to a GolfReg golf tournament website, consider putting flyers up in your local areas with important tournament information. These template flyers may be customized to suit your specific event, and are available in two formats: A one-page flyer, as well as a flyer with tear-away tabs. With a little customizing, we hope these tournament flyers offer a great opportunity to boost event visibility. Flyer printing recommendations are also included.

Golf Tournament Planning - Document Templates

Golf Tournament Document Templates

Our Golf tournament document templates offer a complete golf tournament communication set. The set includes a sample sponsor solicitation letter, sponsor confirmation, and player confirmation letters (you may not need these if you implement online golf registration), participant thank you, and golf course confirmation letters. The documents may be downloaded and customized to meet your tournament needs. Assemble professional communications and sponsor recruitment materials with minimal time and effort.

Getting Your Golf Tournament Started Right - Golf Tournament Planning

Getting Your Charity Golf Tournament Started Right eBook

Providing tips on how to effectively plan and manage a charity golf tournament, we’ve provided a direct link to an excerpt from Tom Kings’ book, “Charity Golf Tournaments, A Survivors Notebook”. Organizing and carrying off a successful tournament is as complex as producing any entertainment event, starting a small business, or organizing an art festival. Yet, while it’s true that golf tournaments can be exhausting and time-consuming, if you do them right, hosting charity golf tournaments for your organization can be satisfying and very profitable. Ultimately, a charity golf tournament may be the hardest work you’ve ever loved.


Advantage Golf eBooklet for Golf Tournament Planning

Recruiting Golfers and Sponsors eBook

Through the years, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to produce a successful golf tournament from corporate and charity golf tournament coordinators. Team and sponsorship recruitment are important issues that will determine the success of your fundraising tournament. In this eBook, we’ve assembled some of the best strategies for common golf tournament challenges, such as boosting team participants and recruiting sponsors for your tournament. We’ve heard all of the excuses (ie registration is too difficult, I’m already golfing in another tournament), and here we give you the antidotes! This is a great golf tournament planning resource for beginning tournament organizers.