Looking for tips on planning a charity golf tournament fundraiser? There are many factors to consider, so I’ll stick to the main ones for this article. The success of your charity golf event revolves around maximizing player turnout, increasing pledge sizes, obtaining sponsored prizes, and choosing the right tournament play format.
Your success depends on how many players your golf event draws and how actively you have your players solicit sponsors for their own rounds.
To maximize turnout, you need to get major publicity for your event. That means putting out multiple press releases, getting local media coverage from newspapers and television stations, and placing ads in the sports section of the local paper.
For the best results, put your press releases out through PR Web. Appoint a spokesperson to handle all media contacts and follow-up. For more tips, read my article on fundraising publicity.
The key is getting each player to collect a certain amount of pledges.
I recommend a minimum of $100 per player in pledges. I’ve also played in tournaments where that number was $250 per player.
Obviously, you want to motivate the participants to raise as much money as possible. Some groups offer incentives for the top pledge getters. Others seek corporate sponsorships for that firm’s players.
Top Golfer Prizes
Generally speaking, you’ll draw more golfers if you have great prizes for longest drive, closest to the hole, hole in one, lowest team score, lowest actual score, and best adjusted score (handicap).
You solicit local merchants to sponsor those prizes. Work with an insurance-related prize company for things like the hole-in-one contest. That way you can offer a bigger prize for a much lower outlay.
Aim to get 100 golfers (25 foursomes) and your small group could easily raise $10,000 or more. Larger turnouts will net even more with some charity golf tournaments drawing 500 golfers competing for big prizes.
Obviously, bigger pledges, more golfers, corporate sponsorships, and massive publicity can work wonders for the bottom line of your charity golf tournament. With the right combination of these factors and good advance planning, you can raise $75,000 or more for a charitable cause.
Tournament Play Formats
For those who are participating in your charity golf and fund-raising tournament, it helps to pick a format they are familiar with. The three most common formats are scramble, best ball, and alternate shot.
This format usually is played with groups of four, but it certainly can be played with more than four players, or as few as two.
In a scramble, each player tees off on each hole. The best of the tee shots then is selected, and all players play their second shot from that spot. advertisement
The process is repeated until the ball is holed. Keep in mind that when playing a scramble, you can drop your ball within one club length from where the chosen ball lies, but no closer to the hole.
This format usually is for four-person teams. Each player on the team plays his or her own ball throughout the hole and the round. On each hole, the lowest score among the four players counts as the team score.
There can be two best ball formats, where you must count two balls on each hole. The more balls that count helps keep all of the players involved in the fate of the team.
This format usually involves two-person teams and is a competition where the team alternates who hits each shot.
The first player hits the drive, the second player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. The team also alternates who hits the drive on each hole, so the same player doesn’t hit every drive.