How to Plan, Organize and Run a Charity Golf Tournament

Hole #1. Getting Started with your Golf Outing

Have a Plan and Purpose
The first step in planning a golf outing is having a purpose and plan. Your golf event is like a small business. Every small business needs a business plan, time line, goals, objectives, budgets, responsibilities and check lists and it all starts with a purpose. What is your purpose? What are you trying to achieve? What are your goals and objectives? We must have a clear purpose for our event. 

PURPOSE
There are many reasons to host and event. None of them are right or wrong. The key is having a top priority and not try and accomplish too much. Your mission is to decide what your top priority is.  Here are the reasons people host golf events.    

Fundraising
Is the most popular reason that groups host a golf tournament. It is a great way to raise money for non-profits, charities, schools, churches and civic groups. When hosting a fundraiser it is important to have a motivated committee with good contacts. Sponsors are the profit and they need to be sold through the relationships of the committee. It will be a heart string sell.  

Entertainment
This is the perfect format to entertain customers, donors and member’s. The objective here is to host a first class event that makes an impression and that people will remember. You do not have to make money the day of the event although it would be great to at least cover your costs. The goal is to do business with participants after the event. Donors will give more, members will stay loyal and customers will do more business with you in the future if you entertain them. 

Exposure
Media coverage of your event can be very valuable to your organization. If you get a story on TV, newspaper or on radio, it can be worth thousands to your organization. The key here is doing something unique so that the media will want to talk about it. It cannot be a typical golf tournament. Consider celebrities, golf pros or some type of unique theme.  

Networking
This concept is mainly used for Chambers and Associations. The mission is to mingle your members and vendors together. The stronger that your relationships are within your organization, the stronger your group will be. The secret is to incorporate mixers allowing golfers and sponsors to meet each other.  

Competition
This is about a serious competition, the type of event where you want to determine the best golfer in any given category. The scoring method is individual stroke play gross and or net. This format can be unique and fun for golfers. It adds a different kind of dynamic. It can still be a fundraiser but the priority is the competition. 
Each one of these types of events has a different purpose and objective. Your goal is to determine which type of event works best for your group, then create a business plan that can help you and your group implement it and be successful. 

COMMITTEE
The next step in putting together a business plan is the staffing and responsibilities. You will need a complete team to be most effective. Make no mistake that your volunteer committee is the secret to your success. A well trained and motivated committee will take you to levels that you never imagined. This is such an important part of your process that we will dedicate the next step to this topic.            

GOLF COURSE
A big part of your business plan is the golf course. Do not take it lightly. The number one question that golfers ask is “What golf course are we playing?” More golfers will play if it is a golf course that they like. In Step #6 we will discuss the golf course and what to look for and how to get the best deal.  

TIME LINE
One of the biggest mistakes that tournament organizers make is not giving themselves enough time. You must give yourself plenty of time to do it right. A detailed time line should be included in your plan. Give your team at least 6 to 9 months. 

BUDGET
Most of you have a goal of making money or at least covering your costs. A detailed budget will help you stay on track financially. Include a budget in your plan with specific income and expenses. More to come in step #5. 

PROMOTION
Getting the word out is an important part of your plan. The more people that know about your event the better luck you will have getting golfers and sponsors. We will discuss in detail how to get exposure for your event and how to reach a certain demographic group.   

GOLFERS
Many groups do not take the time to identify the golfers that they want to reach. This is crucial in filling your field. The average event only has 72 golfers. That is half of what you could have. We need a plan on how to identify and recruit golfers. This too shall be discussed in detail.
These are the basic things that need to be in your business plan. We will discuss each one in depth. Remember that it is important to have a specific plan. This will keep you on track and keep your committee on the same page. Plan your work and work your plan and you will have success.     


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