How to Plan, Organize and Run a Charity Golf Tournament

Hole #11. Games and Contests that make money

“Winners come back”
Games and contests are a great tool to engage golfers. There are several purposes for games and contests.


Build Memories – When a golfer wins a contest they will remember for a long time and remember your event.

Excitement – Most golfers are not serious golfers. 5 hours of golf could get a little boring. You can break it up with unique and fun games.

Award Winners – Winners come back. The more winners that you have the more golfers will return next year.

Make Money – You can increase your bottom line 25% if you utilize the right money making games and contests.

There are many types of games and contest. Here are a few of the most popular ones.

Tournament Winners
Every Tournament has winners. This would include first, second and third place team or individuals. Remember that you need to have many winners. Do not be afraid to offer 4th and 5th place and maybe even last place. 

Closest to the Pin – This is an individual contest on par 3s. It is the golfer who hits it closest to the pin. There should be a men’s and woman’s contest. The golf course should provide a tool for golfers to measure and record their distance to the pin.  

Long Drive – This too should have a men’s and woman’s winner category. It is also an individual contest that rewards the person who hits the ball the furthest, as long as it is in the fairway. 
Straightest Drive – A chalk line can be placed down the center of the fairway. The golfer that hits their drive closest to that line is the winner.

Long Putt – This is simply the longest putt on the green made that day.

Hole in One Contest – This is typically done on a par 3 at around 160 yards. A golfer is offered the chance to win a car for a hole in one. This would be covered by Hole in One Insurance.

All of the games are fun but really do not make the tournament any money. Here are some ideas on games and contests that are designed to make money.

Putting Contests – There are many variations of this contest. The most popular is when golfers have the opportunity to putt for prizes. They normally would pay $10 for 3 putts at 10 feet. If they make it, they come back at the end of the tournament for a chance to win $10,000 making a 40’ putt.

Gambling Hole – Offering golfers to double their money by hitting their ball on a par 3 inside a 20’ circle.

Selling String – Selling string in 5’ increments giving golfers the opportunity to move the ball the distance of the string without a penalty.

Pay the Pro – Golf Pro hits the ball for the golfers for a fee of $5 to $20.

Mulligans – This is selling a “do over”. A golfer can buy a chance to hit the ball again, typically $5 or 3 for $10. 

Buy the Drive – You can sell golfers for $5 a chance to either hit from the forward tees or place the ball in the middle of the fairway.

There are many more games and contests available. The key here is to make the event fun for golfers but not to overdo it. Too many games and contests will slow down play. Use them to make money and make winners.  

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