How to Plan, Organize and Run a Charity Golf Tournament

Hole #5. Finding the Best Golf Course and getting the best deal

Golfers want to play a great course
Choosing a golf course is one of the most important decisions that you make. Our research shows that one of the main reasons that golfers play in golf tournaments is because of the golf course. It is the first question that they ask. They want to play on a golf course that is special, one that they normally don’t get to play. Do not take this decision lightly.

So what do golfers want in a Golf Course?
Here is what they are looking for.

Good Conditions – Make sure that the golf course is in good shape.                                  
Good Customer Service – Friendly atmosphere and treated well.

Good Food and Drinks – Not another burnt hot dog, treat them to good food.

Something Special – Maybe a highly ranked property or Private Country Club.

Courses they normally don’t get to play – Maybe a Resort Course.

A Challenging Golf Course – Not a boring flat course.

SteadyPlay - No more than a 5 hour round. Ideally 4 ½ hours.                                                                               
And the most important thing is
VALUE – Getting more than you pay for. Give them a good deal. Do not over charge in the name of charity.  

When choosing a Golf Course – Remember that your golfers will always make comments, good or bad.  It is the part of the tournament that they will remember.  If you have a bad course, it will be hard to get them back next year.

Give Golfer’s a Choice – Ask what they want?  The only way to know for sure is to do a survey.  Survey the golfers after the tournament for the following year.  Here are a few questions to ask on your survey:
  1. Do you want to play a new course?
  2. How far will you travel to play in the tournament?
  3. What is your best day to play?
  4. Would you rather play a private Country Club?
  5. What is your handicap?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when making the decision:
  1. What is the driving distance for the golfers?
  2. What is the skill level of the golfers?
  3. Are our golfers attracted to a new course or traditional?
  4. Does the price of the course correlate with the entry fee of the tournament?
HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST DEAL?
One of the best ways to give your golfers value is to make sure that you are getting the best deal on the golf course. We do not want to go with the cheapest course in town, we want the best value.

After you have received the feedback from golfers, choose 5 courses that best fit the description. Sit down with each course and build a relationship with the General Manager or Director of Golf. Here are the eight ways to get the best price on the golf course that you want.

Build a Relationship – If they know you they will want to work with you. They want to help and will give you the best deal possible if you have a relationship with them.

Get them excited about your Charity or cause – Take the time to explain what you are doing, how much money that you are trying to raise and how it will help the community. If they get the vision they will want to help.

Be flexible with your calendar – If you can be flexible with your schedule you can get a better price. Look at the shoulder season when the weather is not perfect. Consider Monday through Thursday in the afternoon. These days and times can be better priced.  

Ask for additional services – If they cannot give you a better price, they may be able to give additional things and include services like food, gift certificates, free rounds of golf, sleeves of golf balls. Try asking, they may have something that you need. 

Bring them more business - All golf courses need more business. If you can show them how you can increase their business, they will be flexible. Bring other tournaments and events, promote their membership and daily rounds.  

Negotiate with other golf courses – If you know the prices of other golf courses and can get a better deal somewhere else, let them know, they want your business.

Bring more golfers – Some golf courses want you to bring additional golfers and will give you a quantity discount, the more golfers that you bring the better the price. 

Course buy out – In some situations you may get a better price if you buy the whole course for the day, sometimes even half a day. Ask them the price for a buy out and compare it to the price for individual golfers. 

WHAT A GOLF COURSE SHOULD DO FOR YOU
The golf course should be offering you many things but if you do not ask they may not offer. Here are the things that a golf course should do for you.

Help you with your event – offering a planning guide and check list
Advice on how to host an event and get golfers -
Tournament website with Golfer Registration Process
Suggestions on games and contests – Money making games
Ideas on the right tournament format – Scramble, best ball Pro Ams, etc.
Discounts on gifts and merchandise – Shirts, hats, balls, gloves and towels.
Staging and set up – Where registration tables go and the awards ceremony
Put up sponsor signs – With suggestions on where
Scoring and scoreboards – Plus a scoreboard
Golfer pairings – Putting the teams together and hole assignments
Free golf for prizes – Maybe a foursome or two
The golf course is one of your biggest assets. Use it to your advantage and get the best course and best deal possible.  


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