- Does your group represent high skill level golfers, beginners, or a combination?
- Male, female, young, old?
- Is this an annual event (they’ll want history) or a first time effort?
- Are you planning a tournament or ‘something else?’ (among other things, this could include workshops and clinics geared toward your audience and skill levels)
- How many people are you estimating will participate, and what time of day will your event take place?
- Will you need a quantity of (fill in the blank) logo golf balls, tees, shirts, hand towels, etc. to give to each attendee? Additional prizes to be acquired from the pro shop?
- Will you require special signage and/or vendor sponsors?
- How will payment be handled – individually or on a master account?
- Approximately how many will be bringing their own clubs, and how many rentals will be needed?
If you’re like me, after about the first six questions your head is getting dizzy with details. Well, once the basics have been established, it’s usually ‘smooth putting’ ahead as long as you work hand-in- hand with your onsite golf professional.
According to Paul Leahy, Head Golf Professional at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina and Water Park in Osage Beach, MO, unlike in the past, today’s planners are constantly challenged to find time in the meeting agenda to even include golf. “Even when schedules are tight, planners can still satisfy their golf enthusiasts with offering a 9-hole event instead of a full tournament. If the meeting can break at 4:00 pm, your golfers can end the day happy with a good two and a half hour run on the short course followed by a relaxing reception in the clubhouse. There’s still time for a business dinner afterwards, so everyone is a winner with this scenario.”
Aside from the standard tournaments and clinics, consider bringing the game of golf deeper into the heart of your program by booking a motivational golf speaker, including putting or swing lessons in your breakout offerings, using a golf book in your conference giveaways… the creative ideas are endless! Be sure to address novice golfers in the mix as appropriate because there’s nothing worse than wanting to be involved but feeling like an outcast due to your skill level, or lack thereof.
Most importantly, remember that golf is a game and should be enjoyed. That means not squeezing it in as an afterthought to your program thereby not allowing enough time for players to take in the experience of it all. Even in non-competitive tournaments most players want extra time on the driving or putting range prior to tee off.
Oh, and about that birdie and mulligan stuff? For the record, a birdie is one stroke under par for a hole, and a mulligan is a ‘do over’ but it’s only done in friendly play, not tournaments. You’re welcome.