• Creating a successful event
• Step-by-step how-to
So, you want to host a golf outing at your next event and don’t know where to start. You don’t have to be an experienced golfer to create an amazing group golf outing, so let’s look at the details which are required for a successful event.
To Start: Like any meeting or event, you need to first identify and define your goals. Is this a fundraiser, teambuilder, VIP retreat? Also take into consideration the skill-level of your participants, as you will want to plan from the beginning to create a fun, yet challenging event for all.
Securing a date is most important. Research golf course properties and see what days they are already booked for local events and leagues. Some properties host member outings on weekends, so knowing your preferred days of the week up front is helpful.
Also look to the time of day. Popular golf times are morning and early afternoon, but, if you are hosting a morning of meetings, an afternoon of golf is a great way to end your event.
Step 2: Choose a Course
Find a golf course that is fitting for your golf event. Take into account the commute for attendees and lodging accommodations, if you are hosting out-of-town guests. Tour the courses you are considering and discuss your event with department heads to know if your vision is possible in their space.
There are three main types of courses: private, semi-private, and public. The Midwest is home to all three. Choosing the best course option for your group begins with the experience you want to provide. Private or semi-private country/golf clubs offer more golf-centric amenities for groups. Taking advantage of a resort (semi-private) course will open up non-golfer opportunities during the time of your golf event and will give an all-inclusive feel to the day’s activities. If you aren’t in need of lodging or extra meeting space and amenities, taking advantage of a local, public (municipal) course is a great opportunity to enjoy a new neighborhood and build camaraderie. Public courses offer novice golfers a perfect training ground and are usually more casual for participants.
Step 3: Build Your Budget
Most golf courses charge on a per-golfer basis, to include greens fees and cart fee. Other amenities, such as driving range time may be extra. And then there are the added costs of prizes, photography, signage, and so forth.
Would you like to provide your group with food and beverage? These costs are usually calculated separately. Consider a quick, grab and go lunch prior to a long afternoon on the greens or end the day with a relaxing, sit-down meal. As for any type of outing, be conscious of the activity level and provide at least snacks and water to keep attendees hydrated and at the top of their game.
Sponsorship is a great way to defray costs. Sponsorship creates memorable marketing whether a hole, meal, or a prize is branded. Another way to raise a bit more cash is to sell mulligans (a second chance at a shot) or create a ‘VIP ticket’ which includes added bonuses such as a few mulligans, extra entry to a raffle, or a few extra drink tickets. An example would be selling 3 mulligans for $5, a raffle ticket for $5, and drink tickets for $5, create a $20 package to include all of the items for a simple, minimal change required amount. Make sponsorship and fundraising easy for your participants and you are more likely to succeed.
Step 4: Format of Play
The number of participants and their skill levels will help determine the type of play format which will work for your group. A scramble is best for players of varying skill levels, allowing each person to feel a part of the team. To add challenges, consider on-course contests such as Longest Drive, Longest Putt, Hole-in-One Winner, and more.
If your group will be eating together before or after the golf event, consider a shotgun or modified shotgun start so that everyone begins at the same time, this will have them finishing at relatively the same time, where as, consecutive tee times will create a gap between the first team to tee off and last.
If you have non-golfers in the mix, consider the use of an onsite golf clinic or a group tutorial with a pro. Offer a putting contest and consider prizes for ‘most improved’ or ‘pro potential’ to keep it light and fun for all.
Step 5: Timeline
Base your event around your meeting and event agenda. If you only have an afternoon, work with your course events team to create an outing which fits your timeline. An example of a full-day golf outing timeline could read like this:
9:00 am - Players arrive for registration with light breakfast items available
10:00 am - Shotgun team scramble tees off
2:30 pm - Players return to clubhouse
3:00 pm - Cocktail reception with finger foods
4:00 pm - Awards presentation/raffle
5:30 pm - Departure
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Successful events have many helping hands. Build your volunteer group prior to the event to handle everything from registration tables, on-course contests, photography, and placing sponsorship items. During your closing event make sure to take time to thank these individuals, your sponsors, and your participants for a wonderful event, and don't leave out your course staff.
For corporate teambuilders, class reunions, charity events, and more, a great golf event can be a way to get the ball rolling for a fantastic day of work and/or play.
Use our easy Golf Outing Planning Timeline to help plan your next golf event, download it at www.MWMeet.com/GolfTimeline.