Organizing Golf Outings
Posted: May 7, 2010
I have been organizing golf outings for various establishments and organizations for the past 20 years. After trial and error, I believe I have come up with a game plan that allows male and female participants of all ages to have fun and want to return to play the next year.
The first thing I learned about arranging a golf outing is to limit the number of participants to 60 and play only nine holes in a scramble format. If the event gets too big, it becomes less manageable and there are bound to be players who will not have a good time. By getting people to commit (and pay) early, it is easier to set up a tournament that will be enjoyable and played at a decent pace.
I try to accommodate requests to be paired up with certain people to create their own foursome, but there are times when it is best for the sake of the outing to divide groups among those who may or may not be very good golfers. The scramble format allows everyone to hit their ball and then all proceed to the spot where the best shot lies. Thus, a novice golfer does not have to feel bad about his/her shot since someone else in the foursome likely hit a ball that is more playable.
My forte with regard to assembling a golf outing is the prize selection. So many golf events award players with golf paraphernalia, including balls, tees and hats. But there is one even that I organize each year where at least half of the participants only play golf a few times a year. As a result, I enjoy buying prizes within my budget that could be used by team members on a regular basis off the golf course.
After a few trips to area discount stores, I am able to purchase practical items such as an outdoor arm chair, a clock radio or any item with a Packers/Vikings logo. For the ladies, I pick up candles, a few photo collages and some bath and body lotion.
I also patronize locally-owned businesses. No small business owner has ever denied my request to match the amount of prize money in my budget that I plan to spend at that establishment. In other words, if I spend $20 out of my prize budget, the owner usually provides me with food, drink or products worth $40. I believe that business owners get solicited by so many more worthy organizations throughout the year, the least I could do is put money in their cash register and hope that the gift to the golf outing enhances their client base.
But I have the most fun buying prizes for the teams that collectively shoot the most balls in the water, in the sand and/or out of bounds. The team that tallies the most water balls usually receives a set of four children's flotation devices; the members of the sand-winning squad are awarded frisbees; and the foursome with the most golf balls that go out of bounds are provided with four county road maps.
All in all, people meet someone new, have a few laughs and usually want to come back next year. That's what makes annual golf outings so fun to organize.