Here are some helpful tips we’ve learned over the years.
Do we need a committee?
Well, you are an organization after all and many members want to join committees. It’s the politically correct thing to do. My experience is that a Golf committee will start with 5 or 6 well meaning members and dwindle to 2 or 3 by the day of the big event. And that’s ok. Accept the pattern of committees from the start and your 2 dedicated selves will have a much easier time not worrying about consensus building all the time. Multiple committees? Yes. If you are lucky enough to have an experienced telemarketer or fundraiser who wants to run with the Sponsorship Committee by all means let them do the hard stuff.
How do I select a course?
Ask your group for intro into private clubs they may belong to. Many players will jump at the opportunity to play a usually off-limits club.
Search our course database for the contact information of your local clubs.
Ask your local Pro Shop which clubs they suggest and while you’re there ask for their standard outing sponsorship package. They all have coupons or giveaways specifically for outings.
Look for clubs that openly solicit for Outing, Catering or Function business. They most likely say so on their website and in their brochures.
What are the proper questions for the club pro?
How many outings or tournaments do they host each year? I’d be careful if it’s fewer than 25. Many host well over 100/yr. and have the experience you need.
What dates are available? They book up months or years in advance.
Do they favor morning or afternoon events?
What is their deposit and payment schedule? Be prepared for an upfront deposit and possibly full payment well ahead of the event.
What services do they provide on the day of the event? Do they set up the foursomes and label the carts?
What format will we play?
Shotgun Best Ball Scramble is the most popular, fastest and easiest on club and players. One or two foursomes drive out to each hole and all begin play at the same time. If you start on hole two you’ll finish on 1 and so on. All four players tee off, the team selects the best shot. The other three balls are lifted and the foursome all hit from within a club length of the best ball. The process continues until the hole is completed.
Callaway handicap system
(also “Callaway scoring system”) a system of creating “fair” handicaps for a one-time event in which many players do not have verifiable or established handicaps
Example: The Callaway handicap system/scoring system uses a chart to subtract a specified number of holes/strokes from, and make other adjustments to, a players score.
From the Golf Glossary at PGA Professional.com
How much should we charge?
In marketing they say “What the market will bear”. It really depends on the financial makeup of your organization’s members. Typically, an outing you pay $150 to play with meal included actually cost the group $75 – $85. The difference is your fundraising profit. People are willing to pay the differential for the cause you represent, the tax write offs and the just plain fun of playing golf while on the job.
How will we handle registrations?
We offer a partner’s online registration system that keeps tracking and reporting to a minimum.
In one of my first events, our outing’s second largest sponsor was not on any of our call lists. The gentleman found the website through MyGolfOuting.com, registered a foursome and paid for a banquet sponsorship with his American Express card. We not only list player and foursome prices but we also show the sponsorship levels available, sort of like candy in the checkout lane.
The following year I was visiting tables at our banquet. Just saying howdy and asking for feedback. One table had eight people I’d never seen who were not members of our organization. When I asked how they found the outing the leader replied, “We wanted to play in a tournament on Cape Cod so I did a search on the web”.
Do we need a special bank account?
Ask your organization’s accountant.
Where can we get logo golf balls?
Online through one of our partners.
Who pays for the logo balls and or prizes?
Either a sponsor who will want their name on the balls or it comes out of the registration fees. Any costs you can get picked up by sponsors will add to the bottom line.
When and How to calculate the prize budget?
Once sponsor pledges equal player profit you can begin to allocate the sponsorship funds. Any sponsorship shortfall can be covered out of player profit which usually is earmarked for the association bank account.
What charity will we support?
A reputable one which will ensure that at least a portion of a player’s registration fee is tax deductible.
When will the committee(s) meet?
Once a month at first then every two weeks for the final three months. Weekly or daily in the last month before your event.
Where do we get sponsor tee-signs?
Try our partner, eSigns
Who does our printing?
Many organizations have a printer or two as members. Their printing services can be an important barter sponsorship.
Who does our mailings?
This function may also be farmed out to a helpful member. Check your member roles.
Who will cater?
What’s on the menu? Ask the venue you’ve selected. Outings take longer than normal golf, usually five or more hours. Add to that a putting contest, bar time then a banquet and you’ve got a hungry tired group. We like buffets for the speed.
How often should we mail our invitation?
Start with email as soon as you have the date nailed down. That first one can even be a “Hold the Date” note. Begin monthly invitation mailings 4 months out and bi-weekly email reminders 3 months out. You cannot mail too much and if your group is made up of execs they’ll want something in their hands that they can pass to the administrative assistant. Printed flyers through the mail work miracles, the only downside is they come back with checks rather than encouraging online registration. Due to recent events we highly recommend tri-fold or single fold mailers rather than enclosed letters.