How to Hold a Golf Tournament for a Fundraiser

Golf tournaments are hours-long events that golfers and non-golfers alike can enjoy. As such, they make excellent fundraisers. If you're looking to generate some spare cash for your country club, small business or nonprofit organization, a tournament is an ideal way to do it. 

As with any charitable event, you'll need to do some organizing to host your tournament. It's not as simple as posting some flyers and taking participants' money when they arrive, but it's not rocket science. These straightforward tips will have you well on your way to a successful 18 holes. 

Have a Plan and a Budget

It's as true with charity golf tournaments as it is in life: You've got to spend money to make money

Before you bankrupt your organization trying to put this event together, sit down and understand your return on investment. What can you spend on promotion, securing a course if you need to, perks for attendees and other special benefits? How much do you need each golfer to generate in pledges, so the event generates your desired amount? Once you know these things, you can move forward with confidence. 

Choose a Course and Format

Man Playing Golf Daylight

Having a few options here can be wise. A more prestigious course such as a country club might attract a well-paying crowd, but it will also cost more money. 

Ask prospective courses how many tournaments they host in a given year. Those with more tournament experience will be better equipped to guide you through the process and might have some good ideas from past tournaments that you can take advantage of. 

Along with the location, you'll need to decide the style of play. Formats for golf tournaments include a scramble, shotgun start, skins game or best ball. 

Get Sponsored

Your tournament could be an outstanding opportunity for a prominent business or five to get a tax writeoff. Ask around to find a willing partner, and you could secure a much larger purse to make the tournament something extraordinary. That will lead to a more significant take in the end. 

Throw in Some Perks

Man Practicing Golf Night

Fundraisers generally do better when there are unique perks involved. For example, the City of San Diego holds an annual 5K over the famous Coronado Bridge offering citizens the chance to run a stretch of road that's otherwise too dangerously full of cars. 

For your event, consider inviting local heads of business to play with entrants. You can make it attractive for the players to generate pledges by providing them free food and drinks while they're on the links. Many tournaments accomplish this by passing out boxed lunches. 

Host a party for non-player attendees with a bar where you can generate revenue from snacks and drinks. Consider a raffle or silent auction to contribute to your tournament's revenue. Maybe VIP guests can pay extra for a special after-tournament dinner. There are lots of ways to up your earnings and make the event unique at the same time. 

Promote Your Event

Social media has made it so much easier to get the word out about your event, and best of all, it's free. A robust promotional campaign will include social media, print ads and, if you can afford it, some radio and potentially even television spots. 

Make sure you advertise the location, date and time of the tournament and where all charitable contributions will go. If you've never played in a tournament before, you might want to try it out to get a feel for what it's like. Can you improve on the experience you had with your guests?

Have Fun

You're all there for a good cause, so remember that while golf can be frustrating, this is supposed to be fun. Don't take things too seriously. Ultimately, you'll have more money to do the things your club or company needs at the end of what should be a relaxing day on the links. Remember to keep your cool, and everything will come together with nary a hiccup in sight.

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