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How to Plan a Charity Golf Tournament

There are many organizations and charities that capture our hearts. Maybe you’ve been involved for years, or maybe you’re trying to figure out how to begin helping. Golf tournaments are a great way to raise money for your favorite cause.

First things first, narrow down a date. There is a lot of planning involved, so you might want to start 6 months to a year in advance. You can start with the ideal date, but also think of a few backups. Being flexible will certainly help when booking your event. Many facilities reserve dates annually for organizations that return each year.

Next, secure your location. If you choose to hold your event at a private golf club, you will most likely be limited to Mondays only. If you cannot have your tournament on a Monday, you will have to broaden your search to a public course. When talking to a golf facility, be sure to find out the cost per player, and see what is included (carts, range balls, food, beverages, etc.). If you find a location with a decent price range, ask about holding the date for a couple of days. This would give you time to call around and get price comparisons. Think about your target audience, and the amount they would be willing and able to pay for an entry fee. Remember, you will have to charge more than the course, to raise money for your charity.
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Once you’ve chosen a location and nailed down a date, iron out your details. Ask the golf facility for suggestions. They usually know when a good time is to start your event, and how to create a flow if you have food served before or after, etc. Determine a format. A four person scramble is used most often. Your golf facility may have good suggestions on other fundraising ideas (selling mulligans, closest to the pin/longest drives, silent auction, etc.). You should be able to create a flyer that would include event information and registration details, all the things that someone would need to know to participate in your event.

When you’ve settled on your details, it’s time to spread the word! Snail mail is still a crucial way to tell people about your event, but there are other great communication avenues out there that are more cost efficient. Your charity/organization should be more than will to post the information on their website. Take advantage of social media. Create a Facebook page for your event and invite everyone you know to ‘like’ it. And of course, e-mail. Try as many different avenues as you possibly can. And repeat as many times as necessary. Sometimes people just need a reminder.

Get volunteers
. You’ll need the help. Have people recruit players and foursomes. Sponsorship is another big equation to raising money. Sometimes sponsors simply donate to the cause and receive advertising (like a hole sponsorship). Other times, they pay for a team or multiple teams with additional advertising. Again, you can ask your golf facility for suggestions. You may also need volunteers to help get donated items for player goody bags, food/beverage, auction items, etc. And of course, it’s great to have volunteers at the event to help with player registration, and other tournament duties.

Now that the planning is complete, the sponsors have signed up and the players have registered, enjoy the event!

For information on hosting a tournament at River Oaks Golf Club, please e-mail Andy McCormick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..