How To Organise A Charity Golf Day 101
We often get asked for help and advice from companies involved in organising their golf day. Typically this responsibility falls onto the shoulders of someone who doesn’t personally play golf and they can get a little lost in the process.
‘I have been tasked to organise my company’s annual charity golf day and I don’t know where to start. A search online just confused me more as I was confronted with the terms like better ball and scramble. I really want to put together a golf day that will be enjoyed by all players and raise a lot of money for my company’s chosen charity.’
If this sounds like you, we’ve listed a step by step guide to help organise your golf day, whether it’s for fun, work or a charity golf day. Before organising a golf event, the organiser needs to understand the purpose of the event: Is it to raise money for charity, for fundraising or for a corporate that wishes to use the event to host key clients? The purpose of the event impacts on the decisions and choices you will need to make.
Click the below link to take a look at our article listing the majority of ‘Golf Courses in the North East of England’ to help give you a starting point.
With such a range of talent that usually fills the field on a golf day, it is usually typical to use a ¾ handicap rule for the tournament. Players with high handicaps are usually more erratic, having two or three of them on the same team can often lead to some ridiculously high scores, which the lower handicap players may feel slightly aggravated by as they would have to play like Tiger Woods to rack up a similar score. Adding a prize for the best gross score gives everyone something extra to play for and allows the lower handicap players something to aim for.
- Four ball Better Ball: Four players compete in a round of golf (this is the most popular golf day format)
- Individual: Individual scores of each player are recorded
- Stableford: Points are awarded in relation to a fixed score on each hole
- Texas Scramble: Players play from one position. For example, a team of four players all hit their drives (first shots). The next shot is played, again by all four players, from the position of the best drive. Play continues in this manner until the ball is holed. (this is the second most popular golf day format)
- Medal play: Type of competition, also known as strokeplay, in which the lowest total score (number of strokes) wins.
You can also run extras alongside the main day to create more chances to win. These are typically, closest to the pin, longest drive and closest to the pin in two. If you are in any doubt about which format to play or extras to put on offer your chosen golf course will be happy to offer advice.
One of the main considerations for your golf day should be geographically based. Although golfers are usually quite willing to travel quite a way to play, you need to make sure that the event is prestigious enough to peak their interest.
You need to make sure you get the right balance of difficulty to accommodate the likely range of player skills attending your day. A bad golf course, while being cheaper, will probably put more players off, who would be willing to overlook a higher cost if it is held at a more established club.
Check with the club house when booking with regards to their policy on buggies, food packages available on the day and other small incentives to set your day aside from the rest. Ensure that the club house will be able to accommodate all the players at the prize-giving ceremony. Negotiate with the golf club that the PA system, podium, as well as catering, are part of your golf day package. Golf takes all day and refreshments are served at the halfway mark.
Make sure that there is someone there to greet your guests when they arrive within the club as the majority of golfers would head to the pro shop by default. A simple table with a branded table cloth so that they have found the right people to deal with and get the necessary items off the list, like signing players in, handing out score cards and any promotional items such as players polo shirts. You could also ask the clubhouse if they can provide a large score board so everyone knows who the clubhouse leader is.
Depending on the availability at your chosen course you will typically choose between a shotgun start or a standard play where all teams start on the 1st hole. Each format has its own advantages and disadvantages for golf days. A shotgun start, where all players start together and keep playing a full 18 from there. This helps with everyone starting and finishing at a similar time which helps minimise the earlier players leaving before the end of the day. On the downside it limits you to only having 18 teams playing.
If you are planning to have everyone starting on the first tee, you will need to plan out the groups and inform people prior to the event of their tee off time so they can plan to arrive with the right amount of time to get ready before starting.
If you are organising a business funded golf day, you may find it easier to recruit players who are willing to pay compared to persuading individuals or groups to pay to play for spaces in a charity golf day.
Your company or charity will no doubt have a list of previous customers and connections they know as a starting point for the players list. Approach them regarding your upcoming golf day in plenty of time, a few months in advance at the least, as golf days come thick and fast during the Summer months and people may want to prioritise. It is a good idea to ask for player’s handicaps when they sign up as it will give you an indication of how good your pool of players are!
With a round of golf often taking between 4-5 hours people are often appreciative of food afterwards which can be put on along with the prize giving, before people start to head home.
If you have a Gala Dinner afterwards, ensure bar snacks are available while people are waiting. Include the price of your meal in with the ticket and leave enough time for players to sort out their equipment and get showered and dressed having come off the course.
Don’t forget to order meals for non-players and get a price for those from the club separately. Also make sure you know who the vegetarians are, the kitchen will need to know in advance, similarly people with food allergies or who need a special meal.
If you have non-golfers attending your golf day, plan something for them. Your chosen golf club could have a spa, which is a relaxing option for the non-golfers. You could also organise golf carts to drive them around so that they can get information about the current leaders or anything else that is going on with the group.
Playing in a golf day, it makes sense that the players will appreciate a golf related prize for their efforts…this is where we can help. We have a range of our most popular awards listed on our Completely Awards section as a starting point to consider. We also offer the more mainstream golf prizes for players that they would appreciated, including:
Branded golf balls with your company logo
Embroidered golf polos
Embroidered golf caps
Embroidered golf towels
Branded pitch mark repairer set with your company logo
Branded golf umbrellas with your company logo
You will typically need prized for:
The winner/winning team
Individual prizes for lowest gross/net
Wooden spoon prize for last place
Closest to the pin
Closest to the pin in two
You could also add some ‘fun’ prizes, best dressed, stupidest or most appropriate name for a team – whatever you can think of to involve people at the end of the event.
You can also run mini competitions on the Course, you could ‘sell’ Mulligans on the first tee. (A Mulligan is another go if you completely mess up a drive) or ‘sell’ double or quits for a getting onto the green on a par 3 – where you buy another go for £5 and if you get onto the green you receive £10 back. Popular on charity days is a ‘beat the pro hole’ where players pay £5 to try to get their ball inside that of a pro on a par 3 hole. If they win, they then receive £10 back. Just remember that mulligans and double and quits are only for sociable events as scores are not entered into the handicap system.
Sponsorship is popular. Firms might give money in exchange for you displaying their banner or advertising board in a prominent place, around the 18th Green for instance or the 1st tee. If you are offering sponsorship we can help with the branded and dressing of the course for all banners and branded sponsorships per hole. Speak to our team to find out how.
Some firms will donate a prize or money for a hole in 1 on the course in exchange for the publicity and if a large prize is offered, you can get it insured – so a Car company could donate a Car, and they pay the insurance cost so if it is won they will receive the money!
You can also have a photographer on the 1st Tee and sell the photos afterwards.
In the clubhouse if you sell raffle tickets before players go out, they can collect their prize (if they’re lucky) when they come back in.
A Silent Auction also adds interest for people who have to wait around in the clubhouse. Auction lots are listed, with a reserve price if appropriate, and people bid by writing down an amount and putting it in an envelope. They leave their details and the highest bid wins.
Branded banners, balloons, posters, awareness leaflets, tablecloths, signs, posters and collection tins. Leave donation envelopes on tables during lunch/dinner, these are all items that we can help with for your day if you speak to our team about how we can help.