When you look back on your tournament your measure of success may begin and end with the amount of money you raised. This makes sense. You took on the task of running an event for a cause you care about and in the end you hand over a cheque. The dollar amount on that cheque represents your level of success.
Golfers might have a different view of success. While it is true that most people like to be a part of an event that raises a big number, perhaps it was their enjoyment of the day that determines success in their eyes.
As an organizer both of these measures of success should be important to you. In fact it is easy to see that they are closely linked.
Players who have a good time are more likely to come back next year, and more likely to bring more of their friends. As your event grows it in turn becomes more desirable from a sponsor perspective. A thriving, growing golf event is built off of a fun, enjoyable golf event.
Here are a few ways to engage your golfers on the course and ways you can leverage that engagement into more money raised:
Putting Contest: Help players warm up and get the competitive juices flowing with a putting board and a donated prize for first place (suggested entry fee $10)
On-Course Contests: The standard 'Closest to the Pin' and 'Longest Drive' competitions are great and should be included, but get creative to make the round enjoyable for the avid golfer as well as the novice. Ideas: longest drive with a hockey stick, chip in the bucket, hit a target, straightest drive (included in the event)
Passport: One way to increase revenue from your on-course contests is to sell a 'Passport'. Players must purchase a passport to be included on the leaderboards and to participate in each contest. (suggested fee $10-$20)
Mulligans: Offer players the opportunity to pre-purchase mulligans for their round. No one likes a shank. This is a great way to keep players happy and increase revenue. (suggested fee $10 per mulligan)
Putt-String: Give each golfer a piece of string - length relative to their handicap. If the ball is within a string's length to the hole it counts as in; each string may only be used once. Works best in a scramble format. (included)
Hole-in-One: Another classic, purchase hole-in-one insurance and have players shoot for their chance at huge prizes. (fee optional or included in the passport)
Beat-the-Pro: Have players tee off against a pro on a par three. If the player hits it closer to the pin than the pro they double their money! (suggested entry fee $10)
Shootout: For a high-profile event at the end of your tournament have 4 players - 2 male, 2 female winners of your closest to the pin contests - hit from a predetermined distance (100-150 yards) on the 18th fairway. Closest to the pin wins! A great sponsorship opportunity as all of your guests will surely be on hand for this exciting final shootout.