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How to run a successful Charity Golf Tournament

Follow these steps to help ensure a successful event that runs efficiently.

Identify the Goal: Determine what you want to accomplish. Is the tournament for customer appreciation? To raise money for a foundation? A networking or social event? The tournament organizer needs to have a clear focus on this topic and keep in mind that the average golf course facility looks to book events 8-12 months in advance.

Find help: Running a golf tournament can be a daunting task for one person. Organize a group of volunteers, meet, sit down and iron out the potential details. Appoint committees to look at social functions, prizes, dates, potential sites, transportation, food and beverage, or any other area relevant to the tournament. Using Waypoint's tournament registration software and features (like our Tee group tool) can reduce your work and yield a better result for your players.

Marketing: Decide the best method to attract players and sponsors. Social media, press releases, flyers, cold calling large companies and email lists can all work. Develop a web presence and social media strategy early. Advertising can be a time-consuming aspect of planning a tournament. It can be very overwhelming unless it’s a clearly thought out plan, it’s critical you get it right the first time. Waypoint gives you an effective and easy way to promote your tournament on the web.

Cost and Format: Determine what type of format best suits the event. Perhaps it’s best ball, maybe a scramble is better. Find out what it’s going to cost to hold your tournament at various courses in your area, and choose the one that fits your budget. Decide on a reasonable entry fee, and when settling on that figure, try to put the focus more on tournament sponsorship.

In most cases, you shouldn't expect to generate your profit via the entry fee. It’s a competitive market for the average golfer. Sponsorships, silent auctions, "features" such as Air Canons, putting contests, buying Mulligans, etc can all contribute to your revenue. Making the day about the experience will generate the revenue.

Names, News and Numbers: An efficient system of receiving applications is a must. If there’s going to be a gift such as a golf shirt, ask players to list their size on the entry form. As entries roll in, communicate with the facility and let them know how many golfers you’re expecting. Use the Waypoint website to send out teasers about golf, the tournament or anything newsworthy. Continue to organize the volunteer base, making certain you have people to handle spotting, beverage cart, registration, silent auction or any other activities planned. More is better, but only if there’s clear organization.

Turn loose: In the week leading up to the golf tournament, allow the experts at the golfcourse to call the shots. Have all your information regarding food and beverages in the week of the event (a couple days out). Waypoint allows you to gather the needed information for meal selections, cart and club rentals, shirt sizes, etc. in a simple manner and generates reports that you can simply pass to the golf course. Make the course's job run smoothly. Some committees almost over-organize. With all the legwork done, feel confident you can let the pros handle the final details.

Make it the first of many: After the event runs smoothly, follow up with all participants. Pass along how much money the charity raised via the tournament. Arrange to have the tournament on the same course at the same time the following year if it is successful and well-received. Waypoint's email tools make these easy.

In general, as a tournament organizer, try not to overpromise and underdeliver. To avoid "no shows" and a loss to the tournament, have people pay when they sign up, via credit card through the Waypoint system Set realistic fundraising benchmarks. Everyone feels better when a goal is reached or surpassed.

While the bottom line is important to the tournament organizer, participants are more likely to return if the entire day is a fulfilling experience. Some people are interested in the social aspect while others are focused on the golf aspect. Whether it’s a guest speaker or cool prizes, try to develop a unique idea to help the tournament stand out in the minds of the participants.

Contact WayPoint to learn more about running your next event.

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