Choosing the right golf course for your charity golf tournament

There are many important steps to consider when planning a charity golf tournament.  From choosing your theme to selecting your leadership team to recruiting volunteers and participants to managing day of event details…there are numerous steps in the process.

One critical step in the planning process is the selection of the actual golf course you intend to host your event.

When choosing a golf course, you’ll want to consider your audience…or the people you intend to attract to your golf tournament.  To gain instant credibility with the golf community, sponsors and guest pros that attend, you many want to consider choosing an exclusive course that is highly rated in your area. If credibility isn’t important and your goal is to make the event accessible to more community members, perhaps a community golf course is a better fit for your event. Just remember you don’t have to choose a community course just because it fits within your schedule or budget.  You may be able to negotiate with some of the best courses in the area if you intend to draw in a large crowd and get them some media attention.

A very important consideration when selecting a golf course is the costs that some of these more elite courses may charge.  If there are high fees, consider asking a local business to pick up this tab by being title sponsor of your charity golf outing.  Don’t rule out “members only” courses.  Find out who is on their board and determine if you have any contacts to reach out to these members to obtain approval for your organization to use the course. They may be willing to work with you in support of a good cause.

Forging a strong partnership with a golf course can help you establish a strong foundation for a successful charity golf tournament. If you aren’t sure where to start, Golf Now offers a course directory with a list of golf courses across the country…many of them with great discounted rates!  Once you’ve identified a course that meets your needs, you’ll want to iron out the details with the golf course staff. Putting everything into writing and signing an agreement can alleviate confusion on tournament day.

Here are some things you’ll want to include in your contract:

  • Date and tee time: Be flexible here. Courses may offer discounts for off-season or mid-week golf dates.
  • Description of tournament services: Are golf balls, golf carts, scorecards, gratuities and service fees, etc. included?
  • Number of golfers and guarantees: When is attendee list due? Are there penalties if if estimated number of golfers is reduced?
  • Total costs: Costs per golfer, costs for food, beverage, services, etc. and due dates for deposit and final payment.
  • Cancellation terms and weather policy

In summary

Make sure you are prepared with a list of questions before you start negotiations with the golf course. You may want to compare costs and services between a few different courses to ensure you are getting a fair deal, and put everything in writing to protect your organization. But most important, make sure you feel comfortable with the terms and the staff at the course as you want to make sure the course will treat your guests to a great day of hospitality!